Around Slovakia

Shelters needed to help Bratislava's homeless
Canadian aircraft to use Slovak air space
Teenage girl lured abroad for prostitution

THE LARGEST fire to hit the Bratislava region this year occurred one hour before midnight on March 15 at the low-standard accommodation units at the former Bratislava thread factory. The heat was so intense, the accomodation's structure partially collapsed, causing the blaze to spread. 40 firefighters and six fire trucks spent two hours and more than 140,000 litres of water extinguishing it. Luckily, no one was hurt. The cause is still being investigated. "This is the largest fire in the Bratislava region this year. It destroyed almost a hundred housing units," Silvia Balázsiková, spokesperson for the Bratislava Fire Department told SITA news wire.
photo: TASR

Shelters needed to help Bratislava's homeless

REPRESENTATIVES from 10 non-governmental and religious organizations, the Bratislava city council, several Bratislava districts, the Bratislava Higher Territorial Unit (VÚC), and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family have agreed to set up a special task force to address the problem of homelessness in the Slovak capital, Pravda daily reported.
Nina Beňová, from the non-profit organization Behold The Man, says that the new group should meet soon to agree on its program.
"The group should meet at least once a month. We want all the departments and organizations to work together," Beňová said.
All the parties involved agree that Bratislava lacks both daytime and overnight accommodation facilities for homeless people. They also agree that the tent camp recently set up on Hradská Street in the Bratislava district of Vrakuňa is not a sufficient solution.
Though the camp probably saved the lives of many homeless people during the freezing weather in Bratislava, it cannot substitute for permanent day centres and night shelters, which should be open throughout the year.
The tent camp was set up on January 19 after discovering around half a dozen homeless people had frozen to death on Bratislava's streets. It was originally due to be closed on February 28, but remained open for an extra week.
As many as 6,500 overnight stays have been registered at the tent camp since it opened, with an average of 160 homeless people sleeping there every night.

Canadian aircraft to use Slovak air space

CANADIAN military aircraft, such as CF 18 Hornets, the CC 130 Hercules, CP 140 Auroras, the CC 150 Polaris, CC 144 Challengers, and CH 146 Griffons, will probably be using Slovakia's air space before the end of 2006.
A proposal to this effect, which will also includes permission for the aircraft to land, has already been submitted by the Slovak foreign affairs and defense ministries for interdepartmental review. However, the Slovak government will have to issue final approval.
Canada plans to use Slovakia's air space for bilateral visits, refueling, training-flights, aerial displays and general training. The aircraft will also transport passengers, including VIPs, and cargo, such as munitions, photographic and fact-finding equipment, and electronic equipment for taking counter-measures.
The pilots will have to respect the established air-routes, and act in full accordance with regulations laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
"Bilateral relations between Slovakia and Canada have great importance in military-political terms", reads a report by the foreign affairs and defense ministries, which adds that Canada, as an original member of NATO, ratified the NATO enlargement protocols that allowed Slovakia to join in 2004.

Rimavská Sobota
Teenage girl lured abroad for prostitution

A 16-YEAR old girl returned home to the southern Slovak town of Rimavská Sobota after being lured away by an unknown man, who had promised she could make money by begging on the streets in Germany.
According to the SME daily, once in Germany, the man took the girl's passport and planned to sell her into prostitution.
Fortunately, the young lady managed to get her passport back and escape.

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