NEWS

In Brief

TRANSPORT DISRUPTIONS

Buses to be out of circulation for five hours on Monday There will be no buses operating in Athens today between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday as workers objecting to the government’s plans to streamline public transport services attend their annual general assembly, where they are expected to decide whether to continue their action. Representatives of the Athens public bus company (ETHEL) yesterday expressed to Transport Ministry officials their objection to the planned transfer of 640 staff to other positions in the public sector, complaining that such a move would leave ETHEL understaffed and unable to perform its duties. DROWNED MIGRANTS Three more suspects held Three more people have been arrested on suspicion of being part of the trafficking ring that organized the smuggling of more than 250 undocumented migrants from Greece to Italy last weekend in a wooden trawler that sank off Corfu, leading to more than 30 immigrants drowning. Police in Nikaia, near Piraeus, arrested two Iraqis and a Moroccan for allegedly helping to arrange the trip. Another four people are already in custody on suspicion of being part of the ring. They are two Turks who were rescued from the vessel, and a Syrian and an Afghan who were both arrested in Athens. Authorities have been unable to recover any of the bodies of those who drowned last Saturday. Sprinters’ trial The trial of Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou began at an Athens misdemeanor court yesterday. Kenteris and Thanou, who did not attend the first session, were barred from the Athens 2004 Olympics after missing a doping test due to an alleged motorcycle crash. The genuineness of the accident was called into question after discrepancies between the athletes’ and witnesses’ testimonies. False alarm The Regional Development Ministry on Mesogeion Avenue in northern Athens had to be evacuated yesterday after police detected a suspect package. A controlled explosion revealed that the package contained a bedside lamp. Mobile pimp Police in Attica yesterday were questioning a 37-year-old Albanian national alleged to have set up a website advertising the sexual services of foreign women, chiefly of Russian origin. According to officers in the anti-trafficking unit, who arrested the suspect on Thursday afternoon, the 37-year-old had used a luxury sports utility vehicle as his mobile office to avoid detection by police. Protesters freed Two people arrested on Tuesday evening during scuffles between police and protesters near the site where the government is planning to build a landfill in Keratea, southeastern Attica, were granted conditional release yesterday after testifying before an investigating magistrate on charges of attempted manslaughter. The two protesters are alleged to have hurled firebombs at a police officer, causing injuries to police officers. Pap tests As part of a Health Ministry initiative, all state hospitals with gynecological clinics will be offering free Pap tests from Monday, January 24, through Sunday, January 31, for all women aged 15 and over who would like to be checked for signs of cervical cancer.