Slovak Communists support Czech detentions in Cuba
The Slovak Communist Party (KSS) announced their support of Cuba's decision to arrest Czech citizens Ivan Pilip and Ján Bubeník on charges of aiding island dissidents. Calling the men "two well-known anti-Communists", KSS Secretary General Ladislav Jača said January 23 that the two men had visited "the American headquarters of opponents of Fidel Castro's regime in Miami" before their arrival in Cuba.
It is the KSS's view that the men had been sent as part of a mission against Castro involving then US Secretary of State Madelaine Albright and Czech President Václav Havel.
"It is interesting," he added, "that of the nearly 2,000 foreign visitors to Cuba last year, none were detained." Pilip and Bubeník were arrested on January 12.
Slovaks not yet ready to legalise it
Slovak politicians say that Slovakia is not likely to soon follow other European countries such as The Netherlands and Belgium in legalising the possession of marijuana for personal use, agreeing that Slovakia was far from ready to 'legalise it'.
"As long as the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) has even a small impact in Slovakia, there will be no legalisation," said KDH member of parliament Peter Muránský. "It is a small path which will lead to a highway to hell."
Democratic Party (DS) head Ján Langoš also reacted strongly to mention of legalisation. Langoš, who fought drug trafficking as a former federal Minister of the Interior, said that marijuana is addictive and that he had never tried it because he comes "from a staid Catholic family".
Softer opinions were presented by Smer party General Manager Monika Beňová, who said she would not be surprised if the issue came up for public discussion in Slovakia in the near future.
Milan Ištván of the Party of the Democratic Left (SDĽ) said that cigarettes and alcohol were more damaging than marijuana, but that unfortunately 60% of those who "had a puff" tried harder drugs. He added that he had often been offered marijuana, but that "it had a bad smell for me as a non-smoker".
Cyclist hit and left to die twice
A 43 year-old cyclist returning home from work early January 20 was killed after being hit by two separate cars, neither of which stopped to provide assistance.
The victim was first struck by a Škoda driven by a drunk 21-year old male. The wounded cyclist was then laying on the side of the road when a Fiat again struck him and dragged him two kilometres over the pavement. The 50-year old female driver dislodged the man from the car after discovering his presence, then continued on her way.
Both motorists appeared later to confess to police, and both admitted they had fled the scene of the crime. Police also discovered that both drivers had had passengers in the car.
The culprits had their licences revoked and are being investigated by Trnava regional police. The victim was the father of four children.
Slovak goalie shows up drunk for match
Kamil Čontofalský, a Slovak goalie for top-division Czech club Bohemians Prague, was fined a record 200,000 Czech crowns ($5,400) for appearing at his team's match in Karlín drunk.
The team's coach Vlastimil Petržela initially asked that the goal-keeper be kicked off the team. "I have never before experienced such a situation, especially before a match," he said. "Since it was not his first trespass, I wanted him to leave the club."
Petržela said that he "could not breathe" when he entered the players' room due to the strong smell of alcohol. The Slovak, who is the goalie for the Slovak national team, admitted having drunk the night before the match and apologised.
"I drank. On Saturday I went with a friend for some beers," the goalie said. "I returned home around midnight and I slept a good nine hours. I don't think that when I came to the game the next day I was drunk. I felt all right."
Although he was happy not to be kicked off the team, Čontofalský said he would appeal the fine. "It is difficult to comment on it right now, however it is too severe a penalty," he said. "200,000 Czech crowns is a big deal for me."
Woman wins 'longest hair in the country' title
Renáta Ivaničová, a 29 year-old blonde from Veĺký Krtíš, boasts the longest hair in the country, at 168 centimetres which reaches down to her ankles.
Renáta has been growing her hair since childhood, she said, and frequently wears it in plaits to keep it under control. "I do not pay all that much attention to my hair," she said. "I comb it daily, wash it once a week, and trim it two to three times a year."
Also the victor of last year's longest hair in Slovakia competition, Renata says it takes three to four hours for her hair to dry after a washing.
Thieves steal 40 pigletsand a tractor
During the night of January 21, three unknown masked thieves stole 40 piglets and a red tractor from a farm in Nový Život village in Dunajská Streda district, after attacking and tying-up the 43 year-old warden. In addition to the live stock, they also stole a trailer for cattle transportation and thus made off with goods worth over 500,000 Slovak crowns ($11,000).
Roma steal logging horse and eat it
Three young Roma from the Gelnica district have been accused of stealing a logging horse which was helping the Richnava village forest workers in their work. Last week, the Roma took the 800 kilogramme horse from the stable he was being hidden in and brought it outside the village. Then they killed it with an axe, quartered the horse and buried the meat and inedible parts separately in holes they dug overnight.
After two days of searching the police found the remains of the horse, but the meat was already gone. "All that was found were hoofs, horse shoes, and bones," said Richňava mayor Jozef Vaščák. He said that the horse had been stolen from boys residing in the nearby Roma settlement of Kľakava village.
"Sometimes they steal chickens or goats but we never had anything like this," he said. "This is the first case of a big animal being stolen by the Roma that I can remember."
Woman shocked by train station suicide
On the morning of January 24, a Žilina train station worker discovered a man had hanged himself in the station's toilets. The 31-year-old from Bytča, near Žilina, used a leather belt to commit suicide, hanging himself from a pipe above the toilet.
The lady station worker said that she would never forget the day. She had seen the man enter the toilets in the early morning, and became concerned after two hours when he had not come out again. She then went into the toilets, where she said she was "exposed to something terrible."
She immediately alerted police, who discovered the identity of the victim, and a doctor was subsequently called to the scene, who declared the death a suicide.
Compiled by Spectator Staff from TASR, SITA and press releases
29. Jan 2001 at 0:00