Czech Republic’s ‘hunger stone’ resurfaces

Decmn, Czech Republic: Once an ominous harbinger of hard times and even famine due to critically low water levels, a massive “hunger stone” embedded deep in the Elbe River has reappeared in the Czech Republic after Europe’s long, dry summer.

The boulder in the town of Decin, north of the capital, Prague, is roughly the size of a van and bears the foreboding inscription, “If you can see me, then weep”.

Boatman and riverside innkeeper Franz Mayer etched the words in German – “Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine” – during a period of low water in 1904 in the days when the country was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

“Over the centuries, many people earned their living on the Elbe as rafters, and when there wasn’t enough water to float their rafts, they lost their livelihoods,” Vlastimil Pazourek, head of the museum in Decin, told AFP.

“The rafters engraved the dates of those bad years on the soft sandstone boulders typical for this region, hence the name ‘hunger stone’,” Pazourek said.

About 20 such boulders, engraved with markers and dates going back centuries, can still be found on the banks of the Elbe, a major central European waterway running from the Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea.

Marked “1616”, the hunger stone on the river’s left bank in Decin, which lies 20 kilometres from the German border, bears one of the oldest dates.

Changed river

A lot of water has since flowed under the bridges on the Elbe, which is no longer the same river that Franz Mayer knew when he left his etched lament.

The riverbed has been deepened to ease navigation and its flow has also been altered by nine dams built during the 20th century on the Vltava, its main tributary.

At three metres (10 feet), its average water level in Decin today is about 1.5 metres lower than in 1904, according to Pazourek.

Parts of the hunger stone are usually visible for more than 100 days a year when the water level on the Elbe drops to 160 centimetres, he said.


False Rape Accuser: Krystal Alana Anderson

A woman who made a false complaint of rape has been sentenced to two years on probation after a judge in Belfast said she needed assistance for her mental health and addiction issues.

Judge Patricia Smyth warned Krystal Alana Anderson that if she did not fully engage with the Probation Service she would be resentenced and she would “go into immediate custody”.

Anderson, (27), of Glenwood Park, Dummurry, pleaded guilty in June this year to a charge of perverting the course of justice.

Belfast Crown Court heard that in June 2016 police received a report from Anderson that she had been the victim of a serious sexual assault.

Prosecuting lawyer Gareth Purvis told the court that Anderson claimed the man raped her in the early hours of the morning in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

She was taken to Antrim Area Hospital with cuts to her arm which were later deemed to be self-inflicted.

Mr Purvis said that after Anderson named her alleged attacker, he was arrested by police and taken to Musgrave police station.


During his detention he had to undergo what the prosecutor described as a “humiliating process” by which “intimate testing” was carried out because of the nature of alleged offence.

The suspect spent a total of eight hours in custody before being released on bail.

The court was told that the following day, Anderson rang police and said she wanted to withdraw her complaint against the man and she refused to attend the Rowan Centre, a sexual assault referral centre.

But it was not until July 15th, 2016, while being treated in the Ulster Hospital, that Anderson admitted to police that she had made a “false allegation of rape”.

Asked why, she replied: “I try to push people to their limits….but I don’t know why.”

False Rape Accuser: Nikki Yovino

The 19-year-old Long Island woman who filed a bogus rape complaint against two Sacred Heart University football players was sentenced Thursday to a year behind bars — and got a tongue lashing from the judge.

Nikki Yovino first told cops in October 2016 that the two players from the Fairfield, Connecticut, college forced her to have sex in a bathroom at a booze-filled party.

She later admitted that she made the charges up so her evident promiscuity wouldn’t alienate a potential boyfriend.

But during a pre-trial hearing, she went back to her original version of events before finally pleading guilty in state Superior Court in Bridgeport to two counts of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and one count of interfering with police, the Connecticut Post reported.

“I just hope you spend the time reflecting on what you did,” Judge William Holden told Yovino. Holden sentenced her to three years but suspended the final two.

One of her victims — both of whom left the school — read a statement in court as the defendant rolled her eyes, the paper reported.

“I went from being a college student to sitting at home being expelled with no way to clear my name,” Malik St. Hilaire told the courtroom as Yovino started smirking.

“I just hope she knows what she has done to me, my life will never be the same. I did nothing wrong, but everything has been altered because of this.”