November 1st, 2011
10:14 AM ET

Plane makes emergency landing in Poland; all passengers safe

A Boeing 767 plane made a dramatic emergency landing at Warsaw, Poland's Frederic Chopin International airport after problems with its landing gear, an airport spokeswoman said Tuesday.

All the passengers on the flight, from New Jersey's Newark airport to Warsaw, are safe and uninjured, she told CNN.

The LOT Polish Airlines flight, which had been due to land at 1:35 local time, circled above the airport for an hour before coming down in a belly landing at 2:40, she said.

There were 230 people aboard the flight, Poland's TVN broadcaster said.

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October 8th, 2011
08:28 AM ET

Two arrested in Poland over Ikea explosions

Police in Poland have arrested two men in connection with explosions at Ikea stores in several European countries, they said Saturday.

The two men, both age 39, are accused of trying to force Ikea to pay a ransom of 6 million euros (U.S. $8 million).

They were arrested after a joint operation involving several hundred officers from Poland's Central Investigation Bureau and investigators from other countries, police said in a statement.

There were eight explosions of increasing strength between May and early September, at large stores in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the Czech Republic, police said.

Initially the explosions were treated as individual cases in the countries where they occurred, but police now believe the plot was orchestrated from Poland, the statement said. The suspects made use of technology and traveled large distances to try to avoid detection in Poland, it added.

The men have been accused of racketeering and extortion offenses, as well as endangering people's lives.

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Filed under: Crime • Poland
Poland's Walesa out of hospital
Former President Lech Walesa, center, strides out of a hospital Wednesday in Gdansk, Poland, after a three-week stay.
June 30th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Poland's Walesa out of hospital

Lech Walesa, the former union leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Polish president, was released from a hospital after three weeks of treatment for pneumonia, Polish news media report.

Television reports showed Walesa, 67, exiting the hospital Wednesday in his hometown of Gdansk, Trend News Agency reported.

Walesa in the early 1980s led Gdansk shipyard workers in labor actions that evolved into the peaceful Solidarity movement that led to the fall of Poland's Communist government in 1989.

Walesa, who went on to become president of Poland from 1990 to 1995, received a cardiac pacemaker in the United States in 2008, thenews.pl reported.

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Filed under: Health • Poland
Formula One driver suffers serious injuries
Formula One driver Robert Kubica crashed during a race in Italy.
February 6th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

Formula One driver suffers serious injuries

Formula One driver Robert Kubica has suffered serious injuries after crashing a car during a rally in Italy - his Lotus Renault team have confirmed. The 26-year-old Pole lost control of his Skoda Fabia car at the beginning of the Ronde de Andorra rally near the town of Testico, causing the vehicle to leave the road at high speed and hit the wall of a building. Full story

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Filed under: Italy • Poland
Crew error led to Polish plane crash, Russians conclude
Mourners at a makeshift memorial outside the presidential palace in Poland after a plane crash killed the president in April 2010.
January 12th, 2011
08:43 AM ET

Crew error led to Polish plane crash, Russians conclude

The crew was at fault in a Polish plane crash that killed the country's president and nearly 100 other people last April, a Russian-led investigation found Wednesday.

The crew should have decided to divert to another airport in light of "repeated and timely" warnings about bad weather in Smolensk, Russia, the Interstate Aviation Committee concluded.

The presence of a Polish Air Force commander in the cockpit may also have contributed to the crash, the IAC said, noting that he had alcohol in his blood at the time of the crash.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and many top Polish officials died in the crash as they headed to a memorial service to mark a World War II massacre.

The crew of the Polish presidential plane was under psychological pressure to land the plane at Smolensk, fearing Kaczynski would react negatively to a decision to divert the plane, IAC chair Tatyana Anodina said.

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Filed under: Poland
November 13th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Polish composer Gorecki dies

Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki received Poland's highest honor.

The Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki died Friday in Katowice after a long illness, the Krakow Post reported. He was 76.

He started as an avant-garde stylist but moved toward more traditional music as he aged, according to the Krakow Post.

His most popular work was the 55-minute "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" (1976), which musically describes a 15th-century monastic lamentation, a wall inscription by a Gestapo prisoner and a folk song from Poland's Opole region, according to the University of Southern California's Polish Music Center.

He resigned his professorship at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice in 1979 in protest of communist authorities, but just last month he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest honor, the Krakow Post reported.

"I think that music is one of the domains that people really need, and its importance only depends on whether one knows how to receive it," Gorecki said in a 1997 interview, according to the USC site. "Every person needs to be prepared to know how to 'use' music. Not only music - also literature, painting, sculpture, and film."

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Filed under: Music • Obituary • Poland • World
November 8th, 2010
10:08 AM ET

World's tallest Jesus statue completed

Workers in Poland finished erecting the world's tallest statue of Jesus over the weekend, a 170-foot (52-meter) giant that towers over the countryside near Swiebodzin.

"This is the culmination of my life's work as a priest. I felt inspired to fulfill Jesus' will, and today I give thanks to him for allowing me to fulfill his will," Father Zawadzki said after the head was attached by a 700-ton crane, according to a report from the Warsaw Business Journal.

A crane places the head on the world's tallest Jesus statue this weekend in Poland.

The height of the plaster and fiberglass Polish statue surpasses the 40.4-meter (133-foot) Cristo de la Concordia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and the 39.6-meter (130-foot) Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to news reports.

Local officials in the town of 21,000 people hope it will be a tourist attraction.

"More people will visit Swiebodzin and leave their money," Radio Poland quoted Dariusz Bekisz, the mayor of Swiebodzin, as saying.

The cost of the statue was covered by local donations, according to the Krakow Post. It will be officially consecrated on November 21.

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Filed under: Art • Poland • Religion • World
September 30th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

World War I to finally end for Germany this weekend

A French machine gun crew mans a Hotchkiss gun on August 1, 1915.

Germany and the Allies can call it even on World War I this weekend.

On Sunday - the 20th anniversary of East and West Germany unifying about a year after the Berlin Wall fell - Deutschland will make the last in a series of reparation payments that has spanned more than nine decades.

The final payment is £59.5 million, about $93.8 million
, reported London's Telegraph newspaper. Germany had to pay Belgium and France for material damages and the rest of the Allies the costs of fighting the war.

The initial tally in 1919, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel, was 96,000 tons of gold but was slashed by 40 to 60 percent (sources vary) a few years later. The debt was crippling, just as French Premier Georges Clemenceau intended.
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Filed under: Belgium • France • Germany • Italy • Poland • Romania • War
August 22nd, 2010
08:44 PM ET

Pakistan's temperatures soar; Europe braces for storms

As Pakistan flood recovery efforts continue, the temperatures and heat indices are soaring.

On Sunday the heat indices were once again in the mid 50s Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) across much of southern and central Pakistan. Although most of the country has seen little rain over the past few days, the incredibly high temperatures and humidity have made for difficult living conditions for the millions of people that have been displaced from their homes.

Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) and heat indices into the lower 50s C (120s F) will continue at least into the early part of this week.

In Europe, a strong low pressure will move across the United Kingdom and towards Scandinavia on Monday. Severe weather warnings are in place for southern England, including London. Strong winds and up to 8 centimeters (3 inches) of rain will be possible, which could lead to flash flooding.

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Filed under: France • Mexico • Pakistan • Poland • United Kingdom • Vietnam • Weather • World
May 23rd, 2010
02:05 PM ET

Poland flooding causes deaths, official says

At least 12 people died and thousands were affected when heavy rains caused three Polish rivers to flood, according to a Polish Defense Ministry spokesman.

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Filed under: Poland
April 26th, 2010
09:24 AM ET

Late Polish president's brother runs to succeed him

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of the Polish president killed in a plane crash earlier this month, will be a candidate to succeed him, his party announced Monday.

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Filed under: Poland • World
April 14th, 2010
11:19 AM ET

Grieving Poland eyes June vote for new president

Poland was eyeing a June election Wednesday to choose a successor to President Lech Kaczynski, whose death in an air crash is generating unprecedented scenes of public grief.

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Filed under: Poland • World
April 13th, 2010
05:46 PM ET

Obama to attend funeral for Polish president

President Barack Obama will travel to Poland to attend the state funeral of the Polish president and first lady, who died in a plane crash last week, the White House announced Tuesday.

Obama will leave Saturday night for the funeral on Sunday in Krakow, Poland, for President Lech Kaczynski and first lady Maria Kaczynska, according to the White House statement.

"The president will travel to Krakow to express the depth of our condolences to an important and trusted ally, and our support for the Polish people, on behalf of the American people," the statement said.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Poland • World
April 13th, 2010
07:47 AM ET

Body of Poland's first lady arrives in homeland

The body of Poland's first lady arrived in the country Tuesday morning as thousands waited to pay tribute.

Maria Kaczynska, and her husband, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, were among nearly 100 Polish leaders and dignitaries who died in a weekend plane crash in Russia that killed 96 people.

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Filed under: Poland • World
April 12th, 2010
09:13 AM ET

Polish president to be buried Saturday

Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash in Russia over the weekend, will be buried alongside his wife on Saturday, Polish state television reported Monday.

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Filed under: Poland • World
April 12th, 2010
06:51 AM ET

World update: Six dead in Italy train crash

Italy train crash - A landslide has derailed a train in northern Italy killing at least six people and injuring 20 others. The crash happened where tracks cross a narrow gorge near the city of Merano, police say.  Read the story

Mourning Kaczynski - Russia and the European Union have declared Monday a day of mourning for the death of Polish President Kaczynski and 96 others in the plane crash near Smolensk. Poland is in a seven-day mourning period declared hours after the plane crash on Saturday.

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April 10th, 2010
08:48 AM ET

Polish president killed in plane crash

Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed early Saturday along with his wife, several top military officials, and the head of the national bank when their plane crashed at a western Russian airport, officials said.

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Filed under: Poland • World