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One separated conjoined twin dies

MAREK MÜLLER, one of the conjoined twins thought to have been successfully separated by Slovak doctors in mid-September, died early on October 4, the Children's Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine Clinic informed the SITA newswire.
Conjoined twins Marek and Michal were born on April 11. They were joined at the chest and shared a liver and gall bladder. The boys had started to have difficulties breathing, as their lungs could not fully develop.
In mid-September, a team of surgeons successfully separated the twin brothers in the second operation of its kind ever performed in Slovakia. The life-saving surgery lasted about 20 hours.
However, as the doctors expected, complications arose. Marek contracted a serious infection, and in spite of intensive treatment and life support, it was followed by multiple organ failure and brain damage, and his nervous system broke down.
Marek's brother, Michal, is now five months old and his condition has not changed significantly. Doctors are continuing his intensive care, according to an official statement on the website of the clinic - part of the Bratislava Teaching Hospital in the district of Kramáre.
Michal has undergone many operations due to problems with his digestive system.

Banská Bystrica
Exhibition of Lenin's busts sparks discussion

THE CENTRAL Slovak Museum in Banská Bystrica is marking the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution by presenting busts of one of the key figures of the revolution, Vladimir Lenin.
The museum's anniversary exhibit is called Born, Worked out, Disheartened Under the Red Star. Along with the busts of Lenin are documents from that period of time and the Wall of Opinions, on which people can freely express their opinion on this historical event or Lenin himself.
However, the exhibition met with controversy even before its opening when some people sent e-mails to the museum saying it should not present such a theme, the SITA newswire wrote.
The curator of the exhibit, Filip Glocko, told media that in a democratic society, it must not be a problem to present a theme that could be sensitive for some people.
He also wants to acquaint young people with history and remind people that dictatorships lead to irreversible crimes.
Glocko said he was inspired to make the exhibition by 16 busts of Lenin standing on a shelf in the museum's storeroom.
The October Revolution anniversary was once one of the most important holidays in the country.

Kenyan lifts Košice Marathon to higher level

Pacemakers fend off a stray dog at the International Peace Marathon in Košice.
photo: ČTK

THE WINNER of the 84th International Peace Marathon in Košice shattered the course record by nearly three minutes on October 8.
Kenyan William Biama broke the course record with a time of 2:09:53. He beat the previous record, set by Adam Dobrzynski of Poland three years ago, by two minutes and 42 seconds.
The competition exceeded the expectations of sports director Branislav Koniar, the Sme daily reported. The first pacemaker gave up after the first five kilometres. Then Biama and Simon Bor, also from Kenya, overran the second pacemaker when he was too slow for them.
Nobody believed that they would keep up their pace. The organisers set the highest reward for the marathon at €18,000, for breaking the course record with a time below 2:11:00. There was no additional reward for finishing the marathon faster than that,
Bor clocked 2:12:01 for second place, and Russian Lenar Khusnutdinov came third with 2:15:29.
Belarussian Natalya Kulesh defended her women's race title from last year with a time of 2:34:50. Edyta Lewandowska of Poland, who won the women's race in 2005, was second at 2:36:58, and Ukrainian Olga Kotovska finished third with a personal best of 2:39:53.
The top Slovak finisher was Imrich Pastor. He came in sixth with a time of 2:21:59.
Former Slovak prime minister and head of the SDKÚ party, Mikuláš Dzurinda, recovered from leg surgery to finish his 21st marathon with 3:35:13, improving his time from 2005 by more than seven minutes.
The marathon is the oldest in Europe and the second oldest in the world, after the Boston Marathon.

Ministry protests against Danube's 'dirtiest' tag

THE SLOVAK Environment Ministry is protesting the inclusion of the Danube River as the only European river in the World's Top 10 Rivers at Risk rankings, released by the World Wildlife Fund. The fund claims that the river, which is the biggest international water route in the world, has been polluted by the construction of dams and dikes, shipping, and the deepening of the river basin, the Nový Čas daily reported on October 8.
"The Slovak stretch of the Danube is problem-free in terms of pollution, as has been found by regular monitoring," said environment ministry spokesman Peter Višváder. "Not even shipping traffic, which must observe strict guidelines, is problematic."
Other rivers on the list include the Ganges and Mekong in Asia, the Rio Grande in North America, the Murray in Australia, and the Nile in Africa.

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