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Around Slovakia

Biggest book in the country?
Lost donkey found safe
Pope to get statue and square named after him
Communist in trouble over Lenin statements
Lose weight via hypnosis?
Man sets patisserie on fire
Stealing from granny
Swedish intrigue
Pilgrims killed in bus crash


THE RECENTLY published Atlas of the Slovak Republic's Countryside is heavy reading.
photo: TASR

Slovakia
Biggest book in the country?

A SEVEN kilo atlas is believed to be the heaviest book ever printed in Slovakia.
Five thousand copies of the Atlas of the Slovak Republic's Countryside were printed by the Environment Ministry last year and are available in offices of the Slovak environment agency.
The book includes plenty of photos of the country's territory including aerial pictures, and photos taken from the space shuttle.
The 344-page publication is also available on CD and DVD.


Ružomberok
Lost donkey found safe

A DONKEY belonging to an unnamed French man escaped from becoming dinner after a hotel owner traded it for a small pig.
The owner of Pension Gajdoš near the northern Slovak town of Ružomberok obtained the donkey, named Gamu, from unknown persons who allegedly wanted to eat the animal.
The head of Dolný Kubín police, Jozef Kazárik, told the Slovak daily Nový čas that officers had already contacted the French consulate and are now trying to locate Gamu's owner.
Kazárik said: "We contacted the French consulate and they were interested in the little donkey's fate. Gamu got lost several days ago in [the northern Slovak village of] Oravský Podzámok and I am very happy that we managed to find him."
Police now have to locate the owner of the animal, allegedly an active traveller who moves around Europe.
"[Finding the owner] will probably not be easy. He seems to move around a lot," Kozárik said.
Until Gamu's owner is found, the donkey will be housed in the stable of police inspector Igor Čerňan from Veličná village.
"He raises ponies and will gladly take care of Gamu," Kozárik said.


Bratislava
Pope to get statue and square named after him

POPE John Paul II may unveil a statue of himself in the country's capital where there also may be a square named after him.
John Paul II will be visiting Slovakia between September 11 and 14, making stops in Bratislava, the eastern town of Rožnava, central Banská Bystrica, and the western town of Trnava. While in Bratislava the Pope will say mass in the suburb of Petržalka.
According to the Slovak daily Nový čas, rumours started circulating that next to a new church building in Petržalka a statue of John Paul II might be erected and the square where the church is situated might be named after the Pope.
Officials have not confirmed the rumours. However, the deputy mayor of Petržalka admitted that her municipality was considering such a plan.
"So far it is just a plan that still has no final shape," deputy mayor Viera Kimerlingová said.
One unnamed source, however, told the daily that the Pope is expected to bless the cornerstone of a new square that is to be named after the Pontiff.


Košice
Communist in trouble over Lenin statements

A COMMUNIST MP may be forced out of the party over his statements about the former communist leader Vladimir Ilich Lenin.
Communists from the eastern Slovak town of Košice have appealed to Karol Ondriaš, the deputy chairman of the parliamentary Slovak Communist Party (KSS) to give up his post after the he had proposed the KSS redefine itself as a Marxist rather than a Marxist-Leninist party.
Ondriaš said: "In the party we do not have a specified opinion on the matter but I tend to (favour) the Marxist theory."
"What was typical of the Lenin period and the whole of Russia needs to be put away," he said recently.
But his statement has angered members of the KSS Košice regional committee who wrote down their objections and sent them to the party headquarters in Bratislava.
"We consider the [statements] to be primitive," the statement read.
"We think comrade Ondriaš should be more disturbed in his sleep by his insufficient revolutionary spirit and the [lack of] eminence of the KSS in parliament rather than [the issue of] Marxism-Leninism in the KSS statute."
They also appealed to Ondriaš to publicly distance himself from his earlier statements and that, should he fail to "find sufficient intellectual and moral strength [to do that, he then should] resign from his post as deputy chairman of the KSS central committee".


Levice
Lose weight via hypnosis?

AFTER several months of hypnosis one man lost over 100 kilograms.
Psychologists in the western Slovak town of Levice said overweight people could be effectively treated using hypnosis, presenting the case of former bus driver Gabriel Németh, 37, as an example of their claims.
The Slovak daily Nový čas reported on July 31 that Levice psychologists were convinced that the hypnosis method was a suitable option for overweight patients and promised quicker results than conventional means.
"Hypnosis helps get the body in balance. It helps the brain listen to and respect the body's signals six times faster than when [patients are] awake, and it cleanses the body of stress," said Zuzana Bieliková, one of the two local psychologists who have used hypnotherapy to treat overweight patients.
Their most successful patient has been Németh who, before having the treatment, weighed 198 kilograms and just a few months later reported weighing 96 kilos.


Lipany
Man sets patisserie on fire

A MAN who was owed Sk2,500 (€60) in wages set the patisserie shop belonging to his former employer's wife on fire as an act of revenge.
The man, dentified only as Ján Ch., 47, from the eastern Slovak village of Milpoš, went into the patisserie shop, told a saleswoman to leave, then doused the interior with gasoline and burned the shop causing damages of around Sk150,000 (€3,600).
The owner of the patisserie, Jana Šarišská told the Nový čas daily that the man was employed by her husband's firm in June but was fired because he had caused "more in damage than he was of use".
She said Ján Ch. was told that he would get his outstanding wage next month but he wanted his money immediately.
The arsonist was charged with endangering the public and if he is found guilty by the court he can end up in jail for up to eight years.


Nitra
Stealing from granny

TWO teenagers may face penalties after it was found that the girls had broken into their own grandma's house and taken cash and valuables while causing damage of Sk10,000 (€240).
Kristína and Eva, 15 and 13 respectively, had stolen their 67-year-old grandmother's house key.
According to Nitra regional police spokeswoman Iveta Matejová the girls then went into their grandma's house and took about Sk5,000 (€119) and two rings.
Police are investigating the case.


Mýto pod Ďumbierom
Swedish intrigue

INVESTIGATORS charged a 55-year-old man from central Slovakia with extortion after evidence was collected that he had requested Sk20,000 (€476) from a Swedish man or else he would kill the man's brother.
The perpetrator, Štefan K. from Mýto pod Ďumbierom, is believed to have approached Pavol R., an inhabitant of Bratislava, with a loaded pistol requesting that his Swedish brother, Aurel Duhlin D., come up with the money. Štefan K. then threatened to kill Pavol R. if the latter did not bring the money within two hours.
As a warning he even fired three shots from the pistol.
According to Banská Bystrica regional police spokeswoman Marta Mandáková, Štefan K. wanted the money as compensation for damages allegedly suffered in an earlier fight with the Swedish citizen.



A BUS carrying pilgrims rolled down an embankment near the village of Gelnica, killing 11 of the passengers and injuring 20 others.
photo: TASR

Gelnica
Pilgrims killed in bus crash

A TRIP to a religious festival in the eastern Slovak village of Úhorna ended in tragedy on August 3 when a bus carrying pilgrims veered off the road near the town of Gelnica, killing 11 of the passengers and injuring a further 20.
President Rudolf Schuster attended a memorial ceremony for the victims of the crash in the village of Poproč, where most of the victims were from, on August 6.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. The driver of the bus, who survived with a broken collarbone, may face criminal charges as the bus was travelling along a section of road closed to buses and long vehicles.

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