NEWS

In Brief

‘Parmenion’ dogfights – Greek and Turkish fighter pilots engage in aeria Turkish Air Force planes infringed on Athens’s FIR and violated Greek airspace over the Aegean over the past two days during the large-scale military exercise Parmenion, which enters its final stage today in the Evros prefecture in the presence of President Costis Stephanopoulos. The Greek Air Force intercepted the Turkish aircraft and in three cases engaged them in mock dogfights. This year the air force’s new early warning radar-equipped aircraft took part in the exercise for the first time. Border arrest Frenchman wanted for alleged rape of children in Lille Police at the border post of Promahonas, Serres, announced yesterday the arrest on Sunday of a Frenchman wanted by Interpol for rape and other sexual assaults on children in his home town of Lille. Arnaud Dhaynaut, 38, tried to enter Greece from Bulgaria but was stopped during a passport check after police found his name on the wanted list. 1999 earthquake Engineer acquitted An Athens court yesterday acquitted civil engineer Vassilis Lavidas of responsibility for the collapse in the September 1999 earthquake of an apartment house on Tatoi Street, north of Athens, which killed three occupants. The court found that the structural faults that caused the building to collapse had been on the ground floor, for which Lavidas had not been responsible. Contrition. Officials, players and representatives of fan clubs from the AEK Athens soccer team will visit the US Embassy tomorrow to sign the book of condolences for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA, officials announced yesterday. AEK supporters caused outrage during a September 20 international match by setting fire to US and Israeli flags. German ornithologist. The body of German national Luettker Witte, 53, was retrieved on Sunday night from the sea near the islet of Paximadi, off the northern coast of Crete. Witte had gone missing on September 27 after going to the islet as part of a three-member team of ornithologists. Gypsies’ allegations. Amnesty International yesterday asked the Greek government to investigate allegations by two teenage Gypsy boys that they were beaten up by police, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Theodoros Stephanou, 16, and Nikos Theodoropoulos, 18, said that in August police beat them in an attempt to force their confession to a theft. Their claims were supported by medical evidence, Amnesty said. Minefield death. The body of a man was found in a minefield near the Greek-Turkish border in the prefecture of Evros Sunday morning, Associated Press reported yesterday. The unidentified man, who died in a mine explosion, was aged 30-35. Prison protest. Inmates at prisons around Greece are on a hunger strike in protest at the suspension of five-day leave passes for convicted drug dealers. Prisoners at Diavata, Thessaloniki began a hunger strike yesterday and over 200 female prisoners at Korydallos, near Piraeus, are also on a hunger strike. At Patras Prison, about 500 inmates are into the fifth day of their strike and in Larissa, 150 of the 700 prisoners were continuing a strike that began Saturday. Stolen passport. Border guards in Serres yesterday arrested Syrian national Yasr Akrbo, 27, after discovering that his passport was one of a number stolen from towns in the Netherlands a year ago. Akrbo, who said he had bought the passport in the Netherlands, entered Greece via an unguarded segment of the border with Bulgaria. Lebanese president. President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday received his Lebanese counterpart Emile Lahoud yesterday. Delegations from the two countries signed an agreement on educational cooperation and a Foreign Ministry cooperation protocol. Earth tremor. The second mild earth tremor within several days in the Vari area, southeast of Athens, was recorded at 3.17 a.m. yesterday. Measuring 3.6 Richter, its epicenter was about 30 kilometers from Athens, in the seabed between Vari and Anavyssos. To conclude, are you optimistic that an effective solution can be found to the social security problem?