NEWS

In Brief

FLOATING HOTEL

Athens 2004 signs pact for first of 11 luxury cruisers The Olympic Games organizing committee yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation with the shipping company Cunard Lines to transform the – still under construction – cruise liner Queen Mary II into a floating luxury hotel for wealthy visitors to the Athens 2004 Games. The opulent 1,310-roomed vessel is worth around 800 million euros and will be one of 11 floating hotels on offer to guests. Its maiden voyage is due in January 2004. DELIVERIES SAVED Truck drivers call off strike Truckers on Saturday postponed a planned strike that would have disrupted thousands of deliveries to airports, train stations and ports after the government agreed to meet their demands for tax relief. More than 52,000 drivers had threatened to strike indefinitely from Saturday, jeopardising national and international deliveries. Brothers crash Two teenage brothers died in a car crash on Sunday afternoon after the vehicle being driven by the elder one careered into a tree just outside Paramythia, near Ioaninna in northwestern Greece. Antonios Douyias, 19, was speeding and lost control of the vehicle, local police said. He and his 16-year-old brother, Nikos, were declared dead on arrival at hospital. Publisher targeted? A homemade explosive device made of gas canisters caused minor damage early on Saturday morning when it exploded outside the Kolonaki apartment block in which the publisher of daily Eleftherotypia, Christos Tegopoulos, lives. No one was injured and no group had claimed responsibility yesterday. Spartathlon Japan’s Ryoichi Sekiya on Saturday won the 246-kilometer (154-mile) annual race from Athens to Sparta. Sekiya, 35, finished the Spartathlon in 23 hours, 47 minutes and 54 seconds, ahead of Austria’s Markus Thalman (25:16:56) and Dutchman Jeffry Oonk (26:58:55). (AP)