NEWS

In Brief

CYPRIOT-BRITISH TIES

Papadopoulos, Prescott display will to improve strained relations Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott yesterday both stressed the need to mend strained ties between their countries. «It’s no secret that relations with Britain have suffered recently and I’m very encouraged that all sides want to renew bilateral relations,» Papadopoulos said after talks with Prescott in Nicosia. Prescott said that EU-member Turkey was obliged to recognize Cyprus. Meanwhile, Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who met with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, called on the United Nations to relaunch peace talks with Cyprus. AIR TRAVEL No flight disruptions expected Flights to and from Greek airports are not expected to be disrupted today and tomorrow following yesterday’s court ruling deeming illegal a planned 24-hour strike by air-traffic controllers. Olympic Airlines employees, who are calling for a collective labor contract to be honored, said they would meet soon to discuss further action. Ankara visit Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will pay an official visit to Ankara on November 23-24, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis said Karamanlis’s trip would take place «soon» but did not give a date. Population rise Greece’s population rose in 2004 despite more deaths being recorded than births, according to a Eurostat report made public yesterday which attributed the increase to an influx of immigrants. According to the report, Greece’s population stood at 11.047 million on January 1, an increase of 32,400 since January last year. During that period, a total of 101,500 births and 104,000 deaths were recorded. ID cards Greek citizens should be able to receive a police identity card on the same day they apply for it from November 1, according to a biministerial decision, made public yesterday, aimed at slicing through the red tape involved in this procedure. BBC Greek The Greek Section of the BBC World Service, which broadcasts international news in Greek, is to close down by March next year, the broadcaster said yesterday. The Greek Section is one of 10 radio services, including Polish and Bulgarian, that will stop broadcasting as part of a restructuring toward the BBC launch of an Arabic-language television station. Murder reconstruction A 19-year-old soldier, charged with the fatal beating of a 22-year-old woman in Corinth last week, was yesterday taken to the cafe where the killing took place – under heavy police guard – to participate in a reconstruction of the crime. The unnamed man allegedly kicked and beat the woman to death after she refused his sexual advances. Students attacked Police in Athens yesterday arrested a 23-year-old man believed to have stabbed two students last Wednesday in Monastiraki. The man, allegedly a member of a far-right group, is thought to have attacked the students, aged 19 and 23, because one of them had an anti-fascist symbol on his T-shirt. Daily bread Bakers reminded customers yesterday that they will need to stock up on bread tomorrow because of the public holiday on Friday. Cement block A Swedish man was arrested yesterday at the Kakavia border post with Albania after attempting to leave Greece driving a stolen cement-mixing truck, authorities said. The truck had been stolen from Norway on October 17 and had forged registration. It is not clear how the vehicle ended up in Greece.