NEWS

In Brief

Cyprus – Foreign trainee pilots banned from solo flights The Cypriot government has banned foreign trainee pilots from flying alone over the country, in view of rumors of another terrorist strike. All foreign pilots being trained in the republic must be accompanied at all times by their instructor from now on. According to the newspaper Alitheia, about 20 Arabs received training in flying small aircraft between 1998-1999 in Cyprus. The authorities have given the US security services a list of all Arab pilots who have trained on Cyprus, to be checked against the list of 21 people allegedly involved in the terrorist attacks on the US. COMMUNISTS Anti-war protest march held in Thessaloniki Some 1,000 people, mostly from the hard core of the local Communist Party, took part in an anti-war demonstration in Thessaloniki yesterday. The demonstrators approved a petition saying, Together with our strong condemnation of the terrorist attack on the United States we express our grave concern at the situation which is being shaped in the world with the state of war which the American leadership declared. The demonstrators then split into two groups, one of which marched to the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry and the other to the US Consulate. There were no incidents of violence. Bourse times Talks end inconclusively Talks on extending the opening hours of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) ended inconclusively yesterday and will continue today. The solution most likely to gain the approval of all parties – including brokers and bank employees – is to change the opening hours from 10 a.m.-2.30 p.m. to 11 a.m.-4 p.m. local time until the year’s end and to 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in 2002. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, ASE temporarily shifted opening hours to 12-6 p.m. so that trading would coincide with Wall Street for an hour and a half. This extension, in effect until Friday, has helped make ASE less volatile. Slapper. An Athens appeals court yesterday dropped charges against a woman who who achieved notoriety for slapping Dimitra Liani-Papandreou, the widow of late statesman Andreas Papandreou, at the 1997 launch of Liani’s memoir of her life with Papandreou. Anastasia Athini had been sentenced at a previous trial to seven months’ imprisonment. But an appeals court yesterday converted the charge from unprovoked active insult to simple insult which meant that for Athini to be charged the person who suffered the insult must have laid charges. Liani-Papandreou had not done so. Abducted. Athens police yesterday arrested Iraqi nationals Mahir Ali, 21, and Soana Ali, 23, for allegedly abducting six Turkish nationals, all of Kurdish origin, keeping them locked up in a house in central Athens and demanding $1,000 each from their relatives in return for the men’s freedom. Police were tipped off by another Kurd from Turkey, Mehmet Soubasi, 19, who had managed to escape to Turkey. Psychiatric ward. Court authorities ordered that 42-year-old Alexandros Voutsinas, charged with murdering his brother Dimitris, 39, be temporarily committed to the psychiatric ward of Korydallos prison pending trial. Voutsinas, an icon painter who had also tried to kill his sister-in-law Evangelia Kouni, had apparently been on medication for years but had stopped taking it some months before the crime. Roots. A 31-year-old man yesterday received his adoption file from the Aghios Stylianos orphanage in Thessaloniki after originally being told the file had been lost. Municipal counselor Michalis Zorpidis said that Dimitris Pafas, 31, had been adopted along with another child into the same family, and their two files had been kept together. Zorpidis said, however, that the identity of Pafas’s natural parents was not known as they had abandoned him as a baby. Crete attacks. Emmanouil Kargakis, 28, gave himself up to police in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday in connection with an armed attack on his cousin, Stephanos Kargakis, and his wife at dawn on Sunday in the village of Vorizia. He he denied attacking two police officers who went to the village later to investigate. Lt. Gen. Nikolaos Krinis told the Athens News Agency that the police had reservations about Kargakis’s involvement in wounding the police officers.