NEWS

In Brief

BRITISH VISIT

Karamanlis to discuss objections to EU budget during talks with Blair Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is due in London this afternoon for talks with his British counterpart Tony Blair ahead of an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels next week. Greece has so far indicated that it does not agree with Britain’s proposals for the 2007-2013 EU budget. Karamanlis is one of eight EU leaders that Blair is due to meet before the weekend. The two leaders are also expected to discuss bilateral matters. LEDRAS STREET UN condemns Turkish Cypriots for acting ‘unilaterally’ in Nicosia The United Nations intervened yesterday in a growing dispute over relinking Nicosia’s main shopping district after more than four decades. A statement by the UN peacekeeping force said construction on Ledras Street by the Turkish Cypriots was not violating the buffer zone, but that both sides had to agree in advance on any changes. The Turkish-Cypriot side «persists in acting unilaterally toward an objective that, by definition, must be bilateral,» the statement said. (AP) SPRINTERS’ HEARING Kenteris, Thanou face court on Feb. 22 The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne said yesterday that it will hold a second hearing on February 22 next year for sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, who have been accused of missing doping tests. The CAS held a hearing last month but adjourned without reaching a verdict. In March, the Greek amateur athletics federation (SEGAS) cleared the sprinters of dodging three drug tests in the lead up to the Olympics. The International Amateur Athletics Federation appealed the decision to the CAS, demanding they be banned for two years. Drugs shootout A 26-year-old police officer was in critical condition yesterday following a shootout with a 42-year-old lawyer alleged to be dealing drugs in Hymettus, eastern Athens. The unnamed officer was shot in the stomach by Kleanthis Pappas who was also in the hospital yesterday, being treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries. Pappas tried to escape policemen by leaping from one rooftop to another but, in his attempt to jump onto a first-floor balcony, he fell into the road. Small quantities of hashish and cocaine were found at his home. Cremation rights Ten parliamentary deputies from ruling New Democracy, PASOK and Left Coalition Synaspismos yesterday submitted in Parliament an amendment to a legislative proposal to allow the right to cremation, which is forbidden by the Orthodox Church in Greece. The non-existence of cremation centers in Greece violates citizens’ constitutionally protected right to religious freedoms, according to the amendment. Mandouvalos delay Judges yesterday gave independent MP Petros Mandouvalos an extension until Monday before he testifies on charges of bribing a judge and money laundering. Mandouvalos, who had his parliamentary immunity lifted last week, was charged after a lawyer working at the MP’s Piraeus legal office was found to have made a payment to judge Evangelos Kalousis in November 2000. OSE timetable The Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) said yesterday that it will introduce a new timetable from Sunday, including a new, faster time of four hours and 15 minutes for the journey between Athens and Thessaloniki. The timetable will apply throughout 2006. But OSE advised passengers that because of work on the rail network in the Peloponnese, a coach service would be replacing trains on some lines in the region. Murder re-enactment Police yesterday staged the re-enactment of a murder of a 62-year-old that took place in Arta, western Greece, in early November. The victim’s brother, a priest, is accused of killing the man after an argument between the two over a property dispute. The priest has denied the charges and has told police that he chased his brother who fell and was fatally injured. Babysitter accused Police arrested a 47-year-old babysitter yesterday for allegedly abusing two 5-year-old children she was minding. The babysitter was allegedly caught on film by a secret camera the parents placed in their home after they saw bruises on the children.