NEWS

In Brief

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Students to get access at half the normal price with gov’t program Around 600,000 students of universities and technical colleges will be able to benefit from fast Internet connection for half its usual price, the government said yesterday. The program, titled Diodos, is to be implemented following the completion of a 12-week pilot program to test its operability, they said. GETTY LETTER LA museum says will discuss possible return of artifacts at beginning of 2006 The Culture Ministry said yesterday that it had received a letter from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles saying that the possible return of ancient artifacts to Greece will be discussed once the new director, Michael Brand, takes up his post next month. The government said last month that it had launched legal proceedings against the Getty Museum to secure the return of four artifacts the US museum allegedly smuggled out of Greece. MOLYVIATIS WARNING Foreign minister sees Balkan problems Negotiations over Kosovo’s future, a referendum in Montenegro and a new constitution in Bosnia over the next few months could be flashpoints for «nationalistic tendencies,» Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis said yesterday. «We should not disregard the potential threat involved in these problems,» Molyviatis told The Associated Press. Dealer couple A married couple were each sentenced to 10 years in jail yesterday after an Athens court found them guilty on drug-dealing charges. Yiannis and Christina Kalamiotis were arrested in 2003 after officers found heroin in their possession. Five unnamed Gypsies who apparently assisted the duo were sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison each. Christmas cheer Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis yesterday announced the program of Christmas events for the city center, which is to open on December 15 when the lights on the Christmas tree in Syntagma Square will be switched on. This year’s Christmas program will include a «Gift City» at Kotzia Square, an ice rink at the Zappeion Mansion and carousels at Omonia Square, Bakoyannis said. A total of 1.3 million euros is being spent on this year’s festivities, she said. Feathered champs Fifteen canaries were rated yesterday on their singing voices, plumage and body shape during the final stage of a contest in the Thessaloniki municipality of Sykeon. The 15 contenders had been selected from 600 candidates offered by 15 canary breeders from different parts of the country. Kehayioglou trial An Athens magistrate yesterday gave celebrity lawyer Sakis Kehayioglou an extension until December 20 before facing charges of involvement in a trial-fixing ring. Kehayioglou is accused of taking 470,000 euros from his clients to pay judges for favorable verdicts. «I am sure that my innocence will be proved,» he said on leaving the magistrate’s office. Illegal immigrants Authorities on the island of Lesvos detained 20 illegal immigrants yesterday that had been smuggled into Greece from Turkey. The coast guard said the immigrants reached the island on two wooden boats which were later found on a nearby shore. Road deaths The number of road deaths fell in September by 17.4 percent year on year to 133, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday. The total number of car accidents on the country’s road network rose to 1,456 from 1,370 accidents in September last year. Car crashes A 54-year-old driver was killed yesterday when his car collided with another vehicle on a country road between Kilkis and Polykastro in northern Greece, police said. The two people traveling in the other car, aged 42 and 32, were injured. Meanwhile, a 53-year-old was killed yesterday when he lost control of his car on a country road between Nymfopetra and Redina in northern Greece, police said. Great bales of fire Some 2,500 bales of cotton went up in smoke in Thessaloniki yesterday after a fire at the Evitex storage facilities. The blaze burned cotton believed to be worth 850,000 euros.