NEWS

In Brief

Ailing archbishop

Medics say Christodoulos’s health The team of eight doctors treating Archbishop Christodoulos yesterday issued a statement confirming that the ailing cleric’s health had worsened. «His condition has deteriorated further,» according to the statement, which described him «as extremely fatigued.» Medics said the archbishop, who is fighting liver cancer, could continue to be treated at home, according to his wishes. They said they were suspending his anti-cancer treatment, as he has been in great pain, but would continue to treat the symptoms. Crete extortion Police arrest ring of six suspects in Rethymnon after long investigation Police on Crete believe they have smashed an extortion ring after arresting six people in Rethymnon yesterday. The operation was sparked by ongoing police efforts to stamp out lawlessness on the island following a raid on the village of Zoniana last November. The six suspects are due to be charged with blackmail, causing grievous bodily harm and illegally carrying firearms. Officers said that the six were extorting money from shopkeepers in Iraklion, Prinia and Megali Vrisi. Police also confiscated two cars and a handgun. Sales tips Consumers warned to show restraint The Development Ministry called on consumers to be careful when shopping during the winter sales period, which starts today, and to avoid excessive spending by loading up credit cards. The retail sales season will run through the end of February. The ministry also pointed out that retailers need to show customers the original and reduced prices on clearly marked tags and offer a cash refund for cut-price goods in the event that the product is faulty. Sea rescue The crew of a Greek-registered cargo vessel, buffeted by a storm off the coast of Plymouth, southeastern England, on Sunday night, was safe yesterday, thanks to the British Coast Guard. Only the captain of the Ice Prince sustained minor leg injuries after the vessel started listing on Sunday. Of the remaining 20-strong crew, 12 were airlifted to safety and another eight were taken to shore by boat. Ten of the crew are Greeks. The fate of the vessel, which had been carrying timber from Sweden bound for Egypt, was yesterday unclear. Teenager recovering Doctors in Thessaloniki said yesterday that the health of the 15-year-old boy who attempted suicide late last year is improving but the teenager will be kept in the hospital a little while longer as he is still psychologically frail. The boy was found unconscious by his father after tying a towel around his neck and hanging from a bathroom hook. Police denied suggestions that the boy had been inspired to attempt self-asphyxiation after reading about it on the Internet. Officers in Thessaloniki have sent the boy’s computer to experts in Athens for further tests. Card fraud Police arrested three men, foreign nationals, in Thessaloniki on Saturday for allegedly placing a tracking device on an ATM machine that copied details from customers withdrawing cash from the machine, authorities said yesterday. The three suspects, aged 37, 39 and 48, from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had been stealing information from cash machines since December in Thessaloniki and Athens. Police have extended their investigation to Bulgaria where the gang is believed to have sent the stolen data. Police found in their possession a second tracking device, a laptop computer and five cell-phones. Drug haul Police in Cyprus yesterday arrested a Dutch couple at Paphos airport after finding 18 kilos of cannabis in their possession – one of the biggest drug hauls in the island’s history. The 25-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, who had flown in from Britain, had allegedly concealed the drugs in their suitcases. Migrants intercepted Guards policing the border with Albania said that they intercepted a total of 270 immigrants trying to enter the country illegally over the weekend. Meanwhile, in Thesprotia, in the country’s northwest, a Greek man was arrested after police found five would-be migrants in his car.