In Brief


Cyprus bans advertising of tobacco products A complete ban on the advertising of tobacco products was announced yesterday by Cyprus’s parliamentary health committee. The ban also covers covert advertising, meaning that no reference whatsoever may be made to the product. Offenders face a fine of 1,000 Cyprus pounds or a six-month jail sentence, or both. OLYMPIC HOSPITALITY 2004 organizers step up program for subletting of Athens flats Greece will rush forward procedures to allow thousands of Athenians to sublet their flats to visitors for the Olympics, Athens 2004 organizing committee president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said yesterday. Speaking to journalists during a visit to Cyprus – where she met government officials and discussed the 2004 volunteerism project – Angelopoulos-Daskalaki confirmed that the Greek government has agreed to change the law to allow tax-free short leases for the Olympic Games. She said a tender initially scheduled for October would be held this month to select the companies that will manage the flat-renting program. PLANE-SPOTTERS Trial set for next month A group of 14 British and Dutch plane-spotters accused of espionage will stand trial on misdemeanor charges next month and could face up to five years in prison, the group’s lawyer told the Associated Press yesterday. The trial will start on April 24 in the southern Peloponnesian town of Kalamata where the group was arrested in November after attending an aircraft show at a military base. The plane-spotters, who say they were just pursuing their hobby, spent five weeks in jail after their arrest which strained Greece’s relations with Britain and the Netherlands. The Greek government had stressed it was unable to intervene in the judicial process. Patriarch meets Bush Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios was in Boston yesterday, continuing his six-day visit to the USA after a meeting with US President George Bush on Tuesday, during which the two men discussed religious tolerance, the fight against terrorism and peace in the Middle East. Vartholomaios reportedly wore a pair of American flag cufflinks for what observers called «an informal meeting.» Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, said Bush agreed to help the patriarch in his campaign to reopen to Orthodox seminary on the island of Halki, which was closed down in 1971. Walkway woes Residents of the central Athens district of Thiseion yesterday appealed to the Council of State to block the construction of a pedestrian walkway destined to form part of an archaeological park linking the capital’s main ancient sites. The Philopappou ring road should not be made a pedestrian walkway as it is vital to local traffic and the area contains no outstanding antiquities, according to residents who have had problems reaching their homes and the city center since the road’s closure in January. Antiquities Police in the western town of Agrinio yesterday arrested the owner of a bulldozing equipment firm after confiscating from the man’s country home in nearby Neapolis 17 bronze, marble and clay artifacts dating from archaic, classical and Roman times. Two copper mirrors and a marble lion’s head were among the artifacts hidden at the home of Giorgos Krambokoupis, 51, who was caught following an attempt to negotiate a sale. He has been charged with illegal trading in antiquities. Wife murdered An Albanian man who threatened to commit suicide after stabbing his wife to death on Wednesday morning was yesterday being treated under police supervision at the Nikaia General State Hospital. Dimitrak Hoxha, 42, was drunk when he attacked his estranged wife Suzanna Vacho, 38, at the latter’s home in the southwestern Athens district of Korydallos. Hoxha stabbed Vacho to death in front of his sister-in-law who called the police. Officers had to negotiate with Hoxha for three hours before they could arrest him after he reacted to their arrival by climbing onto the roof of the house, swallowing rat poison and threatening to jump. Afghan brawl Two Afghan immigrants have been hospitalized with serious injuries following a fierce brawl with two other men at the port of Patras early yesterday morning. Himid Hasin and Amid Neziv, both 21, were attacked by two men known to police so far only as Kasim and Hussein.

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