Friday, 13 January 2023

Lika Zodiac: Check if You're a Potato, Trout, or Maybe a Nakurnjak

January 13, 2023 - The Lika Club portal gifted us with the magnificent Lika zodiac. If you thought that you could find everything about Lika online, the portal consulted an independent astrological expert on something that you certainly could not; they state in the article that became a hit on social networks.

The zodiac has 12 signs: falcon, plum, bear, potato, coklja (traditional wool sock), trout, fairy, Lika cap, Buša cattle, bura wind, wolf, and nakurnjak (traditional Lika penis warmer). Taking into account the uniqueness of the Lika zodiac signs, the astrological expert looked at the stars and put together special descriptions of each sign. See below and share your personal description with your friends; they say in the text that caused great interest among readers and made Croatia laugh. We don't know if the other regions also have their zodiac, but the idea is genius, writes portal Turističke Priče.

Please note that the Lika zodiac is purely for fun and does not reflect the actual state of the starry sky, the authors have disclaimed. Apart from your characteristics, the zodiac states where you should have been born, and where your ideal partner comes from.

We are also sharing the full version so you can explore your personal Lika zodiac. Turističke Priče wanted to know which Lika zodiac sign was assigned to the most famous person from Lika, Nikola Tesla. Apparently, Tesla was a potato, which is important because this sign is also considered the best sign of the Lika zodiac. According to the zodiac, he should have been born in Brinje, which certainly would not have pleased anyone in his native Smiljan, where the Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre is located.

tesla_smiljan.jpg

Tesla Memorial Centre in Smiljan

And now, discover your own sign and see if it matches your personality.

Falcon (March 21 - April 20)

You are a brave falcon, a true Ličan, and a person who does not know the word NO. Most of all, you like heights, climbing the mountain peaks of Velebit, and looking for adventure, which usually ends up being away from home for several days. You are loyal and affectionate, but you cannot resist the call of the wild and good company. So take it easy with Lika brandy - though it helps your health, it must be tempered.

Where you should have been born - in Baške Oštarije

Ideal partner - from Brinje near Sokolac

Plum (April 21 – May 21)

You are very sweet, but if someone tries manipulating you, you can be a potent opium. Most of the time, you are calm and withdrawn, but the whole village is stunned for months when you release your fruits. You never know when it will happen, which is why others find you mysterious. Your edgier side isn't for everyone, so be careful not to land someone in the emergency room. The season in which you are most popular is autumn, when you glow and fire up pots all over Lika, Gacka, and Krbava. Your eye often ends up looking like a plum due to the excess of comments about the opposite sex under a dose of Lika šljivovica.

Where you should have been born - in Ličko Lešće

Ideal partner - from Udbina

Bear (May 22 – June 21)

You don't really listen to anyone and do everything your way. Because of this, you get on the nerves of those around you, but they tolerate you because you are strong and good for physically demanding jobs. You are lucky that the opposite sex loves you, so somehow you always find a person who will tolerate trips to the prelo or the nearest bar. In winter, your hibernation begins, so people take a break from you. Your best friend is usually someone with a beech moon sign because you get along best with someone who says nothing and thinks nothing.

Where you should have been born - on Kapela

Ideal partner - from Stajnica

Potato (June 22 - July 23)

Nothing is right without you! You are the best sign of the Lika zodiac. There is no one who doesn't like you, and you always do your best to satisfy other people's wishes. During the winter, you are always ready for good company along the banks of the Lika river, and in the summer, you wander the coast looking for the company of the opposite sex. The only problem is that you are quite promiscuous, so you often end up in numerous combinations, but that doesn't worry you in the least. You only live once, right?

Where you should have been born - in Brinje

Ideal partner - from Lovinac

Coklja (wool sock) (July 24 – August 22)

You are a real softy, and everyone steps all over you. To protect yourself from this, you often quarrel with your relatives and friends, but this is short-lived because they find ways to get closer to you again. A little more courage wouldn't hurt you, but you sure are a warm person. Maybe one day you'll grow into something, which the family has been hoping for years...

Where you should have been born: in Kuterevo

Ideal partner - from Otočac

Trout (August 23 – September 22)

Swimming along underwater would be your ideal description. You always manage even though you belong to the quieter signs. Anyone who doesn't know you would pay dearly for you, and you're not as smart as you present yourself. So be smart because acting smart could cost you dearly. Try not to get caught by some more dangerous person, or you'll end up crying in the dirt.

Where you should have been born: in Gacka valley

Ideal partner - from the Lika river area

Fairy (September 23 – October 24)

You are so charming and elegant that many people mistake you for a resident of Vienna. Although you're not, you're just a good actor. When no one is looking, you choke on bacon and rakija, although you wouldn't admit it even if you were tortured. When you get angry, you become a real peasant and swear like a madman. When you drink, you end up on the tables. A Lika foot in a Viennese shoe, but skillfully hidden.

Where you should have been born - outside Lika, and you'll never get over the fact you weren't

Ideal partner - from Križpolje

Lika Cap (October 25 – November 22)

You are great and a source of pride for everyone who knows you. The only pity is that you often make a fool of yourself in a rush of adrenaline. It wouldn't be wrong to spend a little more time at home; not every bar has to know you. Your Lika cap reveals more than it covers; you like to scatter and throw things, and you are no stranger to "hand to hand"... or "from one to the other." Also, most Lika politicians are of this Lika zodiac sign, so if you haven't yet, join a political party.

Where you should have been born – in Plitvice

Ideal partner - from Sinac

Buša Cattle (November 22 - December 21)

The amount of lazy you are is just insane. Do you ever do anything? You run headlong into the fields of Lika, and as soon as the responsibilities around the house start, you have already received some important news and put the wind on your heels. Only when there is a party you are the first to arrive. You love to consume grass in every sense. You are not an alcoholic; you are a big snitch and very often a collaborator of the Lika police. Your physical appearance is of great importance, and you think Marijan Matijević is the greatest legend of world sports. Tank tops, hair gel, and a revved-up car - you love it when they can hear you moaning from the field.

Where you should have been born – in Perušić

Ideal partner - from Gračac

Bura Wind (December 22 - January 20)

You are the sharpest sign and so honest that people often fear you. It'd be great if you could shorten your tongue a bit because when people treat you the same way, you immediately declare a state of war. You claim to be urban and different, but when no one is looking, you crank up the folk songs and shed a tear. Buras are best when they're relaxed. Otherwise they can be fatal and are not pleasant for anyone. Advice to all buras - be careful when you hit (and what you hit)!

Where you should have been born – in Karlobag

Ideal partner - from Senj

Wolf (January 21 - February 19)

Ugh, how moody you are; who would get on with you? It's best for you when you're alone and don't have much to do with other people. And sometimes it's easier for them without your personality. Calm down so you don't end up alone in the woods, which might even suit you. Wolves always love the prey of others but often lose their heads. If you'd like to keep your head, don't touch other people's sheep.

Where you should have been born - on Velebit

Ideal partner - from Donji Lapac

Nakurnjak (Penis warmer) (February 20 - March 20)

You are a true protector and a great friend. You don't turn anyone away and always help. You are the favourite member of your group, and everyone wants you around. Stay as you are. Just don't get pulled over unnecessarily because if being a nakurnjak was easy - everyone would be a nakurnjak!

Where you should have been born - in Smiljan

Ideal partner - from Korenica

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Friday, 13 January 2023

What's Up With Grown Men Kneeling in Zagreb Main Square?

January 13, 2023 - If you live in Zagreb or were lucky enough to visit on the first Saturday of the month in the last four months, you might have witnessed the unforgettable sight of a bunch of fully grown men kneeling in the Ban Josip Jelacic square, praying in unison.

You might have even felt the small dick energy in the air. If you're looking for an explanation, we have finally given in and decided to give them the attention they've so eagerly asked for. Long story short, they are extreme Catholics who have decided their time is best used praying for all the things that matter and make sense, like no sex before marriage, banning abortion, or women covering themselves. 

As Index /Provjereno report, every first Saturday of the month, men gather on Ban Jelacic Square in Zagreb and pray on their knees. Provjereno journalist Danka Derifaj spoke with the priest leading the prayer.

"Many women are not aware when they dress provocatively, which causes great inconvenience and other things for the male population. Women should make sure they do not cause men to sin with their behaviour and clothing," said Father Bozidar Nagy from the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus.

"Women's Immoral Clothing"

When the journalist asked if men were not responsible for their own sins, he answered: "Listen, there are also those who provoke, either consciously or unconsciously, that is specifically women's immoral clothing."

The initiative started on the website Muzevni Budite (Be a Man), a portal intended for Catholic men, as stated in their intro. One of said men is John Vice Batarelo, president of the Vigilare Foundation.

"It is a prayer movement that started in Poland and is spreading worldwide. It reached us four months ago, here in Zagreb, but also other cities in Croatia," said Father Božidar Nagy.

"God's commandments are never out of date," Nagy added, after which Derifaj asked him about the equality of women and men: "These are the foundations of human rights. Take the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and you will see that it is based on God's commandments."

"When a woman is covered, it's fine."

The journalist then asked how the movement is about equality if women are not equal to men.

"What, do you think this is against the female part of the population? Honestly, when you see it in Muslim countries... Yes, it's excessive, but still... When a woman is dressed decently, it isn't provocative; when she's covered, it's fine. Listen, our blessed Ivan Merz said that women covering themselves in Islam was a good thing after all," said Father Bozidar Nagy.

As Nagy pointed out, the prayer movement comes from Poland, where the Ordo Iuris Foundation is from, whose branch in Croatia was founded four years ago by John Vice Batarelo and his Vigilare Foundation. Both are located at the same address.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Friday, 13 January 2023

Innovative Eco Approach to Recycling Christmas Trees - Goats Helping

January 13, 2023 - Since the needles of Christmas trees have a beneficial effect on the digestion of goats and have a positive impact on the taste of cheese; the benefits are multiple.

As Poslovni / Novi list write, encouraged by a similar practice abroad, the Pula utility company Herculanea donated Christmas trees after the holiday to the Kumparička goat farm to feed their goats in Cokuni, a tiny village in the municipality of Marčana, the Pula city administration reported. Last year, Herculanea experimented with donating some Christmas trees to the Kumparička goat farm, and that became a real hit on the farm because the goats happily and thoroughly cleaned them.

"Although it was possible to put them away and dispose of them with other green waste, Pula Herculanea is taking the collected Christmas trees to the Kumparička goat farm in Cokuni this year as well. Their goats enjoy the aromatic taste of the green needles, and since the needles have a beneficial effect on the goats' digestion and have a positive effect on the taste of cheese, the benefits are multiple," said the director of Herculanea, Robi Fuart.
He added that the Christmas trees "grew in the forest, then decorated homes for the Christmas and New Year holidays, and finally became food for the goats from which we get food."

On this occasion, on Thursday, the first thirty trees without roots were brought to the farm in Cokuni, and the donation will continue while the campaign to collect them continues. As for Christmas trees with roots, which the citizens donated, Herculanea will plant them in Pula's green areas, just like in previous years.

Herculanea invites citizens to continue disposing of Christmas trees near the waste containers in their areas and at the recycling yard in Valmade. Pula Herculanea will collect them until January 20th and take them to the Cokuni goats for "recycling."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Friday, 13 January 2023

Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Kicking Off in Croatia

January 13, 2023 - Public Health Croatia: a new national preventive program will cover women from 20 to 64 years of age, with the aim of reducing the incidence of cervical cancer, the most preventable type of cancer.

As 24Sata writes, the national cervical cancer early detection program in Croatia will be re-introduced next year. It will be preceded by a one-year pilot project in the Virovitica-Podravina County, as announced by public health representatives announced on Thursday for the European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

"The first phase will be implemented from March in the Virovitica-Podravina County and will last one year," said State Secretary in the Ministry of Health Marija Bubaš, while the director of the Institute for Public Health of the Virovitica-Podravina County Miroslav Venus explained that the pilot phase will determine the necessary prerequisites and resources for the program to come to life at the national level in 2024.

The new national program aims to improve the results of early detection of cervical cancer, reducing its incidence and mortality.

In Croatia, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women aged 30 to 49 (after breast and thyroid cancer). It mainly affects the age group of 35 to 55 years, when many affected women are actively engaged in work and family life.

"A third of all diagnosed women are under the age of 50", warned the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak.

In Croatia, about 320 women are diagnosed annually, and about 120 die

In the last ten years, on average, about 320 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Croatia, and about 120 die. Almost every case could have been prevented by vaccination against HPV and going to a gynecologist for a preventive examination.

In 99.7 percent of cases, this type of cancer is caused by long-term infection with HPV, which is transmitted sexually, so early detection of cervical cell changes can successfully prevent cancer.

The working group of the Ministry of Health agreed that in the first phase of the National Plan, the so-called co-testing, i.e., a Pap test and an HPV test would be performed from one sample of surface cells of the cervix, which is considered the most appropriate innovative method in detecting this type of cancer.

Danijela Vrdoljak Mozetić, a specialist in clinical cytology from KBC Rijeka, emphasized the importance of co-testing - the Pap test detects the pre-stages of cancer, while the HPV test detects the presence of viruses in the cells.

A positive HPV test does not mean the existence of the disease, but does indicate a risk, explained Vrdoljak Mozetić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Friday, 13 January 2023

2023 World Handball Championships: Egypt Surprises Croatia in Game 1 (31:22)

January 13, 2023 - Not the best start for Croatia at the 2023 World Handball Championships, who lost to Egypt 31:22 on Friday night in Group G. 

The Croatia men's handball team began its World Championship campaign against Egypt in Group G on Friday. The USA surprised Morocco by winning 28:27 in the first game of this group.

Egypt is the most difficult test in the group for Croatia as the strongest African national team and one of the best national teams outside of Europe. Croatia had played against African national teams 13 times and recorded 13 victories before this game.

It was the fifth match between Croatia and Egypt at the World Championships. They played for the first time in 1995 when Croatia won (30:16). The second meeting took place in Portugal in 2003, when Croatia was better in the second round (29:23), followed by victories in 2013 in the group (24:20) and in 2017 in the round of 16 (21:19 ). 

Match recap

60' Egypt beats Croatia 31:22. This is one of Croatia's worst defeats to open the World Championships. Croatia plays the USA next on Sunday at 20:30.

59' Šipić scores for 30:22

58' Egypt makes it 30:21

53' Glavaš scores a penalty for 29:21

52' And then it was 28:19

50' Croatia calls a timeout

44' Šipić scores for -7 
43' Egypt went up by 8 goals
42' Egypt takes the biggest lead yet - +7 

40' Egypt goes to +6 

37' Penalty for the Croatia bench, Ivano Balić loses his temper, two minutes for Croatia
35' Karačić scores
35' Kuzmanović defends, but Egypt goes up to +5
33' Egypt scored for +4 after three and a half minutes of play

32' Croatia misses an opportunity to reduce the result to two goals, Musa is excluded
31' Šipić scores

30' First half ends 16:12 for Egypt

28' Mahmoud scores for Egypt, Musa returns to -4

27' Karačić scores his second goal, Egypt leads 15:11
25' Sebetic scores
24' Two minutes for Martinović, Egypt uses an extra player, and Mahmoud scores
23' Egypt scores, as does Martinović 
22' Šipić scores

19' Egypt goes to +6, but Karačić also scores

17' Two minutes for Egypt, Y.Elderaa is sent off
16' Karačić forces a penalty. Glavaš scores again, but so does Egypt
15' Two quick goals from Egypt, who goes to +5, Croatia calls a time-out

11' Glavaš scores for 6:4, Mohamed retaliates and Egypt leads 7:4
8' Martinović scores for 4:2
5' First exclusion, Duvnjak gets two minutes

5' Shebib brings Egypt 3:1

4' Egypt made it 2:1

2' Egypt was successful in the first attack, and Filip Glavaš countered for 1:1
1' The match has started! The judging pair are Spaniards Garcia Ignacio and Marin Andreu

Croatia has participated in the World Championships since 1995 and has not missed a single competition so far. Croatia has won five medals - one gold (2003), three silvers (1995, 2005, 2009), and one bronze (2013) at the previous World Championships. 

This is Egypt's 17th appearance at the World Championship. Its greatest success is fourth place in France in 2001. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Egypt also finished in fourth place. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 13 January 2023

A Week in Croatian Politics - Eurozone Growing Pains & Price Increases

January the 13th, 2023 - This week in Croatian politics has been dominated by many stores and service providers upping their prices and allegedly taking advantage of what's known as ''rounding'' following Croatian Eurozone accession. Plenkovic has also been busy dismissing ministers once again, and the reaction to that has been varied. 

Price rises are hitting pockets and bank accounts

Croatia officially (and finally) entered the Eurozone on the 1st of January, 2023, with the kuna still permitted to be used as legal tender until the 15th of this month, after which only euros will be allowed to be used to make payments for goods and services across Croatia. As most people expected, there were price increases which came along with the euro, and while this is something that has occurred to some extent or another in all countries which have adopted the bloc's single currency, introducing it during a period dominated by economic woes and inflationary pressures likely didn't help much either. 

Shops have increased their prices for many basic goods and in some cases, there appears to not have even been an attempt made to hide it. With individuals feeling the blow to their back pockets and bank accounts more than ever, the government was asked to step in and control the situation, with many claiming that companies are taking advantage of the introduction of the euro. 

Some politicians, such as Kreso Beljak, believe that PM Andrej Plenkovic already spends too much time meddling with things that politics shouldn't be spending much time on, and although he himself has admitted that he has been hopping over the border into Slovenia to do his shopping because it's cheaper, he has said he doesn't blame Plenkovic for the euro price hikes. He believes that the market and the level of demand determines the price of goods, and that Plenkovic's government should spend more time making sure wages match the cost of living rather than spending time trying to lower prices.

It's easy enough for someone such as Beljak who lives in Samobor, which is very close to the Slovenian border, to shop and spend less in Slovenia, especially now Croatia has joined Schengen and the border between the two nations is no more, but most of the population expects government intervention. A recently held government session saw the matter discussed at length. The differences between Slovenia and Croatia and why the same products are cheaper over the border have also been explained.

The government did decide on some measures to try to combat the issue with price hikes following euro introduction, however, and Plenkovic has made no effort to hide his sheer disappointment with those trying to take advantage of the situation.

Plenkovic promises action against ''unjustified price increases''

"This is nothing other than pure profiteering and we oppose it," Plenkovic said about unjustified price increases in his opening speech at the aforementioned recently held government session. He announced that inspections will be carried out in stores and called on them to lower their prices to the level they were at before the introduction of the euro. The government also tasked the Ministry of Economy to use all possible measures to collect complete and accurate information on price movements and monitoring.

"We found that some individuals have obviously seen fit to take advantage of the euro conversion to raise their prices for no reason. I'd like to thank the business entities that adapted in accordance with the proper regulations and those who didn't impose any unjustified price increases," said the Prime Minister.

He said that they and most other people were expecting minimal price increases, but that we're unfortunately now witnessing something else entirely, which is profiteering. He stated clearly that his desire is to protect individuals during this transition period and recalled the measures that the hovernment adopted during the COVID-19 crisis.

Then he talked about inflation, a burning topic for Croatian politics of late. "What's happening to us is happening to everyone else as well, but everyone else [in Europe] has a higher rate of inflation than we have here in Croatia and we're fighting against a phenomenon that reduces peoples' purchasing power, and that's why we'll sanction all phenomena that leads to an increase in inflation. The purpose of introducing the euro is to empower the domestic economy, not that the state gives billions and that someone gets rich at the expense of the people, so it's important that everyone understands that those who are doing this will not get away with it and that the state will act, and it will act on behalf of everyone," he said.

"There's just no justification for what has increased, for people to raise their prices like they have, it's pure greed. The government will do everything in its power to prevent this from continuing to happen. All authorities will contribute to uncovering unfair practices and everyone will be tasked to act on this. I call on everyone to distance themselves from those who have unjustifiably raised their prices, I'm also calling on all business entities to revise their prices and adjust them back to those from the end of December," said Plenkovic.

"The state will not simply sit back and watch this happen without doing anything about it. Everyone who thinks that they can cast a dark shadow on the strategic success of the state will not succeed. The Tax Office, Customs, and the State Inspectorate all know this. They will go out into the field to correct what individuals are doing for absolutely no reason," the Prime Minister warned.

The measures, as explained by Economy Minister Davor Filipovic

"All business entities, including credit institutions and other financial service providers, and all those who have raised their prices against the law, are obliged to revise the retail prices of their goods and services and make sure that they're determined by the price levels of December the 31st, 2022," Minister Filipovic said.

"The inspectorate, tax, customs, ministries, Croatian National Bank (CNB) will implement increased levels of supervision over entities within their jurisdiction without delay," he said.

In addition, the Ministry of Economy will be put in charge of preparing and launching a digital platform for monitoring prices.

State Inspectorate boss Andrija Mikulic chimes in on increased monitoring, inspections and supervision

The head of the State Inspectorate, Andrija Mikulic, spoke about price increases and unjustified price increases and the number of inspections being carried out at this moment in time. "We've started with the inspections," Mikulic assured, adding that more than 8,000 inspections have been carried out since September. "We found 1,744 violations of the law," he added.

"Since January the 1st, 2023, we've received an increased number of reports about price increases, whether in trade, catering and hospitality or service activities. Bearing in mind that business entities freely set their own prices, inspections have begun based on the received reports. From January the 2nd to the 4th, over 200 inspections in the field of retail trade were carried out, including at bakeries and service activities, mainly hairdressing, body care and different kinds of maintenance services.

"We will determine whether price increases we uncover are unjustified or not. If it is established that they can't be justified, misdemeanor measures will definitely be taken".

In the service industries (hairdressing salons and the cosmetics/beauty field), increases ranging from 10 to a whopping 80 percent were observed. In the tourism industry, within which 151 inspections have been carried out, about 50 irregularities were observed, as well as price increases of up to 10 percent. In 306 inspections, 96 violations were determined.

Mikulic assured once again that the proper measures will be taken against those who are taking advantage of the introduction of the euro and of inflation in order to try to pull the wool over peoples' eyes and line their own pockets at the expense of individuals.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated section, and keep an eye out for our Week in Politics articles which are published every Friday.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Eurozone Croatia: Zagreb Cafe Owner Irritated by Lipa Payments

January the 12th, 2023 - Eurozone Croatia is now finally a reality, and while the country grapples with the new currency, price hikes and attempts to get rid of kuna left in sock drawers and under mattresses, one Zagreb cafe owner is sick to the back teeth of being paid in mountains of lipa coins for coffee.

Many people thought they were prepared for the birth of Eurozone Croatia, but it seems as if most of us have forgotten the unholy amounts of rather pointless lipa coins we all have lying around at home, in jacket pockets and more than likely under the living room rug. These tiny golden coins which have more or less always been somewhat good for nothing are now an even bigger thorn in the side than they were when the kuna was the official currency. Cafe owners are now being bombarded with them.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Zvonimir Varga writes, there are only a few days left during which people can continue to pay for items and services in kuna and lipa, and some people are using the opportunity to get rid of excess coins while it lasts.

While banks and other financial institutions are happy to transfer small denominations such as lipa into a bank account without any major problems, cafe owners are faced with a bigger problem. Some people have decided to make the recent cafe-based nightmare of ''becoming an unwilling exchange office'' come true leave all of their lipa change on their tables. As previously mentioned, even when the kuna was the country's official tender, nobody was a fan of lipa coins, people are even less of a fan now that the kuna is set to enter the history books entirely.

To make matters worse for cafe owners and staff, some people simply leave their money on the table and leave after having a coffee, and one Zagreb cafe owner from the Jarun lake area has had more than enough of having lipa coins thrown at him.

After finishing their drinks, one couple left a pile of kuna, lipa and even equally annoying euro cents on their table and left while the waiter was busy doing something else. The staff of the cafe were not even that annoyed by the fact that they ended up being paid like that as such, but by the fact that the couple left the coins in this way and got up and left.

"What kind of people are they, it looks like they ran away" asked one of the waiters, while another concluded: "This way of paying is shameful!".

For more on Eurozone Croatia, make sure to keep up with our news section.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

2023 Australian Open: Borna Ćorić, Donna Vekić, and Petra Martić Learn 1st Round Rivals

January 13, 2023 - Croatian tennis players have learned their rivals in the 1st round of the 2023 Australian Open, which begins next week in Melbourne. 

Croatian tennis player Borna Ćorić will open the first Grand Slam tournament of the season against Czech player Jiri Lehecka. In the first round, Petra Martić will face Swiss tennis player Viktorija Golubic, and Donna Vekić will meet Russian qualifier Oksana Selehmetova.

Ćorić, who is the 21st seed and who will be the only Croatian representative in the men's competition after Marin Čilić's withdrawal due to a knee injury, will fight to advance to the second round against Lehecka, 78th in the ATP rankings. The two have never met before. 

Martić (WTA - 37th) will fight for a spot in the second round against Golubic, the 81st tennis player in the world, whom she has met once so far and beat in 2015. 

Donna Vekić (WTA - 60th) will face the qualifier Oksana Selehmeteva, 179th in the WTA ranking. It will be Donna's first time playing against the Russian player. 

As for the favorites, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who returns to the Australian Open after last year's COVID-19 vaccination debacle, will face Spaniard Roberto Carballes (ATP - 75th) as his opponent in the first round. This year, Djokovic will try to equal Rafael Nadal's record, who has 22 Grand Slam titles.

Spanish tennis player Nadal, who became the first seed after compatriot Carlos Alcaraz pulled out of the tournament, will face Briton Jack Draper (ATP - 40th) in the first round.

The women's world number one, Polish player Iga Swiatek, will begin her campaign for her first crown in Melbourne against German Jula Niemeier (WTA - 68th).

Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur, second in the WTA ranking, will play against Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek (WTA - 88th), and the third best tennis player in the world, American Jessica Pegula, will play against Romanian Jaqueline Cristian (WTA - 143rd). 

Source: Gol.hr

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Breakthrough Scientific Discovery at Ruder Boskovic Institute in Croatia

January 12, 2023 - How does the cell build a supporting structure for chromosomes? For years, scientists have been trying to understand how spindle fibers form, which are cellular structures crucial for the proper distribution of chromosomes. A new paper by Croatian researchers from the Ruder Boskovic Institute published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications sheds light on this issue.

Researchers from the team of prof. Dr. Sc. Iva Tolić from the Ruder Boskovic Institute (IRB), in collaboration with colleagues from the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb (PMF), and Croatian scientists in the diaspora, described how the cooperation of kinetochores and microtubules is crucial in the assembly of the spindle fibers and in determining the movement of chromosomes during cell division, as reported on the Ruder Boskovic Institute's official website.

The scientists reached these results by applying their knowledge of cell biology and theoretical physics and thanks to new approaches and methods of cell microscopy that they developed for this research, which enabled them to study hitherto unseen structures of the spindle fibers in the earliest stages of cell division.

The results, published by this interdisciplinary research team are extremely valuable because they contribute to understanding cell division and the diseases associated with this important process.

ruder_boskovic_2.jpg

Iva Tolić, Marin Barišić and Nenad Pavin - Ruder Boskovic Institute

How are chromosomes organised during cell division?

Our bodies are made up of about one hundred trillion individual cells created by division from a single cell. Spindle fibers, dynamic micromachines composed of protein tubes - microtubules, are responsible for that division. Although the assembly of the spindle fiber is essential for proper chromosome division, this process has not been fully elucidated due to its complexity.

The spindle fiber has a unique architecture consisting of evenly distributed bundles of microtubules - kinetochore bundles, which are attached to chromosomes, and bridging bundles composed of microtubules, which connect the two poles of the spindle fiber by folding in the middle.

While the formation of kinetochore fibers has long been investigated in many laboratories around the world, how the bridging bundles are assembled has remained unknown. Without these bridging bundles, spindle fibers end in a star shape that cannot separate chromosomes. This is proof that bridging bundles play an indispensable role in cell division.

To clarify the formation of bridging bundles of microtubules, group of Professor Iva Tolić teamed up with the group of Professor Marin Barišić from the Danish Cancer Research Center in Copenhagen and the group of Professor Nenad Pavina from PMF Zagreb as part of the project of the Croatian Science Foundation (HrZZ) under the programme encouraging cooperation with Croatian scientists in the diaspora.

The project was completed with the publication of the results of interdisciplinary research in which, combining cell biology and theoretical physics, the researchers discovered the phase transition of microtubules from a sparse network structure to dense, well-separated, and properly organised bundles of the spindle fibers.

Experiments conducted by student Jurica Matković showed that this transition occurs because motor proteins on kinetochores, which are located in the central part of each chromosome, bind to microtubules.

Binding requires the activation of motor proteins by Aurora kinase B, a protein that has multiple roles during cell division. This result was proven by experiments based on motor protein mutants by researchers led by Prof. dr. sc. Marin Barišić.

When motor proteins bind to microtubules, cross-linking proteins cross-link the microtubules into a bundle attached to the kinetochore. The mutual repulsion of the condensed chromosomes, which push against each other on the equatorial plane of the spindle fibers and thus lead to the separation of the bundles to which they are attached and the expansion of the structure into a characteristic spindle shape, is responsible for not all microtubules joining into a single bundle. This novel mechanism of bundle formation is relevant not only to microtubule-based structures but also to cytoskeletal self-organisation in general.

Young researchers have developed new approaches and methods in cell microscopy

"To be able to reveal these complex processes, our research team devised new approaches and developed better methods for observing the spindle fibers. Rapid imaging of microtubules in the cross-section of the spindle fibers allowed us to monitor the dynamics of microtubule redistribution in a living cell. Until now, it was impossible to achieve this with conventional approaches due to the large number of microtubules and the high speed with which they are reorganised. With the help of super-resolution STED microscopy, young researchers were able to analyse the previously unseen architecture of microtubules in the earliest stages of cell division,'' explains Professor Iva Tolić, head of research at IRB.

Super-resolution microscopy protocols were developed on a microscope purchased as part of a project financed from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020.

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Jurica Matković, Mateja Ćosić and Subhadip Ghosh - Ruder Boskovic Institute

The group of Professor Nenad Pavina studied the physics of the formation of microtubule bundles from PMF, where postdoctoral student Subhadip Ghosh developed a theoretical model that allows for identifying the conditions necessary for the formation of the bundles. Since this is a complex process, a minimal model is helpful in understanding the interplay between microtubules, kinetochores, chromosomes, and crosslinker proteins and their roles in bundle formation. The model results support the central hypothesis that the attractive and repulsive mechanisms revealed in the experiments drive the formation of microtubule bundles.

The functional importance of this concept is evident in the context of proper chromosome division, given that PhD student Mateja Ćosić showed in this paper that improper formation of bundles leads to errors in chromosome division due to failure to correct improper connections between microtubules and kinetochore.

The authors propose the intriguing hypothesis that Aurora kinase B not only promotes the formation of overlapping bundles by activating motor proteins, but uses these same bundles as pathways to kinetochores to correct misconnections there.

Irregular and overly thin bundles lead to lagging of individual chromosomes, due to which one daughter cell may receive too many chromosomes, and the other too few.

"The wrong number of chromosomes is characteristic of tumor cells and is associated with the formation of metastases. That's why errors during chromosome division are intensively investigated in laboratories around the world, and this work adds a piece to the puzzle of understanding cell division and diseases associated with this important process,'' the scientists concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

All Wine Roads Lead to Slavonia: WineOS, 8th Osijek Wine Festival

January 12, 2023 - The 8th edition of WineOS, the Osijek Wine Festival kicks off later today, an event being attended by TCN.

Osijek in January. Slavonian hospitality at its finest. Why aren't you here?

All roads lead to Slavonia this weekend, as the 8th edition of WineOS Osijek Wine Festival takes place - a wonderful mix of fine Slavonian (and other wines), Slavonian hospitality, and the heart of a Slavonian winter. 

As with last year, it promises to be a fine event of quality wine and good company, which I will be visiting in the company of the one and only legendary Ribafish. I only hope he behaves a little better this year... 

More information about the event from Vinoteka Vinita, translated below.

At the beginning of the new year, 2023, a new, eighth edition of the famous Osijek fair of wine, delicacies and hedonism is being organized. On January 13 and 14 (Friday and Saturday), the eighth wine and delicacy fair - WineOS will be held in the Gradski vrt hall, at Kneza Trpimira 23, Osijek.

Both days offer moments of pleasant living, top wines and delicacies from the east of Croatia, and the opportunity to meet numerous guests from other Croatian regions and abroad in almost 1,900 square meters of exhibition space.

Also, guests will have the opportunity to visit around 90 exhibition stands where more than a hundred producers will be presented, and those interested will be able to attend educational workshops that will repeatedly offer unusual stories and rarely available wines.

Tickets for the fair can be purchased at the price of 20 euros per day at the Vinita Wine Cellar and on the day of the fair at the entrance to the hall. Tickets for the workshops will be purchased exclusively in advance.

The workshop schedule follows below:

Thursday, January 12, 2023 - Hotel Osijek, Hall Kesten, 3:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

3:00 p.m. – Belje – time machine to the wine past - entrance fee HRK 200

4:30 p.m. - Klaudio Jurčić - My friendships with winemakers - entrance fee HRK 150

18:00 - Kopar, the vertical of the best Hungarian black Attila Gere - entrance HRK 200

Friday, January 13, 2023 - City Garden Sports Hall, VIP lounge, 1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. – All Kozlović's Malvasias - entrance fee HRK 150

2:30 p.m. – Uroboros, a wine that pushes the boundaries of what is possible - entrance fee HRK 150

16:00 - Omnibus Lector - chardonnay for the best wine psychotherapy - entrance fee HRK 150

5:30 p.m. – Umčani - Small village of wine masterpieces - entrance fee HRK 150

Saturday, January 14, 2023 - City Garden Sports Hall, VIP lounge, 2:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. – Grgić Pošip, a wine that changed the attitude towards that variety - entrance fee HRK 150

2:30 p.m. – Sea Ego by Joze Galić - entrance fee HRK 150

4:00 p.m. – Maurer and Kadarka - from gravity and rock'n'roll to vineyards from 1880 - entrance fee HRK 150

5:30 p.m. – Why is Nuić's Trnjak the best red wine in Herzegovina? - entrance fee HRK 150

The daily ticket for all workshops is HRK 500 per day, and 20 tickets are available for each workshop. See you and cheers!

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