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TRENČÍN

AROUND Slovakia 2002

TRENČÍN police are after a thief who specialises in stealing women's underwear. In the course of the first week of March 2002, police said, the unknown robber broke into two private houses in town. In the first case he took several pieces of underwear and Sk7,000 ($145) while a woman was home alone sleeping. In the second case he broke into a house through an open window and took four bras, 10 pairs of underwear, six pairs of nylon stockings, five petticoats and two scarves.


KNIGHT to remember: Peter Móric chose unusual wedding attire.
photo: TASR

TRENČÍN police are after a thief who specialises in stealing women's underwear. In the course of the first week of March 2002, police said, the unknown robber broke into two private houses in town. In the first case he took several pieces of underwear and Sk7,000 ($145) while a woman was home alone sleeping. In the second case he broke into a house through an open window and took four bras, 10 pairs of underwear, six pairs of nylon stockings, five petticoats and two scarves.



BREAKING records in 2002.
photo: TASR

Martin
Knight's wedding

THE WEDDING attire of Peter Móric, 27, from Martin attracted some curious looks on April 13. Although his wife Lýdia wore a traditional white dress, Peter chose a heavy 25-kilogram ensemble modelled after the fighting attire worn by knights in the 30 Years War of the 17th century.

Móric said he had always been fascinated by knights.

"I don't know when it started but ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to wear armour."

Lýdia said she liked the nontraditional wedding attire sported by her husband: "Peťo behaves and has always behaved like a knight," she said.

Upon their arrival at Strečno Castle, where the wedding ceremony took place, the couple was welcomed by fanfare and shots from heavy artillery. One local stated: "Well, this wedding is one we'll definitely not forget."


Vranov nad Topľou
Self-mutilation

A SICK 27-year-old man shocked an ambulance team answering his emergency call when they found he had cut off one of his own testicles and then eaten it.

The man, whom police have not named, called the ambulance after he realised he was bleeding heavily. He was rushed to a hospital in the town, where surgeons operated on him.

The man was apparently suffering from what doctors described as "auto-mutilation" - a condition usually affecting people without partners who compensate for their lack of sexual activity with heavy masturbation. They later feel enormously guilty and inflict physical damage on themselves.

The 27-year-old university graduate is now in a psychiatric ward at a hospital in Michalovce.


Banská Bystrica
Lost and found

A FORTY-year-old woman has turned to doctors for help in making her a virgin again. The woman's request to have a hymen reconstructed in her vagina surprised doctors at Banská Bystrica's Roosevelt hospital.

"We haven't encountered anything like this before. This may happen in Arabic countries because of their strict rules, but in Slovakia?" said Ján Lehocký, head of the hospital's plastic surgery department.

Doctors later discovered that the woman had health problems that ruled out the operation.


Štrbské pleso
Born again

A PARAGLIDING enthusiast enjoyed a miraculous escape from death after his craft suddenly collapsed while he was 100 metres above the ground.

The man plummeted down to what doctors later said would have been his certain death, but was fortunate enough to land on a five-square-metre trampoline in a children's entertainment park.

"Everything went quick as lightning. I don't really remember much from the fall. All I know is that I was very lucky," said Stanislav Stromček from Svit, who suffered the terrifying experience in the High Tatras mountains Štrbské pleso area on June 20.

Stromček was taken to a Poprad hospital, where he was found to have escaped without a bruise.

"People who do this kind of sport must be prepared for anything," Stromček said, adding that he had tried to pull the ripcord on his parachute, but that it had failed. "It was then that I knew I was lost," he said.

Although the trampoline averted one tragedy it nearly caused another. At the time Stromček hit the trampoline it was being used by a child, who luckily was not hit by the falling airman. Those who witnessed the fall say they were more terrified than Stromček himself.

"When he fell I ran over to him. He told me that he wished he had fallen into a pool, but that maybe that would have been too great a luxury," said a park employee.


Liptovský Mikuláš
Beer keg bench-presser sets new Guinness record

TWO RECORDS are set to be added to the Guinness Book of World Records after the performance of Slovak strongmen Juraj Krajčík and Ján Germánus.

On May 18 Krajčík, a native of Liptovský Mikuláš, managed to improve his old record by bench-pressing a 62.5-kilogram 50-litre beer keg 530 times. His old record was 473 presses.

On the same day Germánus, supported by about 500 fans, bench-pressed a weight of 285 kilograms, which is a record considering Germánus' weight of 92 kilograms.

The strongman said he would like to improve his record to 300 kilograms, but needs to take some time off to relax before his next attempt.


High Tatras
Ski shop owner: Osama bin Laden rented skis from me

THE OWNER of a ski-rental shop in the High Tatras mountains said on January 22 that Osama bin Laden, the man allegedly behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, had recently rented downhill skis from his shop.

"It was a day like any other, although I don't remember exactly what day it was," the storeowner said.

"These two men came into my shop and said that they wanted to rent skis. I served them like I'd serve any customer, and I didn't think there was anything unusual about them.

"When I asked under what name the skis would be rented, one of them said Komisarov [meaning Commissioner]."

The store owner said he did not think about the two men again until later, when he read an article in a magazine which had a photograph of alleged Al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden with a description of how he may now appear in disguise.

"I looked in the magazine and saw this photo. And it was him, the one who said he was named Komisarov," the man said.

"Both of the men spoke very good Russian. When they returned the skis, I asked the other man if his friend wasn't that terrorist in the magazine. He responded that I shouldn't say things like that because something could happen to me," the storeowner added.

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