NEWS

In Brief

RESCUE OPERATION

Migrants pulled from sea after trafficker strands them off Lesvos Coast guards yesterday rescued 18 illegal immigrants from the sea off the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos and found another five on the shore after their trafficker forced them to jump from a boat so he could evade authorities, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Officers later arrested a Turkish man on the island who they believe may have been the captain of the boat. The migrants said they were from Algeria. OPINION POLL Seven in 10 unhappy with ND but it still comfortably beats PASOK Even though 71 percent of people said they were dissatisfied with the government, the ruling conservatives maintained a steady 4 percent lead over its main opposition PASOK in a poll conducted during this month by VPRC for Skai radio and made public yesterday. New Democracy polled 42.5 percent among respondents. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was considered the most suitable for the post of premier by 45 percent of those questioned, while George Papandreou was approved by only 23 percent. CHILD ABUSE Boyfriend faces criminal charges A prosecutor in Crete yesterday charged 39-year-old Panayiotis Kalatzis with deliberate aggravated bodily harm for endangering the life of a 5-year-old child. The boy, son of Kalatzis’s Romanian girlfriend, is still being treated at a hospital after the weekend attack. Kalatzis admitted the criminal charges but denied sexually abusing the child, court sources said. He was granted a 48-hour delay before testifying and was remanded in custody until then. Ilia wanted An Athens prosecutor yesterday issued an arrest warrant for former judge Antonia Ilia, who is wanted on charges of fraud and money laundering, because she is considered a flight risk. The Supreme Court fired Ilia in June for a lack of moral standards and gross inefficiency. Policeman arrested A 26-year-old policeman from the Korydallos precinct in Athens was arrested yesterday for possession of drugs, officers said. During a search of his house on the Saronic island of Salamina, police found some 450 grams of heroin and an electronic scale. Two more people, aged 22 and 39, were also arrested in connection to the drugs, officer said. New UNFICYP head UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday told the Security Council he was appointing veteran UN diplomat Michael Moller from Denmark as his special representative for Cyprus and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Operation in Cyprus (UNFICYP). Moller will replace Pole Zbigniew Wlosowicz, who will complete his assignment on November 30, 2005. Mild earthquake An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale hit the northern Greek city of Ioannina early yesterday, authoritie said, but no reports of injuries or damages were made. The tremor occurred at 6.30 a.m. with an epicenter 15 kilometers northeast of the city. Bus stop An Albanian national who had an invalid driving license was arrested yesterday in Ambelokipi, central Athens, at the wheel of a school bus carrying students to primary school, police said. The driver had an Albanian license, which is not valid in Greece. Sneaking off Police said yesterday they are trying to track down a gang which is distributing fake designer sneakers to shops after discovering 225 pairs of the ripoffs in two stores in the western suburb of Aghia Varvara. The two shop owners were arrested. Arson charges Police said they arrested a 26-year-old man in Crete yesterday in connection with the burning down of a streetside kiosk. In a separate case, a 72-year-old man was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail yesterday for setting fire to a coffee shop in Grevena, northern Greece. Pedestrian killed Traffic police in Halkidiki yesterday arrested a 60-year-old driver after he knocked down three pedestrians, killing a 65-year-old woman and injuring a 67-year-old man and another woman, 56.