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News roundup - Thursday, 12 August, until 3pm

Ljubljana, 12 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 12 August, until 3pm local time:

Slovenia confirms 248 infections on Wednesday

LJUBLJANA - Another 248 people tested positive for coronavirus in Slovenia on Wednesday after 1,828 PCR tests were performed for a positivity rate of 13.6%. The cumulative 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents increased by seven to 88 and the 7-day average of new cases rose to 153, up by 14 on the day before, show the latest figures by the National Institute of Public Health. An estimate of active cases in the country rose to 1,900. Hospitalisations rose by four to 40, government data shows.

Ruling released on unconstitutionality of parliamentary inquiry law

LJUBLJANA - The Constitutional Court published a ruling which finds the law and parliament's rules on parliamentary inquiry in contravention of the constitution because they interfere with independence and autonomy of state prosecutors. The court also annulled the parliament's July 2019 decision to launch a parliamentary inquiry into the many court proceedings of ex-Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler in the segment pertaining to prosecutors. The law does not entail a legal remedy to prevent such parliamentary inquiries although it would be key to the rule of law, protection of human rights and a fair trial. The National Assembly was thus tasked with remedying the situation in a year after the ruling is published in the Official Gazette.

First unit of Slovenian firefighters returns from N Macedonia

LJUBLJANA - The first rotation of Slovenian firefighters who went to North Macedonia a week ago to help the authorities there contain raging wildfires returned home. The firefighters were successful in fighting flames in the Berovo area in the east, having saved four villages from being burnt down. "The conditions were indeed difficult, the temperatures were around 40 degrees Celsius, the air was dry," said Dani Boltar, the deputy chief of the Northern Primorska unit of firefighters. The second rotation, which left for North Macedonia a couple of days ago, faced improved conditions as it started raining upon their arrival in the Berovo area. Sandra Martinič, the rotation's liaison officer, hopes that a third rotation will not be necessary.

Interior minister and police trade union exchange some harsh words

LJUBLJANA - Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and a police trade union got entangled in a harsh exchange of words as Hojs rejected the union's allegations that he and Police Commissioner Anton Olaj should be blamed for what was seen as lack of police protection in front of the National Assembly. "Dear trade unionists, start working in the police, and stop politicising and looking for excuses," the minister said, later calling the union "lazy bones".

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