Around Slovakia

Masturbating driver hits bus

A 42-YEAR-OLD driver who caused a car accident recently in Levice was discovered in his car with a vacuum pump on his penis with which he had apparently been masturbating while driving.
According to the Nový Čas daily, the man ran into a bus and a nearby traffic sign at an intersection and was injured.
"After the accident, the driver of the Citroen remained lying motionless in his car, so some passers-by and bus passengers went to the car to help the driver," said Peter Polák from the Levice police.
He added that the rescuers were shocked to discover that the driver was naked from the waist down and that he had a vacuum pump on his penis.
According to police, the accident took place on September 6 at 19:10 at an intersection on Štefánikova Street.

Gemer Expo 2006 focuses on tourism

OVER 40 exhibitors were present at the fourth annual Slovak-Hungarian "Gemer Expo 2006" on September 8-10 in the Business-Cultural Centre in the town of Rožňava in southeast Slovakia.
According to Rožňava Mayor František Kardoš, the exhibition aimed to support cross-border co-operation between southern Slovakia and northern Hungary so that together they attracted more tourists to enjoy their countryside and cultural traditions, while also showing what their region has to offer in terms of accommodation, catering, and supplementary services.

Hundreds pay tribute to Holocaust victims

SEVERAL hundred people paid tribute to the victims of the Holocaust on September 9 in Bratislava, accompanied by Slovakia's three highest constitutional officials - President Ivan Gašparovič, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška, and PM Robert Fico.
The occasion marked the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust and Racial Violence as well as the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Jewish Codex, under which thousands of Slovak Jews were deported to Nazi death camps.
The state officials, along with other government members, MPs and foreign diplomats, laid wreaths at the Holocaust Memorial on the capital's Rybné Square.
After the ceremony, three exhibitions devoted to the victims of the Holocaust were opened at Slovakia's Culture Ministry.
The exhibitions included 'The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Slovakia', prepared by the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia, 'The Story of the Children of the Wind' (about the Roma Holocaust), prepared by the Slovak National Museum - Museum of Roma Culture in Slovakia, and 'Zachor! Pamätaj! (Zachor! Remember!)'. All three exhibitions will be open until the end of September.

Soldiers back home from Iraq

A SPECIAL aircraft carrying 101 Slovak soldiers returning home from a mission in Iraq landed at Bratislava airport on September 6 at 15:00.
Defence Minister František Kašický said that there are still 103 Slovak soldiers operating in Iraq with the Iraqi Freedom mission, and that they will stay there until February 2007. The Slovak government has not yet decided what the country's future military presence in the region will be.
"At present we are re-evaluating our participation in the Iraqi Freedom operation in cooperation with the US and the Iraqi government. It is in our interest that our unit in Iraq be employed effectively, because the unit that we have had in the region for the last several months has not been fulfilling its tasks in line with its mandate from the Slovak parliament.
"We want to focus on the training of Iraqi soldiers and on material assistance to the country," Kašický said.
The unit's commander, Martin Michalko, said that the soldiers have represented Slovakia successfully. "We have fulfilled the goals which were set out in the mandate that we received from the Slovak parliament," Michalko said.
During their operation in Iraq, Slovak troops defused or destroyed some 65 tonnes of ammunition and cleared roughly 222,000 square metres of land from mines.
Kašický, along with Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, welcomed the soldiers of the sixth rotation back to Bratislava.

Vyšný Mirošov
German soldiers restore cemetery

German soldiers help restore the military cemetery in Vyšný Mirošov.
photo: TASR

ELEVEN members of the German armed forces' 51st Immelmann squadron, based in Kroppe, Germany, began to renovate a WWI military cemetery in Vyšný Mirošov on September 7 in eastern Slovakia's Prešov region.
Over the next two weeks they will do some basic landscaping and maintenance on the land, which contains graves with the remains of 250 German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian soldiers from the First World War (1914-18).
The restoration is not the first such activity undertaken by these 11 German soldiers in eastern Slovakia. A similar cemetery in the nearby village of Nižná Polianka was restored under their auspices in recent years.
Work at the resting place of the soldiers in Vyšný Mirošov will continue into the latter half of September, as members of the German 63rd transport squadron replace their colleagues on September 15 and stay until September 28. The work is expected to be completed by next year.
The project is the result of five years of cooperation between the civic association Spoločnosť starostlivosti o nemecké vojnové hroby (Society for the Care of German War Graves) based in Prešov, and Ľudový zväz starostlivosti o nemecké vojnové cintoríny (People's Union for the Care of German War Cemeteries).
According to the Society's secretary, Michal Bochin, the soldiers' work in September should cost about Sk2 million (€53,000).
Bochin said that, as in past years, the visit by the German soldiers also has a cultural and social dimension. They have been visiting places of interest in the Prešov region as well as schools in Vyšný Mirošov and Nižná Polianka, where they gave presents to pupils. The soldiers also intend to meet with Prešov airbase personnel.
In 2007, cemeteries in Radvaň nad Laborcom and Medzilaborce, both in the Prešov region, should also be restored.

Memorial to aircraft crash victims

THE SLOVAK government has decided to allocate Sk1.5 million (€37,500) from its reserve fund to build a memorial for the victims of the military plane crash in January 2006 in north-eastern Hungary that killed 42.
The memorial will be erected near the Hungarian village Hejce, where the Slovak servicemen and women died while returning from a KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.
It is estimated that the memorial will cost around Sk4.5 million.
After the accident, the Defence Ministry started a fundraising effort that raised Sk1.496 million. Later, the cabinet committed itself to matching the public collection and earmarked another Sk1.5 million.
The An-24 aircraft went down some five kilometres from the Slovak-Hungarian border. The aircraft was carrying 28 soldiers returning home for troop rotation, seven rotation-support staff, and eight crew members. There was only one survivor.

Autosalón 2006

VISITORS to the 14th annual Autosalón international car show, which began on September 6 in the Agrokomplex complex in the west Slovak city of Nitra, had an opportunity to admire four new passenger cars introduced this year.
The world premieres featured at this year's exhibition came from the Czech car maker Škoda, and included the Superb Face-lift, the Superb Laurin & Klement, the Škoda Octavia RS TDI, and the Škoda Octavia Combi 4x4 2.0 TDI.
Thirty-five Slovak premieres were presented by Audi, Citroen, Honda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Renault, Škoda, Seat, Suzuki and Volkswagen.
This year's car show in Nitra was listed among the 14 most prestigious auto salons in the world.

Schools open to 54,240 first graders

ABOUT 54,240 first-graders in Slovakia sat at their school desks for the first time on September 4. The exact number of all elementary and high school students in Slovakia should be announced by mid-October.
In the 2006-2007 academic year, children can look forward to 25 days of public holidays.
The fall holidays start

ENGINEERS at Košice's Mechanical Engineering Faculty have invented a car that can drive 683 km on just one litre of petrol. The supercar is 2.7 m long, 68 cm wide and weighs 46 kg.

on Thursday, November 2 and last until Monday, November 6. The Christmas holidays run from December 23 until January 2, while the midterm vacation will be on February 2.
The week-long spring holidays start in Prešov and Košice regions on February 19. Children from Banská Bystrica, Žilina and Trenčín regions will take a week off starting on February 26, while pupils from Bratislava, Nitra and Trnava regions will begin their spring holidays on March 5. The Easter holidays will be from April 5 to April 11.
The new school year will also bring changes in the school network. As the Education Ministry has announced, 106 new kindergartens, elementary and high schools will be opened, 80 of them as new schools, and 26 as the result of mergers. Seventeen schools will be shut down.

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