NEWS

In Brief

AIRPORT ALERT

Hitch with plane carrying African VIP ends with safe landing in Athens A private jet carrying President of Botswana Festus Gontebanye Mogae was forced to make an emergency landing at Athens International Airport yesterday after the pilot noticed a crack in the cockpit windscreen. Emergency services at the airport and the coast guard were scrambled after the pilot notified air-traffic control of the problem. The Lear jet touched down safely at 7 p.m. None of the 17 people aboard was injured. FUEL STRIKE Shortages are likely next week Motorists and homeowners could face fuel shortages next week after gas station owners and fuel truck operators decided yesterday to strike next week. The unions representing the workers and business owners said the government was not doing enough to tackle the illegal fuel trade and solve other problems in the industry. The strike will take place on March 30 and 31. Gul grounded Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday canceled a trip to the USA, scheduled for this week, when doctors banned him from flying after an ear operation. Questioned by reporters in Brussels, Dora Bakoyannis – who had been due to meet with Gul in Washington – said there were no plans for Gul to visit Greece as yet. Meanwhile, Turkey’s daily Hurriyet said a review of Turkey’s national security dogma had reiterated its stance that Greece’s extension of territorial waters would be a cause for war and that the presence of Turkish troops on Cyprus is crucial. Trafficker snared Coast guards caught a human trafficker off the Aegean island of Samos on Sunday, authorities said yesterday. Officers said they arrested 42-year-old Ilian Yanai, a Turkish national, as he attempted to sail away from the island after dropping off nine illegal immigrants. The nationality of the migrants was not made public. They were taken to a reception center and were said to be in good health. Fight for life A boxer who was seriously injured during a match in Patras on Sunday was still in critical condition at a local hospital yesterday. Doctors said that there was a slight improvement in the condition of 21-year-old Dimitris Livadas but that his progress over the next few days remained critical for his health. Livadas suffered brain swelling after Sunday’s bout. Closing time The City of Athens municipal council voted yesterday to shut down four nightclubs that had been operating without licenses. The venues concerned were Club 22 and Focus Club 22 on Vouliagmenis Avenue, Arion on Pireos Street and Votanikos on Iera Odos. The latter club was at the center of controversy last week, wheni t hosted the show for Greece’s Eurovision song contest entry, as it emerged that it did not have the proper license. Eurovision host Greek-American actress and reporter Maria Menounos was introduced to the Greek press in Athens yesterday. She will be co-hosting the Eurovision song contest with Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas on May 18 and 20. Menounos currently works as a reporter on «The Today Show» and «Access Hollywood» for the US network NBC. Prefect shutdown The Thessaloniki Prefecture will close its doors to the public tomorrow as prefectural authorities protest against low government funding. Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis said that about 40 million euros are required, half of which is needed to pay debts incurred to construct school buildings.