NEWS

In Brief

BORDER DELAY

Thousands of Albanians migrants held up at Kakavia entry point Thousands of Albanian migrants were stuck for several hours at the border control in Kakavia, northwestern Greece, yesterday because of a problem with the customs post’s communication system. Customs officials closed down the post between 2.10 and 11.30 a.m. after the phone lines went down and they could no longer check passports electronically. More than 70,000 migrants drove to Albania for the festive period and the queue of cars waiting to return to Greece yesterday stretched back several kilometers. MORE TRAINS Schedule for Proastiakos suburban railway extended as of today The schedule of the Proastiakos suburban railway is being extended from today. The first train from Athens International Airport to Larissis Station will leave at 7.20 a.m., while the first train from Corinth to the airport will leave at 7.05 a.m. The last train from the airport will leave at 11.50 p.m. The first train from Athens to the airport will depart at 05.57 a.m., while the train for Corinth will leave at 06.06 a.m. The last train from Athens to Corinth will depart at 10.06 p.m. and the final service to the airport from Larissis Station will leave at 11.06 p.m. CAPITAL IDEA Call for death penalty to be banned The Athens Bar Association (ABA) yesterday called for a worldwide ban on capital punishment in the wake of the hanging of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the death penalty issued by Libyan authorities to five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor. The ABA said the measure was «inhuman» and said that it would embark on a campaign to have capital punishment outlawed across the world. Deadly fire A 73-year-old man has died from serious burns that he suffered after his house in Yiannitsa, northern Greece, caught fire, authorities said yesterday. The fire service said that neighbors had already put out the blaze when they arrived at the house on Monday evening. The victim, Michalis Diamantopoulos, died after his clothes caught fire, authorities said. The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Drug runners Border guards in northwestern Greece arrested two suspected drugs smugglers and seized some 413 kilos of cannabis in two separate operations on New Year’s Day, police said yesterday. The arrests were made on the Greek-Albanian border near Ioannina. In the first operation, officers spotted a mule loaded with cannabis on a mountain path but failed to catch the three smugglers trailing it. But border guards did arrest two Albanian men who were driving two rental cars laden with sports bags carrying cannabis near the Ioannina-Kozani national road. SMS wishes Text messages were popular among well-wishers again this year with 82.6 million messages sent on the Vodafone network from December 24 to January 1. During the same period, there were 45.9 million text messages sent by TIM Hellas customers, a rise of 17 percent from last year. On New Year’s Day, 15.2 million messages were sent by Cosmote users, an annual increase of 13 percent. Bank robbery Two armed men held up a branch of Emporiki Bank in the Acropolis area of central Athens yesterday and made away with an unknown amount of money, police said. The heist took place shortly after 8 a.m. Driver killed A 63-year-old woman was killed in Thessaloniki yesterday after being hit by a car, police said. The woman had parked her car on the side of the Thessaloniki-Pieria highway to inspect the back of her car when on oncoming vehicle struck her. Corned beef The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday that it has asked for the withdrawal of another batch of corned beef imported from France because of health concerns. The watchdog said that authorities in France detected animal byproducts unsuitable for human consumption in a batch of the Dakor corned beef. The batch number is 56307012 with an expiry date of November 3, 2010.