Wednesday, March 31, 2010

News 3.31.2010

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Copyright (c) 2010 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

By: Sarah Borufka

* As well as signing an arms reduction treaty with Russia, US President
Barack Obama is likely to also hold bilateral talks with European
leaders on a planned visit to Prague next week.

* The Czech air force and army are gearing up for the upcoming visit of
the US and Russian presidents to Prague.

* No supporting evidence has been found to confirm corruption
suspicions over the Defence Ministry's Pandur contract, the president
of the Czech police said on Wednesday.

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Signing nuclear treaty with Russians unlikely to be only point of Obama
visit
------------------------------------------------------------------------

As well as signing a new arms reduction treaty with his Russian
counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, US President Barack Obama is likely also
to hold bilateral talks with European leaders on a planned visit to
Prague next week, the Czech News Agency reported. The American and
Russian presidents are expected to sign a new version of a treaty
reducing their nuclear arsenals in the city on Thursday. US State
Department official Philip Crowley said he expected that both Mr Obama
and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would also hold a series of
bilateral discussions with European and central European officials in
Prague, adding that a list of who would take part was currently being
drawn up. President Obama returns to the Czech capital almost exactly a
year after making a key speech on nuclear weapons in front of large
crowds at Prague Castle.


========================================================================
Czech air force to use Gripen fighters to secure airspace during
US-Russian summit
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In related news, the Czech army and air force are preparing for the
upcoming visit to Prague by the US and Russian presidents. The Czech
air force will be escorting the presidential planes to Prague airport.
During the summit, which is set to take place at Prague Castle, Gripen
fighters, police and army helicopters will be securing the air space. A
spokeswoman for the Czech army said on Wednesday that the number of
soldiers who will be on duty in the Czech capital during Mr. Obama's
visit will depend on the security demands of the summit's organizers.
Last year, more than 400 soldiers were involved in security operations
on the occasion of Mr. Obama's visit to Prague.


========================================================================
Corruption suspicions over Pandur contract not confirmed by evidence,
says police president
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Police president Oldrich Martinu said on Wednesday that investigations
of possible corruption into the Pandur public tender awarded by the
Czech Ministry of Defence so far have not produced any evidence
supporting the corruption allegations. A special team of investigators
has evaluated all available documents and information and a total of
seven witnesses have been questioned. Although the investigation has
not confirmed corruption allegations so far, it will continue. In
February, the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes suggested that members of
the Ministry of Defence, which in 2008 had signed a 14.4 billion crown
contract with the Austrian company Steyr to buy armoured personnel
carriers, had earmarked two to three percent of the tender as kickbacks
for the two strongest political parties. The report caused a scandal
and some politicians called for far-reaching reforms that would create
greater transparency of public tenders.


========================================================================
Mass production of meta-amphetamine still biggest problem for drug
police
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The mass production of meta-amphetamine in illegal laboratories remains
the biggest single problem faced by the Czech police when it comes to
drug crime. The head of the police's anti-drug force, Jakub Frydrych,
told reporters on Tuesday the situation was partly caused by the
availability of over-the-counter medicines containing pseudo-ephedrine,
which is used to make meta-amphetamine. Mr Frydrych said the Czech
Republic continued to be Europe's biggest producer of the drug; he
added that the difficulty of securing convictions was a bigger issue
than the actual number of illegal labs. Last year 314 labs were
uncovered by the police; in 2008 the figure was 434.


========================================================================
Prague court sentences pharmacist charged with excessive sale of
medicines containing pseudo-ephedrine to eight years in prison
------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Wednesday, a district court in Prague sentenced a pharmacist to
eight years in a high-security prison, in addition to a fine of three
million crowns. The man, who is 50, was charged with selling
over-the-counter medicines containing pseudo-ephedrine to customers who
he knew were using the medicines as an ingredient in the illegal
production of meta-amphetamine. The court estimates that the pharmacist
sold roughly six million pills of the medicine to meta-amphetamine
producers. The pharmacist denies having sold the pseudo-ephedrine
containing drug Nurofen at all. At a court hearing in November, he
claimed to not know that the medicine could be used in the production
of illegal drugs.


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Head of City of Prague preservation department charged with obstruction
and neglect
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Police have charged the head of the Prague town hall preservation
department Jan Knezinek with obstruction and neglect of his office. He
faces demotion and up to three years in prison. The police reacted to a
decision by the Plzen Regional Authority, which on Tuesday announced
that the City of Prague is to pay a 3.25 billion crown fine for damages
that occurred during the repairs of Charles Bridge, The Regional
Authority had been appointed by the Ministry of Culture to determine
whether repairs of Prague's Charles Bridge were devaluating the
landmark status of the monument, after the City of Prague had failed to
take action. The fine was based on damages to original blocks used in
the bridge's construction and the use of modern materials in the repair
of the bridge, which is listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The
repairs were administered by the company Mott MacDonald, which was
found not to be responsible for the damages.


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Czech daily claims amnesty for former communist prosecutor is underway
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The Office of the President of the Czech Republic is preparing a
possible amnesty to be granted to the former communist prosecutor
Ludmila Brozova-Polednova, who at 87 is the country's oldest prisoner,
the Czech daily Lidove noviny reported on Wednesday. A spokesman for
the office refused to comment on the claim. A regional court decided a
month ago that Mrs. Brozova-Polednova, who is currently serving a six
year prison sentence for her participation in the 1950s communist show
trials, could be released as early as March next year under the terms
of several previous presidential amnesties granted between 1953 and
1990. Her prosecutors appealed this verdict. The appeal went before the
Prague High Court, which reached a decision last Wednesday but so far,
the court has not made the verdict public.


========================================================================
Okamura's claim he was offered post of human rights minister denied by
PM and Greens
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The deputy head of the Association of Czech Travel Agents, Tomio
Okamura, has said he had been tentatively approached about taking up
the post of human rights minister, Czech Television reported. However,
a spokesperson for Prime Minister Jan Fischer said he had no knowledge
of any such offer having been made. The Green Party, which nominated
the previous holder of the human rights portfolio in the interim Czech
government, also said it had no knowledge of the post being offered to
Mr Okamura. Michael Kocab recently stepped down as minister of human
rights and minorities after the Greens said they would no longer
support the caretaker cabinet. Mr Okamura, who was born in Japan, was
recently in the news in connection with a project under which owners
can send teddy bears and other toys on holiday in Prague and other
cities.


========================================================================
Regional court gives out long-term prison sentences to members of
international drug ring
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A regional court in Brno on Wednesday sentenced five members of an
international drug ring, which had attempted to smuggle over ten
kilograms of heroin from Turkey into the Czech Republic. The main
defendant, a Turkish citizen, received the highest sentence of 14.5
years; the other four gang members were given sentences between 10 and
12.5 years. Police had secured the roughly 150,000 doses of heroin that
the men were smuggling in a hidden compartment in a rental car in March
of last year.


========================================================================
National Geographic TV to launch Czech-language programming
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The TV channel National Geographic will introduce Czech-language
broadcasts in April. The company announced on Wednesday that fresh
programming and prime time shows will air in Czech, while repeats would
still be shown in the original English language version with Czech
subtitles. National Geographic plans to dub all new documentaries that
are aired in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Czech and is hoping to
gradually increase the number Czech-language programs on its channel,
which airs in 166 countries and 34 languages world-wide.


========================================================================
Berdych beats world number one Federer in Miami
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The Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych beat world number one Roger
Federer of Switzerland at the Miami Masters on Tuesday. Berdych saved a
match point in a third set tie-break in the third round match to bring
an eight-match losing streak against Federer to an end. The Czech had
only beaten Federer once before, at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Berdych is seeded 16th in the tournament.


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

The next few days should see sunny spells with some rain. Temperatures
will reach up to 13 degrees Celsius.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Current Affairs
After 160 years of service the telegram bows out
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In what some describe as the end of an era, the Czech Postal Service on
Wednesday ended a 160-year-long practice of delivering telegrams. While
in the 1930s Czechs sent about four million telegrams a year, the
arrival of electronic communication in the 1990s practically killed
demand for the service. Telegrams have been replaced mainly by mobile
phone text messages and email.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126498

Current Affairs
Czech flag turns 90
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On Tuesday, March 30th the Czech flag was more in evidence than usual -
the state symbol turned 90. The red, white and blue flag with its
simple geometric pattern was created in 1920 shortly after the founding
of an independent Czechoslovak state. Although Czechoslovakia no longer
exists, the flag remains the Czech Republic's state symbol.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126497

Current Affairs
Prague fined for bungled Charles Bridge renovation
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The renovation of Charles Bridge, one of Prague's most significant
landmarks, has been hampered by serious mistakes, some of which are
irreversible. That's the verdict of a regional authority on
preservation of historical monuments which reviewed the progress of the
renovation, and fined Prague City Hall over three million crowns.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126496

Czechs in History
The rise and fall of the King of Comedians, Vlasta Burian
------------------------------------------------------------------------

For all the funny people who have contributed to a century of Czech
filmmaking, the title "King of Comics" belongs to only one. Vlasta
Burian would be 119 years old next month, and he would be very proud of
his reputation indeed, still a star of the Czech television screen
today. But his career as a comedian went hand in hand with the
tragedies of the 20th century, and in his lifetime he was a pauper, a
prince, and a pauper again.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126485


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Radio Prague Today 3.31.2010

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Current Affairs: After 160 years of service the telegram bows out

In what some describe as the end of an era, the Czech Postal Service on Wednesday ended a 160-year-long practice of delivering telegrams. While in the 1930s Czechs sent about four million telegrams a year, the arrival of electronic communication in the 1990s practically killed demand for the service. Telegrams have been replaced mainly by mobile phone text messages and email.

Current Affairs: Czech flag turns 90

On Tuesday, March 30th the Czech flag was more in evidence than usual – the state symbol turned 90. The red, white and blue flag with its simple geometric pattern was created in 1920 shortly after the founding of an independent Czechoslovak state. Although Czechoslovakia no longer exists, the flag remains the Czech Republic's state symbol.

Current Affairs: Prague fined for bungled Charles Bridge renovation

The renovation of Charles Bridge, one of Prague's most significant landmarks, has been hampered by serious mistakes, some of which are irreversible. That's the verdict of a regional authority on preservation of historical monuments which reviewed the progress of the renovation, and fined Prague City Hall over three million crowns.

Czechs in History: The rise and fall of the King of Comedians, Vlasta Burian

For all the funny people who have contributed to a century of Czech filmmaking, the title "King of Comics" belongs to only one. Vlasta Burian would be 119 years old next month, and he would be very proud of his reputation indeed, still a star of the Czech television screen today. But his career as a comedian went hand in hand with the tragedies of the 20th century, and in his lifetime he was a pauper, a prince, and a pauper again.

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
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
2010-03-31 17:24:00
Communist Party MP Hrach demands Yanukovych to fulfill his election promises.
Communist Party MP and Chairman of the Public Council on the Protection of the
Constitutional Powers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Leonid Hrach has
demanded that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych "immediately fulfills his
electionpromises.".
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115092

2010-03-31 17:01:00
Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia to check state border.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has instructed the administration of the
State Border Service to form a delegation to participate in the work of
commissions with Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in order to conduct joint checks
of the stateborder.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115089

2010-03-31 16:51:00
Ukraine suggests Transdnistria conflict settlement in 5+2 format.
Ukraine hopes for resumption of talks on the Transdnistria conflict settlement
in the 5+2 format, President Viktor Yanukovych said during his meeting with
President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Foreign
Minister of Kazakhstan KanatSaudabayev.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115086

2010-03-31 16:19:00
Vitaliy Klychko: No one will take my belt off in ring.
Vitaliy Klychko (39-2, 37 KOs) of Ukraine, and Albert Sosnowski (45-2-1, 27 KOs)
of Poland, participated in a press conference in Warsaw to talk about their
upcoming fight in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on May29.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115072

2010-03-31 16:03:00
Ukraine, Russia to sign several agreements on cooperation in aerospace sector.
Ukraine and Russia are planning to sign several agreements on deepening
cooperation in the aerospace field, Director General of the National Space
Agency of Ukraine Yuriy Alekseev said at a briefing onWednesday.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115090

2010-03-31 15:37:00
Ukraine ranked 26th in FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
The Ukrainian national football team is ranked 26th (2 pts down) in the updated
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115080

2010-03-31 14:43:00
Odesa refinery to resume oil processing in April.
The Odesa oil refinery (southern Ukraine) planns to resume the processing of
crude oil in April 2010, Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko said after the
government meeting.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115083

2010-03-31 14:33:00
Ukraine, IMF to continue talks.
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko is going to visit Washington to
negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he told reporters on
Wednesday.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115079

2010-03-31 12:55:00
Ukrainian citizen dies after terrorist act in Moscow.
Ukrainian citizen died after terrorist act in Moscow on the Culture Park subway
station, according to the Ukrainian Consulate in Russia.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115088

2010-03-31 12:40:00
Banks ready to credit agrarians on security of yield.
Agrarian Policy Minister Mykola Prysiazhniuk states that banks are ready to
extend credits to agricultural enterprises on the security of the yield.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=115081


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RCI Cyberjournal

U.S. foresees Iran consensus at world body


Canada's refugee system to be revamped


Auto industry gets more good news

GATINEAU: CLINTON PREDICTS NEW IRAN SANCTIONS

Foreign ministers of the G-8 grouping have completed two days of talks at Gatineau, QC, near Ottawa and agreed on the growing threat arising from the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. There had been speculations that a fourth round of sanctions against Iran might emerge from the meeting, but this wasn't the case. However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicts that a consensus on further measures against that country will be reached at the UN Security Council. The secretary of state says there's a growing awareness on the part of many countries, including China, of the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran. Speaking on another subject on Monday, Mrs. Clinton said that the U.S. would like Canada to extend its mission in Afghanistan after the 2011 dead imposed by Parliament for a withdrawal. But Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told his guest on Tuesday that his government had no intention of extending the deadline.

OTTAWA: REFUGEE SYSTEM TO GET OVERHAUL

Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has introduced legislation to reform the country's refugee regulations. Under the changes, claims from applicants whose countries are considered "safe" will be processed first to ensure the timely removal of bogus claimants. Public servants would make the initial determinations rather than political appointees to the refugee board. A formal appeals body would be created. Mr. Kenney's bill is aimed at cutting administrative costs and increasing efficiency, while discouraging fake refugees from even trying to exploit the refugee system.

STOCKHOLM: CANADA CRITICIZED OVER ARCTIC EXCLUSION

Two Nordic states have criticized Canada for having failed to invite them to a meeting on Monday of Arctic countries. Sweden and Finland expressed regret that they and Iceland were left out of the meeting of Arctic "coastal" states. The meeting of the foreign ministers of the U.S., Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway took place in Gatineau, QC, ahead of the G-8 foreign ministers. Sweden's foreign ministry expressed disappointment that only five of the eight members states of the Arctic Council were on hand, saying as well that Arctic issues should be dealt with by the Arctic Council. The Council meets regularly and includes indigenous groups. Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon explained on Monday that the meeting involved the states having sovereignty claims pending that are to be settled under the terms of a UN treaty.

OTTAWA: GOVT. AGAIN TACKLES SENATE REFORM

The Canadian government is trying for a fourth time in four years to bring in a Senate reform bill. The government is trying to impose eight-year term limits on the upper chamber of Parliament. It would apply to all senators appointed since October of 2008. However, several provinces say such changes require provincial approval. But Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for democratic reform, says legal experts assure the government that term limits can be imposed without a constitutional amendment. Currently, Senators have to be at least 30 years old to be appointed and can serve until the mandatory retirement of 75. A term could run as long as 45 years.

OTTAWA: HOMEOWNERS STRUGGLE TO KEEP THEM

A new study is suggesting that as many as 20 per cent of Canadian homeowners are struggling to afford the house they're living in. The Conference Board of Canada defines housing as "unaffordable" if it consumes more than 30 per cent of a family's pre-tax income. The report concludes many Canadians can only keep a roof over their heads by cutting costs in ways that could harm their health, such as buying less nutritious food. The Board suggests governments join with real-estate developers and civil organizations to increase the amount of affordable housing in the country. It says such changes would have positive impacts on both Canadians' health and the national productivity level.


UNITED STATES

The U.S. says the Obama administration hopes to win the approval of the Senate for a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia by the end of this year. Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev agreed last week that they will sign a new treaty to reduce their countries' nuclear arsenals in Prague on April 8. Mr. Obama's government needs to win a two-thirds majority in the Senate and eight Republican Party senators would have to vote with the Democrats for that to happen. Some Republican senators have said they wouldn't consider voting in favour of the successor treaty to the Strategic Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991 until the administration provides a modernization plan for the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

CHINA

Rescue workers at the scene of a mine disaster in northern China continue to try to rescue 153 miners at the Wangjialing mine but acknowledge there have been no signs of life or communication with them. The mine flooded on Sunday. The rescue workers are trying to drain the mine. Two-hundred-and-sixty-one workers were able to escape the flooding. Officials have yet to offer an explanation for the disaster. One miner said the workers had warned of water leaks as early as last Thursday but were ignored. The accident at Wangjialing could be one of China's worst since a flood in a coal mine in Shandong province in August 2007 killed 172 miners.

NIGERIA

Nigeria's civil aviation authorities say they have begun to install body scanners at the country's international airports. The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria says scanners have been installed a Lagos airport and the devices will be installed at airports in Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja as well. On Dec. 24, a Nigerian who flew from Lagos to The Netherlands was arrested after he was allegedly caught trying to smuggle a bomb on board a flight to Detroit. The U.S. responded by putting Nigeria on a list of countries needing tighter air security.

UN

The United Nations says it will delay release of its report into the assassination of former Pakistani Premier Benazir Bhutto. The report was due to be released immediately, but an urgent request by Pakistan's president asked for a delay of over two weeks. Mrs. Bhutto was killed in a mortar and suicide attack during an election campaign as she left a rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007. A UN spokesman says the reason for the late request to delay the report is unknown.


ALLISTON: HONDA ADDS JOBS

Honda Canada says it will start a second shift at one of its two plants at Alliston in central Ontario early next year, thereby creating 400 jobs. Honda Canada President Manabu Nishimae says the company is pleased to make the announcement as Canada's economy continues to show signs of recovery. Honda's announcement is the latest sign that Canada's auto industry is reviving after a disastrous year of recession. Last week, General Motors of Canada announced that it will recall 700 laid off employees at two Ontario plants.

CALGARY: FOUR CHARGED WITH PONZI

Federal police have charged four people in the Canadian province of Alberta with money laundering and fraud in a Ponzi scheme. The four are accused of cheating 1,000 investors across North America out of $60 million. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police alleges that a now defunct company called HMS Financial Inc. promised investors returns of eight to 12 per cent. The scheme collapsed in March 2004 when the company was unable to meet its payout obligations and the RCMP began its investigation.

MARKETS

TSX on Tuesday: 12.046, up 11. Canadian dollar: US98. Euro: C$1.36. Oil: $82.47, up .30.


SOCCER

Major League Soccer will hold its championship game in Toronto this fall. And it could be a chilly one. The league announced today that the MLS Cup will be held Nov. 21 at BMO Field. It's the first time the title game has been held outside the U.S..


Weather

British Columbia on Wednesday: rain south, cloud north, high C10 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud snow. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 5, Yellowknife 0, Iqaluit -13. Alberta: Quebec: rain south, cloud north. Toronto 16, Ottawa 14, Montreal 10. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 8, Halifax 10, Charlottetown 9, St. John's 5.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

News 3.30.2010

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Copyright (c) 2010 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

By: Ian Willoughby

* The mass production of meta-amphetamine remains the most serious
problem in the area of drug crime, say the Czech police.

* The Czech and Slovak prime ministers discussed energy security and
other issues at a meeting on Tuesday.

* After 160 years, Czech Post is discontinuing its telegram service.

========================================================================
Mass production of meta-amphetamine still biggest problem for drug
police
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The mass production of meta-amphetamine in illegal laboratories remains
the biggest single problem faced by the Czech police when it comes to
drug crime. The head of the police's anti-drug force, Jakub Frydrych,
told reporters on Tuesday the situation was partly caused by the
availability of over-the-counter medicines containing pseudo-ephedrine,
which is used to make meta-amphetamine. Mr Frydrych said the Czech
Republic continued to be Europe's biggest producer of the drug; he
added that the difficulty of securing convictions was a bigger issue
than the actual number of illegal labs. Last year 314 labs were
uncovered by the police; in 2008 the figure was 434.


========================================================================
Czech and Slovak leaders discuss energy security and other issues
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech and Slovak prime ministers discussed a number of topics in
the Czech town of Sezimovo Usti on Tuesday. Among the main items on the
agenda of talks between Jan Fischer and Robert Fico was energy
security, in particular the planned completion of a nuclear power
station at Jaslovske Bohunice in Slovakia. The two leaders also spoke
about road and motorway construction, and their states working together
in the European Union and NATO. Mr Fico said relations between Slovaks
and Czechs were better than they had been when the two nations were
part of one country.


========================================================================
President Klaus discusses Czech troop numbers in Afghanistan with NATO
military chief
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech President Vaclav Klaus met NATO's supreme allied commander in
Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Their
talks were dominated by the issue of the Czech Republic's military
presence in Afghanistan, with Admiral Stavridis reiterating NATO's
request for more soldiers to be sent. The Czech Parliament is set to
vote on a proposal to increase the number of Czech soldiers there by
around 10 percent. However, the planned troop increase could be blocked
by the left-wing parties in the lower house. There are currently 535
Czech troops in Afghanistan; the government wants to send 55 more.


========================================================================
Czech Post discontinues telegram service after over century and half
------------------------------------------------------------------------

After 160 years, Czech Post is to discontinue its telegram service on
Wednesday. Czech Post says that following the advent of mobile phone
text messaging and email, the number of people who send telegrams in
the Czech Republic has dwindled to a few dozen a month and maintaining
the service is no longer viable. However, telegrams will not disappear
completely; Telefonica O2 says it will continue to offer a version of
the service.


========================================================================
Man shot dead after altercation in Sokolov
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The driver of a road repair truck shot dead the driver of a car in
Sokolov, west Bohemia on Tuesday. After an argument the road worker
produced a pistol from the cabin of his lorry and shot the motorist
several times before kicking him and telling him to stand up, a witness
told TV Nova. The two men are believed to have known one another.
Afterwards the road worker waited for the police, who arrested him on
their arrival.


========================================================================
Czech Railways hires first woman train driver since 1980s
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Railways has a female train driver for the first time since the
1980s, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday. The only woman driver
working on the Czech Republic's dense rail network passed the necessary
test last week and after training will take over the controls for the
first time in the middle of April. The freight operator CD Cargo also
has one female engine driver.


========================================================================
New music TV station focuses on music from 1960s to 1990s
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A new channel named Retro Music Television began broadcasting in the
Czech Republic on Tuesday. The first video on the station, which plays
both Czech and foreign hits from the 1960s to the 1990s, was for Depese
by Marta Kubisova. Retro Music Television, which will be on air 24
hours a day, was set up by a group of people who were involved in the
establishment of the Ocko music station. It promises themed programmes
dedicated to genres like soul and hits from films.


========================================================================
Vitkovice to face Slavia in Extraliga semi-finals
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vitkovice have completed the line-up for the semi-final playoffs in
Czech ice hockey's Extraliga. The north Moravian club overcame Sparta
Prague 3:1 at home on Monday evening to win the best-of-seven tie 4:3
on games. That result sets up something of a grudge match against
Slavia Prague in the semis, with Vitkovice's coach Alois Hadamczik not
on good terms with his opposite number at Slavia, Vladimir Ruzicka. The
other Extraliga semi-final features Pardubice and Liberec.

Meanwhile, Marian Jelinek is to stay on as manager of Plzen next
season. The club came first in the Extraliga in the regular season, but
were knocked out in the playoff quarter-finals.


========================================================================
Slavia Prague part company with Jarolim after five years
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Slavia Prague football club have parted company with manager Karel
Jarolim after a string of poor results. Jarolim was at Slavia for five
years and oversaw one of the most successful periods in their modern
history, when they opened a new stadium, won the Czech league two years
running and reached the Champions League for the first time. However,
this season Slavia have failed to challenge for the title and currently
lie in eighth place. The club's management first threatened to sack
Jarolim before later offering to keep him on for the rest of the
season; in the end the coach himself decided to quit. He has been
replaced by Frantisek Cipro.


========================================================================
Berdych to face Federer for place in semi-finals in Miami
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tomas Berdych has reached the last 16 at tennis's Miami Masters. The
Czech men's number two beat Horacio Zeballos 6-4 7-5 in the third round
on Monday to set up a clash with world number one Roger Federer of
Switzerland for a place in semi-finals. Berdych is ranked 16th in the
tournament.


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

The next few days should see sunny spells with some rain. Temperatures
will reach up to 13 degrees Celsius.

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


Current Affairs
Czech ski cross champion, fellow athletes, set sights on Alaska
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The professional ski season has drawn to a close but four Czech
athletes, including the Czech ski cross champion Tomas Kraus, aren't
ready to pull out the golf clubs just yet. In a day's time, he and a
well-known freeride skier and two of the country's best snowboarders
will head to Alaska, where they plan to tackle extreme inclines and
pristine powder over the course of 12 days. The result should be a
short documentary about skiing or snowboarding at its very best.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126450

Current Affairs
85,000 join Facebook campaign against voluntary Romani lessons in
schools
------------------------------------------------------------------------

There's been an unexpectedly negative reaction to a proposal by the
Education Ministry to offer voluntary classes in Romani - the language
of the country's 300,000 Roma or gypsies - in Czech schools. A Facebook
campaign against the proposal has already attracted over 85,000
supporters, although the authorities appear undeterred.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126449

Current Affairs
Police: methamphetamine and marijuana remain top drug-related issues
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Republic has been dubbed the drug haven of the east because
of its liberal legislation and generally tolerant attitude to drugs.
But according to the annual report by the Czech anti-drug police squad,
released on Tuesday, the country also remains Europe's biggest producer
of methamphetamine. The police also warn of the availability of purer
and cheaper cocaine and heroin, while law enforcement agencies are
planning to crack down on the users of the most popular drug among
Czechs: marijuana.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126448

Talking Point
Proposal seeks to include right to adopt in registered partnership
legislation
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Green Party has recently brought forward a proposal to change
legislation so that gay and lesbian individuals in the Czech Republic
who live in a registered partnership would be able to adopt children.
The proposal is based on an analysis by the Committee for Sexual
Minorities. Within Europe, individual adoption for gays and lesbians in
registered partnerships is legal in a number of countries, including
Germany, Norway and the UK.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126439


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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) 2010, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved. http://www.radio.cz, E-mail: cr@radio.cz

Radio Prague Today 3.30.2010

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Current Affairs: Czech ski cross champion, fellow athletes, set sights on Alaska

The professional ski season has drawn to a close but four Czech athletes, including the Czech ski cross champion Tomáš Kraus, aren't ready to pull out the golf clubs just yet. In a day's time, he and a well-known freeride skier and two of the country's best snowboarders will head to Alaska, where they plan to tackle extreme inclines and pristine powder over the course of 12 days. The result should be a short documentary about skiing or snowboarding at its very best.

Current Affairs: 85,000 join Facebook campaign against voluntary Romani lessons in schools

There's been an unexpectedly negative reaction to a proposal by the Education Ministry to offer voluntary classes in Romani – the language of the country's 300,000 Roma or gypsies – in Czech schools. A Facebook campaign against the proposal has already attracted over 85,000 supporters, although the authorities appear undeterred.

Current Affairs: Police: methamphetamine and marijuana remain top drug-related issues

The Czech Republic has been dubbed the drug haven of the east because of its liberal legislation and generally tolerant attitude to drugs. But according to the annual report by the Czech anti-drug police squad, released on Tuesday, the country also remains Europe's biggest producer of methamphetamine. The police also warn of the availability of purer and cheaper cocaine and heroin, while law enforcement agencies are planning to crack down on the users of the most popular drug among Czechs: marijuana.

Talking Point: Proposal seeks to include right to adopt in registered partnership legislation

The Green Party has recently brought forward a proposal to change legislation so that gay and lesbian individuals in the Czech Republic who live in a registered partnership would be able to adopt children. The proposal is based on an analysis by the Committee for Sexual Minorities. Within Europe, individual adoption for gays and lesbians in registered partnerships is legal in a number of countries, including Germany, Norway and the UK.

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
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
2010-03-26 16:59:00
Hryvnia on interbank ends week with confident growth.
Trading on interbank currency market of Ukraine completed with a growth of
hryvnia quotations to 7.9040-7.9125 UAH/USD, 10.5685-10.5838 UAH/EUR.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114744

2010-03-26 16:25:00
Ukraine should have only one state language.
Ukraine should have only one state language - Ukrainian, Volodymyr Lytvyn,
speaker of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), said in an interview to
The Irish Times in Dublin at the end of a two-day officialvisit.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114732

2010-03-26 15:56:00
Wage arrears keep growing.
As of March 1, the volume of unpaid wages increased by 2.7% against February 1,
2010, up to UAH 1.737, 685 billion (1 USD - 7.93 UAH), the State Statistics
Committee reported.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114726

2010-03-26 15:33:00
NBU expands list of memorable coins planned to be issued in spring.
The National Bank of Ukraine expanded a list of memorable coins planned to be
issued in spring 2010.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114736

2010-03-26 15:06:00
President Yanukovych, MEPs moot faster cancellation of visa regime.
President Viktor Yanukovych has stressed the necessity to speed up the
development of a road map, which would allow introduction of the no-visa regime
of travels of Ukrainian citizens to EU countries as soon as possible, he said on
Friday at a meeting with a delegation of the European Parliament led by Adrian
Severin, Vice President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists &
Democrats in the European Parliament, according to the
presidentialpress-service.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114728

2010-03-26 14:38:00
Sale rate of cash dollar drops by 1.58 kopecks.
The average sale rate of the cash dollar at the exchange offices of Kyiv-based
banks fell by 1.58 kopecks on Friday from Thursday to UAH 7.9396/USD 1, while
the purchase rate fell by 2.55 kopecks to UAH 7.8732/USD1.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114740

2010-03-26 14:14:00
Ukrtelecom to expand 3G network by 500 basic stations.
This year, Ukrtelecom will expand the 3G network by 500 basic stations, company
CEO Heorhiy Dzekon has said.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114729

2010-03-26 12:40:00
Ivanchuk wins chess tournament in Nice.
Ukrainian grandmaster Vasyl Ivanchuk has won the Amber international chess
tournament in Nice, France.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114742

2010-03-26 12:36:00
Investments to make USD 7bn in 2010.
Foreign direct investment in 2010 to Ukraine will make up USD 7 billion at best,
Executive Director of the Bleyzer Foundation Oleh Ustenko told journalists.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114738

2010-03-26 12:29:00
Russia agrees to revise gas contracts signed earlier.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, commenting his Thursday's visit to
Moscow, called as very important the fact that during the talks Russia granted
consent to price downward revision in the gas contracts, the Prime Minister told
a briefing at the Cabinet of Ministers onFriday.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114734


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

Monday, March 29, 2010

News 3.29.2010

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright (c) 2010 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Monday, March 29th, 2010

By: Jan Richter

* The Czech prime minister has condemned Monday's attacks on the Moscow
underground.

* Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocab has stepped down a
week after the Greens withdrew support for the caretaker government.

* The European Commission will not support a Czech bid to make Canada
drop the visa requirement for Czech nationals.

========================================================================
Czech PM condemns metro attacks in Moscow
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech prime minister, Jan Fischer, has condemned Monday's attacks
in Moscow's metro. In a letter of condolence to his Russian
counterpart, Vladimir Putin, Mr Fischer said the two suicide bomb
attacks were "a deplorable act of hate". The Czech prime minister noted
that the government of the Czech Republic, its citizens as well as
himself personally condemn all terrorist acts as unacceptable.

The Czech embassy in Moscow said no Czech citizens were among the
victims of the attacks that killed at least 37 people at two metro
stations in the Russian capital on Monday morning. The Czech charge
d'affaires in Moscow said they were checking all available lists of
Czech nationals in Moscow, but no Czech victim had been reported.


========================================================================
Human rights minister steps down
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocab stepped down on
Monday, a week after the Greens, who nominated him for the post,
withdrew support for the caretaker government. Mr Kocab said he did not
step down immediately to make sure his resignation would not trigger a
government crisis. The Green Party withdrew its support for the cabinet
after Environment Minister Jan Dusik, stepped down last week over
pressure concerning controversial plans to modernize a major Czech coal
power plant.

Mr Kocab, who announced his resignation on Friday, served as human
rights and minorities minister since January 2009. His major efforts
focused on improving the situation of Romanies as well as on equal
opportunities for gays and other minorities. Prime Minister Jan Fischer
said he would talk to the two strongest parties about the future of the
post; he might also take over Mr Kocab's agenda himself until May's
general elections.


========================================================================
European Commission not to push for visa requirement for Canadian
diplomats
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The European Commission is for now not going to ask EU member states to
impose visas on EU-bound Canadian diplomats in a bid to make Ottawa
drop visas for Czech citizens, European Commissioner for Home Affairs
Celicia Malmstrom said on Monday.

The news comes as a disappointment for Czech officials who were hoping
that a summit of EU interior ministers would deal with the issue, and
eventually recommend EU member states to pressure Canada into dropping
the visa requirement for Czechs. Canada re-introduced visas for Czech
citizens last year over increasing numbers of Czechs who sought asylum
in that country. Earlier this month, a group of experts from the
European Commission, Canada and the Czech Republic met in Prague to
discuss the situation; Canadian officials said that Ottawa will
consider lifting the visa requirement for Czechs only after
streamlining its immigration system which might take years.


========================================================================
Top NATO commander in Europe meets Czech chief of general staff over
Afghanistan
------------------------------------------------------------------------

NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, met
the chief of Czech general staff, General Vlastimil Picek, on Monday to
discuss ways the Czech Republic can participate in the training of
Afghan security forces even if the Czech Parliament does not approve a
planned increase of Czech troops in that country. Admiral Stavridis
said NATO needed more Czech instructors to train the Afghan army and
police as part of NATO's ISAF mission. During his two-day visit to the
Czech Republic, Admiral Stavridis will also meet President Vaclav Klaus
and Prime Minister Jan Fischer.

The Czech Republic has over 500 soldiers serving in Afghanistan, while
this year the government is planning to send an additional 55 Czech
troops. However, these plans have been opposed by the left-wing
majority in Parliament.


========================================================================
Central bank governor: health of public finances key to euro adoption
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The state of the Czech public finances is the factor in determining any
possible date for the adoption of the euro, Governor of the Czech
National Bank Oldrich Tuma said on Monday. Speaking at a conference on
euro adoption in Prague, Mt Tuma also suggested 2015 as the earliest
possible date the Czech Republic could adopt the common European
currency. According to the Finance Ministry, the Czech Republic failed
to fulfil two out of four criteria for euro adoption laid down in the
Maastricht treaty; it exceeded the 3 percent limit of the state budget
deficit, and it also failed to join the European exchange rate
mechanism ERM II.


========================================================================
Government to provide 1.5 billion for investments in health care
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech government agreed on Monday to provide 1.5 billion crowns, or
nearly 80 million US dollars, for strategic investment in health care,
Prime Minister Jan Fischer told a news conference in Prague on Monday.
Nine hospitals, including teaching hospitals in Prague, Brno, Olomouc
and Ostrava, are supposed to receive the earmarked funds after the deal
is agreed by the regions' governors in early April, Mr Fischer added.
The prime minister said the investment projects to be supported by the
government were "central priorities" and that some of them were
extremely urgent.


========================================================================
Czech Republic and Syria sign social insurance agreement
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Petr Simerka and his Syrian
counterpart, Diala El-Haj Aref, singed a social security agreement
between the two countries in Prague on Monday. The deal will grant
pensions to Czech nationals working in Syria and to Syrian citizens
working in the Czech Republic. The agreement provides for equal
treatment for nationals of both countries, adding up insurance periods,
pension payments in the other country and prevents double taxation. The
Czech-Syrian treaty is the first such agreement the Czech Republic has
with an Arab country, the ministry said, noting it will affect some 350
persons in each country.


========================================================================
Central Bohemian hospitals file joint lawsuit against Health Ministry
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In related news, five hospitals run by the Central Bohemian Region
filed a joint lawsuit against the Czech Health Ministry on Monday over
the ministry's refusal to allow their transformation into a
non-for-profit holding. The region's governor, David Rath, told
reporters the hospitals have applied twice for permission to transform,
but were rejected each time on the grounds of procedural faults. Mr
Rath criticized the ministry for having failed to address the
applications, and said the lawsuit should force the ministry to act.
Meanwhile, the Czech Health Ministry rejected the criticism on Monday,
saying the applications lacked the necessary paperwork.


========================================================================
Corruption watchdog files lawsuit against Prague district mayor
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The corruption watchdog Transparency International filed a lawsuit on
Monday against the controversial mayor of the Prague 5 district, Milan
Jancik, over contracts the town hall signed with debt recovery
agencies. Transparency International said the contracts were concluded
in breach of the law; the group also believes that contracts were
disadvantageous for the district of Prague 5 which lost several dozen
million crowns as a result. The police had already investigated the
contracts, but found no law was breached.


========================================================================
Czechs among EU nations that least engage in sports
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czechs are among EU nations that least engage in sports and other
physical activities, according to a survey by the Eurobarometer agency
released on Monday. With 37 percent of Czechs regularly doing exercise
or sports, the country ranked 20th out of the 27 EU nations in the
survey. The EU average is 39 percent. The list is topped by Swedes,
Finns and Danes; while Bulgarians and Greeks ranked lowest.


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

The coming days will be cloudy with occasional rain showers. Highest
day temperatures should range between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.

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


One on One
FAMU dean Pavel Jech: sometimes it's too easy to make a film here
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Film and Television Academy, or FAMU, has been educating
filmmakers for over 60 years. Among its students were such
personalities of Czech and international cinema as Milos Forman, Jiri
Menzel, Agneiszka Holland and Jan Sverak. In this edition of One on One
we talk to Pavel Jech, the dean of the famed film school. Pavel Jech
was born in Prague but grew up in the United States, where his parents
moved after 1968, when he was only two months old. After graduating in
history at Columbia University in New York, Pavel Jech returned to
Prague in 1990 where his life took a different turn.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126426

Sports News
Sports News 3.29.2010
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Sports News this Monday: there are upsets in the playoffs of ice
hockey's Extraliga, with the clubs who came first and second in the
regular season both exiting in the quarter-finals for the first time
ever; Sparta Prague pull ahead in the Czech soccer league with a 3:0
win over Brno; Vendula Frintova takes a top triathlon prize in
Australia; and former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedved
takes part in the Prague Half Marathon.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126422

Current Affairs
Prague Photo Fair opens in Czech capital
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday night will see the opening of Prague Photo Fair. Until the end
of the week, the Manes Exhibition Hall will present a wide range of
photographers, galleries and art schools from Central Europe. For the
first time this year, the Prague Photo Fair is part of a larger event -
the Prague Photo Festival - that will be held simultaneously at twelve
venues in Prague. Tomas Hajek is the event coordinator:

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126414

Current Affairs
Earth Hour sees Brno veiled in darkness, but in Prague lights blaze on
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Millions of people, institutions and town halls around the globe joined
forces in calling for action on climate change on Saturday evening by
switching off their lights for an hour. Launched just 3 years ago by
the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is now observed by some 50 million
people in 35 states. Although in Prague lights blazed on, the country's
second biggest city Brno was veiled in darkness as were a number of
other locations such as Liberec, Telc, Trebon and Decin. Earlier today
we spoke to Vojtech Kotecky from the non-governmental organization
Friends of the Earth about Czech participation in Earth Hour.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126413

Current Affairs
Human rights minister Michael Kocab steps down at Greens' request
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Michael Kocab has resigned
- meeting a request by the Green Party which no longer intends to
support the country's caretaker government. The Greens decided to
withdraw from the cabinet entirely after its environment minister
stepped down over what they see as ineffective modernisation plans by
the CEZ power utility for a controversial coal-powered plant.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126412


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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) 2010, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved. http://www.radio.cz, E-mail: cr@radio.cz

Radio Prague Today 3.29.2010

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

One on One: FAMU dean Pavel Jech: sometimes it's too easy to make a film here

The Czech Film and Television Academy, or FAMU, has been educating filmmakers for over 60 years. Among its students were such personalities of Czech and international cinema as Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, Agneiszka Holland and Jan Svěrák. In this edition of One on One we talk to Pavel Jech, the dean of the famed film school. Pavel Jech was born in Prague but grew up in the United States, where his parents moved after 1968, when he was only two months old. After graduating in history at Columbia University in New York, Pavel Jech returned to Prague in 1990 where his life took a different turn.

Sports News: Sports News 3.29.2010

In Sports News this Monday: there are upsets in the playoffs of ice hockey's Extraliga, with the clubs who came first and second in the regular season both exiting in the quarter-finals for the first time ever; Sparta Prague pull ahead in the Czech soccer league with a 3:0 win over Brno; Vendula Frintová takes a top triathlon prize in Australia; and former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedvěd takes part in the Prague Half Marathon.

Current Affairs: Prague Photo Fair opens in Czech capital

Monday night will see the opening of Prague Photo Fair. Until the end of the week, the Mánes Exhibition Hall will present a wide range of photographers, galleries and art schools from Central Europe. For the first time this year, the Prague Photo Fair is part of a larger event – the Prague Photo Festival - that will be held simultaneously at twelve venues in Prague. Tomáš Hájek is the event coordinator:

Current Affairs: Earth Hour sees Brno veiled in darkness, but in Prague lights blaze on

Millions of people, institutions and town halls around the globe joined forces in calling for action on climate change on Saturday evening by switching off their lights for an hour. Launched just 3 years ago by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is now observed by some 50 million people in 35 states. Although in Prague lights blazed on, the country's second biggest city Brno was veiled in darkness as were a number of other locations such as Liberec, Telč, Třeboň and Děčín. Earlier today we spoke to Vojtěch Kotecký from the non-governmental organization Friends of the Earth about Czech participation in Earth Hour.

Current Affairs: Human rights minister Michael Kocáb steps down at Greens' request

The Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Michael Kocáb has resigned - meeting a request by the Green Party which no longer intends to support the country's caretaker government. The Greens decided to withdraw from the cabinet entirely after its environment minister stepped down over what they see as ineffective modernisation plans by the ČEZ power utility for a controversial coal-powered plant.

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
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
2010-03-26 16:59:00
Hryvnia on interbank ends week with confident growth.
Trading on interbank currency market of Ukraine completed with a growth of
hryvnia quotations to 7.9040-7.9125 UAH/USD, 10.5685-10.5838 UAH/EUR.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114744

2010-03-26 16:25:00
Ukraine should have only one state language.
Ukraine should have only one state language - Ukrainian, Volodymyr Lytvyn,
speaker of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), said in an interview to
The Irish Times in Dublin at the end of a two-day officialvisit.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114732

2010-03-26 15:56:00
Wage arrears keep growing.
As of March 1, the volume of unpaid wages increased by 2.7% against February 1,
2010, up to UAH 1.737, 685 billion (1 USD - 7.93 UAH), the State Statistics
Committee reported.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114726

2010-03-26 15:33:00
NBU expands list of memorable coins planned to be issued in spring.
The National Bank of Ukraine expanded a list of memorable coins planned to be
issued in spring 2010.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114736

2010-03-26 15:06:00
President Yanukovych, MEPs moot faster cancellation of visa regime.
President Viktor Yanukovych has stressed the necessity to speed up the
development of a road map, which would allow introduction of the no-visa regime
of travels of Ukrainian citizens to EU countries as soon as possible, he said on
Friday at a meeting with a delegation of the European Parliament led by Adrian
Severin, Vice President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists &
Democrats in the European Parliament, according to the
presidentialpress-service.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114728

2010-03-26 14:38:00
Sale rate of cash dollar drops by 1.58 kopecks.
The average sale rate of the cash dollar at the exchange offices of Kyiv-based
banks fell by 1.58 kopecks on Friday from Thursday to UAH 7.9396/USD 1, while
the purchase rate fell by 2.55 kopecks to UAH 7.8732/USD1.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114740

2010-03-26 14:14:00
Ukrtelecom to expand 3G network by 500 basic stations.
This year, Ukrtelecom will expand the 3G network by 500 basic stations, company
CEO Heorhiy Dzekon has said.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114729

2010-03-26 12:40:00
Ivanchuk wins chess tournament in Nice.
Ukrainian grandmaster Vasyl Ivanchuk has won the Amber international chess
tournament in Nice, France.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114742

2010-03-26 12:36:00
Investments to make USD 7bn in 2010.
Foreign direct investment in 2010 to Ukraine will make up USD 7 billion at best,
Executive Director of the Bleyzer Foundation Oleh Ustenko told journalists.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114738

2010-03-26 12:29:00
Russia agrees to revise gas contracts signed earlier.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, commenting his Thursday's visit to
Moscow, called as very important the fact that during the talks Russia granted
consent to price downward revision in the gas contracts, the Prime Minister told
a briefing at the Cabinet of Ministers onFriday.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=114734


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

RCI Cyberjournal

Reforms slated for immigration laws.


Canada to add more funds for Haiti relief.


Diplomat urges Canadian focus on Africa.

OTTAWA: REFORMS SLATED FOR IMMIGRATION LAWS

Canada's government is expected to table a bill this week that proposes wide-ranging reforms to eliminate abuse of the immigration system. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says that the system is rife with abuse. As a result, he says, legitimate refugees must wait for as long as a year and a half to have their claims processed. Appeals claims can last longer than four years. Canada has a backlog of 63,000 immigration claims. The proposal would divide refugees into those from safe countries of origin, and those from more dangerous locations, who would be fast-tracked. Countries in the safe category would be determined by the Immigration Ministry. The bill would also have a new appeals process to allow those who are initially rejected to have a second chance. As part of the bill, government bureaucrats rather than Immigration officers would make the initial decisions in the case of claims. The bill will also include more money to help settle people from United Nations-recognized overseas refugee camps. Mr. Kenney says that most people who land in Canada by air claim asylum only because it is convenient. Many later withdraw their claim and ask for provincial welfare. Mr. Kenney says that each claim can cost as much as CDN$50,000. He says that later this Spring he will propose a bill to detect unscrupulous immigration consultants and advisers. Some people question whether reforms are needed. They suggest that the Immigration department needs only hire more officers to handle the backlog.

OTTAWA: CANADA TO ADD MORE FUNDS FOR HAITI RELIEF

The Canadian Press has information that Canada's government will add as much as CDN$100 million to its aid effort for Haiti. The news is expected to be announced this week at the New York international donors' conference on Haiti. Last month, Canada's government said that it would match the CDN$113 million in private donations to Haiti made by Canadians. The government still has to make specific spending commitments. When Canada hosted the first international meeting to discuss aid for Haiti in January, it was decided that any future funding of Haiti would have to be accountable so that failures of the past would not be repeated. The New York conference will have representatives from more than a dozen donor countries, the Haitian government, the Organization of American States, the Caribbean bloc known as CARICOM, NGOs and international institutions. Haiti's government estimates that it will cost US$11.5 billion to rebuild the country following the earthquake in January that killed some 200,000 people.

MONTREAL: DIPLOMAT URGES CANADIAN FOCUS ON AFRICA

A Canadian diplomat is urging Canada's opposition Liberal Party to put a stronger focus on Africa. In a fiery speech at a Liberal Party policy conference in Montreal on Sunday, Robert Fowler said that Canada would do better to spend its money to help develop Africa than to continue fighting in Afghanistan. Mr. Fowler is a United Nations special envoy to Niger. He was held captive by al-Qaeda militants in the Sahara for several months in 2008.

MONTREAL: SPACE AGENCY CONSIDERING CANADIAN LAUNCH SITE

The Canadian Space Agency is looking at Nova Scotia's island as a possible launching site. Cape Breton is one of two possible sites that might be used to blast small satellites into orbit using a Canadian rocket launch system. Another possible launch site is Fort Churchill, Manitoba, near Hudson Bay. Hundreds of small research rockets have been launched from Fort Churchill in the past. An engineer with the Space Agency, Eric Dubuc, says that making the launch sites is feasible, but extremely challenging. The idea of using small rockets to monitor Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic has been discussed informally.

TORONTO: ANOTHER SETBACK FOR NORTEL WORKERS

A court in Ontario has handed another setback to thousands of retirees and former disabled employees of the bankrupt Canadian telecommunications giant, Nortel. On Saturday, a judge rejected a CDN$57 million deal that would have extended pensions and health benefits until the end of the year. The judge ruled that it was unfair to force Nortel's creditors to make concessions to the former employees. Groups representing nearly twenty thousand former Nortel workers are considering their next move. Nortel is under bankruptcy protection. It may cut all benefits by Wednesday.


AFGHANISTAN

U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday on a brief unannounced visit to speak with President Hamid Karzai about some pressing local issues. Mr. Obama urged him to fight both government corruption and the illegal drug trade. Mr. Obama also said that Afghan security forces must strive to become independent of foreign help. Mr. Karzai promised that his country would eventually take over its own security, and he thanked Mr. Obama for the American intervention in his country. U.S. forces are slated to start withdrawing from Afghanistan in just over a year. Mr. Obama spent only a few hours in Kabul. It was his first trip to Afghanistan since he became president last year. President Karzai will visit Washington on May 12.

CHINA

A rescue operation was underway at a coal mine in northern China where at least 123 workers were trapped on Sunday. Water gushed into the Wangjialing mine in Shanxi province where 261 people were working. About half of those underground managed to escape. The Wangjialing mine belongs to the state-owned Huajin Coking Coal company. Its vast coal reserves are described as a key project approved by the provincial government. China's State Council approved extensive changes to the mine's infrastructure.

COLOMBIA

A soldier in Colombia who was captured by FARC rebels almost a year ago was freed on Sunday. Josue Daniel Calvo was handed over to the International Red Cross. Another soldier who has been held captive for 12 years, Sergeant Pablo Emilio Moncayo, is expected to be released early next week. No details of the latest release were reported.

LIBYA

The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will not attend any peace talks with Israel unless it halts construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Mr. Abbas spoke at an Arab League summit in Libya. He is seeking support from Arab nations after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to back down on the issue. Mr. Netanyahu is under intense pressure from Israel's closest ally, the United States, to halt all construction on occupied land. In his first public comments on the matter since a meeting at the White House with President Obama, Mr. Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel and the U.S. remain allies and can work out their differences.

RUSSIA

Russia has fewer time zones than before. Instead of 11 zones, Russia has nine. President Dmitry Medvedev says that fewer zones could make the world's biggest country more manageable to govern and help the economy. The shift to fewer zones occurred on Sunday as Russians adjusted their clocks forward one hour to shift to summer time. Russia covers more than one-ninth of the Earth's land area.

SOUTH KOREA

Searchers have found no sign of 46 South Korean marines who disappeared on Friday when their patrol vessel sank off the west coast of South Korea. The vessel was shaken by an explosion. More than 150 crew were picked up after the vessel went down.


CURLING

Canada's Jennifer Jones won the bronze medal at the women's world curling championship in Swift Current, Saskatchewan on Sunday. Jones defeated Sweden's Cecilia Ostlund, 9-6. Jones won the world title two years ago.

SPEED SKATING

Canadians Tania Vicent, Kalyna Roberge, Jessica Gregg, Marianne St-Gelais, and Valerie Maltais won the silver medal at the short-track world team championships in Bormio, Italy, on Sunday, the final event of the short-track season. South Korea won the gold. In the men's event, Canadians Guillaume Bastille, Charles and Francois Hamelin, Francois-Louis Tremblay and Olivier Jean won the silver medal behind China. Only eight countries are invited to participate at the weekend competition.

RUGBY

Canada defeated Wales 35-19 to win the Bowl Championship at the Hong Kong Sevens on Sunday.

CYCLING

Canada's Tara Whitten won her second gold medal at the track cycling world championships in Ballerup, Denmark, on Sunday. She won the women's point race final on the last day of the event. Lauren Ellis of New Zealand won the silver and Tatsiana Sharakova from Belarus took the bronze. Whitten won the omnium event on Saturday.


Weather

Here is Canada's weather on Monday. British Columbia will have rain showers. The high temperature in Vancouver will be nine degrees Celsius. The Yukon: cloudy. Whitehorse, six. Northwest Territories: clearing skies. Yellowknife, three. Nunavut: sunny. Iqaluit, minus 20. Alberta: increasing cloudiness. Edmonton, 14. Saskatchewan: increasing cloudiness. Regina, 15. Manitoba: variable cloudiness. Winnipeg, 17. Ontario: clearing skies. Toronto, 12. Ottawa, six. Quebec: rain. Montreal, seven. New Brunswick: rain. Fredericton, five. Nova Scotia: sunny periods. Halifax, four. Prince Edward Island: increasing cloudiness. Charlottetown, six. Newfoundland: mainly sunny. St. John's, two.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

News 3.28.2010

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Copyright (c) 2010 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Sunday, March 28th, 2010

By: Christian Falvey

* Green Party chairman Ondrej Liska says his party will only return to
the government if it gets tougher on the state energy company and
amends the mining act.

* The provisory head of the Civic Democratic Party, Petr Necas, says he
is resolutely opposed to the idea of a grand coalition.

* Finance Minister Eduard Janota has said that the Czech Republic is
preparing to issue bonds in the amount of one billion euro on the
foreign bonds market.

========================================================================
Green support for government hinges on tougher demands on CEZ
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The chairman of the Green Party, Ondrej Liska, says his party will only
return to the government if the Prime Minister requests that the state
energy company submit a cleaner proposal for modernising the Prunerov
coal plant and amends the mining act. Mr Liska said Sunday that Green
participation in the interim cabinet is only possible if the government
is not "arm in arm with CEZ", and he added that he does not believe
that Prime Minister Fischer is willing to meet his party's conditions.
The Green Party's two nominees to the cabinet have resigned in the last
two weeks. Environment minister Jan Dusik left his post because he said
he was being pressured by the PM to approve the Prunerov plant's
modernisation in spite of shortcomings in the plan. When Mr Dusik was
replaced with a candidate they deemed unsuitable, the Greens then
withdrew their other cabinet representative, Human Rights Minister
Michael Kocab. That post will now apparently be filled by Prime
Minister Fischer himself. The Civic Democratic Party has also said that
they will withdraw their ministers from the government if they or the
Greens are not given the available cabinet seats.


========================================================================
Necas opposes grand coalition
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The provisory head of the Civic Democratic Party, Petr Necas, says he
is resolutely opposed to the idea of a grand coalition, like the one
formed between his party and the centre-left Social Democrats in 1998.
Speaking to TV Prima on Sunday morning, the party's election leader
also parried a number of questions regarding the situation within his
party after last week's shake up, saying that his personal feelings on
how it was resolved were irrelevant. While praising the decision of
chairman Mirek Topolanek to withdraw from the electoral ballot, he
reiterated his intent to focus on the upcoming elections and not on the
superficialities of Mr Topolanek's further impact on the party's
chances. Petr Necas assumed the role of election leader in the main
centre-right party on Thursday, when its executive council voted that
Mr Topolanek should step down after having made controversial
statements about minorities.


========================================================================
Czech Republic to issue one billion euro in bonds
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finance Minister Eduard Janota has said that the Czech Republic is
preparing to issue bonds in the amount of one billion euro on the
foreign bonds market. Mr Janota said the aim was to take advantage of
any improved situation on the financial markets following the decision
made by the Eurozone countries to lend aid to Greece, where high debt
has left the country nearly bankrupt. Speaking at a financial seminar
in Italy, the finance minister added that the decision could be a very
positive one for the markets that would lead to decreased interest
rates. The finance ministry wants to borrow 280 billion crowns this
year, of which it wants to receive 140 million on the foreign market.


========================================================================
Kladno bans Workers' Party of Social Justice from holding campaign rally
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The town hall in the town of Kladno, west of Prague, has prohibited a
public campaign rally of the Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS),
which is linked to the recently banned Workers' Party. According to the
town hall, an earlier request had been received from another party to
hold a rally at the same place and time. Despite that, Kladno is the
fourth municipality in recent days to prevent the party from rallying.
Two other towns gave similar reasons as Kladno, while the town of Tabor
banned a rally on the grounds that the DSSS is the successor of the
extreme right-wing Workers' Party; the DSSS filed a judicial complaint
in that case, and the decision was overturned. On February 17, the
Workers' Party became the first Czech political party to be banned on
the grounds of disruption of democratic values for inciting racism,
xenophobia and promoting National Socialism.


========================================================================
Experts debate right-wing extremism in Prague
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, experts are holding a two-day international conference on
alternatives to right-wing extremism in Prague this weekend. The aim of
the conference is to get social and environmental movements from
Central Europe involved in looking for "Alternatives to right-wing
extremism during social and environmental crisis", as the conference is
called. The first day involved a debate on the necessity of
international cooperation among anti-fascist movements and their
support across the borders of East European countries. The conference
will also focus on preparations for the European Social Forum, which
will be held in Istanbul on July 1-4.


========================================================================
Karel Gott wins TyTy television popularity awards
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The annual TyTy television popularity awards were held on Saturday
night; singer Karel Gott took the overall award and the prize for most
popular male singer. The latter result is hardly a surprise, as Mr Gott
has never failed to take away the trophy for most popular singer in the
19-year history of the poll. He has also won the overall prize 8 times
since 1991. 30-year-old Lucie Vondrackova took the award for most
popular female singer, while the acting awards went to the stars of the
series Ulice, Rudolf Hrusinsky and Hana Maciuchova. The most popular
programme was Czech Television's "Vsechnoparty" talk show. The winners
of the TyTy awards are selected by viewers via text messages and the
internet.


========================================================================
Czech wins second place in "Mr World" contest
------------------------------------------------------------------------

32-year old Josef Karas from the north-western town of Obrnice won
second place on Saturday in the "Mr World" beauty contest, making him
the first Czech to place in the event. The contest was held in the
South Korean capital Seoul. Kamal Ibrahim of Ireland won the pageant
while Nigerian Kenneth Okolie took third place. A sports consultant,
former decathlon athlete and winner of the 1st "Mr. Czech" award in
February, Mr Karas made it to the final round in spite of the fact that
he was hospitalised with food poisoning for three days during the
competition. 80 men from around the world participated in this year's
Mr World competition. The winner received a year-long contract with a
modelling agency and a prize of 50.000 dollars.


========================================================================
Analysts: unemployment will decrease once GDP growth reaches 3.5%
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Press Agency reports that the domestic economy can expect
only slight growth over the coming years due to the high level of
unemployment. Analysts addressed by the agency calculated that the
economy will only be able to create a sufficient number of jobs once
economic growth reached the level of around 3.5%. Unemployment in the
Czech Republic neared 10% in February of this year. Economists expect
growth of between one and two percent over the year to come.


========================================================================
Czech Republic marks first Earth Hour Saturday evening
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lights will go out for an hour on Saturday evening in towns across the
Czech Republic when the country marks Earth Hour for the first time.
Brno, Usti nad Labem and Ceska Lipa are some of the cities that be
turning off non-essential lighting on monuments, advertisements and
elsewhere at 8.30 p.m., in a symbolic event to draw attention to energy
waste. Some 125 countries around the world will be participating,
dozens more than last year. Brno's Spilberk castle and the UNESCO town
of Telc will thus join the Eiffel Tower in Paris, China's Forbidden
City and the Egyptian Pyramids in going dark for one hour.


========================================================================
Kenyan Joel Kimurer wins Prague half marathon
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Prague half marathon ended on Saturday with a victory for Joel
Kimurer of Kenya, who finished in 1:00:09, one minute and 15 seconds
faster than his closest rival. The result was only two seconds short of
the track record. The best Czech performance came from 41-year-old
Robert Stefko, who took tenth place with 1:06:07. Another Kenyan, Rose
Jerotich Kosgei, was the first woman over the finish line. Former
national team footballer Pavel Nedved took symbolic part in the event,
finishing some 50 minutes after the winner. The retired midfielder said
he enjoyed the run and would consider participating in the Prague
Marathon on May 9.


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

Conditions are expected to be overcast through Monday with scattered
rain and highs of 11 to 14o Celsius.

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


Letter from Prague
Summertime approaches "the land that vegetables forgot"
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spring has come to "the land that vegetables forgot" as Anthony
Bourdain recently dubbed the Czech Republic in a Prague episode of "No
Reservations." Trust me, my best friend Claire and I are aware of the
approaching bikini season, doubly so because we spent the majority of
winter exploring the Czech cuisine and forgetting the existence of
vegetables ourselves.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126377

Czech Books
A new anthology celebrates Prague's international literary culture
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since the fall of communism, Prague has been a very international city,
and this has had a deep impact on the city's literary culture. Many
Prague writers today have their roots outside the Czech Republic and
are not necessarily writing in the Czech language. At the same time,
Czech writers themselves have been strongly influenced by the growing
cosmopolitanism of the city, which contrasts starkly with the stifling
political atmosphere of the 70s and 80s. In a few weeks' time Prague's
international literary scene will be celebrated with the publication of
a major new anthology, a hefty volume featuring two decades of writing
from the Czech Republic in English or in English translation. Its
editor is the writer and artist Louis Armand, who teaches at Prague's
Charles University, and he told me how the anthology came about.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126352

Mailbox
Mailbox 3.28.2010
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week in Mailbox: New frequency schedule, 2010 QSL cards, the
biggest opera hall in the Czech Republic, a listener's comment
concerning our monthly quizzes. Listeners quoted: Julius, Robina Aktar,
Jayanta Chakrabarty.

http://www.radio.cz/en/article/126258


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