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Around Slovakia

A snowman in September
Policeman rapes teenage girl
Man pays Sk45,000 to impostor Pope promoter
Homeless people squat on a roof
Eight-legged kitten stillborn
Terrorists disarmed in police training
Ecstasy drug bust

Vysoké Tatry
A snowman in September

TOURISTS arriving in the High Tatras, Slovakia's highest mountain range, were surprised to find enough snow to build a snowman as early as the beginning of September.
Although at lower altitudes the autumn weather is progressing as usual, temperatures at higher elevations have already fallen to -4ëCelsius.
At the Skalnaté Pleso, for example, the cold weather has surprised many tourists, with heaps of snow and ice covering the area.
"This is a big surprise indeed. We have never before built a snowman in September," siblings Lukáš and Mirka Makar told the Slovak daily Nový čas on September 4.


Košice
Policeman rapes teenage girl

POLICE in the eastern Slovak town of Košice are facing a scandal, as one of their officers is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl.
Officer Peter P., from the district police headquarters Košice II, is accused of raping the girl, not named by police, from the eastern town of Michalovce. The crime allegedly took place two weeks ago during a bikers' party at Zemplínska šírava lake.
According to the daily Nový čas the girl refused to sleep with Peter P., was beaten, forced to perform oral sex in the restroom of a local restaurant, and was then raped outside the building behind some bushes.
"I can confirm that the act took place, but this is a unique case among the police ranks," said Pavol Augustín, spokesman for the police inspection unit with the Interior Ministry.


Ivanka pri Dunaji
Man pays Sk45,000 to impostor Pope promoter

CATHOLIC Pavel Mika paid Sk44,800 (€1,070) to a man who claimed to be able to organise a personal meeting between him and Pope John Paul II, who will be visiting Slovakia between September 11 and 14.
Mika, a devout Catholic who has published several religious brochures since a near death experience ten years ago, said to the Slovak daily Nový čas that the unknown man most likely found his address on the cover of one of his own brochure publications.
The man approached Mika and purported that he could arrange him a personal meeting with the Pope. Trusting, Mika agreed to pay the man in gradually increasing instalments of Sk800, Sk3,000, Sk5,000, Sk15,000, and finally Sk21,000 in order to organise the meeting.
Mika gave the man the last payment "in some pub, afterwards he left and told me to wait for him," said Mica.
But the man never returned. Police in Senec are investigating the case.


Zvolen
Homeless people squat on a roof

INVENTIVE homeless people in the central Slovak town of Zvolen have moved into the small sheds that serve as air shafts, situated on the roof of the local bus station.
Six such sheds are currently occupied with homeless people, living in the four by four square metre rooms. According to the Slovak daily Nový čas, some of the homeless live there all year round.
Jaroslav Orlík, 42, who lives in one of the sheds with his girlfriend, Mária Ancová, 47, told the daily on September 5 that authorities were aware of the unlicensed guests in the sheds.
"We enjoy living here. We moved in here in May. Police know that we are here and so do the bosses of the bus station. They tolerate our presence here," Orlík said.
"We don't do any wrong."
Orlík's neighbour has lived in a nearby shed for six years now and, according to Orlík, until recently it also served as shelter to a mother and her small child.
The couple sleeps on mattresses that were donated from a school.


Nitrianske Pravno
Eight-legged kitten stillborn

A CURIOSITY kitten with eight legs and two stomachs was stillborn to a cat that its owner found several years ago in the street.
Regína Brídová, from the village of Nitrianske Pravno near the western Slovakia town of Prievidza, said to the daily Nový čas that the kitten was dead at its birth.
"From head to tummy it was one kitten, and from the tummy down it was as if there was another kitten," Brídová said.
Apart from the eight-legged kitten, the black and white mother cat, Tinka, also gave birth to two other kittens, one of which survived.


Martin
Terrorists disarmed in police training

SPECIAL squads successfully freed dozens of hostages, including managers of a local gas firm, and disarmed a group of mock-terrorists in a police training exercise aimed at evaluating the abilities of Slovak specialists in terror situations.
In the simulated terrorist attack, a train was blown up on September 5, near the northern city of Martin, close to a Probugas gas firm, with nearly a hundred fake victims imitating injuries in the explosion.
Ambulance teams worked hand in hand with the special police squads. A total of 29 various impact units, including police, firefighters, and medical staff, were called in.
Jozef Sudický, who helped organise and prepare the model terrorist attack, said to the Slovak daily SME: "The goal was to find out how cooperation [among the units] would work and what needs to be caught up."
"I think that the coordination of the event was very good, but we need to realize that all would most likely be different if this [terrorist attack] was really happening," Sudický said.


Bratislava
Ecstasy drug bust

THE NATIONAL anti-drug squad, (Národná protidrogová jednotka, or NPJ), impounded more than Sk400,000 (Ř 9,500) worth of drugs, including Ecstasy pills, that were to be distributed at a recent mega-disco party at Bratislava's Zlaté Piesky area. These pills are a common problem at rave parties.
Police confirmed that they had arrested two drug dealers and named them only as Milan M., from Bratislava's suburb of Petržalka, and Štefan B., from the northern Slovak town of Žilina.
Another man, also named Milan M., was arrested shortly after buying 500 pills of Ecstasy from Štefan B.
All three men, as well as a girlfriend of one of the perpetrators, the second mentioned Milan M., were arrested under drug dealing charges. If found guilty, the accused may face prison sentences of up to ten years.

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