NEWS

In Brief

PLANE DOWN- Sea and air search for pilot of plane off Preveza An extensive sea and air search was launched off the western town of Preveza last night after the pilot of a private plane, a Cessna, radioed air traffic controllers that he was experiencing engine trouble and would have to ditch into the sea. The radio message came at 7.50 p.m., the Merchant Marine Ministry said. An air force C-130 plane, a Super Puma helicopter, five coast guard vessels, a tug boat and several fishing boats were searching for the pilot. The plane was flying from Venizelos airport at Athens to Corfu. Skai radio gave the pilot’s surname as Dimitropoulos. No further details were available. MYSTERY SKULL Found near site of US woman’s murder A state coroner will examine a skull found in the sea near the site where an American woman was murdered and then beheaded more than two years ago, authorities said yesterday. Julie Scully of Mansfield, New Jersey, was murdered and mutilated by her Greek fiance near Kavala in northern Greece in January, 1999. Her head was never found. The fiance, George Skiadopoulos, is serving a life sentence in prison. We will examine whether the skull shows signs consistent with the murder to determine whether it belongs to Ms. Scully, said coroner Minas Georgiadis. Otherwise DNA tests will be required. The examination is due to begin today. Scully was 31 when she was murdered. (AP) Christodoulos. In a politically-charged sermon in Athens yesterday that was rife with references to opponents of the Church of Greece’s drive for a referendum on the recording of religious faith on state identity cards, Archbishop Christodoulos said people who do not love Jesus Christ should be excommunicated from the Church. He also said unspecified people had mounted a black propaganda campaign against him. Eurobasket. A bench-clearing brawl, which saw seven players from each team shown the way to the dressing rooms, marred the end of the Greece-Bosnia game late last night. The Bosnians, who had failed to hold onto a slim halftime lead, provoked the brawl about two minutes before the end of the game. In the remaining playing time three more Bosnians left with five fouls, leaving only two from their squad to finish the game.