NEWS

In Brief

POLK MURDER

Supreme Court rejects widow’s appeal for retrial of Giorgos Staktopoulos The criminal section of the Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal by the widow of the late journalist Giorgos Staktopoulos – convicted of collaborating in the murder of US CBS war correspondent George Polk in 1948 during the Civil War – for a posthumous retrial for her husband. The court rejected Theodora Zisimopoulou-Staktopoulou’s appeal as groundless, finding no substance to her claims that new evidence proves her late husband’s innocence. Staktopoulos died in 1998. MINISTRY PROTEST Police clash with laborers protesting over worksite safety procedures Around 350 construction workers clashed with riot police outside the Labor Ministry yesterday where striking laborers were protesting over inadequate safety measures on work sites which have resulted in five deaths this year – the fifth occurring in Kozani yesterday, during the course of the protest. Demonstrators tried to storm the ministry but police responded by firing tear gas. Nine officers were injured in ensuing scuffles. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS Group of 73 stopped in Thrace Border guards yesterday detained a group of 73 illegal immigrants, of various origins, and their two suspected Turkish smugglers after searching a truck on the Alexandroupolis-Orestiada national road. The guards also arrested another three Turks driving a car that had preceded the truck – allegedly scouting the road ahead for police – and two Iraqis believed to have brought the would-be migrants over the Evros River. Also yesterday, the five crew members of a North Korean-flagged ship appeared in a Cypriot court on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 77 migrants from Egypt to Greece. ERT fined The National Broadcasting Council yesterday fined state television channel NET 20,000 euros for advertising a sponsor during one of its news bulletins. It is the first time the state broadcaster, ERT, has been fined. The council also noted that it would be imposing sanctions on all television channels, including ERT, for failing to give proportional air time to all political parties in their news bulletins. Olympic zeal Organizers of the Athens Olympics yesterday announced that 138,000 people have applied to work as volunteers during the Games. Organizers plan to select 60,000 volunteers from a pool of 150,000 candidates. Meanwhile, protesters opposing the strict security measures being implemented ahead of the Olympics and the impact of these on civil rights and freedoms are due to stage a demonstration in central Athens tomorrow. Members of 20 non-governmental organizations are to meet at 7 p.m. outside Athens University. Roadworks Traffic will be disrupted due to construction work on the bridge in the western Athenian neighborhood of Treis Gefyres which started yesterday and is to continue until Sunday, the Public Works Ministry said. The work will be carried out daily between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Lagonissi protest Residents of southern Attica are to stage a demonstration outside the Development Ministry at 11 a.m. today to protest against a luxury resort in Lagonissi being allowed exclusive access to a local beach, and against the police’s use of tear gas to quell their protest outside the Lagonissi Grand Resort Hotel grounds on Sunday. ATM lifted Unidentified thieves stole an ATM machine from a bank in the village of Playiari, near Thessaloniki, in the early hours of yesterday morning, police said, adding that the robbers apparently took advantage of heavy fog in the area to pry the machine out of the wall in their own time. It is unclear how much cash the ATM contained. Turkish training Members of a Greek-Turkish task force met in Athens on Monday to discuss the ongoing training of Turkish state officials in view of the country’s implementation of the European acquis communautaire, Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said yesterday. So far more than 600 Turkish officials have been trained in Greece, Beglitis said.