Romany mother dies after attack
A 50 year-old Romany woman died August 22, two days after an attack on her and her two daughters. Police said that three men, as yet unidentified, broke into the woman's house and began beating her daughters, aged 10 and 16, who had been sleeping at the time. The mother was then turned upon and also beaten. The woman died from after haemorhagging.
Milan Koleda, director of the district Investigation Office in Žilina, said that police were not ruling out a racial motive to the crime.
Girl dies from mushroom poisoning
A six year-old girl from the village of Štiavnik died of mushroom poisoning August 17, 10 days after being admitted to the Bratislava Children's Faculty Hospital. Doctors have said that it was two days before the girl was brought to hospital, and that this was the main reason the poisoning proved fatal.
Every year, tens of people in Slovakia die after eating poisonous mushrooms that they pick in the wild and mistake for edible varieties, particularly the 'muchotrávka zelená', or amanita phalloides. Symptoms do not appear for the first 12 hours after ingestion, but are then characterised by vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains and intestinal spasms. The mushroom also causes liver damage that is often fatal.
Police seize record amount of heroin
Slovak customs officers seized 9.37 kilogrammes of high grade heroin in a car arriving from Hungary August 18, the largest heroin seizure ever in Slovakia. Officers at the Slovak-Hungarian border crossing at Milhosť found 17 packs of heroin in the car, which was driven by three Slovak citizens - two men, aged 26 and 22, and one woman, aged 19.
Police believe the drugs could be used to make 900,000 doses of heroin with a street value of about 225 million Slovak crowns ($4.8 million). It is believed that the Slovaks belong to an organised crime group operating in at least four European countries. They were accused of production, possession and distribution of narcotics.
Hottest August day ever hits Hurbanovo
Temperatures in Hurbanovo, south-west Slovakia, reached 38.5 degrees Celsius on August 19, the highest August temperature ever recorded in the country, beating the previous 1952 record of 38.4 degrees. The thermometer also topped 38 degress in Dudince, Podhájska, Ziharec and Kráľova pri Senci.
A 90 year-old woman was also hospitalised on August 21 after a visit to Kuchajda Lake in Bratislava, while 23 others in the capital alone were taken to hospital suffering from heatstroke.
New beer-drinking records set
A new record for beer drinking was set at the Agrokomplex 2000 agricultural fair in Nitra August 20 when a team of 100 people broke the record for drinking 100 half-litre glasses of beer consecutively. The new record stands at seven minutesand 47 seconds, slashing nine minutes off the previous best set by a team of Czech firemem at the fair four years ago.
The fair's record for drinking one litre of beer was also broken by a physical education teacher from Šurany. Marek Vittek downed the litre in 2.53 seconds.
Compiled by Ed Holt