News digest: Highest number of new Covid cases detected since beginning of pandemic

Police broke up an organised group trading in illegal tobacco products. The economy minister's daughter was a participant in his recent work trip to Dubai.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Thursday, November 4 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

Former police officers released from custody

Former police corps president Tibor Gašpar and former police officers Robert Krajmer, Peter Hraško, Marian Zetocha and Milan Mihálik will be released from police custody, the Supreme Court decided.

"The Senate concluded that the contested decision of the Specialised Criminal Court was issued in accordance with the law and did not find any legal reasons to extend the period of custody of the accused, which ends on November 5," spokesperson for the court Alexandra Važanová explained, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

In November 2020, the police detained several former senior police officers as part of the Purgatory operation. They are accused of corruption, abuse of power as public officials, and of establishing, masterminding and supporting an organised criminal group.

Opposition wants explanations from the economy minister

Shortly after Economy Minister Richard Sulík faced an ousting attempt in parliament, he was asked to explain his co-ownership of a ranch in Australia and his daughter's participation in the Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Sulík is one of three owners of a ranch in Australia. The other owners are not known to the public, and since he owns it via his company, he did not disclose it in his property declaration, which is obligatory for politicians.

Moreover, the Sme daily reported that Sulík's daughter Alexandra joined him during his recent work trip to Dubai where the Expo 2020 is currently taking place.

Sulík's ministry signed a contract with his 27-year-old daugher to provide consultation services shortly before the trip took place. Sulík insists that she is paying for the trip herself, but the official contract suggests something different.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published an updated version of its map that identifies countries according to epidemic risk. Slovakia is classified as dark red, which is the worst possible classification.
  • The highest daily caseload of new Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in Slovakia was detected on Wednesday. 6,713 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 21,705 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 1,890 and 34 more deaths were reported on Wednesday. The vaccination rate is at 45.70 percent; 2,513,527 people have received the first dose. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.

Photo of the day

One of the symbols of the High Tatras, the Skalnaté Pleso mountain lake under the iconic Lomnický Štít peak, has dried up completely.

Feature story for today

The historical photos of towns have fascinated Majzlan since his teenage years. He liked taking photos of the places where he lived, but when he would share the pictures with his friends, they would show little enthusiasm, knowing close to nothing about the places. Last year, Majzlan started wandering the streets of Bratislava's Old Town and gradually added more places around Slovakia. Since then, his project has gained popularity.

McDonald's instead of an old milk bar. Photographer shows how some places have not changed at all Read more 

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In other news

  • Coalition party Sme Rodina refuses to vote for the national park reform. This comes after opposers of the reform, mainly foresters, protested in front of the parliament building.
  • Labour Minister Milan Krajniak remains in his post. The opposition failed to oust him after 48 MPs voted for his dismissal, 78 against and three abstained. Opposition MPs demanded Krajniak's dismissal following suspicions of misuse of funds intended for retaining jobs at the labour office in Pezinok.
  • Peter Lukáč has won the selection procedure for the position of General Director of the National Health Information Centre (NCZI). He passed all rounds with the highest score, the Health Ministry wrote on its website. Eleven candidates enrolled in the competition within the set deadline; the current NCZI chair was not successful.
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has worsened its estimate for Slovakia's economic growth this year to 4 percent from the previous 4.5 percent. It expects the economy to grow 5 percent next year.
  • 16 years have passed since 21-year-old student Daniel Tupý was murdered in Bratislava by neo-Nazis. The crime remains unpunished.
  • The Criminal Office of the Financial Administration, together with colleagues from Poland and the Czech Republic, broke up an organised group trading in illegal tobacco products. 19 people were detained, including the main organiser. Five million illegal cigarettes, cash, production lines and components for the processing of tobacco products were also seized. The cigarettes were to go mainly to EU countries.

Do not miss on today

Most Slovaks are worried about climate change but sceptical of carbon neutrality Read more  Achilles to assess the vulnerability of 150 public offices in Slovakia Read more  Only a small number of people support more restricted access to abortions Read more 

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