NEWS

In Brief

ABANDONED BABY

Romanian mother, 40, in hospital after binning newborn infant A 40-year-old Romanian woman, who allegedly abandoned her newborn baby in a garbage dumpster in the Cretan port of Rethymnon early yesterday morning, later received a blood transfusion at an Iraklion hospital following heavy blood loss. The baby girl was found just after 3 a.m. by Italian tourists who heard her cries. The infant had suffered breathing problems due to being weighed down by heavy objects in the dumpster but was otherwise in good health, doctors said. The unnamed mother told police she had thought the baby was dead. Police arrested the woman, and her 45-year-old Romanian husband. ELEFSINA BLAST Police arrest two suspects, probe another three for December explosion Attica police said yesterday that they had arrested two people and were investigating another three in connection with a blast last December at a coffee shop in Elefsina, some 20 kilometers west of Athens. Antonis Vlastos, 66, and Dimitris Hadzistavrou, 48, were charged yesterday. Vlastos’s 33-year-old son Panayiotis, currently in jail, is also implicated, police said. The explosion completely destroyed the Boss coffee shop – which belongs to the mother of the Nastoulis brothers, who run a local protection racket – and damaged neighboring houses and vehicles. BOMB HOAX Ferry delayed for two hours at Piraeus A passenger ferry destined for Syros, Tinos and Myconos was delayed at Piraeus for two hours yesterday morning following an anonymous call to a daily newspaper warning of a bomb aboard the vessel. The 1,619 passengers of the Express Athina were evacuated but coast guard officers failed to find any explosives. The ferry finally departed at 9.30 a.m. Olympic advertising Greek local government officials have signed a 5.9-million-euro contract with an American advertising agency to promote Athens as an Olympic city until 2006. The Chicago-based Leo Burnett agency signed the contract on Wednesday with the greater Athens regional government, a statement said yesterday. The campaign will be aimed at Americans, Europeans and Japanese tourists, the statement said. (AP) Pharos interchange Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias is due tomorrow to officially open the lane for Athens-bound traffic at the Pharos interchange in Psychico. Two more interchanges on Kifissias Avenue, at Aghia Varvara and Filothei, are scheduled for completion at the end of 2006. Church on Iraq Archbishop Christodoulos called for the return of peace and stability to Iraq in a written statement made public yesterday. «Observing the succession of violent acts and the debasement of human decency, I ask myself: ‘Has the God of peace left Iraq?’ My wish and my prayer is for peace, calm and fraternity between peoples,» the statement said. Mountain-biking An international mountain bike race is taking place at the foot of Mount Parnitha today and tomorrow. A total of 37 male and 27 female athletes are expected to compete in the race, an Olympic test event, which covers a 6.1-kilometer route, including forest roads and artificial hurdles. Anti-Olympic rally Hundreds of demonstrators marched through central Athens yesterday to protest at US involvement in an Olympic security exercise which began on Thursday. The four-day «Olympic Guardian II» exercise is being held to test Athens’s readiness to tackle a potential terrorist attack during the Games. Forged euros Police in Serres yesterday arrested three men, aged 22, 30 and 52, after confiscating a total of 52 forged 50-euro notes and nine forged 10-euro notes. The 52-year-old told police that he had bought the fake bills in Bulgaria. Prince Charles Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, yesterday flew back to Britain following a four-day stay at the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. The prince has been conducting annual visits to the northern monastic community for the past five years.