Tuesday, September 30, 2008

News 9.30.2008

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

News Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

By: Ian Willoughby

* After a sharp fall on the Prague Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning,
prices at the close of trading were not far below those on Monday
evening.

* The cabinet is considering financial compensation for people who were
not allowed to study at university following the communist takeover of
1948.

* The Czech foreign minister says a project to renovate the Bohemian
National Hall in New York has on the whole been a success.

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Share prices seesaw but remain almost exactly at Monday levels
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Shares on the Prague Stock Exchange seesawed on Tuesday. In the first
trading since US lawmakers rejected a proposed financial rescue deal,
share prices on the main PX index tumbled by 6 percent on Tuesday
morning. However, the decline in share values was later reversed, and
prices at the close of trading were just 0.07 percent below those on
Monday evening.

The Czech National Bank reiterated on Tuesday that the Czech economy
was relatively isolated from the ongoing financial crisis, saying there
was no reason for disquiet.

Banks in the Czech Republic have started limiting the repayment period
for loans to one another to a week, the newspaper Hospodarske noviny
reported. However, Czech banks have enough cash to finance themselves,
by contrast with those in a number of other countries. One analyst told
Hospodarske noviny the worst banks in the Czech Republic could expect
was a slow-down in profits.


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Cabinet to discuss compensation for those barred from studying after
communist takeover
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The cabinet is to discuss financial compensation for people who were
not allowed to study at university following the communist takeover of
Czechoslovakia in 1948. The amount they could receive will be discussed
by ministers on Wednesday, the head of the government's legislative
council, Cyril Svoboda, told reporters. Mr Svoboda said only those who
were barred from third level education in the years 1948 to 1953 (or
possibly 1956) would be eligible for compensation. He said those
would-be students met the cruellest fates, as they were sent to prison
or into forced labour; in later years the communist state did not mete
out such harsh treatment, he said. Mr Svoboda said the proposal could
affect hundreds of now elderly people. Over 10,000 students and
academics were thrown out of Czechoslovakia's universities within a
year of the communist takeover.


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Schwarzenberg: Bohemian National Hall project success on whole
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The Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, says a project to
renovate the Bohemian National Hall in New York has on the whole been a
success. Speaking in the city a month ahead of the building's official
opening, Mr Schwarzenberg said, however, that the work could have been
done more quickly and more cheaply. The Czech state took control of the
building on the Upper East Side in 2001 and since then has invested
several hundred million crowns in its complete renovation. The Czech
Centre, the Czech general consulate and other Czech bodies will make
their homes in the Bohemian National Hall once it opens in mid-October.


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Havel honoured for role in unification of Germany and Europe
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Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has received a German award for his
part in the unification of Germany and Europe. Mr Havel was presented
with the Point-Alpha Prize at the German Embassy in Prague on Tuesday.
It is named after a Cold War era US military observation post on the
border between East and West Germany. Mr Havel led the Velvet
Revolution in Czechoslovakia and became president of the country in
1990.

On Tuesday, Prague's Germany Embassy also marked the 19th anniversary
of the first wave of East Germans fleeing to the west through the
embassy in 1989.


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Czech Republic to donate over USD 8.5 million to Georgia
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The Czech Republic is planning to donate at least CZK 150 million (over
USD 8.5 million) to Georgia, Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Pojar said
at a seminar on the situation in the country on Tuesday. The actual sum
to be donated will be made clear at a donors' conference in Brussels in
October, Mr Pojar said. The Czech Republic has been critical of Russia
regarding the recent conflict in the Caucuses, and was one of the
initiators of the conference to raise aid for Georgia.


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Czech government against EU plan for free fruit and vegetables in
schools
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The Czech government is opposed to an EU plan to give free fruit and
vegetables to schoolchildren, the minister of agriculture, Petr
Gandalovic, said on Tuesday. However, if the European Commission
succeeds in having the project (which is aimed at fighting child
obesity) accepted, the Czech Republic will take part, Mr Gandalovic
said. Individual countries would have to pay for the fruit and
vegetables given out in their school system. Two weeks ago the Czech
Senate said a campaign to promote healthy eating would be a better
approach than actually handing out fruit and veg.


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Wind power to increase seven-fold next year
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There should be a seven-fold increase in the amount of electricity
produced by wind power stations in the Czech Republic next year,
Stanislav Travnicek of the country's energy regulation office said at a
conference on Tuesday. When output increases from the current 100
gigawatts a year to 700 gigawatts a year in 2009, wind power will
account for almost one percent of the electricity produced in the Czech
Republic


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Coughing heard in one of four new recordings of national anthem
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One of four new recordings of the Czech national anthem made on the
initiative of the Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, includes the
sound of somebody coughing, Lidove noviny reported. The newspaper said
it appeared sound engineers had not noticed the coughing during the
version of the anthem performed by opera singer Adam Plachetka. The
mistake was noticed by a listener who downloaded the music from the
internet.


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Weather
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It should be quite cloudy with some rain over the next few days.
Temperatures are expected to reach up to 17 degrees Celsius.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Current Affairs
Former president Havel receives Point Alpha Award
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The former Czech president Vaclav Havel has just been awarded the
German Point Alpha Prize for his contribution to German, and European,
unification. Tuesday's ceremony did not take place at the usual venue -
the former border between East and West Germany - but at the German
Embassy in Prague. The embassy itself has also been marking an
important chapter in its own history.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108799

Current Affairs
Agreement paving the way for first Czechoslovak state to go on display
in Prague
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In less than one month, the Czech Republic will mark an historic
anniversary: 90 years since the founding of Czechoslovakia. To
commemorate this day, the Czech Senate has put the original of the
Pittsburgh Agreement, a document that created the basis for the new
state, on display. On Monday, the US ambassadors to the Czech Republic
and Slovakia presented the document to the head of the Czech Senate,
Premysl Sobotka. Ruth Frankova has the details.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108798

Current Affairs
Major glass producer axes two of its plants to stay afloat
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A long tradition of Bohemian glass making almost came to an end on
Monday when Bohemia Crystalex Trading, the Czech Republic's largest
producer of glass, was left little choice but to consider closing down
all of its four plants due to severe financial difficulties. But late
Monday evening, the company struck a deal with its creditors, buying
time to seek investors who could save the glassworks from going under.
The deal has come at a price: two of its facilities will still close
down.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108797

Talking Point
The long shadow of the Munich Agreement
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I'm standing in the exhibition hall of the Czech Senate and in front of
me is an official copy of the Munich Agreement, the notorious 1938
document that ceded the Sudeten territories in Czechoslovakia to Nazi
Germany. It is a four page document that is written in German, with a
series of numbered points on it. At the bottom of the document are the
clearly visible signatures of Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain and
Benito Mussolini and French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier. But this
act of appeasement didn't work and ended up leading to the Second World
War and that it the subject of this week's Talking Point.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108781

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Radio Prague Today 9.30.2008

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Current Affairs: Former president Havel receives Point Alpha Award

The former Czech president Václav Havel has just been awarded the German Point Alpha Prize for his contribution to German, and European, unification. Tuesday's ceremony did not take place at the usual venue – the former border between East and West Germany – but at the German Embassy in Prague. The embassy itself has also been marking an important chapter in its own history.

Current Affairs: Agreement paving the way for first Czechoslovak state to go on display in Prague

In less than one month, the Czech Republic will mark an historic anniversary: 90 years since the founding of Czechoslovakia. To commemorate this day, the Czech Senate has put the original of the Pittsburgh Agreement, a document that created the basis for the new state, on display. On Monday, the US ambassadors to the Czech Republic and Slovakia presented the document to the head of the Czech Senate, Přemysl Sobotka. Ruth Fraňková has the details.

Current Affairs: Major glass producer axes two of its plants to stay afloat

A long tradition of Bohemian glass making almost came to an end on Monday when Bohemia Crystalex Trading, the Czech Republic's largest producer of glass, was left little choice but to consider closing down all of its four plants due to severe financial difficulties. But late Monday evening, the company struck a deal with its creditors, buying time to seek investors who could save the glassworks from going under. The deal has come at a price: two of its facilities will still close down.

Talking Point: The long shadow of the Munich Agreement

I'm standing in the exhibition hall of the Czech Senate and in front of me is an official copy of the Munich Agreement, the notorious 1938 document that ceded the Sudeten territories in Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. It is a four page document that is written in German, with a series of numbered points on it. At the bottom of the document are the clearly visible signatures of Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain and Benito Mussolini and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier. But this act of appeasement didn't work and ended up leading to the Second World War and that it the subject of this week's Talking Point.

NEWS /www.nrcu.gov.ua/

Dear subscriber!

We offer you most recent news by this moment on air at National radio company of
Ukraine. To read these news items in full, please, refer to our site
www.nrcu.gov.ua.

Sincerely yours, administrator.
webadm@nrcu.gov.ua
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2008-09-30 17:38:00
Searching for 8 sailors from sunken Tolstoy ship suspended.
Because of bad weather, rescuers suspended searching for 8 crewmembers of the
Tolstoy ship, Russian citizens and seven Ukrainians. The investigation of causes
of the shipwreck started.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75417

2008-09-30 17:31:00
Ukrainian President meets King of Sweden.
An official meeting between Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and King Carl
XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia of Sweden took place near the Presidential
Secretariat.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75413

2008-09-30 17:24:00
Foreign naval vessels watching over Faina.
The ship is currently staying off the Hobio city.US Navy destroyer Howard and a
number of other naval vessels are watching over the Faina. Moreover, a
helicopter, most probably a US one, was seen above theFaina.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75411

2008-09-30 17:16:00
Petro Poroshenko does not see any threat to Ukraine's banking system.
According to Chairman of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine, nothing
currently poses a threat to Ukraine's banking system. Petro Poroshenko made this
statement while speaking during a roundtable which was dedicated to a discussion
of the international economicsituation.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75408

2008-09-30 17:12:00
Ukraine takes measures to monitor situation at Faina ship hijacked by pirates.
In cooperation with the concerned executive bodies, the state-owned company
UkrSpetsExport is taking measures to oversee the development of the situation at
the Faina ship hijacked by pirates and to find ways for itssettlement.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75406

2008-09-30 17:07:00
Speaker says Ukraine already feels global crisis influence.
Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Chairman Arseniy Yatseniuk emphasized that those saying
the crisis would leave no impact on Ukraine are greatly mistaken.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75404

2008-09-30 16:55:00
30 MPs from OU-PSD Bloc support formation of coalition with BYuT and Bloc of
Lytvyn.
The Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc's statement reads that over 30 MPs
from the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc had already put their signatures
to a statement supporting the formation of a coalition with the BYuT and the
Bloc ofLytvyn.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75402

2008-09-30 16:50:00
Threat of Verkhovna Rada dissolution becoming real.
This opinion was voiced by Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko Faction Leader Ivan
Kyrylenko at a meeting of the parliament. In his view, possible early elections
to the parliament won't become a rescue for Ukraine.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75399

2008-09-30 16:33:00
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demands from Russia immediate explanations concerning
anti Ukrainian actions of Russia's mission to OSCE.
The Ministry described as an unfriendly action the spread by Russia's mission to
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of a statement about
alleged violation by Ukrainian authorities of the basic constitutional powers of
the Autonomous Republic ofCrimea.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75398

2008-09-30 16:24:00
Ukraine has enough democratic methods for overcoming political crisis, Ukrainian
President believes.
This is what President Viktor Yushchenko said after a meeting with his U.S.
counterpart George Bush during his visit to Washington. "The domestic political
situation in Ukraine, in my opinion, is far away from being tragic, and not
dramatic, " hesaid.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75396


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RCI Cyberjournal

Canadian PM rejects confab on financial squeeze


Toronto exchange plunges wildly


Bank of Canada joins counterparts to alleviate credit crunch

OTTAWA: NDP CHIEF WANTS MEETING ON FINANCIAL TUMULT

The financial crisis in the United States has become an issue in Canada's election campaign. The leader of the opposition New Democrat Party, Jack Layton, is calling on Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to convene a meeting of party leaders to discuss the situation. The NDP leader says the meeting could take place Wednesday, as the leaders prepare for this week's debate. Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton will take part in the French-language debate on Wednesday and the English debate on Thursday with Stéphane Dion of the Liberals, Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois and Elizabeth May of the Green Party. A spokesman for Conservative Prime Minister Stephen rejected Mr. Layton's suggestion, saying the five party leaders will have an opportunity to debate the situation not behind closed doors but in front of the Canadian people during the television debates.

TORONTO: NDP APPEALS TO DISGRUNTLED LIBERALS

On another subject, Mr. Layton has suggested that Liberal Party voters who are disenchanted with their party should vote for the NDP. Mr. Layton says the election campaign has now been reduced to two competing visions, the NDP's and that of Mr. Harper's Conservatives. The NDP leader also suggests that the Liberals have supported the Conservative agenda. On Sunday, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion attacked the central plank in the NDP platform, a $47-billion increase in corporate taxes to fund child care, student grants, home care for the elderly and other programs. Mr. Dion called the program "completely unrealistic" and said it would kill jobs and threaten savings. Mr. Layton was seemingly trying to take advantage of recent polls that showed lagging Liberal popular. However, the latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicates 36 per cent popularity for the Conservatives, 26 per cent for the Liberals, 19 per cent for the NDP, nine per cent for the Greens and eight per cent for the Bloc Québécois.

OTTAWA: GOVT. WOULD INVOLVE CHILDREN IN ARTS

The prime minister, Mr. Harper, is promising a new tax credit to encourage children to get into the arts. The annual credit worth $150 million targets lower-income families. Mr. Harper has faced criticism from arts groups earlier this year for cutting $45 million in arts and culture funding. Last week, he raised further controversy when he said that ordinary working people were unable to relate to cultural elites who received government subsidies. Campaigning for Canada's federal election on Oct. 14, Mr. Harper said that the arts must be supported in a way that respects taxpayers' interests.

TORONTO: LIBERALS RIP TORIES' ECONOMIC POLICIES

Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says that if the Conservatives are able to carry out their economic program, the country will become unrecognizable. He told the Economic Club of Canada on Monday morning that the Conservatives are obsessed with shrinking the government's economic role while pushing Canada to "the brink of deficit." The deputy leader says that Canadians are vulnerable at a time of crisis that entails a "looming deficit, a credit crunch, an American economy in recession, surging energy prices, rising inflation and falling productivity." Mr. Ignatieff predicts that the Conservatives will cut health care, pensions and other areas that would devastate the middle class. Mr. Ignatieff also accused the NDP of being stuck in a outmoded socialist ideology of the early 20th century.

TORONTO: DEATH-ROW CANADIAN DEFENDED

The lawyer representing a Canadian who sits on death row in the U.S. state of Montana has accused the Conservative government of abandoning him to his fate. Ronald Smith of Red Deer, AB, was sentenced to execution in 1983 after admitting to killing two men. His lawyer wants Federal Court of Canada to order the federal government to resume efforts to have his sentence commuted. Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has said that it would send "the wrong message" if the government requested his repatriation. It had been the policy of the federal government always to intervene on behalf of Canadians sentenced to death abroad. Mr. Smith's lawyer told the court that the change of attitude had had an "extremely adverse effect" on efforts to intercede with the governor of Montana. Speaking outside the court, the lawyer accused the government of "...trying to pander to some law-and-order agenda," and said Mr. Smith's case should become an election issue.

OTTAWA: FEDERAL SURPLUS LOWER THAN FORECAST

The finance department says its surplus for fiscal year 2007-2008 amounted to $9.6 billion, down from the $10.2 billion predicted in the budget. The department says revenues were $1.2 billion lower than forecast and spending on programs was $1.7 billion lower than thought.

TORONTO: NATIVE LEADER SENTENCED

A Canadian native protest leader has been found guilty of three counts of mischief. A court in Bellville, ON, declared Mohawk Shawn Brant guilty on Monday in connection with a nationwide aboriginal day of action last summer. Mohawk protesters blockaded Canadian National Railway Co.'s rail lines in Eastern Ontario. Crown prosecutors had originally been seeking a 12-year prison term for Mr. Brant on a much longer list of charges. But he was confined to the First Nation reserve for three months and been ordered to stay clear of guns and illegal blocades. The tense standoff between the natives and Ontario Provincial Police held up tens of thousands of travellers and millions of dollars in goods.


UNITED STATES

The House of Representatives has voted 228-205 against a plan by the Bush administration more than a week ago to bail out banks burdened with billions of dollars of bad debt. The legislators rejected the proposed $700-billion bailout, a vote that caused the Dow Jones to post its biggest point loss ever and Nasdaq to dip by 11 per cent. European markets also were driven downwards. Lawmakers of Mr. Bush's own Republic party voted 2-1 against the bailout, while a majority of Democrats were for the measure. Each party blamed the other for the defeat. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the outcome cannot stand and that the legislators must act to protect the taxpayer. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson reacted by saying that a rescue package is needed as soon as possible, adding however that the U.S. banking system is standing up well.

UNITED STATES

Meanwhile, financial convulsions continue in the U.S., the latest token of which is the takeover by Citigroup Inc. of Wachovia Corp.'s banking operations in an all-stock transaction worth $2.16 billion. The transaction was brokered by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says it will promote stability. Also on Monday, Morgan Stanley agreed to sell a 21-per cent share of itself to Japan's biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Inc. for $9 billion. The share price of $25.25 is 19 per cent lower than the price at the end of August.

NETHERLANDS, UK

There were banking convulsions in Europe as well on Monday, the governments of the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium took a 49-per cent stake in Fortis retail bank for US$16.4 billion. Fears the bank would go bankrupt caused its share to drop more than 20 per cent on Friday to its lowest level in 15 years. In London, the British government took control of Bradford & Bingley's mortgage and loan business for US$91 billion.

SOMALIA

The U.S. Navy says that several of its warships have surrounded a freighter that sailed from Ukraine and has been seized by pirates. The shipped is anchored in waters off Somalia. The pirates have demanded a $20-million ransom in return for the tanks and other weapons it is carrying. The Russian navy has dispatched a warship as well. Three of the vessel's 21 crew are Russians. Last week, the Kenyan government said the cargo was destined for Kenya, but Kenya now denies this as does Ukraine. The U.S. Navy says the true destination was Sudan.

SUDAN

A group of European tourists and their Egyptian drivers and tour guides were freed early Monday in a raid by several dozen Egyptian special forces in a remote desert area along the border between Egypt and Chad. The five Germans, five Italians, one Romanian and eight Egyptians are safe and sound. The kidnappers, who were demanding a ransom of $8.6 million, fled before the Egyptian soldiers arrived. A German newspaper reported that German special forces were prepared to participate in the raid but weren't needed.

BELARUS

The Central Elections Commission reported on Sunday that all 110 legislative seats in Sunday national election have been won by supporters of President Alexander Lukashenko says the vote was "in accordance with the law." Opposition leader Anatoly Lebedko disagrees, having told Echo of Moscow radio that in most electoral districts no one had even counted the ballots and that there had been "huge vote dumping" of opposition ballots. The U.S. state department and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which assigned 450 observers to the Belarussian election, also were critical. The OSCE said the observers were denied access to more than a third of the polling stations.

CHINA

British candymaker Cadbury says that it found traces of melamine in Chinese-made products recalled in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. The chemical was found in tests that were carried out after Cadbury recalled products made at its Beijing plant. The 11 products recalled include Cadbury Eclairs and bulk packets of Dairy Milk chocolate. Cadbury's candies are the latest Chinese-made foods and drinks that have been removed from stores around the world since a tainted milk scandal was exposed in China earlier this month. Toxic milk has killed four Chinese infants and made 53,000 others there ill.


TORONTO: TSX PLUMMETS

The Toronto stock market fell more than 840 points
Monday, one of the biggest one-day drops in its history.
The exchange fell all afternoon after the U.S. House
of Representatives defeated a US$700-billion bailout plan for ailing
financial institutions.
At one point, Canada's main stock index plunge was down as much
as 955 points Monday.
The TSX index recovered later and ended the day down
840 points at 11,286, meaning the market lost about $100
billion of its value in one day.
Stock markets in New York also plummeted on the news.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 748.21 points to 10,394.92,
it's biggest point drop on record.

OTTAWA: CENTRAL BANKS UNITE TO FIGHT CREDIT CRISIS

The Bank of Canada joined other central banks this morning in taking further action to ease an international credit crisis. The Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve agreed to expand an arrangement that gives them access to each other's cash reserves. Either bank will be able to draw up to US$30 billion from the other, triple the amount that was initially announced earlier this month. The arrangement makes more money available to financial institutions suffering from the credit crisis. The U.S. Federal Reserve has similar arrangements with other central banks.

TORONTO: MANULIFE REVEALS MORE EXPOSURE TO CREDIT CRUNCH

Manulife Financial Corp., Canada's biggest insurance firm, has revealed more exposure to the banking turmoil in the U.S. Manulife CEO Dominic D'Alessandro says the insurer has less than $600 million in exposure to Wachovia Corp., the latest American bank to succumb. Earlier in the month, Manulife revealed more than US$800 million in exposure to Lehman Brothers, American International Group and Washington Mutual. However, Manulife CFO Peter Rubenovitch says his company isn't now facing problems with cash requirements.

VANCOUVER: MINER OBTAINS FUNDING FOR COAL TAKEOVER

Teck Cominco Inc. says it has obtained the $9.8 billion needed to acquire Fording Canadian Coal Trust. The $9.8 billion is the cash portion of the proposed US$14-billion transaction. Doubt had been cast on its viability because of the 20-per cent of the cash which had been fronted by Merrill Lynch, which was recently itself taken over by Bank of America in the financial turmoil in the U.S. Thirteen-percent of the $9.8 billion is being put up by CIBC, Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal. Teck shares fell nearly 14 per cent to close at $28.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

MARKETS

TSX on Monday: 10,365.45 down 778 points. The Canadian dollar closed down 1.03 cents to US95.79 cents. The euro was worth C$1.5087, down 0.06 of a cent. Light, sweet crude: US$96.37, down $10.52.


BASEBALL

Toronto Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey is stepping down from his post.
The move comes a day after his team completed a disappointing 86-76 season.


Weather

British Columbia on Tuesday: sun, high 28 Celsius Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: rain. Northwest Territories: mix of sun, cloud. Whitehorse 13, Yellowknife 3, Iqaluit 0. Alberta, Manitoba: sun. Saskatchewan: rain north, sun south. Edmonton, Regina 24, Winnipeg 19. Ontario, Quebec: rain. Toronto, Montreal 18, Ottawa 19. Maritimes: mix of sun, cloud. Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Fredericton, Halifax 17, Charlottetown 15, St. John's 18.
Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey is stepping down from his post.

Monday, September 29, 2008

News 9.29.2008

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

News Monday, September 29th, 2008

By: Jan Richter

* The Czech military counterintelligence says foreign spies have tried
to gain classified information about a planned US radar base.

* The police are investigating allegedly anti-Romany posters a regional
governor has used in his campaign ahead of the local elections.

* Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has addressed Britain's
Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

========================================================================
Czech military counterintelligence confirms reports of Russian spying
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech military counterintelligence says that foreign spies have
tried to gain classified information about a planned US radar base in
the Czech Republic. In its annual report for 2007, published on Monday,
the Czech agency said that intelligence services of some countries were
interested in recruiting Czech citizens with access to classified
information. The report also said that in 2007, concrete interest was
registered in information relating to the construction of the US
anti-missile radar on Czech territory. The report came after the Czech
civilian intelligence service said last week that Russian spies
attempted to increase opposition on the part of Czech politicians,
media and citizen groups to the radar base.


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Police investigate anti-Roma campaign posters
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The police are investigating three allegedly anti-Romany posters the
governor of the Usti Region Jiri Sulc has used in his campaign ahead of
the local elections. Governor Sulc, who tops the Civic Democrat ballot
in the northern Bohemian region for the upcoming local elections, had
three billboards put up that said "Work hard, Gadzo, so that we are
better off", the word Gadzo being the Romany expression for white
people. The posters have been criticized by some senior Civic Democrats
as well as by Mr Sulc' opponents in the campaign. However, the Governor
says he copied the slogan after seeing it written on a wall in one of
the towns of the region.


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PM Topolanek speaks at Tory conference
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Czech Prime Minister, and head of the Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek
addressed Britain's Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on
Monday. In his speech, Mr Topolanek said that a new conservative
fraction in the European Parliament, consisting mainly of British
Conservative and Czech Civic Democrat MEPs, may be established if the
next elections turn our favourably. The Czech PM also mentioned several
points the two parties had in common, including a cautious view on the
adoption of the euro.


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Hepatitis A: situation not critical
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The Czech Republic's chief hygiene officer Michael Vit told reporters
on Monday that the situation regarding hepatitis A in the country was
not critical, despite the growing number of cases. More than 600 people
have been infected with hepatitis A since the beginning of the year.
Local epidemics of the disease occurred in Prague and central Bohemia
during the summer, with more than 340 cases in the capital alone. Mr
Vit said no preventive measures were needed although the authorities
expect that infection rates will culminate by late November.


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Czech Muslims to sue extremist National Party
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The umbrella organization of Czech Muslims, known as Libertas
Independet Agency, said on Monday that they would file a criminal
complaint against the far right-wing National Party and its chairwoman
Petra Edelmannova. Muslim leader Lukas Lhotan said the National Party's
website contained a number of statements and threats concerning the
Czech Muslim community. The National Party website reportedly called
for the demolition of mosques and the ban of Islam in connection with
the recent death of the Czech ambassador to Pakistan who was killed in
a terrorist attack against the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.


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Supreme Court orders new investigation into suspicious army deals
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The Supreme Court ordered on Monday a new investigation of alleged
corruption related to the Czech army's deals for the renovation of
military airports. Several senior army officers were accused in 1999 of
preferential treatment of certain construction firms which received
deals to renovate military airports and service equipment. In 2007, a
court in Prague shelved the case but two of the accused still filed a
complaint with the Supreme Court. The case will now go back to the
Municipal Court in Prague.


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Court acquits 14 people accused of bank embezzlement
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A court in Usti nad Labem, northern Bohemia, acquitted on Monday 14
people who had been accused of embezzling Universal Bank in 1999. The
prosecution claimed the accused committed fraud causing the bank a loss
of 660 million crowns, or more than 38 million US dollars, but the
court said that the activities of the accused were not criminal.


========================================================================
Czech chemist honoured at University of Manchester
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech chemist Anotnin Holy was awarded honorary professorship at the
School of Chemistry of the University of Manchester on Monday. Mr Holy,
who is 72, specializes in the research of drugs that could be used
against leukaemia and cancer as well as AIDS and hepatitis, and has
authored more than 650 studies.


========================================================================
Writer Adolf Branald dies at 97
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Writer and playwright Adolf Branald died in Prague on Sunday at the age
of 97. Mr Branald, whose major novels Dedecek automobil and Vizita were
also filmed, published his last work in 2005. He is also credited to
have been the first Czech male film actor due to his appearance in a
1918 movie, filmed by his father. In 1996, Adolf Branald was presented
with the Czech PEN Club Award in recognition of his lifelong work.


========================================================================
Ice hockey: Jagr scores a winner for Russia's Osmk
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jaromir Jagr, who plays for Russia's Omsk, scored a winning goal in a
Continental Hockey League's match against Balshikha on Monday, making
it the seventh consecutive victory of his team. After having registered
two assists, he netted his club's fifth goal in the 54th minute,
setting the final score at 5:4.


========================================================================
Weather
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The start of the week will be mostly overcast and cloudy, with
occasional rain. Highest day temperatures will range between 10 and 14
degrees Celsius.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
------------------------------------------------------------------------


One on One
Erik Best - Founder of The Fleet Sheet and Final Word
------------------------------------------------------------------------

My guest in One on One this week is respected Prague-based journalist
Erik Best. Erik came to Prague from the US in the early 90s after
completing degrees in foreign relations, the Russian language and
business. Shortly after his arrival, he founded the Fleet Sheet - a
serious daily bulletin published by him and his staff highlighting
important business and political stories for subscribers. Later, he
added Final Word - a widely-read, often pointedly witty but also
critical opinion piece. Both are discussed in our interview. But first,
we began by talking a little about Erik Best's initial decision to
settle in Prague.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108770

Current Affairs
Historic towers returned to Malostranska beseda
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Malostranska beseda - the former town hall of Prague's historic Lesser
Town is slowly but surely undergoing renovation that, once complete,
will see the building restored to its original splendour. On Sunday,
the last of three replicas of the building's original towers was put
back into place.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108755

Current Affairs
Will trams figure in Wenceslas Square's regeneration?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Could trams be reintroduced to Prague's Wenceslas Square? The capital's
public transport authority would like to bring them back, after an
absence of nearly 30 years. They say the extension would take the
strain off other parts of the city's transport network. But not
everyone is for the idea. Prague City Hall stands adamantly opposed,
saying trams are at odds with its plans to redesign the space as a
pedestrian zone.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108754

Current Affairs
Original Munich agreement to go on display in Prague next month
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Tuesday marks exactly 70 years since the signing of the Munich
agreement, under which Czechoslovakia's German-speaking territories
were sliced off and handed to Hitler. The document was signed on
September 30, 1938 by Britain, Germany, Italy and France. Just a week
ago, Germany unexpectedly agreed to loan the original version of the
document to the Czech Republic. It will go on display at Prague's
National Museum as part of a large exhibition commemorating 90 years
since the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Ruth Frankova spoke with the
museum's historian Marek Junek, who says talks with Germany on
borrowing the treaty lasted nearly a year:

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108753

Sports News
Sports News 9.29.2008
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Sports News: after not scoring twice in a game for over two years,
Milan Baros does it three times in a week for new club Galatasaray;
Slavia lead the Czech league - but who will be top going into next
weekend's derby at Sparta?; Olympic shooting champion Katerina Emmons
takes a career break to have her first child; and Czech ice hockey fans
look forward to a historic first - the start of the NHL season in
Prague.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108741

------------------------------------------------------------------------
This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
chose at http://www.radio.cz/en/subscribe. To change the settings, click
here. (C) 2008, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved. http://www.radio.cz, E-mail: cr@radio.cz

Radio Prague Today 9.29.2008

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

One on One: Erik Best – Founder of The Fleet Sheet and Final Word

My guest in One on One this week is respected Prague-based journalist Erik Best. Erik came to Prague from the US in the early 90s after completing degrees in foreign relations, the Russian language and business. Shortly after his arrival, he founded the Fleet Sheet – a serious daily bulletin published by him and his staff highlighting important business and political stories for subscribers. Later, he added Final Word - a widely-read, often pointedly witty but also critical opinion piece. Both are discussed in our interview. But first, we began by talking a little about Erik Best's initial decision to settle in Prague.

Current Affairs: Historic towers returned to Malostranská beseda

Malostranská beseda – the former town hall of Prague's historic Lesser Town is slowly but surely undergoing renovation that, once complete, will see the building restored to its original splendour. On Sunday, the last of three replicas of the building's original towers was put back into place.

Current Affairs: Will trams figure in Wenceslas Square's regeneration?

Could trams be reintroduced to Prague's Wenceslas Square? The capital's public transport authority would like to bring them back, after an absence of nearly 30 years. They say the extension would take the strain off other parts of the city's transport network. But not everyone is for the idea. Prague City Hall stands adamantly opposed, saying trams are at odds with its plans to redesign the space as a pedestrian zone.

Current Affairs: Original Munich agreement to go on display in Prague next month

This Tuesday marks exactly 70 years since the signing of the Munich agreement, under which Czechoslovakia's German-speaking territories were sliced off and handed to Hitler. The document was signed on September 30, 1938 by Britain, Germany, Italy and France. Just a week ago, Germany unexpectedly agreed to loan the original version of the document to the Czech Republic. It will go on display at Prague's National Museum as part of a large exhibition commemorating 90 years since the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Ruth Fraňková spoke with the museum's historian Marek Junek, who says talks with Germany on borrowing the treaty lasted nearly a year:

Sports News: Sports News 9.29.2008

In Sports News: after not scoring twice in a game for over two years, Milan Baroš does it three times in a week for new club Galatasaray; Slavia lead the Czech league – but who will be top going into next weekend's derby at Sparta?; Olympic shooting champion Kateřina Emmons takes a career break to have her first child; and Czech ice hockey fans look forward to a historic first – the start of the NHL season in Prague.

NEWS /www.nrcu.gov.ua/

Dear subscriber!

We offer you most recent news by this moment on air at National radio company of
Ukraine. To read these news items in full, please, refer to our site
www.nrcu.gov.ua.

Sincerely yours, administrator.
webadm@nrcu.gov.ua
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
2008-09-29 17:54:00
Delegation of Ukrainian FC Dynamo Kyiv left for Istanbul from Boryspil Airport.
FC Dynamo Kyiv will play with Turkey's Fenerbahce SK within the Champions League
Group Stage Second Round.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75331

2008-09-29 17:52:00
BYuT leader Yuliya Tymoshenko called on OU-PSD people's deputies to align
themselves with collection of signatures for resumption of democratic coalition
in enhanced format with Lytvyn's Bloc.
The Prime Minister called on them to make their own decisions on the issue,
without looking back at the Presidential Secretariat.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75330

2008-09-29 17:47:00
Ukraine to participate in investigation of causes of maritime accident with
Tolstoy ship with nine Ukrainians on board.
The vessel, which was carrying a cargo of scrap metal from Rostov-on-Don to
Turkey, sank off the coast of Bulgaria on September 27.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75329

2008-09-29 17:46:00
Average life expectancy in Ukraine is 67 years.
This is 61.5 for men and 73.4 for women, according to a press-release by the
Zhytomyr Regional Health Centre prepared for the International Day of the
Elderly to be marked on October 1.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75327

2008-09-29 17:39:00
Today is day of memory of Babyn Yar tragedy.
Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko laid flowers at the monument to victims of the
Babyn Yar tragedy and the memorial sign to the Organization of Ukrainian
Nationalists members who fell victim of the German Fascistoccupation.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75324

2008-09-29 17:36:00
Regions Party started polling Kyiv residents about possible formation of
coalition with Bloc of Yuliya Tymoshenko.
The study was held only in Kyiv.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75323

2008-09-29 17:31:00
President Viktor Yushchenko congratulated Ukrainian Jews on Rosh Hashanah,
Jewish New Year.
Viktor Yushchenko wished all the Jews living in Ukraine to mark the holiday with
confidence and good mood.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75322

2008-09-29 17:22:00
Public meeting initiated by Svoboda All-Ukrainian Association disrupted in
Crimea on September 28.
During the meeting, it was planned to select a group on preparing for and
holding an all-Ukrainian referendum to change the status of the Autonomous
Republic of Crimea and cancel a special status of Sevastopol.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75320

2008-09-29 17:18:00
30 out of 72 members from OU-PSD by Sunday evening put their signatures for
coalition with BYuT and Bloc of Lytvyn.
The OU-PSD still lacks seven signatures to form the coalition.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75318

2008-09-29 17:09:00
Bulgarian and Turkish authorities resumed search for sailors from sunken Tolstoy
ship.
Several rescue vessels and a helicopter from the Bulgarian Navy shifted a search
zone southwards, to the border with Turkey.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=75315


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

RCI Cyberjournal

New Democratic Party unveils election campaign platform.


Liberal Party boasts of its female candidates.


Maritimes warned to brace for storm.

TORONTO: NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY UNVEILS CAMPAIGN PLATFORM

The New Democratic Party on Sunday unveiled a campaign platform that party leader Jack Layton hopes will entice voters on election day, October 14. The plan promises a new baby bonus, better health care
and help for aboriginals and students. The NDP proposes to replace three existing child benefits with a new monthly cheque of up to CDN$400. A large part of the plan would be funded by higher corporate taxes. Federal spending would increase by CDN$8 billion in the first year, and to CDN$18 billion within four years. The latest opinion polls give the NDP the support of 19 per cent of the electorate, an increase of five points since the start of the election campaign three weeks ago.

TORONTO: LIBERAL PARTY BOASTS OF FEMALE CANDIDATES

The Liberal Party leader, Stephane Dion, boasted on Sunday that his party has surpassed its goal to run more women candidates in the federal election. One Liberal candidate in three is a woman for a total of 112 candidates. Celebrating his 53rd birthday with about 200 supporters in a Liberal Party stronghold in Toronto, Mr. Dion said that the large number of women candidates was the most beautiful birthday gift. In contrast, the Conservative Party has one woman candidate out of five.

HALIFAX: MARITIMES WARNED TO BRACE FOR STORM

Emergency Measures officials in New Brunswick expressed concern on Sunday that people living inland were not taking storm warnings seriously enough. The remnants of Hurricane Kyle in the Caribbean were forecast to strike southern New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia on Sunday evening. The Canadian Hurricane Centre predicted that the storm would have sub-hurricane strength. But there was still the possibility that Kyle could be a category 1 storm with winds gusting to 120 kilometres an hour. The New Brunswick Red Cross was checking equipment and supplies to meet any need that might arise. A hurricane watch was posted for Yarmouth, Shelburne and Digby Counties in southwestern Nova Scotia where there were storm surge concerns.

KABUL: CANADIANS AMONG NATO SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN AFGHANISTAN

Two Canadian soldiers were wounded on Saturday in a Taliban insurgent attack on a combat outpost in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan. One soldier is in serious but stable condition. The other has been released from hospital. The attack began with small arms fire and progressed to rocket-propelled grendades. Canada has 2,500 troops serving with the NATO force in the southern region of Kandahar. On the same day, four French soldiers were wounded in clashes with Afghan rebels in Kapissa province, northeast of Kabul. The most seriously wounded had a broken leg. The soldiers belong to the same regiment as many of the ten soldiers who were killed in an ambush last month.

TORONTO: CANADIANS TIRED OF TELEMARKETERS

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians are tired of telemarketing calls, according to a new opinion poll. They plan to register their phone numbers with a national list that goes into effect on Tuesday. Telemarketers will be forbidden from calling subscribers on the list. Telemarketers often disturb people during the evening when people are at home.


UNITED STATES

U.S. lawmakers will begin voting on the country's multi-billion-dollar bailout package on Monday. Lawmakers continued on Sunday to seek a consensus on a bailout package that could provide as much as US$700 billion to stabilize the U.S. financial industry. Congressional negotiators amended the Treasury Department's original proposal to add oversight powers and conditions that would protect taxpayers. The House of Representatives will first vote on the government's proposal and then, on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate will vote.

SOMALIA

A sailor has died aboard a Ukrainian ship that was hijacked last week off the coast of Somalia. The ship's captain confirmed by satellite telephone that the sailor died of hypertension. The ship is transporting 33 military tanks to Kenya. Pirates have demanded 20 million dollars' ransom. The ship lies moored off the coast of Somalia. A U.S. navy destroyer has sailed within sight and a Russian naval vessel is on its way to the area. But the pirates have warned them not to attempt a rescue.

SUDAN

Sudanese forces say that they killed six bandits who kidnapped 19 European tourists and their Egyptian guides nine days ago. One of those killed was said to be the commander of a rebel group in Sudan's Darfur region. Two rebels were arrested. The captured rebels said that the hostages are in a place called Tabbat Shajara, a short distance inside neighbouring Chad. Latest reports say that the hostages are all well.

AUSTRIA

Austria's two governing political parties each lost support in parliamentary elections on Sunday as voters veered to the far right. The Social Democrat party managed to maintain first place, with almost 30 per cent of votes, a drop of 5.5 percentage points. It was the party's lowest score since the end of the Second World War. Support for the conservative OeVP fell by 8.6 percentage points to 25.7 per cent. Both parties lost votes to far-right parties. The Freedom Party surged to 18 per cent while Joerg Haider's Alliance for the Future of Austria saw its support triple to almost 11 per cent.

IRAQ

A series of bombings in Baghdad on Sunday killed at least 29 people. Three attacks struck as Iraqis marked the end of the daily Ramadan fast. A bomb in a minibus near a Shiite mosque killed 12 people and wounded 35 others. A second car bombing killed one person and wounded another. Both attacks took place in western Baghdad neighbourhoods. A third attack involving a car bomb and a roadside bomb in the central Karrada district killed 15 people and wounded 50. One person was killed and three were wounded by a roadside bomb in the western district of Mansur.

CHINA

Three Chinese astronauts returned safely to Earth on Sunday. One of them made China's first spacewalk yesterday. The Shenzhou VII spacecraft drifted down under a giant red and white parachute to an empty plain in northern China's Inner Mongolia region. Premier Wen Jiabao watched from Aerospace Control Centre in Beijing. China sent its first man into space in 2003 and followed up with a two-man mission in 2005. A spokesman for the manned space programme. Wang Zhaoyao, says that China now plans a manned mission to the moon and a space station.

JAPAN

Japan's transport minister has resigned only four days after taking over the portfolio. Nariaki Nakayama stepped down after making a series of controversial remarks. He also angered Japan's indigenous Ainu people by describing Japan as ethnically homogenous. His resignation marks a setback for the new prime minister, Taro Aso.

VENEZUELA

Venezuela's president on Sunday announced his government's intention to develop a nuclear reactor. Hugo Chavez said that the reactor would serve peaceful pruposes. He spoke a few days after Russia offered its nuclear assistance. Mr. Chavez noted that Venezuela developed a nuclear reactor decades ago but abandoned it under pressure from the United States. He did not offer details or say when a reactor could be ready. The news could further strain relations with the United States.


FIGURE SKATING

Canadian ice dancers Alexandra Paul and Jason Cheperdak finished fourth in their international debut on Sunday at an ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Madrid, Spain. Ekaterina Riazanova and Jonathan Guerreiro of Russia won the gold medal and Americans Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani were second. Anastasia Vyhhodtseva and Alexei Shumski of Ukraine were third.

FOOTBALL

Quarterback Anthony Calvillo threw three touchdown passes on Sunday to lead the Montreal Alouettes past the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 37-12. Montreal improved its record to 9 wins and 4 defeats, best in the East Division.

BASEBALL

The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles, 10-1, on Sunday. Vernon Wells homered twice and had five RBIs.


Weather

Here is Canada's weather on Monday. British Columbia will be sunny. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 28 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: overcast. Whitehorse, seven. Northwest Territories: mainly cloudy. Yellowknife, ten. Nunavut: mainly cloudy. Iqaluit, zero. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, 23. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 18. Manitoba: mainly sunny. Winnipeg, 14. Ontario: mainly sunny. Toronto, 19. Ottawa, 18. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 19. New Brunswick: cloudy. Fredericton, 20. Nova Scotia: rain showers. Halifax, 19. Prince Edward Island: rain showers. Charlottetown, 17. Newfoundland: rain showers. St. John's, 14.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News 9.28.2008

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

News Sunday, September 28th, 2008

By: Dominik Jun

* The Czech Military Intelligence Service is to confirm reports the
Czech Intelligence Service that Russian spies have been trying to
influence the Czech debate over the placement of a US radar base on its
territory.

* A copy of the original Munich Agreement has been placed on display in
the Czech Senate.

* Police in the Czech town of Hodonin have intervened to prevent a
planned concert to be staged by Neo-Nazis.

========================================================================
Military Intelligence service to confirm Russian radar influence
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Military Intelligence Service is to confirm reports by its
sister agency BIS (the Czech intelligence service) that Russian spies
have been trying to influence the Czech debate over the placement of a
US radar base on its territory. This was confirmed by Martin Bartak,
the deputy Defence Minster on Czech Television on Sunday. He stated
that an upcoming annual report from the Czech Military Intelligence
Service will indeed confirm the BIS allegations made public earlier in
the week. Although the accusations were unspecific, the suggestion was
made that Russian agents are trying to influence and even finance the
anti-radar movement in the country. Public opinion remains largely
opposed to the radar, while the leading anti-radar group "Ne Zakladnam"
has flatly rejected that it has any Russian connections. The government
is set to probe its intelligence services on the matter next week.


========================================================================
Munich Agreement copy is placed on display in the Czech Senate
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A copy of the original Munich Agreement, the document which in 1938
gutted Czechoslovakia by ceding its Sudeten territories to Hitler, has
been placed on display in the Czech Senate. In a decision made to mark
St. Wenceslas day, parts of the Senate not normally opened to the
public were opened, including a salon overlooking the Valdstejn Gardens
and the office of the Deputy Head of the Senate Jiri Liska. The Munich
Agreement will be visible in the Senate's display hall. The copy was
given to the Czech Republic in September, and was followed by a
surprise announcement that the original document would also be loaned
to the Czech Republic and be placed on display in Prague's National
Museum.


========================================================================
Police in Hodonin intervene during Neo-Nazi music concert
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Police in the Czech town of Hodonin have intervened to prevent a
planned concert to be staged by Neo-Nazis. The decision was taken to
prevent Neo-Nazis from clashing with Roma demonstrators and also a
group of anarchists. The police intervention ultimately prevented the
Neo-Nazis from gathering in Hodonin, but it was later discovered that
they had held a gathering and concert some 20 kilometers from the town,
near a village called Sardice. Police have stated that they did not
intervene during this gathering as no laws were broken. Locals in the
village have stated that they had no idea that such a gathering would
take place in their area.


========================================================================
Communists accused of re-writing history
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech-Moravian Communist Party has been accused of re-writing
history following a recent statement issued by the party to mark the
anniversary of the 1938 Munich agreement. The statement by the
communists places heavy emphasis on the actions of the Soviet Union to
liberate Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, while critics asserts that it
neglects to mention either Western Allied efforts, or the initial
opposition to Nazism by the West at a time when the Nazis and the USSR
were essentially allies under the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. The
communist statement also alludes to the Munich Agreement as being a
betrayal by the West. Historians quoted by the Czech online news-server
Aktualne.cz have dismissed the statements as biased in favour of
Russia, which they argue was just as, if not more hesitant to save or
protect Czechoslovakia during the early part of WWII.


========================================================================
After 200 years, the Malostranska "Meeting Place" has three domes again
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Malostranska Beseda or "Meeting Place" a former local town hall had
the last of its former copper domes reinstated on Sunday. The domes
were removed in 1828, and heated discussions have taken place in recent
times as to whether the building should be restored to its original
17th century form. Protracted reconstruction of the building has been
underway since 2007, with the cost of returning the domes estimated at
26 million crowns. The project is set to be completed in the middle of
next year. After that time, local authorities have plans to make the
building into the cultural centre of the Malostranska area in the
centre of Prague.


========================================================================
"New" national hymn premieres
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In celebrations to mark Czech national day, a spruced up version of the
Czech national hymn "Kde Domov Muj" premieres at the Czech National
Theatre in Prague on Sunday evening. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, in
an unusual move, requested that the hymn be modernized for the
occasion. The result is slightly different orchestration and an altered
tempo.


========================================================================
Finance Minister dismisses talk of Czech economic slowdown
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has dismissed talk of an
impending economic slowdown in the Czech Republic. The comments were
made on Czech Television on Sunday. The Finance Minister also addressed
the current financial crisis in the US, saying that the government
would not bailout companies if a similar situation arose in the Czech
Republic. A number of Czech companies, including porcelain maker
Krystalex have been facing growing debt problems in recent weeks. Mr
Kalousek also stated that cuts would have to be made to the state
budget.


========================================================================
New education proposal gives power to head-teachers
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Under a newly unveiled government education proposal, head-teachers
will be able to "correct" grades given to pupils that have been found
to be unfair, reported the daily Hospodarske Noviny on Sunday. The bill
passed its first reading in parliament last week, and is designed to
bypass the current system in which a disputed grading leads to the
pupil having to re-sit a test.


========================================================================
Weather:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The country is enjoying a brief Indian Summer weekend with spells of
sunshine and temperatures of around 16 degrees Celsius. Next week, the
weather will slowly return to typical autumn conditions.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Mailbox
Mailbox 9.28.2008
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Mailbox this week: The tragic death of the Czech ambassador to
Pakistan in the Marriott bombing in Islamabad; an alternative Czech
national anthem; Radio Prague's Magazine; the tallest building in the
Czech Republic; the country's state budget for 2009. Listeners quoted:
Tharwat Elkorm, Walter Knitl, Saralee Turner, Rassem Ben Brahim,
Sahadot Hossain.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108711

Letter from Prague
A journey to England twenty years later
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last week I spent a few days in England with my mother. She was invited
to a class reunion at St Hilda's College in Oxford, marking 40 years
since matriculation and I went along to give her moral support, in case
none of her former classmates recognized her (a worry which of course
proved to be pointless). On the way from London to Oxford, I realized
that the two of us, plus my older brother, travelled along the same
road more than twenty years ago, when Czechoslovakia was still under
communist rule.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108710

Czech Books
Battle for the Airwaves: radio and the 1938 Munich crisis
------------------------------------------------------------------------

70 years ago, in September 1938, Europe was in the grip of a complex
international diplomatic drama, known as the Munich crisis. It
culminated in the fateful signing of the Munich Agreement on September
30, when the leaders of Britain, France and Italy agreed to Hitler's
territorial claims on Czechoslovakia in return for a peace that was to
last just a year. A fascinating and gripping account of this crisis has
been published this week, and I'm delighted to be able to talk about it
with its author, my colleague at Radio Prague, David Vaughan:

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108657

------------------------------------------------------------------------
This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
chose at http://www.radio.cz/en/subscribe. To change the settings, click
here. (C) 2008, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved. http://www.radio.cz, E-mail: cr@radio.cz

Radio Prague Today 9.28.2008

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Mailbox: Mailbox 9.28.2008

In Mailbox this week: The tragic death of the Czech ambassador to Pakistan in the Marriott bombing in Islamabad; an alternative Czech national anthem; Radio Prague's Magazine; the tallest building in the Czech Republic; the country's state budget for 2009. Listeners quoted: Tharwat Elkorm, Walter Knitl, Saralee Turner, Rassem Ben Brahim, Sahadot Hossain.

Letter from Prague: A journey to England twenty years later

Last week I spent a few days in England with my mother. She was invited to a class reunion at St Hilda's College in Oxford, marking 40 years since matriculation and I went along to give her moral support, in case none of her former classmates recognized her (a worry which of course proved to be pointless). On the way from London to Oxford, I realized that the two of us, plus my older brother, travelled along the same road more than twenty years ago, when Czechoslovakia was still under communist rule.

Czech Books: Battle for the Airwaves: radio and the 1938 Munich crisis

70 years ago, in September 1938, Europe was in the grip of a complex international diplomatic drama, known as the Munich crisis. It culminated in the fateful signing of the Munich Agreement on September 30, when the leaders of Britain, France and Italy agreed to Hitler's territorial claims on Czechoslovakia in return for a peace that was to last just a year. A fascinating and gripping account of this crisis has been published this week, and I'm delighted to be able to talk about it with its author, my colleague at Radio Prague, David Vaughan:

RCI Cyberjournal

Bloc Quebecois leader promotes energy plan.


Liberal Party leader warns voters of U.S. policy.


Prime Minister defends state of Canada's economy.

MONTREAL: BLOC QUEBECOIS LEADER PROMOTES ENERGY PLAN

The leader of Canada's opposition Bloc Quebecois, Gilles Duceppe, proposes to reduce Quebec's dependence on oil by 50 per cent within ten years. He says that Quebecers will spend CDN$20 billion on oil this year, which, to his mind, is drain on the province's economy. Campaigning for the federal election on October 14, Mr. Duceppe proposed that the federal government give a rebate of CDN$2,000 to those who convert their house heating system from oil to electricity. By reducing Quebec's use of oil, Mr. Duceppe said that greenhouse gas emissions would fall by 22 per cent. The Bloc Quebecois promotes Quebec's independence from Canada. The party fields candidates in federal ridings only in Quebec.

OTTAWA: LIBERAL PARTY LEADER WARNS VOTERS OF U.S. POLICY

The leader of the opposition Liberal Party, Stephane Dion, is urging Canadians to reject what he calls the right-wing ideology of U.S. President George W. Bush's administration. Mr. Dion predicts that tough times are coming in the United States as a result of what he calls the administration's right-wing ideology of laissez-faire I-don't-care. Mr. Dion has often accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper's policies of resembling those of Mr. Bush. Campaigning on Saturday for the federal election on October 14, Mr. Dion pledged to create jobs by means of an infrastructure program that would cost CDN$70 billion over ten years. As the election campaign was poised to begin its third week, opinion polls continue to show Canadians prefer Mr. Harper over Mr. Dion as prime minister, and the Conservative Party over the Liberals.

AJAX: PRIME MINISTER DEFENDS STATE OF CANADA'S ECONOMY

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is accusing Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion of stirring up alarm about the state of the economy. On the election campaign trail, Mr. Harper said that even in the face of the U.S. economic crisis, Canadian financial institutions are holding firm. He accused Mr.Dion of 'virtually cheering for there to be a recession.' Mr. Dion rejected the accusation. Earlier, he stated that whenever a Conservative Party government is elected, the economy does poorly.

HALIFAX: MARITIME PROVINCES FACING ANOTHER ROUGH STORM

Environment Canada on Saturday issued wind and rainfall warnings for parts of the Maritimes that will be affected by tropical storm Kyle over the weekend. The storm was forecast to hit southwestern Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick as a tropical storm late on Sunday or early on Monday. Wind gusts are expected to reach 120 kilometres an hour. Reports late on Saturday reclassified the storm as a hurricane.

MONTREAL: ANIMALS RESCUED FROM BRUTAL CONDITIONS

Police raided a puppy mill near Montreal this week, rescuing more than 100 animals including dogs, cats and a rabbit. The Quebec humane society described the scene as the worse case in its history. The animals were found in dismally dirty conditions, many with open sores and severe skin conditions. No one has been charged yet. Canada has strict laws against animal abuse.


UNITED STATES

U.S. legislators continued to work through the weekend on a multi-billion-dollar bailout plan for U.S. financial institutions. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, expressed hope that congressional negotiators would strike a deal on a US$700 billion plan by Sunday evening or Monday morning, when Asian and American stock exchanges re-opened. The weekend meetings include top negotiators from the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as a number of committee chairmen.

SYRIA

In the deadliest attack in Syria in more than a decade, a car bomb killed 17 people and injured 14 others in Damascus on Saturday. All of the victims were civilians. The car with 200 kilograms of explosives blew up in a residential neighbourhood. The blast knocked down part of a four-metre-high wall surrounding a security complex that housed several buildings. Syria's Interior Minister called the bombing a terrorist act. Deadly bombings are rare in Syria, where the government maintains strong security.

CHINA

Three Chinese astronauts will return to Earth on Sunday, a day after one of them completed his country's first space walk. Zhai Zhigang's
space walk earned him praise from President Hu Jintao, who declared the manoeuvre a major breakthrough for China. Fellow astronaut Liu Boming also emerged briefly from the capsule to hand Mr. Zhai a Chinese flag. During the space walk, the Shenzhou VII spacecraft had a fire alert, but it turned out to be a mistake in one of the spacecraft's sensors. China's space officials also indicated that a female Chinese astronaut would go into space in the future.

SOMALIA

Another freighter was seized on Friday in waters off the coast of Somalia. The Greek tanker with a crew of 19 was carrying refined petroleum from Europe to the Middle East. Unknown pirates seized it in the Gulf of Aden. The hijacking came one day after pirates in nearby waters seized a Ukrainian freighter carrying 33 Russian-built military tanks and ammunition to Kenya. The pirates are demanding US$35 million in ransom. A U.S. destroyer and a Russian naval vessel closed in Saturday on the hijacked Ukrainian ship to ensure that the pirates do not try to remove any cargo or crew.

VENEZUELA

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, signed a deal with Portugal on Saturday that will provide social housing and personal computers to Venezuela. The deal was signed by Mr. Chavez and by Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates. Portugal will export one million laptop computers to Venezuelan school children and build 50,000 pre-fabricated homes. Mr. Socrates said that the deal will sets up a program similar to one in Portugal. The two countries also agreed to cooperate on energy, notably on gas and electricity. Mr. Cavez's visit was his third to Portugal in under a year. In the previous week, Mr. Chavez also stopped in China, Cuba, France and Russia.

UNITED STATES

The American film actor and director, Paul Newman, has died at the age of 83. He died of cancer on Friday at his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut. Mr. Newman acted in more than 50 movies, achieving star status in his youth and maintaining it even into his old age. He was nominated for Hollywood's Academy Award ten times and won the award in 1987 for The Color of Money. The Academy also bestowed two honourary awards on him. Mr. Newman was a major philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to charity through his business ventures. Among his favourite pasttimes was professional car racing.

UNITED NATIONS

The United Nations Security Council has held an informal meeting to discuss how to press for political reforms in Burma. The meeting was attended by the Security Council's permanent members and by government ministers from Asian nations. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chaired the informal talks on the sidelines of the General Assembly. The meeting is expected to increase international demands for Burma's military government to hold a dialogue with the democratic opposition.

INDIA

An explosion at a market in India's capital, Delhi, has injured at least 12 people. The market in the Mehrauli area was packed with shoppers at the time of the blast. Two weeks ago, five bombs ripped through busy shopping areas in Delhi, killing at least 20 people. Police have arrested the leader of an Islamic militant group that claimed responsibility for recent bomb blasts in two cities.

UNITED STATES

The United States and India have moved one step closer to formalizing a controversial deal on U.S. civilian nuclear technology. The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday passed the deal that lifts a three decade-old ban on nuclear trade with India. The agreement was passed by 298-117. The deal will head to the U.S. Senate for its vote. Some U.S. legislators oppose the deal because India has refused to sign the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty.


TRAMPOLINE

Jason Burnett on Saturday became the first Canadian man to win a gold medal in a World Cup trampoline event. He won at the 2009 season's opening event in Loule, Portugal. His compatriot, Rosannagh MacLennan, also won a gold medal in the women's event.

SOCCER

Toronto FC tied with Houston on Saturday, 1-1. Toronto has not won a game in its last seven outings.

BASEBALL

The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles, 3-0, on Friday in a game shortened to seven innings by rain.

ROAD RACING

Canadian Alex Wrubleski finished ninth in a 138.4-kilometre road race in Varese, Italy, on Saturday. Nicole Cooke of Britain added the world road race title to her Olympic gold medal. Marianne Vos of the
Netherlands was second in a sprint finish. Judith Arndt of Germany took the bronze.

FOOTBALL

The Canadian Football League is investigating a play in a game
between Winnipeg and Edmonton on Friday. Fighting broke out after Eskimo Kevin Glenn was hit helmet to helmet by Winnipeg's Agustin Barrenechea. Bombers receiver Romby Bryant then shoved Barrenechea. Bryant was ejected and Barrenechea was penalized. Glenn suffered minor concussion-like symptoms. Once the investigation process has been completed, a decision on disciplinary action will be made.


Weather

Here is Canada's weather on Sunday. British Columbia will be sunny. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 24 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: rain showers. Whitehorse, seven. Northwest Territories: clearing skies. Yellowknife, nine. Nunavut: overcast. Iqaluit, three. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, 16. Saskatchewan: mainly sunny. Regina, 15. Manitoba: clearing skies. Winnipeg, 19. Ontario: overcast. Toronto, 21. Ottawa, 18. Quebec: rain. Montreal, 20. New Brunswick: rain showers. Fredericton, 21. Nova Scotia: rain showers. Halifax, 20. Prince Edward Island: variable cloudiness. Charlottetown, 22. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, 18.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

News 9.27.2008

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

News Saturday, September 27th, 2008

By: Dominik Jun

* The shockwaves of the government's double legislative defeat on
Friday continue to be felt within political circles.

* Foreign Minister Karel Shwarzenberg has conceded that the current
financial crisis in the US could delay the building of a proposed
missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

* Ludmila Brozova-Polednova, the former prosecutor in the Stalinist
show-trial of anti-communist dissident Milada Horakova is expected to
begin a six-year prison sentence for her part in the capital murder of
Mrs Horakova by the end of October.

========================================================================
Fallout continues from Friday's government legislative defeat
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The shockwaves of the government's double legislative defeat on Friday
continue to be felt within political circles - with one newspaper
headline simply calling it PM Topolanek's "Black Friday". Legislation
calling for the abolition of doctor's fees for children, seniors and
those in poverty proposed by the opposition Social Democrats passed its
second reading in parliament after gaining the support of Christian
Democrat MP Ludvik Hovorka, Green Party MP Olga Zubova, Social Democrat
rebels Evzen Snitily and Petr Wolf and former Civic Democrat MP Juraj
Ranenec. The vote was seen as a severe blow to an embattled Civic
Democratic party reeling from various scandals and infighting - and in
particular to Health Minister Tomas Julinek, the co-architect of the
current doctor's fees. A second opposition bill to reduce petrol taxes
also passed its first reading.


========================================================================
Finance crisis could delay US missile shield
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Foreign Minister Karel Shwarzenberg has conceded that the current
financial crisis in the US could delay the building of a proposed
missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic as the US
Congress seeks cutbacks on spending. Both major US presidential
candidates are committed to the scheme, albeit with certain
reservations about assuring its functionality. In comments made at the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mr Schwarzenberg also stated that
Czech officials had been in contact with both Senators Obama and McCain
with regards to the project. The Czech Republic's parliament has not
yet ratified a treaty on the base, although a vote is expected by the
end of this year.


========================================================================
Brozova-Polednova may begin prison term in October
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ludmila Brozova-Polednova, the former prosecutor in the Stalinist
show-trial of anti-communist dissident Milada Horakova is expected to
begin a six-year prison sentence for her part in the capital murder of
Mrs Horakova by the end of October, according to reports. Mrs
Brozova-Polednova will serve her sentence in a prison in Plzen. Last
week, Czech president Vaclav Klaus denied a request from Renata
Vesecka, the country's Supreme State Attorney to pardon Mrs
Brozova-Polednova, following her conviction earlier this month. The
appeal had been made on the grounds of Mrs Brozova-Polednova's advanced
age - 86 - and relatively poor health.


========================================================================
Funeral held for fallen Pakistan ambassador
------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Friday evening, mourners said their final farewells to the Czech
Republic's ambassador to Pakistan Ivo Zdarek, who was killed during a
terrorist attack on the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan last
Saturday. The 47-year-old's funeral took place in the Czech town of
Hradec Kralove and was attended by about 200 mourners. Tributes were
paid at the service to the ambassador's professionalism and humanity.


========================================================================
Czech Republic gets mention in US presidential debates
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama briefly mentioned the
Czech Republic along with other eastern European states in Friday's
presidential debate with Republican opponent John McCain. The comments
came as the candidates discussed the perceived threat posed by Russia,
particularly in light of its recent invasion of Georgia. Addressing the
issue, Mr Obama stated that as a NATO country "We also have to affirm
all the fledgling democracies in that region...the Estonians, the
Lithuanians, the Latvians, the Poles, the Czechs, that we are, in fact,
going to be supportive and in solidarity with them in their efforts."


========================================================================
Poll: Czechs remain reluctant to forgive Germany for the Munich
annexation
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czechs remain reluctant to forgive Germany for its annexation of its
Sudeten territories in 1938 - as a result of the notorious Munich
agreement. The information comes in a new poll carried out by the
Meridian polling agency. According to figures provided by the
organisation, 39% said they are not ready to forgive Germany, 22.7%
said they were, while 22.1% said they did not know. However, when
broken down by age-group, the results paint a different picture. Of
those aged between 55-64, 71% said they could not forgive Germany,
while for under-24s, the answer was only 22%. In a separate question,
51.8% of respondents answered that the post-War expulsion of around 3
million Germans from Czechoslovakia was the correct action.


========================================================================
Summit sees promise of Lisbon ratification
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A summit hosted by the chair of the Czech senate Premysl Sobotka for
European politicians and held on Saturday led those attending to vow to
continue and accelerate ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The meeting
was organized by Mr Sobotka ahead of the Czech Republic's assumption of
the EU presidency in January 2009. In attendance were representatives
from 11 central and eastern-European nations.


========================================================================
Czechs celebrate St. Wenceslas day
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czechs across the country have been marking St Wenceslas day
(officially on Sunday). In the town of Brandys nad Labem, Cardianl Vlk
carried several extremely rare artifacts, including the skull of the
Czech patron saint at a special ceremony attended by hundreds of Czechs
and also the Czech president. This year marks 1100 years since Saint
Wenceslas's birth.


========================================================================
President to depart for US trip
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech president Vaclav Klaus is to depart for a five day working trip
to the US. Among the stops on the official itinerary are Portland,
Oregon; Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona. The president will
promote an English-language version of his controversial
"anti-global-warming" book and also meet with business leaders and
politicians during the trip.


========================================================================
Weather:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The country is enjoying a brief Indian Summer weekend with spells of
sunshine and temperatures of around 16 degrees Celsius. Colder weather
is forecast for the week ahead.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Magazine
Magazine 9.27.2008
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Two Czech woodcarvers are making a nativity scene for the Pope. Hate
waiting at airports? Prague's Ruzyne Airport offers passengers an
exhibition of modern art on the premises! And, a small village in north
Bohemia gets its own astronomical clock. Find out more in Magazine with
Daniela Lazarova

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/108703

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