NEWS

In Brief

SHOT DOWN

Hexavac multiple vaccine deemed ineffective and withdrawn from market The multiple vaccine Hexavac, which is used to protect children from a range of diseases including tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis B, has been withdrawn from the market because it is not effective enough, the National Pharmaceutical Organization (EOF) said yesterday. European authorities discovered that the vaccine did not protect children against hepatitis B for more than five years, EOF said and recommended parents speak to their child’s pediatrician. DEADLY ACCIDENT Car crash in northern Greece leaves three funeral-goers and one other dead Two men and one woman, aged between 35 and 70, on their way to a relative’s funeral in northern Greece, were killed yesterday when their car was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle on a country road between Drama and Amfipolis, near Serres. A 27-year-old woman traveling in the other car was also killed while the 30-year-old man driving the vehicle suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. The road surface was slippery due to light rain and one of the cars veered into the opposite lane, traffic police said. ROCK’N’ROLL Addict attacks Simitis house in error A 25-year-old drug addict was arrested in Kolonaki, central Athens, yesterday after throwing a rock at the entrance to the building where former prime minister Costas Simitis lives, thinking it was the residence of Costas Karamanlis, the current premier, police said. The man was told by guards outside the building that Karamanlis did not live there but refused to believe them, officers said. Paternity suit The Supreme Court, in a decision made public yesterday, has turned down an appeal by a man who was deemed to be the father of a child because he refused to take a DNA test. The Supreme Court upheld a previous decision from a lower court that by refusing to be tested without providing any serious medical reason, the unnamed man was effectively admitting that he was the child’s father. Priest murder A 70-year-old priest who had been bound and gagged was found dead in his home in Piraeus yesterday, authorities said. The body of Dimitris Pikios was found at around 9 a.m. in the entrance hall of his fifth-floor apartment by his son who lives on the second floor of the building. Police said there were no signs that an intruder had forced his way into the property and believe the murderer may have been an acquaintance of the priest. Pump action The Development Ministry yesterday fined nine petrol stations some 672,000 euros after tests on samples of the fuel they were selling found that they did not conform with quality standards. The fines take the total amount that petrol stations have been forced to pay this year for selling inferior or diluted petrol to some 2.5 million euros, the ministry said. Trafficker jailed A Turkish human trafficker who was arrested on Monday off Samos while attempting to smuggle 29 migrants to the eastern Aegean island was yesterday given a 10-year jail sentence and fined 61,000 euros. Meanwhile, Samos residents yesterday took in eight illegal Afghan immigrants after finding them drenched and stranded on a beach. After being given dry clothes and a meal, the migrants were taken to the island’s reception center. Sick conscripts Two conscripts from the Andravida air force base near Patras in the Peloponnese were taken to the hospital yesterday with severe gastroenteritis, the Defense Ministry said. Medical teams at the military base were also attending to some 200 other personnel who were affected by the condition, including the base’s commander. Tests were being conducted on the food and water at the military base to determine the source of the problem. Cannabis arrests Police arrested two men in the northwestern town of Ioannina yesterday after they found 39 kilos of cannabis in their possession. The two men, a Greek and an Albanian national, said they picked up the cannabis from contacts on the border with Albania.