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News Briefs

Gay rights activists protest SNS initiative
Klára Orgovánová selected to handle Roma issues
Police cancel search for 16 missing refugees
Anti-globalism protesters halt traffic in Bratislava

Gay rights activists protest SNS initiative

Representatives of the Inakosť ('Otherness') Initiative announced on June 13 their opposition to an attempt of the opposition Slovak National Party (SNS) to ban gays and lesbians from teaching at schools. Inakosť representatives said that such a ban would be a serious violation of homosexuals' human rights, and called for sexuality questions to be taken off teaching applications.
The bill is in second reading in parliament.
On June 8, SNS member and former Education Minister Eva Slavkovská said that the SNS was against employing gays and lesbians at schools because they could negatively influence the development of children, and because gays and lesbians were counter to Christian moral values.
"I personally have nothing against homosexuals, I only care about the morals of the problem," she said, adding that she remembered a scandal which arose while she was a teacher 20 years ago when a student saw a female teacher kissing another woman.
Slavkovská added that the Inakosť demand that questions of sexual orientation be removed from job applications was dangerous, since "sexual orientation could be disturbing, just think about paedophilia and necrophilia."

Klára Orgovánová selected to handle Roma issues

The director of the InfoRoma NGO, Klára Orgovánová, won a competition for the post of Cabinet Plenipotentiary for Solving Roma Issues on June 13.
If confirmed by cabinet June 20, Orgovánová would replace Vincent Danihel, who was sacked in May after the cabinet said that it was dissatisfied with his work, reproaching him for passivity and an inability to communicate with the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
The day Orgovánová was selected, Danihel sent a letter to members of parliament warning that social unrest might spread within the Romany community because of "100% unemployment, poverty and undignified living conditions."

Police cancel search for 16 missing refugees

Slovak police cancelled a search and rescue operation on June 13 for 16 Indian refugees who have been missing since they tried to cross the Morava River into the Czech Republic.
A group of 20 Indian refugees carrying large pieces of luggage tried to cross the Morava River after midnight on June 11. Three refugees rescued by the police reported that 17 others had disappeared into the river after a rope they were using to get across had snapped.
Police divers and army servicemen had been searching the river and river banks after finding one refugee drowned during the night of June 11. According to police spokesman Daniel Hanák, it was unlikely that any of the refugees could have survived, and it was highly unlikely that they had managed to reach the Czech Republic.

Anti-globalism protesters halt traffic in Bratislava

Approximately 800 anti-globalism protesters staged an illegal street party in Bratislava and blocked traffic in the downtown area on June 9. Bratislava police spokeswoman Marta Bujňáková said that more than 100 police officers had been needed to restore order with the aid of tear gas.
Several of the protesters who were drunk or under influence of drugs were taken into custody, she added.
Organisers, calling themselves "a free group of young people", promised a peaceful event on their web site, where the rally was advertised. The aim of the demonstration had been to point out the negative features of global capitalism, and to protest against the rising number of cars in Bratislava.

Compiled by Chris Togneri from TASR

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