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Community Grapevine

U.S. first lady to say hello; Slovak literature translated into English; phone home from 2,632 meters CRoll out the red carpet... Hillary Clinton is coming to town. Although the details aren't in yet, the U.S. First Lady will visit Bratislava on July 6 as part of her 11-day tour of central and eastern Europe. The trip, designed to "underscore U.S. support for newly democratic nations in the region," according to the White House, will start on July 1, after the G-7 economic summit in Lyon, and the Mrs. Clinton will speak at Radio Free Europe in Prague on July 4. According to the U.S. Information Service in Bratislava, it is likely that Mrs. Clinton will meet with Slovak first lady Emilia Kováčová, especially given their mutual involvement in women's issues.

Welcome to Tom Grubisich, a newcomer to Bratislava who is here as a resident advisor for a project called ProMedia, the Professional Media Program. ProMedia is a three-year program throughout the region, funded by the US Agency for International Development to the tune of $8 million. Grubisich, a founder and editor of community newspapers in the Washington, D.C., area, will be here for a year.

More media curiosities: the international Christian radio corporation Trans World Radio (TWR) opened a European satellite center in Bratislava last month. The center, to be run by TWR-Slovakia, will gather radio programs in more than 30 languages and transmit them throughout Europe.

Keep an eye out for new English translations of Slovak literature on the shelves, for last month's special seminar on British-Slovak Literary Relations was a roaring success. Over 40 translators and publishers met in Budmerice, and the British publishers pledged to make an effort to push Slovak literature in the U.K. "Waiting for a Miracle," an anthology of Slovak poets in translation, was named as one of the successes so far.

The graduation season continues: Congratulations this time to students of Academia Istropolitana in Bratislava, a graduate study program taught in English, who received their certificates on June 21.

Silly tourist gimmick of the month: our beloved Slovak Telecom has graciously installed a pay phone at the top of Lomnický Štit, the second tallest peak in Slovakia. The "highest payphone in Slovakia" at 2,632 meters provides visitors to the Tatras an "opportunity to share their admiration of a beautiful bird's eye view of the mountains with their friends from the other end of Slovakia or even abroad," wrote the Slovak press agency TA SR. Mhmmm.

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