NEWS

In Brief

DEKA – Parliament throws out opposition call for probe Parliament yesterday rejected a call by opposition New Democracy for a parliamentary investigation into the alleged use by the government of the state portfolio investment company (DEKA) to prop up the falling Athens Stock Exchange just before the national elections in spring 2000. Out of the 277 MPs present, 147 voted against and 130 for. ND leader Costas Karamanlis accused the ruling socialists of trying to cover up the matter. This crime will not be forgotten, he said. The case does not end here. Migrant ship Syrian freighter resupplied,still loitering off Peloponnese Greek coast guard vessels in international waters off the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese yesterday revictualed and refueled a Syrian-flagged freighter suspected of carrying hundreds of illegal immigrants. This followed an appeal by the Wale II’s captain, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The ship was located early on Wednesday. Yesterday, it was hovering in international waters off Pylos, under close navy and. coast guard surveillance. Voluntary’ boot-washing Officer rapped over Zakynthos incident A Zakynthos port official was lightly disciplined yesterday after video footage showed an illegal immigrant – one of the 714 aboard a stricken migrant smuggling ship salvaged off Zakynthos earlier this month – cleaning his boots. Yiannis Markolefas was sentenced to 30 days’ confinement to barracks. A coast guard investigation found that the boot cleaner was a migrant smuggler, not a migrant. It said he did not prevent the voluntary and unforced act of a Turkish migrant smuggler to wash his boots with water… instead of displaying the necessary restraint. Stolen passport. A father and son from Syria who were detained in Newark in the USA just after the September 11 terrorist attacks now face criminal charges: the father for alleged credit card fraud, the son for allegedly using a stolen Greek passport. Authorities have not elaborated on the charges against Ahmad Kilfat, 45, and Mustafa Kilfat, 21. Mustafa Kilfat faces up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of using a false passport to facilitate international terrorism. The US Secret Service said a black bag in the men’s car contained a Greek passport with Mustafa Kilfat’s picture bearing the name of Nikolaos Makrakis, a Greek singer. Mustafa Kilfat told agents he bought it for $700 in Greece. Greek authorities confirmed that the passport had been stolen, the Secret Service said. (AP) Birth control. Twenty percent of men and 30 percent of women used no form of contraception during their first sexual encounter, according to a recent survey, supplementary results of which were released yesterday. A poll by Metron Analysis on behalf of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine also found that only 60 percent of the men who had employed some form of birth control used condoms. Furthermore, only a quarter of women polled said they used contraception. Initial results of the same survey released last week showed there are 200,000 abortions a year in Greece, twice the number of births. Infant death. The body of a five-month old boy who died in an Athens day nursery in September was disinterred for a second autopsy yesterday at the insistence of its parents, after the first autopsy attributed the infant’s death to a lung infection. Michalis and Adamantia Bakali say their son suffocated after getting caught in the railings of his bed at the Patouhaki nursery in Halandri. They have sued the establishment’s owners for negligence. Papandreou. Foreign Minister George Papandreou met his visiting Bulgarian counterpart in Athens yesterday. They discussed the planned oil pipeline from Burgas to Alexandroupolis, but gave no indication that the enmired project had progressed at all. They also agreed to accelerate the opening of three new border crossings Cotton. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas yesterday expressed satisfaction with the preliminary cotton prices announced by the European Union on Wednesday, saying the final price will be around 300 drachmas a kilo. Opposition New Democracy claimed prices might not even cover production costs. Thessaly cotton growers, who have been protesting for weeks in fear of lower prices than last year’s, decided to continue with their protests without using their tractors to block highways.