Poland's to launch high-speed railway in 2018 Associated Press 2009-09-27
The Polish government says it plans to launch the country's first high-speed railway in 2018.
Infrastructure Minister Cezary Grabarczyk says construction will begin in 2014 and the first trains will begin running four years later.
He says the first trains will travel at up to 150 miles (250 kilometers) per hour and will link the capital of Warsaw with the central city of Lodz, the western city Poznan and the southwest city Wroclaw.
The state-run Polish State Railways is considering offers for the production of trains from German, Swedish and Polish companies.
EU-member Poland suffers from a shortage of multilane highways, and trains now tend to run more slowly than in Western Europe.
US warns five EU countries of fading visa-waiver hopes
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Poland and Romania have not yet satisfied US conditions -- largely focused around overstay rates and a requirement to track people exiting US airports.
Brussels -- The United States will demand strict conditions before visa-free travel can be extended to five European Union countries waiting for approval, the US homeland security chief said Friday.
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Poland and Romania have not yet satisfied US conditions -- largely focused around overstay rates and a requirement to track people exiting US airports.
"Each of the remaining countries is in a somewhat different situation, but the issue is whether the criteria... are being satisfied," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters after addressing EU lawmakers in Brussels.
"It's very difficult right now for me to predict which, if any of those countries, will be meeting those statutory requirements in the near future," she added.
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden were among the first to enjoy visa-free travel after the system started in 1986.
The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia were last year added to the list, which allows for via-free travel for up to 90 days.
However, Elmar Brok, German MEP and chairman of the EU's parliamentary delegation for US relations, told Napolitano that she should be negotiating centrally with Brussels instead of with each country.
"After the Treaty of Lisbon comes into force, it makes even more sense to talk about questions like visa waiver requirements to the European Union itself -- not to the different independent member countries," he said.
Brok said that approach should also apply to passenger names records (PNR) from flights and broader cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Napolitano said the United States would renew an invitation for a review of data requirements in a bid to "alleviate some of the concerns that have been expressed" by privacy campaigners.
Non-EU European countries also covered by the visa-waiver are: Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland. Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea are also on the list of 35.
Poland wants ban on slot machines amid lobbying scandal By DPA Oct 27, 2009
Warsaw - Poland's ruling Civic Platform party is working on a draft bill that will ban slot machines outside casinos and raise taxes on the gambling industry, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday.
'We propose de-legalizing a considerable part of the gambling industry,' Tusk told reporters in Warsaw. 'In the course of five years, locations with (slot) machines should disappear from Poland by 100 per cent.'
The announcement came weeks after a scandal hit Tusk's party and threatened its image one year before the country's presidential election.
The scandal saw four ministers depart on October 7 after a report alleged that they had unfairly lobbied on behalf of gambling companies to block provisions on a bill that would have increased the companies' taxes.
Tusk said the bill will outlaw slot machines - known as 'one-armed bandits' - anywhere outside of a casino, and will ban online gambling.
The draft bill would also raise taxes on slot machines from the current 180 euros a month to 480 euros a month, Tusk said, during the period of five years before they are banned entirely.
There are some 24,000 slot machines in Poland, local media said, which can commonly be found in shopping malls, fast food restaurants or bus and train stations.
The gambling industry made a profit of some 17 billion zloty (5.9 billion dollars) in 2008, up by some 40 per cent from the previous year, according to a survey on business website
Polish court orders eviction from regained house Associated Press 2009-11-19
A court in northern Poland has ordered the eviction of two Polish families from a house so its former German owner can retake it. The court in Szczytno ordered the eviction Thursday, carrying through on a 2005 court ruling that returned the house to its original owner, Alice Trawny.
Trawny, an ethnic German, abandoned the property in 1977 when she fled communist Poland and reclaimed it after the Iron Curtain fell.
The case has sparked fears in Poland that it could set a precedent for thousands of Germans to regain prewar property now in Poland. A large swath of northwestern Poland belonged to Germany until the end of World War II. After Hitler's defeat, Germans were expelled and Poles settled there.
War on handicapped parking place squatters 22.12.2009 15:50
Drivers who park their cars in places devoted solely to the handicapped can expect more severe punishment.
The Interior Ministry is planning to tighten regulations concerning parking in prohibited areas. Currently drivers who use parking places for the handicapped can get a 500-zloty (119-euro) fine. The ticket is high, but still does not prevent many drivers from parking where they are forbidden to.
According to new regulations, police will have the right to remove a car, which is illegally parked and keep it at a police car park. In order to regain a car, a driver, on top of paying the fine, will have to cover the cost of parking and transport. If an owner does not pay in three months, the car will be seized by the state treasury.
Organizations which fight for the rights of the handicapped have been asking for new regulations in traffic code for five years. (mg)
================================================ Policemen charged for shooting at students 22.12.2009 16:47
Three policemen were sentenced to up to one year and eight months in prison for shooting at students with live ammunition during student festivities.
Roman I., orderly officer from traffic department, and Malgorzata Z. who was also on duty at the time of tragedy, were sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for accidentally giving away live ammunition instead of rubber bullets to prevention officers.
Radoslaw S., an officer who was in charge of police operation, was sentenced to one year in prison. All three policemen were dismissed from their posts and are not allowed to use weapons. Two of them still work at the police. None of the accused admitted the guilt.
In May 2004, during student festivities known as Juwenalia in the central city of Lodz riots broke out. After hooligans threw stones and bottles at policemen, they opened fire at the crowd. However, by mistake, they used live ammunition instead of rubber bullets.
As a result three people got shot. Two of them, 23-year old Monika and 19-year-old Damian, died from their injuries.
A 29-year-old Pole has been praised for foiling the theft of 25,000 pounds from a bank in Exeter, England.
Robert Janowski received 500 pounds reward for his bravery during the bank robbery. Although the crime was committed a year ago, the Pole has been praised only now because police took time identifying the courageous man.
On 23 August 2009, Janowski went to a shopping centre with his parents. Suddenly, he spotted a masked man who was pulling out a cash box from a bank security guard. The young man realized that no one noticed what was going on and decided to act quickly. Janowski grabbed the coat of the robber as he tried to flee and the man dropped the cash box, containing 25,000 pounds.
The robber Mark Maloney and his accomplice Steven McCarroll, both from London, were detained after a police chase with a helicopter. Both are now serving prison sentences.
Janowski admitted being scared but, fortunately for him the robbers did not carry weapons.
The gory sight of human bones protruding from graves have been discovered at a cemetery in Bytom, southern Poland.
Marcin Nowak went to the local cemetery in Bytom to clean and decorate his aunt’s grave before Easter. Suddenly, he noticed human bones sticking out from a freshly dug grave. There were sections of spine, ribs and even the wood from a coffin scattered among the graves.
“I was shocked. It’s a total lack of respect for human remains,” says Nowak.
Nowak told grave diggers but they tried to belittle the issue. “We can’t help it. The ground is wet; bones do not decay and it is difficult to distinguish fragments of bones from stones and other bits and pieces in the ground. Besides, rain washes away skeletons from graves. We keep finding skulls and bones. That’s why dogs are not allowed on the premises,” grave diggers told Gazeta Wyborcza.
The Sanitary Inspectorate in Bytom is surprised by the gruesome news about human remains at the local cemetery. “No one told us about it. Loose bones should be buried within coffins,” says Jolanta Wasowska from the inspectorate.
“I’m also shocked and I will make sure that grave diggers bury the remains properly,” says Priest Dariusz Pietras, who takes care of the cemetery.
Mr. Nowak is still haunted by what he discovered and has revised plans for his own funeral arrangements. “I try not to think about the fact that these could be my relatives’ bones and I doubt I will choose a traditional burial for myself,” says Nowak, thoughtfully. (
One man has been killed and a policeman injured as a shootout between police and street traders in Warsaw took place on Sunday morning. The event happened after police were undertaking routine checks of traders in Warsaw’s Praga district. Initial reports say that the 36-year old Nigerian was aggressive and attacked the officers on duty, trying to take one of their guns. It was then that the lethal shots were fired. Police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski told journalists that “they were probably dealing illegal substances.” Investigators and a prosecutor are at the scene, with statements being gathered from witnesses. (jb)
Source: tvn24 Thenews.pl |
CC 23/05/2010 13:08:48 what is written here and what is said by the police is false.it is not true.Poland is not a place for foreigners especially the blacks. Samo 23/05/2010 13:18:44 who was this man shot dead and what country was he from? anybody knows? fate 23/05/2010 14:00:59 Polish Police are worst liers on earth!!They can go to any inhumane length to cover the truth!I cry when i read these article and how easily they put the blame on this black guy as being aggressive.I for one have seen a situation where the police were making an arrest to a balck man in such an aggressive and brutal manner,and as i instinctively took out my cell phone to record the event i was arrested too!!God can only pay them back in such a way that there great grand children will suffer the same fate they met out to us blacks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CC 23/05/2010 14:02:42 He is originally from Nigeria but has polish citizen because he has lived for sometime in Poland,has a wife and kids.Why are polish journalist covering things??why cant they say the truth??there was no shoot-out but the police just shot one innocent guy.why should a police man shoot at unarmed civilian?Why are polish people too jealous??thats why Poland is not moving forward fate 23/05/2010 14:18:29 They hide the truth because TRUTH is a crime,but thank God it is not a sin!!You are right CC when you say they can not move forward because theirs hearts are so laden with lies that they can not even stand as one voice to steer their destiny alone.History can say much to the polish people of this world!! Janusz Krupa 23/05/2010 14:52:09 CC
Crap what you wrote, I think you have to learn the Polish language, here is the official link
Maybe you like that kind of situation in Poland. stevew 23/05/2010 15:47:57 First post CC news for you , lots of foreigners here with polish wives and we pay a fortune in tax and zus and employ lots of nice hospitable intelligent tolerant Polish people ,all of whom are ashamed of "people" like you. CC 23/05/2010 16:07:48 Am not racist and will never be.But the truth is that most polish people are too jealous and envious when they see others do better than them.i studied in Poland,i know what am saying.I will never live in Poland.Its not place for liberal minds.Even the politicians keep telling lies after lies.there are lots of polish people here in UK, and other places.if i had known what i know now about poland,i will not think of coming to Poland. CC 23/05/2010 16:10:31 @stevew,you say that you pay a fortune in tax and zus,how much do you even earn in a month?1000pln,4000pln.Poles are poor,and poland is poorland.Never talk of the tax u pay,ok??do u know how many poles that get welfare package is western european countries??u better travel out and see poland from another perspective Er 23/05/2010 16:57:52 @ Janusz Krupa or whatever you called yourself.You are such a disgrace and biased type of human.a TOTAL RACIST.did what you read said that the victim had gun and shot at the officer,he is a civilian for Christ sake.you said Police was right simple cos you think that the victim doesn't look like you,If it had been Pole, you would be crucifying the police?.You think that when u deceive humans that you've deceived God! I have read a comment from Poles about how they dislike the way British maltreat them, yet they do even worse things to people that live in their country.Haters
It's allways the poor blacks. We have the smae problem here in the USA. They don't want to be treated the same, they want special treatment, and our president gives they this. I am not againts all blacks, I know many fine blacks, and many are my friends. With them, it is most of the time, color, and many of the fine blacks will tell you the same thing.
They don't want to be treated the same, they want special treatment, and our president gives they this. Mike
It is natural. First they were slaves for nearly 300 years, next they lived in isolation and apartheid for the next 100 years. Wouldn`t you think that some special treatment is proper if you were in their shoes?
None of these people have any ties to the past, it is long gone, and must live in today's world. I believe no special treatment for anyone, treat all alike. They could have stayed at home and fight for there correct treatment, don't bring your hard feelings to us, keep them home.
Five injured in explosion at Science Festival 24.09.2010 06:07
Five people have been injured, one severely, after a pyrotechnic experiment went disastrously wrong at the Science Festival in the western city of Legnica. The explosion happened at the Wroclaw University of Technology branch in Legnica on Thursday morning. “Two organizers of the festival and three secondary school students were injured during an experiment with sulfur,” says Marlena Mokrzanowska from a hospital in Legnica. One scientist was hospitalized after he lost a finger and his skin got burnt,” says Slawomir Masojc from Legnica police.
We had to do shopping today. Lines were a bit longer but still bearable, probably the same as at the weekend. What struck me was a complete lack of posters or banners announcing the protest. That was wrong - I heard some Americans in a neighbouring line who knew nothing and complained about the Polish service.
Supermarket cashiers on work to rule protest 07.10.2010 08:01 Expect long queues at some supermarket checkouts today in Poland as cashiers, shelf filers and other workers go on a work to rule in many large retail stores across Poland, Thursday.Trade unions are demanding higher wages and a free day on Sunday.
The Solidarity trade union’s Alfred Bujara says workers are being exploited and want to inform the public about their plight.
He adds that many “supermarket employees are having fixed, long term contracts replaced by shorter, less secure agreements.”
Supermarket workers at Carrefour, Bomi, Praktiker, Makro or Real will not be striking but working to rule, keeping meticulously to job instructions - which will have the practical effect of slowing down the amount of customers being processed at checkout.
Five families who live in the vicinity of a military airbase in Krzesiny, western Poland, are to receive compensation after claiming damages caused by the noise emitted from F-16 fighter jets.
Each family will be granted 100,000 zloty (25,000 euro) damages which are supposed to equal the expense of constructing sound-proof walls and the decline in the value of their properties.
More trials are underway, including one which may bring up to one million zloty (250,000 euro) compensation to plaintiffs whose house is located next to the runway. A building expert recommended the demolition of the house as protecting the building against noise would be too expensive.
For a long time the Polish Army, owner of the airbase, has tried to avoid paying out compensation. The army’s lawyers claimed that the level of noise in a city centre is also very high but it does not affect the prices of properties. The lawyers also argued that residents of the area situated next to the airbase are exaggerating and the F-16s are not as noisy as they say.
“It takes a long time until a final ruling is issued on such cases because they usually go through courts of all instances, including the Supreme Court,” says Katarzyna Szafranska, a lawyer who represented the families who recently won their compensation case.
Prosecutors to ‘strike’ over cuts 25.10.2010 09:34 Poland’s prosecutors have announced that they will refuse to question anyone for three days in November in protest against what say will be a dangerous level of under funding next year brought on by government cuts.
Prosecutors will refuse to question suspects and witnesses between 16 to 19 November after cuts have left the prosecution service short of 20 million zloty (5 million euros) this year, with more expenditure cuts planned for 2011.
“During those days we will not be hearing suspects or witnesses,” Jacek Skała, vice president of the prosecutor’s trade union, told TVN 24 news station.
The cuts to prosecution service will amount to 80 million zloty in 2011 with a 20 million zloty hole in the budget for this year already threatening efficiency of the service, say legal workers.
Palaeolithic burial ground found near Krakow 16.12.2010 12:57
The oldest burial in Poland has been discovered by archaeologists in a cave near Kraków.
The archaeologists found the remains of a child from the Palaeolithic era, buried with a large collection of ornaments.
The team led by Jarosław Wilczyński and Piotr Wojtal from the Polish Academy of Sciences with Anita Szczepanek from Jagiellonian University found, among others, six human milk teeth and a necklace made of 112 animal teeth.
The child, which had been about eighteen months old, was laid to rest in the cave some 27.500 years ago, in the age of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers.
Recently, archaeological findings in another cave brought up the oldest human bone fragments in Poland, dated to the Middle Palaeolithic era, however researchers say that these did not have the features of an intentional burial.
Archaeologists were also surprised to find that some of the animal teeth of the necklace found in the grave were from elk, which is thought to have disappeared from that area at the time.
Judging by this, they believe that the child’s people had travelled to the area of Kraków from the south. Researchers are still trying to establish the causes of death of the Stone Age toddler and working to confirm the dating of the burial. Stone Age people generally used caves as shelter and not burial sites.
Staff hold customers hostage in theft row 17.01.2011 18:35
A branch of the low-price department store Pepco in Poland has been compelled to make an apology after video footage revealed that staff had locked customers in against their will.
A prosaic bout of pre-holiday shopping came to an abrupt halt at an outlet of Pepco in Szczecin, northwest Poland, when the branch manager decided that a thief was in operation in the building.
Around forty people were apprehended in the store, with all exits locked.
Video footage revealed anxious mothers pleading that their toddlers be allowed to answer a call of nature, whilst others complain that they are late for meetings. In spite of complaints by shoppers, no exceptions were made.
Half an hour elapsed before security arrived on the scene. No charges have been brought for theft, and it appears that the alarm was spurious.
Video evidence recorded by mobile phone has now prompted the firm to make an apology. Operational Director of Pepco Poland Marcin Stanko has admitted that the measures taken were inconsistent with procedures for apprehending shop-lifters.
“In the course of our ten-year-development of the firm (counting 250 shops in Poland) no similar incident has ever happened,” Stanko told the gs24.pl web site.
Unlawful imprisonment is technically punishable by a minimum 3 month sentence in Poland. Pepco is now offering the maltreated shoppers a belated Christmas present involving vouchers for the store to the value of 250 zl (65 Euro).
Ukrainian standards are still far behind European ones.
Ukrainian police violated Pole‘s human rights, rules international court 01.04.2011 09:58 The Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ordered Ukrainian authorities to pay compensation to a Polish man who was beaten and had cigarettes stubbed out on his arms by police whilst under arrest.
Piotr N. (name withheld under Polish law) was arrested in Lviv in January 2005 in connection with a car theft.
According to the Pole, he was denounced during the interrogation as 'an international thief' and subjected to prolonged abuse. The claimant was beaten and had cigarettes and matches stubbed out on his arms.
After four days, Piotr N. was deported to Poland. However, by law he had permission to reside in Ukraine for a further three months.
Doctors confirmed that the claimant had burns, a broken tooth, and other injuries.
Piotr N. initially filed a complaint via a prosecutors office Poland with the Ukrainian authorities. However, no investigation was forthcoming on the Ukrainian side.
The court in Strasbourg has now ruled that the Ukrainian police violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The Ukrainians must pay 16,000 euro in compensation.
Authorities in Kiev have three months to appeal the verdict.
Twenty-one employees of an automobile manufacturers in Leszno, central Poland, unknowingly took ecstasy after the substance was mixed with sugar in the staff canteen.
Some of the employees felt sick after the visit to the canteen and were taken to hospital where, after blood tests, doctors discovered that they had been poisoned with MDMA, colloquially known as ecstasy.
Police dogs sniffed out the drug in sugar bowls in the company’s canteen. Police officers are investigating who added the popular drug with clubbers to the sugar.
All employees at the factory have already been interviewed.
It is being suggested that the person who “enriched” the sugar with ecstasy either played a prank or wanted to get at the company’s bosses who are planning mass redundancies.
Japanese earthquake victims in Poland 26.07.2011 08:40 A group of 30 young people from areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March are spending the summer at the Dojo Japanese Martial Arts’ Training Centre in Stara Wies near Przedbo¿a, Lodz province.
The visit is part of Poland's aid programme for victims of the disaster, which includes financial assitance and cultural exchange programmes.
Polish prosecutor 'shoots self after news conference'
The prosecutor had asked reporters to leave so that he could take "a break"
A Polish military prosecutor has shot himself in the head after cutting short a news conference in his office, officials and media reports say.
Col Mikolaj Przybyl was defending a military investigation into media leaks related to the air crash that killed the Polish president in 2010.
He asked reporters to leave so that he could take "a break".
Upon hearing a loud thud, the reporters returned to find him on the floor with a pool of blood around his head.
Mr Przybyl, who was in his office in Poznan, western Poland, is now in hospital in stable condition. His life is not in danger, according to hospital officials.
One of the reporters present told Polish television: "We heard a loud thud and we went back into the room thinking one of the cameras had fallen over. Then we saw the prosecutor motionless on the ground in a pool of blood, his military gun beside him."
In television pictures of the news conference, Col Przybyl is seen reading out a statement to reporters: "During my entire service as a civilian and later military prosecutor, I have never brought shame to the Republic of Poland and I will protect the honour of an officer of the Polish armed forces and prosecution. Thank you, please give me a five-minute break, I need to rest." Poland map
He then walks out of shot and the sound of a gun being cocked can be heard followed by a loud bang.
At the news conference, Mr Przybyl had denied prosecutors in Poznan, western Poland, had eavesdropped on journalists who were investigating the crash, AFP news agency