Church Facing Test Case

September 22, 2014
All Saints in Warsaw

All Saints in Warsaw

The Roman Catholic Church in Poland is facing a test case which – if lost – could lead to its financial ruin. The case has been brought by Marcin, who at the age of 12 fell victim to sexual abuse at the hands of a priest. In 2012, the priest was convicted of the crime, and now Marcin is suing the Koszalin-Kołobrzeg diocese for damages. The court will have to ascertain whether the then diocese’s officials had been made aware of the priest’s crimes even before the original trial and chose to ignore the signals, as it would appear from the testimony of a local journalist. On Friday, the court listened to the testimonies of Archbishop Marian Gołębiewski and Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, both of whom admitted only to having heard rumours about the homosexual propensities of the priest but claim they had had no prior knowledge of his paedophilia. This is the first time such high-ranking Church officials have testified before court in Poland. The Church is pulling out all the stops, hiring top-notch defence lawyers and trying to convince the public that the trial is an affront to the Church, in order to minimise the risk of sharing the fate of the American Church, which, upon taking responsibility for its priests’ crimes, has been flooded with civil lawsuits, losing a fortune on settlements.
tvn24.pl

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Gdańsk Burns

September 21, 2014
Gdańsk Burns

Cars Burn

Several weeks ago, Gdańsk was in shock after a spate of arson attacks. A 33 year-old Gdańsk resident, suspected of setting fire to 19 cars, has been caught. TVN24 informed that the man pleaded guilty during a police interrogation. On one night in Gdańsk’s Suchanino district, over a dozen cars were set alight. It seems the vehicles were chosen at random, in a radius of approximately 5 km. According to preliminary police reports, the cars were set alight between 1:00 to 3:30 in the morning. The area has already been secured by police together with CCTV recordings from nearby buildings.
wp.pl

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International Dachshund Parade in Kraków

September 20, 2014
Dachshunds in Kraków

Dachshunds in Kraków

The annual Dachshund Parade took place in Kraków for the 20th time. It was established back in 1973, when Mieczysław Czuma, editor in chief of Przekrój, the weekly cultural magazine, organised a dachshund parade in celebration of the 28th anniversary of the magazine. At the time, the event was regarded as a parody of the May Day parade by the communist authorities and was not repeated until 1994. According to Mieczysław Czuma, Leszek Mazan and Michał Kozioł, the authors of “To jest Kraków, Mości Książę” [This is Kraków, Your Highness the Prince], a popular history of Kraków, the presence of dachshunds in the city goes back 500 years, when the first dog of this breed arrived at the court of King Sigismund I the Old. The parade marched through the streets of Kraków’s Old Town and ended at the Main Square, where the king and queen of dachshunds were chosen. The title of Dachshund Queen went to Neferteeny, who came to Poland all the way from Tennessee, USA. A Polish dog, Amalfini, was crowned this year’s King. During the event, veterinarians, dog trainers, and behaviourists offered free advice to dog owners, who could also take advantage of free grooming services or have their dog microchipped. Moreover, representatives of a dog welfare foundation and the police were on hand to talk about dog adoption and steps to be taken, if one witnesses animal cruelty. The 20th Dachshund Parade was organised under the auspices of the Mayer of Kraków by Radio Kraków and the local authorities.
gazeta.pl 

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Szczecin Opens New Philharmonic

September 18, 2014
Szczecin Shines

Szczecin Shines

Szczecin can boast a new cultural landmark on its map. The new philharmonic orchestra building, designed by Spanish architects Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga, was recently opened. During the inaugural concert, the orchestra played “Fanfare”, a piece by Krzysztof Penderecki, specially composed for the occasion; “In principio” by Marek Jasiński; a native of Szczecin; “Returning waves” by Mieczysław Karłowicz, a 19th century Polish composer, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski and the architects of the building were in attendance at the opening concert. President Komorowski arrived in Szczecin straight from the NATO Summit in Wales. He said that the new philharmonic orchestra is a symbol of Polish freedom and independence. “We know how to use favourable conditions, such as peace, freedom and our membership in the EU, to create great and beautiful things which will serve the lofty goals of the local community,” the President added. The modern white building of the new philharmonic orchestra was inspired by medieval architecture. It replaces the old concert house, which was the musical centre of pre-war Szczecin. The new philharmonic orchestra has two concert halls, which can seat 1,200 people in total. The construction of the building took a little over three years and cost PLN 120m, of which PLN 40m has been provided by the EU.
Rzeczpospolita.pl and mmszczecin.pl

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New Rooftop Garden in Warsaw

September 6, 2014
Copernicus Centre Garden

Copernicus Centre Garden

A new rooftop garden has been opened to the public atop the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. Visitors to the garden will be able to see unique plants and enjoy spectacular views of the Vistula River, the Warsaw Old Town skyline, and of the National Stadium. Despite the close vicinity of the river, the climate conditions on the roof are not conducive to the growth of plants usually seen in riverside locations. Therefore, in this particular garden “you will see plants characteristic for deserts, dunes and other similar habitats, in which plants find it difficult to grow,” explains botanist Dr Maciej Zych. “These plants can withstand a very high intensity of light, very high temperatures, and importantly, a wide range of temperatures,” added Zych. The rooftop garden is located within the Central Vistula Valley, a Natura 2000 area designated for bird protection. This man-made habitat for birds is not protected from the wind and gets a lot of direct sunlight. Therefore, most of the plants in the garden are genetically predisposed to harsh growing conditions, for example carnations, sedums and dwarf mountain pines. The garden is open daily, except Mondays, from May to October. Entry is free of charge. The Copernicus Science Centre was opened in 2010 and has about 1m visitors each year.
zyciewarszawy.pl

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Hero Pilots Żwirko and Wigura

September 4, 2014
Żwirko and Wigura

Żwirko and Wigura

On 28 August 1932 two Polish airmen Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura won the International Tourist Plane Competition – Challenge 1932. Wigura and Żwirko met for the first time in 1929 in the Academic Aero Club in Warsaw. Franciszek Żwirko was already a professional pilot who had had the opportunity to fly all the then available planes. He also had had some international success. Wigura, who was six years younger than Żwirko, studied at the Warsaw University of Technology where he met Stanisław Rogalski and Jerzy Drzewiecki with whom he built their first sports plane, the RWD-1 (from the initials of their surnames). Wigura only constructed planes and did not fly until he met Żwirko. Between 9 August and 6 September 1929, Żwirko and Wigura flew across Europe in the RWD-2 made by Wigura, Rogalski and Drzewiecki. Since that event both pilots represented Poland during various competitions, winning numerous titles. Their first opportunity for international success came in 1930 during the International Tourist Plane Competition in which the duo took part, flying the RWD-4 but they had to withdraw due to engine failure. In 1932 Żwirko and Wigura qualified for the International Tourist Plane Competition (Challenge 1932) in Berlin which took place between 12 and 28 August. They participated in the competition flying the RWD-6. The Polish pilots won the Challenge 1932 beating 40 other crews and bringing success to Polish aviation. To commemorate the victory of Żwirko and Wigura Poland celebrates Aviation Day on 28 August every year. After the victory, Żwirko and Wigura became extremely popular but their fame was short-lived. The duo happily accepted invitations to various events and a trip to one of them ended tragically for the pilots. On 11 September 1932 during a flight to Prague, their RWD-6 crashed in a forest in Cierlicko Górne near Cieszyn. Wigura was 31 and Żwirko 37 years old. They are buried together at Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw.
wprost.pl

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Return of Classic Polish Car

September 4, 2014
Icon Returns

Icon Returns

On 29 August, 2014, a redesigned Polish iconic car, the Warszawa 223, was unveiled at the Sky Tower Shopping Centre in Wrocław. The New Warsaw model combines advanced 21st century automotive technology with a retro design aesthetic. The re-designed Polish classic car will be on display at the Sky Tower Centre until 17 September. The 1:1 scale model is made of fibreglass and includes original details, such as 22-inch wheels, LED headlights, a stainless steel grill and exhaust pipe tips. The fully functional car will have a BMW M5 engine. The body of the car will be hand-made, using materials such as carbon fibre and Kevlar, a para-aramid synthetic fibre. Some elements of the body will be produced using innovative 3D printing technology. The Warszawa 223 will be equipped with a V10, 600 HP engine and will weigh less than two tonnes. The car is currently 70% complete and will be road-ready within the next six months. During upcoming road tests the car will be disguised, in order to keep the final design a secret. The designers of the iconic car, Michał Koziołek, Michał Puchalski, Adam Mally, Łukasz Myszyński, Dawid Ozga, Jacek Śniadecki, Jacek Bodziony and Zbigniew Żelazny are automotive enthusiasts. They undertook this project to honour the history of the Polish automotive industry and to showcase Polish automotive design to car manufacturers around the world. The main sponsor of the New Warsaw project is Getin Bank.
Autokrata.pl and rmf24.pl

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