NEWS

In Brief

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Another 35 detained in eastern Aegean since Friday Rhodes port authorities yesterday arrested 18 Afghan immigrants on a speedboat just outside the island capital’s Mandraki harbor. According to the Merchant Marine Ministry, the vessel – which was confiscated – had left from the Turkish port of Marmaris. And another 17 illegal immigrants, of various nationalities, were arrested off the islet of Farmakonissi, in the Dodecanese, on Friday afternoon on a wooden sailing boat from Turkey, the ministry added. Anti-flood measures The Civil Defense Agency yesterday ordered the closure of all bridges crossing the Kifissos River, which has broken its banks three times in the last two months after heavy rainfall, in response to a National Meteorological Service warning of storms approaching Attica following more brisk showers. Roads next to the river were also briefly closed, and hundreds of sandbags were used to bolster the parts of the Kifissos’s banks most likely to overflow in the event of yet more heavy rain. Rescue workers were on standby in western Attica, where yesterday’s rainfall was particularly heavy. But no flood damage was reported. Faster trains Railway passengers traveling between Athens and Thessaloniki will need just three hours and 40 minutes to reach their destination by the year 2007, Transport Minister Christos Verelis said at the opening of the Hellenic Railway Organization stand at the Thessaloniki International Fair on Saturday. Verelis said railway tracks are being reconstructed to allow trains to safely travel at higher speeds. The fastest Athens-Thessaloniki railway journey currently takes five hours and 15 minutes. Boiler accident Six Public Power Corporation (PPC) workers were hospitalized early yesterday morning when an ash collection system from a boiler in the PPC plant in Megalopolis, in the southern Peloponnese, malfunctioned, causing large quantities of burning ash to fall on them. Chrysostomos better The health of Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos has improved considerably and the ailing prelate should be able to resume his duties in Nicosia in the next few weeks, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The archbishop has been in an Athens hospital since he fractured his skull after a fall in May. Cypriot clerics have spent nearly as long arguing whether Chrysostomos should be replaced and, if so, by whom.