NEWS

In Brief

MENINGITIS OUTBREAK

Campaign to combat disease after it affects five children in western Attica Authorities in western Attica decided yesterday to step up a publicity campaign about meningitis after it was confirmed that five children in the area have contracted the potentially fatal disease. Four are schoolgirls at a high school in Megara, west of Athens, and the fifth is a 15-year-old student from nearby Nea Peramos. The schools affected by the outbreak have been closed until Monday and children have been given antibiotics. Health officials today will inform teachers and students at other schools about how to protect themselves against meningitis. HUMAN TRAFFICKING Iranian national arrested in Athens Police said yesterday they have uncovered an international human-trafficking ring based in Greece and arrested an Iranian national in connection to the operation. The group is believed to have trafficked illegal immigrants to different European cities with more than 100 stolen Greek passports, enabling them to travel freely in the EU and to other countries. Police said that one more suspect is wanted in connection with the operation in Athens, while 10 others are located in different European cities. Gul visit Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is expected to visit Athens in the first two weeks of March, sources said yesterday. Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that Gul will be visiting the country in the immediate future but did not give an exact date. Illegal immigrants Coast guard officials on the eastern Aegean island of Chios detained yesterday 51 illegal immigrants who had crossed into Greece from Turkey. The immigrants, who were not identified, reached the island on board two wooden boats. Meanwhile, rescue workers on Samos called off a search for the remaining 12 immigrants that went missing last Friday when their boat sank near the island in gale-force winds. Of the 19 illegal immigrants on board, seven bodies have been found. Holy tremors Worshippers are to be handed leaflets advising them how to react if there is an earthquake while they are in church, religious officials said yesterday. The leaflet advises the faithful to «kneel as low as possible» and to stop candle holders from toppling over. Carnival gear General Secretariat for Consumers officials informed consumers yesterday that all Carnival products should carry instructions in Greek and details concerning the company distributing the product.