In Brief


FYROM president sees possible freeze on negotiations this year The president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Branko Crvenkovski, believes that talks between his country and Greece over the name dispute could be frozen this year. «We are now at a decisive and very sensitive stage of negotiations,» he told Reuters. Crvenkovski said that UN mediator Matthew Nimetz has presented his ideas and the two countries will decide whether to accept or reject them as early as next month. «If this attempt fails, I fear that the negotiation process of finding a solution to the difference will be frozen,» the FYROM president said, adding that he would not expect a new initiative to be launched until the second half of 2009, as FYROM is holding local and presidential elections in March and Greece will elect members of European Parliament in June. CHILD ABUSE Mother ‘let’ her sons be raped The mother of two young boys has been remanded in custody on suspicion that she allowed her 60-year-old neighbor in the village of Zavlani, near Patras, to rape her children. Police said yesterday that they have also arrested the man. Officers suspect that the 60-year-old plied the woman with gifts to convince her to allow him to abuse her sons. Neither of the suspects was named and the age of the children was not made public. Family tragedy A 41-year-old Thessaloniki man believed to have shot dead his estranged wife was found dead in a car on the outskirts of the city a few hours later, police said yesterday. The man allegedly shot and killed the 35-year-old woman outside her home in the district of Ilioupolis. The 41-year-old is then believed to have driven off in his car before abandoning it and continuing his getaway in another vehicle. It was in this second vehicle that he was found dead, of a gunshot wound. First in class Teenagers at the Third Senior High School in Ano Liosia, eastern Athens, have become the first schoolchildren to stage a sit-in protest, just days after the academic year began. The students are protesting the state of the building and its facilities. «We had a lockout for three weeks last year and they fixed the toilets,» student Giorgos Leontaritis told Kathimerini. «There are 180 students. The building is 45 years old and plaster is falling; windows are broken and the railings have rusted through.» The government says it intends to build 1,233 schools by 2012. Mule bust A 20-year-old Polish woman has been arrested for allegedly acting as a drug mule after police in Thessaloniki found 160 grams of cocaine hidden in a special compartment in her bra as she was about to board a train to Athens. Officers said yesterday that the woman was transporting the drugs on behalf of a 24-year-old Nigerian man who they are now looking for. Wonderful Lesvos A museum on the island of Lesvos that showcases a fossilized forest millions of years old is a candidate for the list of the seven modern wonders of the world, to be compiled next summer in an online poll. The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest attracts thousands of visitors each year. The vote to select the seven wonders is to take place next July.

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