NEWS

In Brief

Cyprus dialogue

Leaders ready for peace drive, UN says; Christofias in Athens Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are keen to resume stalled reunification talks, the United Nations representative on the divided island said yesterday. «The two leaders are eager to get together as soon as possible and we will work to make this happen,» Michael Moller said after talks with Talat. Moller said he would try to finalize a date for the meeting by the end of this week. Christofias arrived in Athens yesterday evening. He is to have talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. School death Teenager collapses and dies of suspected heart failure A 16-year-old senior high school student from Thessaloniki collapsed and died yesterday during a break from classes. The teenager, who was not named, was rushed to the hospital after collapsing in the schoolyard but doctors were unable to resuscitate the youngster. Doctors suspect that the student suffered heart failure but the results of a postmortem examination were not known last night. School officials said that the 16-year-old was not known to be suffering from any health problems and was not involved in any strenuous activity when he collapsed. Mankind’s folly Experts predict blazing heat waves Rising temperatures will make the intense heat waves of the past few years seem mild, experts said yesterday. «The unprecedented heat wave of 2003, that caused hundreds of deaths across Europe, will seem cool in 2060 and positively freezing in 2100,» warned Christos Zerefos, the president of the Athens Observatory. Experts say there has been a sharper rise in temperatures in the past 30 years than the rate of increase recorded over the past millennium. Mankind has taken 40 years to destroy the ozone that it took nature 1.5 billion years to create, according to Zerefos. Fat Tony The Supreme Court said yesterday that it will deliver on March 18 its ruling on the extradition of Australian fugitive Tony Mokbel, also known as «Fat Tony.» Mokbel’s lawyers had tried to postpone the hearing but the court rejected the bid. The 41-year-old argues that he will not get a fair trial in Australia because of the publicity surrounding his case. Mokbel was arrested in Athens last year after an international warrant was issued. An Australian court convicted him in absentia to 12 years’ imprisonment for cocaine trafficking and he is wanted on suspicion of paying for the murder of two men. Giannakou illness Former education minister Marietta Giannakou is showing signs of recovery but remains in a critical condition after undergoing a further amputation of her right leg, doctors at the Henry Dunant Hospital in Athens said yesterday. Giannakou was in a stable condition yesterday but continued to run a high temperature, prompting concern that she may have contracted another infection. The former minister had surgery last week after suffering a heart attack. Just under a month ago, surgeons amputated her right leg to prevent the spread of an infection that developed following a fracture. Actress dies Greek actress Elena Nathanail died yesterday at the age of 61 after a long battle against cancer. Nathanail, known for her good looks, rose to fame in the 1960s when she starred in a number of Greek movies but her career tailed off in the 1970s and she made only rare appearances in TV series in the last few years. Road ads A new series of TV spots will be aired over the next few weeks in a bid to heighten road safety awareness, the Transport Ministry said yesterday. Greek roads are among the most dangerous in the European Union, with some 1,500 people being killed in car crashes each year. Accidents have dropped by 13 percent since a tougher highway code was introduced last year but the ministry said that it hopes the advertisements will help Greek drivers further change their attitudes.