Saturday, January 31, 2009

News 1.31.2009

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

News Saturday, January 31st, 2009

By: Ian Willoughby

* The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has cancelled a visit to Prague
scheduled for Monday.

* Around 1,000 people attended a Communist Party demonstration in
Prague on Saturday against a planned US radar base.

* The Romany pop group Gipsy.cz will represent the Czech Republic at
the Eurovision Song Contest.

========================================================================
Palestinian leader Abbas cancels Prague visit
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has
cancelled a visit to Prague scheduled for Monday. A spokesperson for
the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, said Mr Abbas had to change his
plans because of talks in Cairo and the situation in the Middle East.
The Palestinian leader had been due to meet Mr Klaus, Prime Minister
Mirek Topolanek and other senior Czech representatives in Prague.


========================================================================
Communists lead Prague protest against planned American radar base
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Around 1,000 people protested in Prague on Saturday against a planned
US radar base. Among those who spoke was Vojtech Filip, the leader of
the Communist Party, which organised the demonstration. Opinion polls
have consistently suggested that around two thirds of Czech are opposed
to the radar base, which would be built in central Bohemia and be part
of a planned American anti-missile shield. Prague and Washington have
signed treaties on the radar, though the Czech Parliament has not yet
voted on the matter.


========================================================================
Russia again intensifies rhetoric on US anti-missile shield
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Russia, which is opposed to the radar and a planned missile
site in Poland, has again intensified its rhetoric on the subject. A
few days ago Moscow indicated it had dropped a threat to place
short-range missiles in its Baltic territory of Kaliningrad in response
to the US facilities. On Friday, however, the AP news agency reported
that Russia said it would place missiles in Kaliningrad if the American
project went ahead.


========================================================================
Gipsy.cz to represent Czech Republic at Eurovision
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Television has chosen the Romany pop group Gipsy.cz to represent
the Czech Republic in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Czech TV
dispensed with the idea of a national song contest and itself nominated
Gipsy.cz for the semi-finals of the Eurovision, which is being held in
Moscow in May. Viewers will be able to vote on what song Gipsy.cz
performs.

Since the Czech Republic began taking part in Eurovision in 2007
neither of the country's two entrants - rock band Kabat and pop singer
Tereza Kerndlova - made it past the semi-final stage.


========================================================================
PM Topolanek attends Czech ball in Brussels
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, attended a Czech ball in
Brussels on Friday evening representing the symbolic launch of Czech
cultural events during the country's presidency of the European Union,
the Czech News Agency reported. Speaking at the start of the ball, Mr
Topolanek joked that he hoped it would become a tradition, at least
until the Czech Republic was expelled from the EU. He said as well as
its interests and agenda, the Czech Republic would also like to present
its humour and bad habits during its presidency.


========================================================================
Operators: EU presidency site visited by over half a million in January
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The operators of the website of the Czech presidency of the European
Union say over 590,000 people visited it in January, the Czech News
Agency reported. The most frequent users of www.eu2009.cz are based in
the Czech Republic, with more traffic on the Czech than the English or
French language versions. Among those visiting the site are
journalists, state employees and students.


========================================================================
Czech international Kovac joins West Ham on loan
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech football international Radoslav Kovac has joined the English
Premier League club West Ham on a six-month loan deal from Spartak
Moscow. The 29-year-old, who can play in both central defence and
midfield, joined Spartak from Sparta Prague four years ago. Kovac has
28 international caps.


========================================================================
Karamazov Brothers, Tobruk and Country Teacher pick up multiple
nominations for Czech film awards
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Karamazov Brothers by Petr Zelenka and Tobruk by Vaclav Marhoul
have both received eight nominations for the Czech Lion film awards.
The Country Teacher by Bohdan Slama picked up seven nominations at an
event at Prague's Lucerna on Friday night. The winners of the leading
Czech film awards will be announced on March 7.


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

It should get a bit warmer over the next few days, with temperatures
set to reach up to 6 degrees Celsius. Forecasters say it will be cloudy
and wet.

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


SoundCzech
Like a knife slicing through butter
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech - RPs Czech language course in
which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today's
song is called Joshua - a spiritual sung by the group Spritual Kvintet
and the phrase to listen out for is jako kdyz maslem projde nuz.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112803

Magazine
Magazine 1.31.2009
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Buddha Bar Hotel opens in Prague, a Czech-made Skoda car ends up
getting wedged in a church roof after flying 100ft in the air, and a
group of enthusiasts collect money to build an 18th century schooner.
Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112802

------------------------------------------------------------------------
This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
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all rights reserved. http://www.radio.cz, E-mail: cr@radio.cz

Radio Prague Today 1.31.2009

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

SoundCzech: Like a knife slicing through butter

Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech – RPs Czech language course in which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today's song is called Joshua - a spiritual sung by the group Sprituál Kvintet and the phrase to listen out for is jako když máslem projde nůž.

Magazine: Magazine 1.31.2009

A Buddha Bar Hotel opens in Prague, a Czech-made Škoda car ends up getting wedged in a church roof after flying 100ft in the air, and a group of enthusiasts collect money to build an 18th century schooner. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

Friday, January 30, 2009

News 1.30.2009

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

News Friday, January 30th, 2009

By: Jan Velinger

* The European Union and China have agreed to hold a summit in Prague
during the Czech EU presidency.

* The president of the European Parliament has warned that the EU will
not see further enlargement without ratification of the Lisbon treaty.

* A court has ordered the Trebic hospital to pay 3.3 million crowns in
damages to the families of two babies accidentally switched at birth.

========================================================================
PM confirms EU-China summit to be held in Prague
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The European Union has agreed with China to hold a joint-summit in
Prague during the Czech EU presidency. Czech Prime Minister Mirek
Topolanek made the announcement on Friday after meeting with Chinese
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He stressed that although no definite date
had been set, May was most likely. The summit is expected to follow the
G20 summit in London a month earlier. Prior to meeting with Mr
Topolanek in Brussels on Friday, the Chinese prime minister also met
with the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. Topics
discussed included closer cooperation between China and the 27-member
bloc. Other topics included Tibet and human rights.


========================================================================
EP president warns EU will not see further enlargement without Lisbon
treaty
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has
said the EU will not see further enlargement unless the Lisbon treaty
is ratified. He made the statement in Prague on Friday after a meeting
with representatives from France, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Spain
(the four countries consecutively holding the EU presidency as of last
year until 2010). Mr Poettering did allow that Croatia's admission
could be an exception. He stressed that EU countries which failed to
ratify the treaty would have to accept responsibility for preventing
newer countries from becoming members. The Irish rejected the treaty in
a referendum last June, while the Czech Republic, which currently holds
the EU presidency, has not voted on the document yet. The lower house
is to discuss the treaty during an extraordinary session next week.


========================================================================
EU, parliamentary leaders discuss approach on international conflicts
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leaders from the European Parliament and lawmakers from EU countries
met in Prague on Friday to discuss approaches to international
conflicts, including the situation in the Gaza Strip. The speaker of
the Czech lower house Miloslav Vlcek stressed that the EU had a good
reputation in areas like Gaza, but indicated that it needed to be used
more effectively in diplomacy. On Friday he proposed a number of steps
concerning the situation in Gaza, appealing for Israel to stop its
blockade and for Palestinian representatives to return to the
negotiating table.


========================================================================
Court orders hospital to pay 3.3 million crowns in damages to families
of switched babies
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A court has ordered the Trebic hospital to pay a total of 3.3 million
crowns in damages to two families of baby girls accidentally switched
at birth. The families had been asking asked for almost four times that
amount. The hospital, meanwhile, had offered the families a payment of
600,000 crowns. Baby girls Veronika and Nikola were mistakenly switched
after they were born in 2006, but the mix-up was only uncovered ten
months later, after one of the couples underwent DNA testing. The
children were then eventually switched back to their biological
parents. The damages have not been divided equally between the couples,
but on the basis of individual trauma (as assessed by psychological
testing). One couple will receive 1.2 million, the other, 2.1. In his
ruling, the judge called the original offer made by the hospital
"inadequately low" given the mistakes that had been made.


========================================================================
Duricko to stand trial for Kocka murder
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech businessman Bohumir Duricko is to face trial for murder and could
face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. The suspect is charged with
the murder of Vaclav Kocka, jr - the son of a close former aide to
opposition party leader Jiri Paroubek. Mr Kocka was shot at close range
at a Prague restaurant last October, the site of a book launch by Mr
Paroubek. The incident took place in the evening hours, after the
launch had ended; the Social Democrat leader and others had already
departed. Mr Duricko has maintained he was defending his girlfriend,
then pregnant, in the incident.


========================================================================
Flu epidemic hits parts of country
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Health officials have confirmed that parts of the country have seen
sharp rises in flu, qualifying as an epidemic. Just this week the
number of cases has risen by 21 percent. In parts of south Moravia it
has been estimated that there are more than 3,000 cases per 100,000 in
the population. The current flu has been described as particularly
aggressive - leading to sudden high fevers, tiredness and breathing
difficulties.


========================================================================
Education Ministry to provide material on teaching of 20th history
Czech history
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Education Ministry is putting together material aimed specifically
at helping teachers tackle 20th century Czech history, not least the
2nd half which Czechoslovakia spent largely under totalitarianism.
Education Minister Ondrej Liska revealed on Friday that the ministry's
aim was to interconnect history with different disciplines, including
literature, offering students a more complex picture of the times.
While admitting that the teaching of history in many cases was "not up
to par", he rejected challenges by the Communist Party over how the
communist period has been taught. The minister said that it was under
communism that history lessons lacked objectivity and were "butchered"
by Communist teachers.


========================================================================
Madonna sets return date
------------------------------------------------------------------------

American pop singer Madonna has announced plans on her website to
perform in Prague in August. The appearance will be her first since she
twice played the Czech capital in 2006. Her appearance is part of her
tour promoting her last CD Sweet & Sticky. Along with Prague, the
popular singer/dancer will perform in 15 other European cities, it has
been announced.


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

Mostly cloudy conditions and snowfall are expected into the weekend; on
Saturday daytime temperatures are expected at around only -2 degrees
Celsius.

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


Business News
Business News 1.30.2009
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Business News this week: the Czech Republic's richest man Petr
Kellner gains influence over the most valuable parts of Czech-Slovak
group J&T; the Czech government sees no reason to bail out the
country's banks; Czech firms say they are experiencing a sharp fall in
orders, and waiting longer for payment; and the Buddha Bar chain opens
its first ever hotel in Prague.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112795

Current Affairs
Preparations in full swing for Nordic World Ski Championship
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The town of Liberec is bracing for the biggest event in its history -
the Nordic World Ski Championship, which is due to kick off in less
than three weeks' time. The long awaited championship has many fans but
it is not without its critics. Opponents say the event has received
overly generous subsidies from the state and argue that given the
country's relatively mild climate a ski event is a luxury that the
Czech Republic can ill-afford.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112784

Current Affairs
Former president Vaclav Havel recovering
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Former president Vaclav Havel is recovering at home after being
released from hospital on Thursday morning. Mr Havel spent more than
two weeks in hospital after complications arose following the removal
of a growth in his throat that was causing the president difficulties
breathing and swallowing. It was only after his recovery that doctors
admitted Mr Havel faced the gravest threat to his health yet.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112783

Current Affairs
Europe's energy security discussed in Ostrava
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech city of Ostrava is hosting a two-day conference on how to
improve the security of Europe's energy supplies, an issue that's been
pushed to the foreground by the recent gas-crisis. The Czech Republic
currently holds the revolving presidency of the EU, and energy security
is one of the country's priorities for the next six months. This EU
conference focuses mainly on electricity, but it's all interlinked -
for a start, more and more European countries are using gas-fired power
stations to create electricity, so when the gas is cut off, it can
cause real problems. Our correspondent Rob Cameron is in Ostrava.
Earlier, I asked him whether energy was currently at the top of the
EU's agenda:

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112782

Arts
Mini retrospective of Czech Pavel Dias alongside new work by US
photographer Bill Jacobson at Prague gallery
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week's Arts focuses on two photographers from rather different
backgrounds who both have exhibitions right now at Prague's Langhans
Gallery. Pavel Dias, a Czech documentary photographer, has a show
called "Padesat" (Fifty), featuring work spanning half a century. Bill
Jacobson, meanwhile, is an American artist showing new work under the
title "funny, cry, happy" alongside early pictures never shown publicly
before.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/112754

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 1.30.2009

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Business News: Business News 1.30.2009

In Business News this week: the Czech Republic's richest man Petr Kellner gains influence over the most valuable parts of Czech-Slovak group J&T; the Czech government sees no reason to bail out the country's banks; Czech firms say they are experiencing a sharp fall in orders, and waiting longer for payment; and the Buddha Bar chain opens its first ever hotel in Prague.

Current Affairs: Preparations in full swing for Nordic World Ski Championship

The town of Liberec is bracing for the biggest event in its history - the Nordic World Ski Championship, which is due to kick off in less than three weeks' time. The long awaited championship has many fans but it is not without its critics. Opponents say the event has received overly generous subsidies from the state and argue that given the country's relatively mild climate a ski event is a luxury that the Czech Republic can ill-afford.

Current Affairs: Former president Václav Havel recovering

Former president Václav Havel is recovering at home after being released from hospital on Thursday morning. Mr Havel spent more than two weeks in hospital after complications arose following the removal of a growth in his throat that was causing the president difficulties breathing and swallowing. It was only after his recovery that doctors admitted Mr Havel faced the gravest threat to his health yet.

Current Affairs: Europe's energy security discussed in Ostrava

The Czech city of Ostrava is hosting a two-day conference on how to improve the security of Europe's energy supplies, an issue that's been pushed to the foreground by the recent gas-crisis. The Czech Republic currently holds the revolving presidency of the EU, and energy security is one of the country's priorities for the next six months. This EU conference focuses mainly on electricity, but it's all interlinked - for a start, more and more European countries are using gas-fired power stations to create electricity, so when the gas is cut off, it can cause real problems. Our correspondent Rob Cameron is in Ostrava. Earlier, I asked him whether energy was currently at the top of the EU's agenda:

Arts: Mini retrospective of Czech Pavel Dias alongside new work by US photographer Bill Jacobson at Prague gallery

This week's Arts focuses on two photographers from rather different backgrounds who both have exhibitions right now at Prague's Langhans Gallery. Pavel Dias, a Czech documentary photographer, has a show called "Padesát" (Fifty), featuring work spanning half a century. Bill Jacobson, meanwhile, is an American artist showing new work under the title "funny, cry, happy" alongside early pictures never shown publicly before.

Asia Compact | 30.01.2009, 18:00 UTC

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Newsletter | 30.01.2009, 18:00 UTC
Asia Compact
Your guide to information and selected links
Overview of Topics
Corporal Punishment is Rife in India
Obama Double Turns Heads in Jakarta
Pyongyang Scraps All Agreements with Seoul
Asia News 30 January 2009 15.15 UTC
Asia Compact
Quiz of the Month
Corporal Punishment is Rife in India
Last year, an Indian teacher blinded a six-year-old girl by inserting a pin into her right eye after she failed to answer a question in class. This gruesome incident happened in November 2008 in the central state of Chhattisgarh. It was only after a gap of two whole months that the abuse was made public, with the concerned teacher being charged with attempted murder. How common is corporal punishment in Indian schools?
[more]
^^^
Obama Double Turns Heads in Jakarta
US President Barack Obama has got a lookalike in Indonesia. Ilham Anas has an uncanny resemblance to the man of the moment with a similar smile and gait, even if he is a good few years younger. He might not be quite as famous but he's certainly been turning heads at home.
[more]
> Afghans Expect Change from Obama
^^^
Pyongyang Scraps All Agreements with Seoul
North Korea said it was scrapping all military and political agreements with South Korea on Friday accusing Seoul of pursuing hostile policies towards it.
[more]
Audio DW reporter Jason Strother talks about the implications of this decision by Pyongyang
> Inter-Korean Talks Make Little Progress
^^^
Asia News 30 January 2009 15.15 UTC
- Mumbai attacks not planned in Pakistan says diplomat
- Nine Pakistani terrorism suspects remanded
- Sri Lanka vows safe passage for civilians
- China, EU to hold summit soon
- Top Indonesian officials face graft charges
- UN special envoy Gambari to visit Myanmar
- Myanmar junta rejects Rohingya claims

[more]
^^^
Asia Compact
North Korea scraps all agreements with South Korea; how common is corporal punishment in Indian schools?; and Obama's lookalike has become a star in Indonesia
[more]
Audio Listen to the latest programme.
^^^
Quiz of the Month
Answer the following question to win a short-wave radio and other Deutsche Welle prizes! To start the new year with a bang, our question is: In which country were fireworks invented?
[more]
^^^
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