NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS TALKS

Clerides and Denktash meet again; June solution possible, Cassoulides says Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday pressed on with the fourth round of their, so far, fruitless talks on uniting the divided island, while Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides insisted that a June solution was possible. But whether or not this deadline is met, the issue of Cyprus’s EU accession will be decided in Copenhagen on December 12, Cassoulides noted. Turkish military aggression in the countdown to the island’s accession was «highly unlikely in view of the consequences Turkey would face,» he added. QUAKE DEBATE Document was a recommendation, not an official report, says seismologist A prominent seismologist said yesterday that a confidential document he sent last October to an official committee assessing earthquake dangers was not an official report, but a recommendation. The leakage of such information creates unnecessary social concern, Professor Vassilis Papazachos said following a speech at a primary school in the central town of Karditsa on precautions against earthquakes and seismic effects. The document was published in Kathimerini on Thursday. PALESTINIAN EXILES Sasson: Israel undecided on extradition Israel is undecided about whether to seek the extradition of two Palestinian exiles in Athens, the Israeli Ambassador to Greece David Sasson told Kathimerini yesterday. When asked if the presence of the two men in Greece could prompt violence, Sasson said «the matter will be tackled on a strictly political and diplomatic level,» adding, however, that Israel was «not happy about the solution found for the 13 terrorists.» The two men were among 13 Palestinians besieged by Israeli forces in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity for 39 days. Airspace violations The Cypriot ambassador to the United Nations, Sotos Zakhaios, yesterday asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to intervene following several recent Turkish violations of Cypriot airspace and the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR). Lambrakis Publisher and media baron Christos Lambrakis was rushed to the Athens Evangelismos hospital for emergency treatment last night after apparently suffering a heart attack. Lambrakis, 68, owns the wide-circulation Nea and Vima dailies, and is the driving force behind the Athens Concert Hall. Black Sea genocide The genocide by Turkish forces of around 350,000 Greeks from the Black Sea region has been officially recognized in the state of New York for the first time in the USA following a declaration last week by New York Governor George Patakis, it was reported yesterday. The genocide was «widely noticed but largely unchecked by the world community,» Patakis said, adding that New York State has designated May 19 as Pontian Greek Genocide Remembrance Day. Consular fees Fees for consular services at the US Embassy are to rise on June 1. Visa application fees will rise to 78 euros for non-immigrants and 402 euros for immigrants while a consular report of a birth abroad will cost 78 euros. The cost of applications for US passports will rise in August, the embassy said yesterday, without citing a fee. Roadworks Two lanes on Mesogeion Avenue, eastern Athens, will be closed between Stavros in Aghia Paraskevi and Lavriou Avenue to Marathon-bound traffic due to works on the Attiki Odos over the next month, traffic police said yesterday. Illegal darts A group of 10 people arrested late on Thursday night for playing darts for money in a Glyfada bar were charged with illegal gambling yesterday. Police confiscated a dart board, four darts, 1456 gambling chips and 310 euros. Farmer found A farmer who had been missing from his home in the village of Vrontou, at the foot of Mount Olympus, for a week since last Thursday was yesterday found in a ditch near his farm by an Albanian shepherd. Vassileios Kartsabas, 33, had survived for a week without food by drinking rainwater as he was unable to climb out of the ditch due to back and foot injuries.