Two fighters collide during exercise off Skyros, pilots safe An air force fighter jet crashed into the Aegean Sea during a training exercise yesterday, but the pilot ejected and was rescued unharmed, the air force said. A fire started aboard the single-seat Mirage 2000 after it collided with a second jet of the same type involved in the exercise, forcing the pilot to eject. The jet crashed into the sea about 30 kilometers (20 miles) off the island of Skyros just before 1 p.m. Petros Vakalos, 29, was later recovered by a rescue helicopter and taken to a military hospital. The second Mirage 2000 landed safely. ELA TRIAL Lawyer distinguishes group from N17, defends key prosecution witness One of the lawyers representing the victims and families of the victims in the trial of the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) yesterday drew a distinction between ELA and the November 17 terror group as the trial of five suspected ELA members resumed following a monthlong break. «ELA seemed to have more of an ideological character and was interested in propaganda,» Alexandros Katsantonis said. Katsantonis said he believed Sofia Kyriakidou, the estranged former wife of ELA suspect Angeletos Kanas and the trial’s chief prosecution witness, was reliable. US VOLLEYBALLER CONVICTED Olympian gets suspended sentence An Athens court yesterday passed down a 15-month suspended sentence on a 27-year-old US Olympic volleyballer who caused a fracas in central Athens early on Monday. Clayton Stanley was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest following an altercation with a young couple in Mitropoleos Sq. Charges brought earlier for assaulting a pregnant woman were dropped. Stanley, who said he could not remember much about the incident, apologized. Old bomb Coast guard divers yesterday recovered a 1.5-meter bomb off the coast of Marathon, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The area where the light-blue-colored bomb – which appeared to have been in the sea for severalk years – was found, about 50 meters off the coast, was yesterday being guarded by the coast guard ahead of the arrival of navy explosives experts, the ministry said. Ossetia hostages Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis yesterday condemned suspected Chechen rebels holding more than 100 people hostage in a school in southern Russia, near war-torn Chechnya. «Such actions are horrific. I must reiterate the Greek government’s full and unequivocal condemnation of any terrorist act, especially involving children,» Valinakis told Alpha radio station. The ministry later issued an official statement condemning the «unacceptable and cowardly terrorist act.» Putin visit The Greek government attributes «exceptional significance» to the scheduled arrival in Greece on Saturday of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said yesterday. Putin is due to meet Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis in Thessaloniki on Saturday. He is then due to visit the monastic community on Mount Athos. Fan frenzy There were chaotic scenes as football fans crushed against ticket offices in Korai Square and Karaiskaki Stadium in Athens yesterday to buy the remaining 13,000 tickets for the national team’s home World Cup qualifier against Turkey on September 8. Some fans had been waiting since 6 a.m. and police officers could not control queues, which eventually extended over 600 meters. Some 17,000 seats have already been reserved. Spoiled kids Excessive pocket money is largely to blame for most Greek children’s unhealthy eating habits, according to the results of a Consumer Institute (INKA) study released yesterday. A total of 85 percent of children receive excessive pocket money which they spend on unhealthy snacks, such as chocolates and potato chips but also on cigarettes and alcohol, INKA said. The excessive hours most children spend in front of the television – an average of 24-37 hours per week – encourage the consumption of such unhealthy snacking, INKA added.