NEWS

In Brief

SEA RESCUES

Five people pulled to safety in two coast guard operations Two men and a woman were rescued by helicopter off the coast of Aghiokambos in central Greece when their inflatable boat had engine problems. Hampered by bad weather, authorities eventually pulled the men, aged 40 and 30, and the 55-year-old woman to safety. Separately, two men were rescued off Rakopotamo, also in central Greece, after they were found clinging to their overturned fishing boat. The coast guard found the men about one nautical mile offshore while patrolling the area. TEENAGE RAPE? Four schoolboys charged with attack on 16-year-old classmate on Evia A prosecutor in Halkida, on the island of Evia, yesterday charged four boys with raping a 16-year-old female classmate. The attack is alleged to have taken place last Thursday at the senior high school in Amarynthos, where schoolchildren had staged a sit-in protest against the government’s education reforms. The parents of the four unnamed schoolboys have also been charged with failing to control their children. A doctor who examined the girl said that she had been bruised but he could not confirm that she had been raped. SERIAL BREAK-INS Police catch two gang suspects Two Serbian nationals were arrested in Kallithea, southern Athens, on Friday, believed to be members of gang that had been breaking into homes in the last two years, police said yesterday. The two men, aged 32 and 18, were detained after being called to stop at a routine traffic inspection. The suspects tried to speed away from police but they crashed their vehicle shortly afterward. Police said a number of stolen items were found in their possession. Rained-out flights Olympic Airlines canceled eight flights from Athens International Airport yesterday because of heavy rain and high winds around Greece. Flights to the islands of Chios, Lesvos and Myconos were among those grounded. A flight from Thessaloniki to Lesvos was also canceled due to the bad weather. DEKA retrial The retrial of the people involved in the acquisition of shares by the State Portfolio Management Agency (DEKA) ahead of the 2000 national elections will be postponed until May 19 next year, judges decided yesterday. Last December, an appeals court cleared DEKA’s former chairman and six former board members of breach of faith against the public interest, ruling that DEKA was an independent company and its officials should have been charged with common breach of faith. DEKA bought up shares just before the April 9 national elections. The value of the shares, however, dropped sharply, resulting in a loss of some 700 million euros for DEKA. Murder arrests Police in northern Greece said yesterday that they had arrested two Georgian nationals in connection with the murder of their compatriot in the town of Giannitsa last week. Stepan Ovolatshvili, 54, was found dead in his home on Thursday. He had been severely beaten and his right ear had been severed, officers said. The two men, aged 36 and 28, had been eating and drinking with their alleged victim but then got into an argument which led to the pair beating the older man to death, according to police. School firebombed Arsonists threw several Molotov cocktails at a school in Metaxourgeio, central Athens, early yesterday morning but no one was injured, police said. The school guard said that the attackers threw the firebombs into the schoolyard at around 1.25 a.m. and then ran off. The fire was put out quickly and the building did not suffer any damage. Truck torched Arsonists set fire to a municipal truck in Kifissia, northern Athens, early yesterday, police said. Nobody was hurt but the vehicle was destroyed. Lamp recall A tabletop halogen lamp has been recalled from Plaisio office equipment stores due to safety concerns, the Development Ministry said. A customer said that the lightbulb in his Chinese-made lamp exploded and caused a short circuit, according to the ministry. The lamp is sold under the Stork brand name and uses a 50 watt G9 halogen bulb. For more information, customers should call Plaisio on 210.289.5000.