NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS HOPE

UN envoy pledges cooperation to move forward peace process United Nations senior envoy B. Lynn Pascoe pledged yesterday to cooperate closely with Greece in an effort to move forward the peace process on Cyprus. Pascoe, who already visited Cyprus as part of a tour that will also take him to Turkey, said he was optimistic about the island’s future after meeting with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in Athens yesterday. «We agreed that there is a very good opportunity to make progress,» he said after the meeting. «We will work very closely with Greece and Turkey and with everybody on Cyprus so that we can achieve a result.» EMERGENCY LANDING easyJet Boeing, carrying 123 people, returns to Athens safely An easyJet Boeing 737 carrying 123 passengers on an Athens-London flight malfunctioned shortly after takeoff late on Sunday and returned to Athens for an emergency landing. Authorities say the pilot of easyJet flight 2002, bound for Luton Airport in England, reported a problem with one engine shortly after takeoff at 11.05 p.m. and asked for an emergency landing. The plane dumped most of its fuel over the sea before landing safely at the Athens airport where rescue workers where on standby. TROLLEY BUS ATTACKED Firebombs thrown at vehicle A trolley bus transporting passengers in Vyronas, eastern Athens, was attacked by four unknown assailants that threw firebombs at the vehicle, police said. No one was hurt in the incident. The attack on trolley Number 11 took place at around 6 a.m. when the assailants threw two firebombs that exploded on the vehicle, causing minor damage. Zachopoulos testimony Former Culture Minister general secretary Christos Zachopoulos continued to give evidence to magistrate Dimitris Economou yesterday. Zachopoulos is expected to continue giving his account of the events that led to his attempted suicide in December. According to sources, he described to the magistrate for more than four hours the details of how he was the victim of blackmail by his former assistant Evi Tsekou, over an affair they had been having. Pedestrian killed A bus traveling on Kifissias Avenue, in northern Athens’s Maroussi area, hit and killed a 70-year-old male pedestrian late on Sunday, police said yesterday. Police have launched an investigation into the causes of the accident. Easter shopping It has been confirmed that stores will operate on a special Easter timetable from Thursday, April 17, until Easter Saturday the 26th. Shops will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the 17th,18th, 21st and 24th of the month. They will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday the 19th. Stores will be closed until 1 p.m. on Good Friday (25th) but will then stay open until 7 p.m. On Easter Saturday, shops will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stores will be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday. Dodgy smokes A shipment of some 500,000 packets of contraband cigarettes has been seized at the port of Astakos in western Greece, authorities said yesterday. Police officers and officials from the Finance Ministry’s Special Investigations Service intercepted the shipment, worth 1.25 million euros in unpaid duty, after it arrived in Greece from Singapore via Egypt. The cigarettes were destined for Dubai, officials said. No arrests were reported. Rape claims The Police department’s internal affairs division issued a statement yesterday saying that it has already investigated claims made by a woman on national TV yesterday that she was raped by several police officers in Tripolis, in the Peloponnese, during questioning. The police said that the woman was checked twice by forensic scientists following her initial claims and no evidence of abuse was found. The local police union called on the justice system to take action to prevent the woman from sullying the name of the officers implicated.