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April 29, 2012 | By Alice Short, Los Angeles Times
If your destination is Bratislava, be prepared for a few questions: Is that in Eastern Europe? (No, it's in Central Europe.) Capital of Slovenia, right? (Uh, no.) Where is that? (The last question courtesy of a Customs employee at LAX.) Until recently, my schooling on all things Bratislavan occurred during a 20-minute stop on a train traveling from Prague, Czech Republic, to Budapest, Hungary, almost a decade ago. Several travelers boarded; a few disembarked. Some of them flashed passports, suggesting that we had stopped in a different country, in a major European city about which I knew … nothing.
January 6, 2012 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
As a certain British super-sleuth might observe, there was nothing elementary about the path that Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer took to bring Gypsy folk music into his soundtrack for "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. " Whether the score earns him an Oscar nomination or not, as the first "Sherlock Holmes" movie did two years ago, Zimmer hopes it will draw attention to the plight of one of the world's most maltreated and marginalized ethnic groups - the Roma people of Eastern Europe, more commonly (and pejoratively)
October 13, 2011 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
Slovakia's parliament approved an expansion of the European Union bailout fund, reversing its course and thereby removing the final barrier to using the money to deal with the Eurozone's debt crisis.  Slovakia's parliament approved an expansion of the European Union bailout fund Thursday, reversing its course and thereby removing the final barrier to using the money to deal with the Eurozone's debt crisis. The plan, which needed the support of all 17 Eurozone nations, had been approved by the other 16 when the Slovak parliament said no Tuesday, causing the collapse of the government led by Prime Minister Iveta Radicova and forcing early elections.
October 11, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
Lawmakers in Slovakia on Tuesday rejected a proposal to beef up Europe's bailout fund for debt-stressed nations, but supporters are hopeful that the measure will pass in a second vote expected to take place within days. The ruling coalition of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova collapsed after failing to gather enough votes from the Slovak parliament in favor of the measure, an outcome she had warned would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence in her government. The plan for a strengthened bailout fund, which is widely seen as imperative for Europe to tame its growing debt crisis, was torpedoed in parliament by a junior party within Radicova's coalition.
October 10, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
Following approval by the tiny island of Malta, a crucial plan to beef up Europe's bailout fund for debt-strapped nations now lies in the hands of lawmakers in Slovakia, where the outcome remains up in the air. The Maltese parliament voted unanimously Monday in favor of the plan, which would increase the rescue fund's lending capacity to about $600 billion and enable it to buy government bonds and extend credit lines to distressed banks. European leaders hope the extra firepower will help contain the debt crisis that has rocked both the regional and global economy.
October 7, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
For a man accused of holding an entire continent hostage, Richard Sulik cuts a modest figure. With his shiny pate and geeky glasses, he looks more like a mild-mannered economist than a rough-and-tumble politician. In fact, he's both. But it's as leader of the Freedom and Solidarity party in oft-overlooked Slovakia that Sulik finds himself in the unfamiliar glare of the international spotlight. He has the power, some say, to save Europe's economy or push it over the precipice, with serious consequences for the rest of the world.
October 8, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones
The so-far-uneventful march toward soccer's 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine continued Friday without a significant misstep by any of the leading contenders. That said, the day's qualifying play did involve a couple of surprise results and one decidedly strange bit of behavior. The latter occurred in Podgorica, Montenegro, where home-team striker Mirko Vucinic celebrated scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 upset of Switzerland by removing his shorts and putting them on his head.
June 28, 2010
ROUND OF 16: NETHERLANDS VS. SLOVAKIA Where: Durban. Time: 7 a.m. PDT. TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Univision. Radio: Sirius/XM, KLYY-FM 97.5 and KDLD-FM 103.1. The Argentines and the Germans have thrown down the gauntlet. Now the question is whether the Dutch can pick it up and also reach the quarterfinals. It will take a victory over upstart Slovakia, which charged into the knockout round, ousting world champion Italy along the way, behind three goals by forward Robert Vitteck.
June 24, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones
Marcello Lippi had been warned this might happen. He had been told time and again by Italian fans and the Italian media that his team was too old, that it needed some younger, hungrier players. Take Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli or Davide Santon, they said. Take Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano, they pleaded. Take anyone but that old gang of yours, they insisted. But Lippi ignored all the warnings and all the advice, and on Thursday evening in Johannesburg, he paid the price. When referee Howard Webb blew the final whistle at Ellis Park, the scoreboard showed one of the World Cup's all-time remarkable results: Slovakia 3, Italy 2. A team playing in its first World Cup, a team made up largely of players who were unknown internationally, had defeated the defending world champions and, in doing so, had knocked them out of the World Cup. The final line on Italy: No wins, one loss, two ties.
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