In Brief


Frigate readies for three-month support stint in Afghan campaign The Greek frigate Psara destined to assist in the US-led military operation «Enduring Freedom» in Afghanistan will set sail on Tuesday morning with a crew of 226, the joint chiefs of staff said yesterday. The frigate will be deployed for three months in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, chiefly on patrol and escort duties. Greece has already sent 124 troops to join the British-led force in Kabul, and will send another 53 by the end of this month. FALIRON WORKS Court decides in favor of Olympic works, regeneration The planned construction of sports venues for the Olympic Games along the Faliron Bay was approved by the Council of State yesterday. The decision will allow the «regeneration» of areas that will accommodate venues for beach volleyball, boxing, tae kwon do and, eventually, stadiums, marinas and gymnasiums. There are also plans to fill in 20.8 hectares of the bay. CYPRUS Clerides, Denktash meet again Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday continued talks on central government power-sharing in an eventually reunited Cyprus, under pressure from the UN Security Council for a June settlement. The two veteran leaders began the second phase of face-to-face talks, at a disused airport in Nicosia’s UN buffer zone, on March 1. Gennadius Library The planned construction of a new wing for the Gennadius Library in Kolonaki was put on hold yesterday after the Council of State granted a temporary injunction to local residents who say the project is illegal and anti-environmental. Protesters want the court to reverse a government decision allowing the American School of Classical Studies to construct a new wing and a small car park next to the library, which the school has maintained since 1922. President Costis Stephanopoulos attended a ceremony for the laying of the new wing’s foundations last month. Japanese trip Prime Minister Costas Simitis concluded the first ever official visit to Japan by a Greek premier yesterday following six days of meetings. These included talks with his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi on strengthening bilateral ties through cultural and economic exchanges. Simitis also met Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Club death A security guard was beaten to death during a brawl in a Thessaloniki nightclub early yesterday morning. A coroner said Ilias Sidiropoulos, 34, died from severe head injuries resulting from repeated blows. The fight started in the Arigato Club in the city’s Nea Ionia district, after Sidiropoulos and another guard told a patron who was smashing glasses on the dance floor to desist – provoking four of the man’s acquaintances who joined in the fray. The second security guard and the five men were arrested. Serres quake A moderate earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale occurred at 3.30 p.m. near the northern town of Serres yesterday. Acid attack A jealous husband caused his wife severe burns after throwing hydrochloric acid at her in their home in the northern town of Komotin yesterdayi. Moumin Netzadli, 50, was arrested while his wife Hanife, also 50, was hospitalized. Red light robbery Two armed robbers yesterday got away with 117,000 euros after holding up a pair of construction workers sitting in their car at traffic lights in the Athens suburb of Kalogreza and relieving them of a sack of company money. Congo migrants Port authorities on the island of Kos yesterday arrested 13 illegal immigrants who said they were from the Democratic Republic of Congo and claimed to have reached the Dodecanese island’s shores in a boat captained by a Turkish national. Forced begging Five Albanian nationals charged with forcing their children to beg at busy Athens street corners appeared in court yesterday following their arrest by officers of Attica’s Child Protection Department. A total of 450 euros – the fruits of the children’s efforts – was confiscated from the five men, police said.

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