NEWS

In Brief

MENINGITIS REASSURANCE

Two outbreaks, in Attica and Patras, not cause for concern, experts say Two reported outbreaks of meningitis – one affecting a schoolchild and a teacher in Attica and the other a kindergarten pupil in Patras – are not any cause for concern, experts at the Center for the Control of Special Infectious Diseases said yesterday. «These are predictable seasonal cases and there has been no evidence of spreading,» the Greek Pediatric Society said. However, experts stressed that the best method of prevention was washing one’s hands before eating. LARISSA AIRPORT? Minister orders feasibility study Transport Minister Michalis Liapis gave the go-ahead yesterday for plans to build a civil aviation airport in Larissa, central Greece, which already has a military airport. After visiting the city yesterday, Liapis said he had ordered a feasibility study to be carried out. Locals in the wider area have been pressing for an airport in the region. Liapis also said 24 million euros would be spent on improving the rail system in the city. Xeros rebuffed An Athens court yesterday rejected an appeal by convicted November 17 terror group member Savvas Xeros for his early release due to poor health. Xeros, 43, who is serving six life sentences in Korydallos jail, said prison doctors cannot adequately treat the sight and hearing problems he acquired in a June 2002 explosion. The court said Xeros had submitted his appeal too late. Illegal immigrants Police on Samos, in the eastern Aegean, yesterday arrested 35 illegal immigrants who landed on the island at four different points, authorities said. Officers had been on the alert since Tuesday morning when one group of migrants was spotted disembarking on the island. The migrants, 32 men and three women – from Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Lebanon – were taken to the island’s reception center. Mercedes recall The General Consumer Secretariat informed drivers yesterday that Mercedes-Benz was withdrawing 706 A-Class cars and 68 Vaneo vehicles due to a fault with their windscreen wipers. The recall relates to vehicles manufactured between April 2002 and 2003. Owners are advised to contact their nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership for details. Road fatalities Three people were killed in separate car accidents near Thessaloniki yesterday, police said. A 58-year-old female passenger was killed when the vehicle she was in hit a truck and then veered off the road. In the second incident, a 33-year-old driver was fatally hurt when his car collided with a truck. Also, a 76-year-old driver was killed after his vehicle hit a lorry. Fugitive caught Police in Athens yesterday caught a 39-year-old inmate who had escaped from a prison in the central town of Larissa. Police said that Merkourios Sofronis had left the jail on a five-day furlough and failed to return. He is serving a 28-year sentence for a string of armed robberies and a shootout with police in Glyfada in the 1990s. Flood culprits A Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday ordered an investigation into floods that hit parts of northern Greece on Saturday in order to determine whether any negligent actions contributed to the problems caused by the flooding. Dealers arrested An Albanian man and woman were arrested in Ioannina, northeastern Greece, yesterday after police found over a kilo of heroin in their home. The two are accused of selling drugs mostly in the Ioannina area but also in other Greek towns, police said.