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Slovakia
Slovak astronomer in NASA mission

A SLOVAK astronomer played an important role in the NASA Deep Impact mission, which culminated in the controlled collision between a space probe and the comet 9P/Tempel, the Pravda daily wrote.
Jana Pittichová, 30, from the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, has been involved in the Deep Impact mission from its conception. She watched the final phase of the collision through a large telescope in Hawaii.
Pittichová told the daily that, as a small country, Slovakia is unable to organize such projects on its own. This is why it was so important for her to be involved in the NASA mission. Pittichová worked alongside world-famous scientists, which for her was the chance of a lifetime. The project also provided her with vital experience.
Pittichová 's job was to study, process, and evaluate project photographs for six years. This was crucial to the mission, and she is very proud that as a Slovak woman she was able to share in its success.


Slovakia
Jobs behind wheel riskiest

DRIVING jobs are the most dangerous line of work in Slovakia, the SME daily reported.
According to information provided by the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Ministry, 390 professional drivers either died or suffered serious injuries at the wheel between 2000 and 2003. This figure accounts for about one third of all serious or fatal industrial injuries in the country.
Falls in working environments, for example on building sites, were the second most common reason for such injuries.
Since the fall of Communism, the greatest advances in safety at work have been achieved in the chemical industry.


Rajecké Teplice
Polish driver dies in car crash

A POLISH driver died near Rajecké Teplice in northern Slovakia's Žilina region on August 3 at around 17:00. The Polish driver's Opel Corsa collided head-on with a regular bus, the TASR news agency reported.
A preliminary police investigation has shown that the Polish man collided head on while overtaking another bus, failing to correctly estimate the distance in front of him.
The Opel driver was alone in the car. None of the bus passengers were injured.


Veľké Slemence
New border crossing with Ukraine

LOCAL officials from Slovakia and Ukraine met on August 3 in Vyšné Nemecké in eastern Slovakia's Košice region for talks about the details of a new border crossing for pedestrians and cyclists between the countries.
The crossing will be in operation from September 10.
These discussions were a continuation from August 1, when participants agreed to create the border crossing, which would make it easier for families and friends separated since the end of World War II, to meet each other, the TASR news agency reported.
After the war, the village of Slemence, which had formerly belonged to Czechoslovakia, was split into two by a newly drawn border, becoming Veľké Slemence on the Slovak side and Malé Slemence on the Ukrainian side.
The people of Veľké Slemence petitioned the state authorities for the border crossing in 2001. The petition was successful.
An intergovernmental commission for cross-border cooperation agreed on the mutually beneficial project last summer.


Banská Bystrica
Construction site online

THE CONSTRUCTION of the Europa Shopping Centre (ESC), which is to become Banská Bystrica's new landmark, can be viewed online, the project investors informed the TASR news agency.
The foundation stone of the ESC was laid in May. The investment company Europa SC installed an Internet camera on top of the structure, enabling people to view the surrounding construction site around the clock, at www.europasc.sk.
The three-floor ESC, worth Sk1.6 billion (€41 million), should open for business at the end of next year and employ nearly 600 people.
In an area of 32,000 square metres, it will feature different facilities, from hypermarkets to movie theatres, as well as sports and culture facilities.


Banská Bystrica
Old messages hidden in Barbican walls

HISTORIAN Miroslav Sura guards the secrets of the antique tube.
photo: SME - Peter Buran

RESTORATION workers in Banská Bystrica's barbican tower found a copper tube containing written documents in Latin, and a few coins, the daily SME reported.
The oldest of the artefacts dates from 1761, when a big fire destroyed the city.
Experts hope that after deciphering the four Latin documents they will find out more about the fire.
The head of the local sites' authority, Miroslav Sura, said that they expected to find the tube in the tower. It is likely that they would also put the tube back in the barbican tower, but keep the historical documents.
"We would like to return all of the coins to the tower and we would also add our own note stating that we took all the written documents and where we deposited them. We would also like to insert our own message in the tube saying what the situation in Banská Bystrica was in 2005. Maybe in a 100 years another press conference will be held here about this historical finding, but we will no longer be around," Sura told the SME daily.


Bratislava
Teachers talk about status

AN INTERNATIONAL conference of teachers was held in Slovakia's capital Bratislava, the SITA news agency wrote.
Participants at the 51st congress of the International Social Democratic Union for Education (ISDUE), agreed that the status of teachers is very similar in many developed countries: not very high.
The representatives of 13 countries met in Bratislava to discuss their experiences as teachers. Teachers must fight for their position almost everywhere, said ISDUE general secretary Hans Spiess, in his summing up.
According to Spiess there is no big difference between the position of teachers in Slovakia and Austria, for example, even though Austrians get a higher salary. The differences are purely a matter of economics, not quality of work, said Spiess.
There are high expectations on teachers, so adequate conditions should be guaranteed, said Jozef Škorupa from the association of left-wing teachers (ZLU) in Slovakia. He believes that the position of teachers in society should be guaranteed by law.


Bratislava
Aquapark in the capital

SHOPPERS in Bratislava's Aupark can take a break at the new water attraction.
photo: SME - Pavol Majer

THE AULANDIA aquapark was opened on the second floor of the Aupark shopping centre in Petržalka, Bratislava, on July 30, the SITA news agency wrote.
Petržalka Mayor Vladimír Bajan said it was good that the district finally had such an attraction.
"I think that Petržalka has missed having such a water attraction," said Bajan at the ceremonial opening.
Relaxation complex Aulandia Aqua & Spa Paradise consists of the aquapark and a spa, Spa Paradise. The summer capacity of the complex is 460 while in winter 260 people will be able to use its services at any one time.
The aquapark offers saunas, massage, various spa treatments and beauty salons. A jungle theme dominates the décor, including an exotic "beach".
The investor in the almost 4,700 square metre aquapark, Real Estate Liptov, spent Sk70 million (€1.79 million) on the first phase of the project.
In the next stage the company plans to invest another Sk15 million (€384,000).


Prešov
College should get thumbs up

SLOVAKIA will probably have a sixth private higher education institution. After ministers return from their holidays, the cabinet will decide on the establishment of the College of International Enterprise (ISM) Slovakia in Prešov, SITA news agency wrote.
It is expected that the government will approve the creation of the new college, following the thumbs up from the Education Ministry and its advisory authority, the Accreditation Committee.
If the cabinet agrees, the college in Prešov will be the first private higher education institution outside the Bratislava region and western Slovakia.
The college will offer BA degrees in trade and enterprise. The school is set to open for the academic year 2005/2006 and enrol 200 students, half of whom will be daily students and half distance learners.
The college gained its know-how from its partner organization ISM Dortmund in Germany. ISM Dortmund is an internationally recognized private college.
The school in Prešov will have 16 college teachers, including six professors.
ISM wants to fund the college not only through student fees, but also from loans from financial institutions, as well as through sponsorship and enterprise activity.
It is also counting on a contribution from the Education Ministry.


Dubnica nad Váhom
Roma camp held hundreds

THE NATIONAL Memory Institute (ÚPN), which carries out research into the period 1939-1989 in Slovakia, has published a study on the Roma in Slovakia during World War II, the daily SME reported.
René Lužica, a Roma specialist, wrote the study. The report states that Dubnica nad Váhom, a town in the Trenčín region, was the location of the country's largest concentration camp for Roma people.
The camp was in operation from November 1944 to April 1945, and in total 729 Roma, including 250 children, were detained there.
According to directive 127 issued in June 1940, "gypsies" were defined as people of gypsy parentage who lead a nomadic life and are work-shy.

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