Around Slovakia

Slovak blonde wins Elite Model Look contest
Shop assistant hits robber with wine bottle
Mother saves son with her kidney
1,200 rabbits die in fire
Austro-Hungarian memorials to be fixed
Jesus statue stolen
Tarantulas in hypermarket
Planet named after Slovak satirist sparks trouble
Dog eater convicted
Spy plane up above metropolis

THE ICY look of this year's winner of the Elite Model Look contest.
photo: TASR

Slovak blonde wins Elite Model Look contest

DENISA Dvončová, 15, a beauty from the western Slovak town of Topoľčany, has made history by becoming the first Slovak ever to win the prestigious Elite Model Look contest in Singapore.
Dvončová, along with 64 other girls from 53 countries, competed for a $150,000 two-year contract with the agency.
Pernilla Lindner, 14, from Sweden, ranked second, followed by Christel Winther Petersen, 16, from Denmark.
One of the judges, Asian model Qiqi, said to the Singaporean daily The Strait Times that "the winner has the most popular look right now - the icy look".
In its 21-year history, the Elite Model Look contest has produced top models, including the world famous Cindy Crawford, who won the pageant in 1983.
Dvončová said she was thrilled with her success.

Shop assistant hits robber with wine bottle

A SHOP ASSISTANT saved her grocery store from a robber by smashing a wine bottle on his neck.
Police spokeswoman Marta Mandáková said to the SITA news agency that the shop assistant, 21, was alone in her store when a man armed with a kitchen knife entered and demanded money from the cash desk.
Instead of fulfilling his request, she grabbed a bottle containing one litre of wine and hit him hard on his back. Mandáková said that the stunned robber only managed to swear at the brave woman and ran out of the shop.

Banská Bystrica
Mother saves son with her kidney

IN A UNIQUE operation, a team of specialists from central Slovakia saved the life of a four-year-old boy by transplanting his mother's kidney to him.
Doctors from the Banská Bystrica Roosevelt hospital carried out the four-hour operation on October 21 on Šimon from the northern Slovak town of Žilina. The boy's surname was not published.
The boy's condition was stabilized shortly after the operation. Šimon had suffered from a malfunction of his only kidney for two years.
The head of the transplant department at Roosevelt hospital, František Hampl, and the head of the urology department, Vladi-mír Baláž, who participated in the operation, said to the Slovak daily SME that the operation was special because it included the transplant of an organ of an adult donor to a child that had suffered from considerable developmental disorders.
"There is a certain disproportion between an organ from an adult person and the small body of the recipient. The kidney had to be placed and stitched in a non-standard way," Hampl said shortly after the operation.
The Roosevelt transplant team has had a long history of successful kidney transplants from living donors.

Banská Bystrica
1,200 rabbits die in fire

ONE THOUSAND two hundred rabbits died in a fire that broke out on a farm in the Banská Bystrica suburb of Podlavice on October 23.
The fire took place late in the evening, and despite firemen's efforts, the animals could not be saved. Total damages were estimated at Sk100,000 (€2,400).

Austro-Hungarian memorials to be fixed

THREE precious memorials that date back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and have been crumbling for years will finally be fixed.
Situated in a forest near the central Slovak village of Jarabica in the Kremnica district, the three memorials, which include monuments of Francois de Lorraine, Joseph II, and Joseph the Palatine of Hungary, are commemorations of the visits of Caesar to this central Slovak mining area.
A civic group called Kalvária is advocating for their preservation.
Kalvária member Milan Rybársky told the Slovak daily SME that the estimated expenditures related to the repair of the Francois de Lorraine memorial alone were at about Sk480,000 (€11,400).
All three memorials are situated in the open air and therefore face the detrimental effects of weather conditions.

Jesus statue stolen

AN UNKNOWN thief stole a statue of Jesus Christ that was standing in front of a church in the eastern Slovak town of Dobšiná.
It is suspected that the thief probably sold the statue to a recycling centre as scrap metal.

Tarantulas in hypermarket

BIG TARANTULA spiders were discovered recently in the storage premises of a Tesco hypermarket in the western Slovak town of Trenčín.
The head of the hypermarket said that this was a unique case and added that the tarantulas were safely caught and given to a specialist.
"The specialists determined that they were female spiders that live especially in southern Slovakia," the director, Steve Marshall, said to the daily SME on October 24.
The spiders are called Russian tarantulas (Lycosa singoriensis), and although the original rumour stated that they were discovered in the shop's fruit department, they were actually found in an industrial storage room.
A thorough inspection was carried out later - including the premises where the hypermarket stores its consumer products.
Tarantulas have multiplied this year, the experts said, because of the extremely hot temperature.

Planet named after Slovak satirist sparks trouble

AN ASTEROID named after the recently deceased Slovak cult comedian Július Satinský has sparked trouble between the astronomer who discovered the space body and his bosses in the Institute of Astronomy at Bratislava's Comenius University (AÚ UK).
"My bosses blamed me because I hadn't consulted the name with them before reporting it to the [reference] Centre for Small Planets in Cambridge, US," astronomer Adrián Galád from an observatory based in the western Slovak town of Modra said to the Slovak daily Pravda.
Galad, together with his former colleague Alexander Pravda, discovered the Satinský asteroid, which moves on an orbit between Mars and Jupiter, back in 1998. Before a planet is officially registered, it has to be observed for several seasons. And so the planet finally received its name this past March.
According to Pravda, who left the observatory for several reasons, including the hassle over the name of the planet, it is common practice for those who discover a planet to pick its name.
But AÚ UK head Vladimír Porubčan said that his institute would like to have astronomers consult the names with their bosses. "We don't want to interfere, but we do want to consult - the dignified representation of Slovakia is in play here," Porubčan said.
He said he had no objections towards the Satinský planet as such but insisted that because there are not presently many planets that were discovered by Slovaks, assigning them good representative names matters a lot to him.
"Also, the institute has a right to know about this in advance because the discoveries took place at its working premises, and with its devices," he said.
Although Galád has discovered many other planets apart from Satinský, he has not reported any names to Cambridge yet, as he is annoyed over the problems with the first one.
However, if those who discover a planet fail to report a name within a certain period of time, the Cambridge centre picks the name itself. Slovak astronomers are therefore advised to act quickly.

Chminianske Jakubovany
Dog eater convicted

POLICE convicted an 18-year-old man who stole and most likely ate about Sk150,000 (€3,600) worth of dogs.
Police did not publish the man's full name and only quoted him as Jakub H. from Chminianske Jakubovany, an eastern Slovak village.
Jakub H. stole several dogs in Košice and later ate them with his friends.
The Košice police spokeswoman said that in March of this year, the man stole several dogs of the Perro de Pressa Canario breed from a gardeners' area that is part of the town's Nad jazerom housing estate.
It is believed, however, that he stole more animals in Košice and that he and his fellow culprits concentrated on well fed dogs.
Perro de Pressa Canarios are considered first class watchdogs. The owner of the stolen dogs, Viliam Kemény, said to the Slovak daily SME that it was not the first time someone had stolen his animals.
"When I came to the garden, there was blood everywhere. They probably beat them with wooden clubs," Kemény said.

SWISS pilot is sorry to leave his plane, which is a gift, in Slovakia.
photo: TASR

Spy plane up above metropolis

A SUPERSONIC Mirage 3 RS plane temporarily hovered above the eastern Slovak city of Košice and then landed safely at the local airport.
But rather than being immediately arrested on charges of espionage, the Swiss pilot, Markus Zürcher, and his jet were cheered by crowds as he stepped out of the carrier on October 22.
Zürcher was sent by his country's army to bring Slovakia the plane, a present from Swiss President Pascal Couchepin to an eastern Slovak air museum.
"It's a great machine," Zürcher said to the Slovak daily SME.
"This year we won a NATO pilots' competition with it. This type of plane has served in our air force for forty years now. I am a bit sorry that it's now finished, but it was the decision of our army leaders," Zürcher said.
Slovakia received the plane for a symbolic SF5 (€2).
But before the plane is put on display in the museum, three Swiss experts will adjust it to the standards of a safe museum exhibit.
"They have to dismantle all missiles that activate the catapult mechanism and fire extinguishers, the radio locator, and infrared sensors. They will delete the software from the dashboard because it's subject to secrecy. Only after that is done can visitors see it in the museum," Zürcher said.

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