Thursday, July 31, 2008

News 7.31.2008

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Copyright (c) 2008 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Thursday, July 31st, 2008

By: Rosie Johnston

* Vaclav Havel has called for the International Olympic Committee to
rethink its stance on athletes' freedom of expression ahead of the
Olympics in China.

* A UN report suggests that the Czech Republic is amongst the countries
best placed to provide its peacekeepers in Sudan with new aircraft.

* The Czech police have said they will hand over suspected pedophile
Patrick Burnell to their British counterparts on Tuesday.

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Havel lends signature to Olympics human rights appeal
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Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has called for the International
Olympic Committee to rethink its stance on athletes' freedom of
expression ahead of the Olympic Games in China, which start next week.
The International Olympic Committee has urged athletes not to highlight
human rights abuses in China while at the games, saying that such
behaviour would constitute the spreading of political propaganda, which
is banned by the Olympic Charter. On Thursday Vaclav Havel joined
Archbishop Desmond Tutu in calling for the IOC to change its position.
According to the public appeal of which Mr Havel is a signatory, 'to
speak of human rights is not politics; only authoritarian... regimes try
to make it so'.


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UN report calls on Czech Republic to donate aircraft to peacekeepers in
Sudan
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A United Nations report has suggested that the Czech Republic is
amongst the countries best placed to provide its peacekeepers in Sudan
with new aircraft. The UN is urging India, Ukraine and the Czech
Republic in particular to donate helicopters to its peacekeeping
efforts in Darfur. The report says that while up to 300,000 people have
died in the region during five years of war, no military transport or
tactical helicopter has been deployed to patrol an area the size of
France. The report suggests that countries such as the Czech Republic
have helicopters 'gathering dust in hangars' which they could
contribute to the UN's efforts.


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Suspected pedophile to be handed over to British police on Tuesday
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The Czech police will hand over suspected pedophile Patrick Burnell to
their British counterparts on Tuesday, it was announced on Thursday.
The handover will take place at Prague's Ruzyne airport, a police
spokesperson said. Earlier this week, a Czech court decided that Mr
Burnell should be extradited for criminal prosecution in Britain, where
he is charged with sexually abusing 16 children. Mr Burnell is believed
to have contacted his victims, mainly girls aged 12 and 13, via the
internet, promising them a car ride during which he allegedly committed
the crimes. He was arrested two weeks ago in cooperation with Interpol
on the basis of a European arrest warrant.


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Hospital boss sentenced to prison for failing to report murders
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The former head of an Eastern Bohemian hospital, Josef Pejchl, has been
sentenced to ten months in prison, after failing to alert the
authorities to a spate of killings carried out at his infirmary by a
member of staff. In February, male nurse Petr Zelenka was found guilty
of murdering seven patients at the hospital in Havlickuv Brod, and
attempting to kill ten more, with lethal injections of the drug
heparin. On Thursday, the hospital's former director was also
sentenced. Mr Pejchl is appealing the verdict. He says he did report
irregularities at the hospital as early as October 2006, but that the
authorities failed to act. The police arrested Mr Zelenka two months
later.


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Czech National Bank: Czech household debt up in June
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Czech household debt grew by just over 15 billion crowns (978 million
USD) to 799 billion crowns (52 billion USD) in June, the Czech National
Bank said on Thursday. According to the Finance Ministry, however, the
Czech Republic continues to rank amongst the EU states with the lowest
ratio of household debt to GDP.


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Kovar takes over as head of Staropramen
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Staropramen's new general manager is Zbynek Kovar, it was announced on
Thursday. Mr Kovar takes over from Tunc Cerrahoglu as the head of the
second-biggest beer producer on the Czech market. The Staropramen
brewery belongs to the Belgian company InBev. In 2007, the brewery
generated profits of 578.4 million crowns (37.7 million USD).


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Road deaths in July down from last year's figures
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The number of people to die in road accidents in the Czech Republic in
July so far has been 88, down from 117 in the same period last year.
The number of accidents has fallen as well, from 15,316 in July 2007 to
12,230 this year. Police said that the biggest causes of accidents in
the last month had been reckless driving and speeding.


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Prague metro service interrupted after man falls onto tracks
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The service on Prague metro's B-line was interrupted on Thursday when a
man fell onto the tracks at the station Namesti republiky. The man
survived the accident but suffered serious injuries. Services were
disrupted for over an hour between the stations Florenc and Smichovske
nadrazi. Trains resumed around 12:30 CET, according to a spokesperson
for Prague Public Transit Company.


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Weather
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The sunny weather should continue over the next couple of days and into
the weekend, with storms predicted for Saturday. Temperatures should
range between 27-32 degrees Celsius.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Panorama
Prague trams - serving the city for more than 100 years
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Old red and white trams are just as much a part of the Czech capital as
Prague Castle or Charles Bridge. The metro is definitely faster and
more comfortable, but it doesn't offer the same views as trams do.
Besides, the metro stops at midnight while trams can carry you home at
any time of the day and night, that is of course, if you live close
enough to the railway tracks. So, when did trams first appear in the
streets of Prague? And what is it like to be at the controls of a tram?

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/106730

Current Affairs
Boom in Czechs purchasing American internet goods
------------------------------------------------------------------------

It might be the time of year for writing and sending postcards, but the
Czech postal service is inundated with mail of another kind. The number
of parcels arriving in the Czech Republic from the United States has
shot up dramatically, with Czechs taking advantage of internet shopping
and the strength of the crown.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/106717

Current Affairs
Fifty-six Czech holidaymakers die abroad in month and half
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The number of Czechs who meet their deaths while on holiday every
summer is on the increase. In fact, more than 50 people have lost their
lives abroad since the middle of June, according to figures just
released by the Czech Foreign Ministry. The reason for the high
fatality rate could well be that Czechs are inclined to take
unnecessary risks while on holiday.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/106716

From the Archives
November 1945: homeward bound
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In November 1945, six months after the end of World War II, the units
that had taken part in liberating Czechoslovakia began their official
withdrawal. Various ceremonies were held, first on November 15, to say
farewell to the Red Army troops, who had fought their way in bitter
fighting through Slovakia all the way to Prague. Then a few days later,
on November 20, the withdrawal began of the American units that had
liberated Western Bohemia.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/106660

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Radio Prague Today 7.31.2008

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Panorama: Prague trams - serving the city for more than 100 years

Old red and white trams are just as much a part of the Czech capital as Prague Castle or Charles Bridge. The metro is definitely faster and more comfortable, but it doesn't offer the same views as trams do. Besides, the metro stops at midnight while trams can carry you home at any time of the day and night, that is of course, if you live close enough to the railway tracks. So, when did trams first appear in the streets of Prague? And what is it like to be at the controls of a tram?

Current Affairs: Boom in Czechs purchasing American internet goods

It might be the time of year for writing and sending postcards, but the Czech postal service is inundated with mail of another kind. The number of parcels arriving in the Czech Republic from the United States has shot up dramatically, with Czechs taking advantage of internet shopping and the strength of the crown.

Current Affairs: Fifty-six Czech holidaymakers die abroad in month and half

The number of Czechs who meet their deaths while on holiday every summer is on the increase. In fact, more than 50 people have lost their lives abroad since the middle of June, according to figures just released by the Czech Foreign Ministry. The reason for the high fatality rate could well be that Czechs are inclined to take unnecessary risks while on holiday.

From the Archives: November 1945: homeward bound

In November 1945, six months after the end of World War II, the units that had taken part in liberating Czechoslovakia began their official withdrawal. Various ceremonies were held, first on November 15, to say farewell to the Red Army troops, who had fought their way in bitter fighting through Slovakia all the way to Prague. Then a few days later, on November 20, the withdrawal began of the American units that had liberated Western Bohemia.

Asia Compact | 31.07.2008, 18:00 UTC

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Newsletter | 31.07.2008, 18:00 UTC
Asia Compact
Your guide to information and selected links
Overview of Topics
Fraport Looks to Asia for Expansion Plans
Thaksin's Wife Gets 3 Years Jail for Tax Evasion
China Adamant on Internet Censorship
Asia News 31 July 2008 16.00 UTC
Asia Compact
Fraport Looks to Asia for Expansion Plans
Frankfurt airport is one of the world's busiest airports and its passengers and Airfreight figures have continued to rise. In coming years, Fraport AG, the company which manages the airport, aims to stretch further beyond its boundaries and target emerging economies in Asia, such as India, China and Vietnam.
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Audio Fraport in Expansion Mode
> Germany Says China Should be More Open
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Thaksin's Wife Gets 3 Years Jail for Tax Evasion
In a landmark decision in Thailand, a criminal court has sentenced the wife of the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shianwatra, to three years jail for tax evasion. The decision marks a major step in the Thai judiciary's role in dealing with the country's political crisis and corruption charges against Thaksin's former government.
[more]
> Thaksin's Wife Returns to Thailand
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China Adamant on Internet Censorship
China has said it is "determined" to maintain its controls on the Internet. Foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao's remarks have come amid reports that China has blocked certain websites including Deutsche Welle, deemed sensitive to its communist government. Beijing however insists only a small number of sites are blocked, which it thinks violate Chinese law.
[more]
Audio Disha Uppal speaks to Matthias von Hein from Deutsche Welle's Chinese service and asks how he would explain China's attitude
> German Chancellor Calls for Press Freedom in China
> Media under Attack in China
^^^
Asia News 31 July 2008 16.00 UTC
- Japanese Embassy in India receives bomb threats
- Pakistan clashes leave 12 civilians dead: officials
- Bicycle blast outside Pakistan Embassy in Kabul
- Japan PM to reshuffle cabinet
- Malaysia's Anwar to contest by-election
- SAARC discusses food bank to fight hunger
- Landslides kill nine people in Nepal

[more]
^^^
Asia Compact
Former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra's wife has been found guilty of tax evasion; China's Internet censorship sparks widespread criticism; and Germany's Fraport targets Asia
[more]
Audio Listen to the latest programme
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