In Brief


Prosecutor launches probe into 5-day blackout on Ionian islands A prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation into a five-day power blackout that hit the Ionian islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca, authorities said yesterday. Gale-force winds and snowstorms brought down power lines in Cephalonia last week, leaving residents in the cold as temperatures plunged below freezing. BROADCASTING UPGRADE? Gov’t to chair cross-party talks on improving regulation of TV and radio New Democracy government spokesman and Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday that he has invited representatives of the other parliamentary parties to a meeting on Thursday to discuss ways of improving broadcasting in Greece. The meeting will be part of a wider discussion launched by Roussopoulos last month to elicit suggestions for a draft law he is soon to formulate for the better regulation of television and radio. DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT Surgeon to stand trial for bribery A Piraeus court yesterday set February 7 as the date when a 46-year-old surgeon from a hospital in nearby Nikaia is to sit trial on bribery charges. The doctor allegedly accepted a bribe of 500 euros from relatives of a patient at the hospital. It was claimed that the bills were marked. The unnamed surgeon said yesterday that he did not request the money. He has been suspended by the hospital. Web porn A 43-year-old archaeologist from Kos has been arrested on suspicion of taking indecent pictures of underage girls and posting them on the Internet, police said yesterday. The unnamed suspect is thought to have taken pictures of some 40 girls aged between 11 and 15. Officers said he approached his victims over the last two years in Internet chatrooms or by placing advertisements on websites, offering money. Drugs arrests Police in northern Greece arrested 10 people yesterday and confiscated a total of 75 kilos of hashish and 5 kilos of heroin in three different operations. Police arrested four men who had hidden a slew of 1-kilogram parcels containing hashish at a factory in the district of Ionia. Two Albanian nationals were caught at the tolls at Malgara, near Thessaloniki, while transferring 5 kilos of heroin from one car to another. Four men were caught in Kastoria transporting 30 kilos of hashish. Child abuse A 52-year-old man accused of physically abusing the 2-year-old son of the woman he was living with yesterday faced a Pirgos prosecutor. The unnamed man turned himself in to police on Sunday evening after the boy was hospitalized in Patras with a fractured arm and leg and burns across his body caused by bleach. The boy was said to be in a serious but stable condition yesterday. Roma fugitive A Roma man who testified before an investigating magistrate in Larissa in connection with a money-laundering investigation yesterday fled the courthouse after being told that he would be remanded in custody. Kyriakos Vilanakis took advantage of the brief absence of police guards to escape. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Rider shot A motorbike rider was injured in Patissia, central Athens, yesterday when he was shot in the leg, police said. The injured rider, who suffered minor injuries, was then approached by two men who drove off with his bike. Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Illegal immigrants Authorities yesterday arrested a 33-year-old truckdriver at the port of Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, after they found 34 illegal immigrants hidden in the Italy-bound vehicle. The immigrants, whose nationalities were not disclosed, were hidden among cotton bales on board the truck. Authorities also arrested a 25-year-old female passenger. Tsunami lookout The Development Ministry said yesterday that it will upgrade the Poseidon sea monitoring system that keeps an eye on the eastern Mediterranean basin. The upgrade will cost 9 million euros and will enable the system to detect tsunamis while also providing defense-related information.

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