Sunday, October 31, 2010

News 10.31.2010

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

News Sunday, October 31st, 2010

By: Chris Johnstone

* The Education Minister has revealed that around a third of pupils
failed the easy version of school leaving exams during their trials.

* The Czech prime minister and foreign minister have sought to mend a
rift that erupted ahead of the recent EU summit.

* Prague's National Galley is mulling closing some of its main
exhibitions temporarily to save money.

========================================================================
Minister expects final school leaving exam failure rate not to exceed
20 percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Around a third of Czech pupils failed the easier version of school
leaving exams during pilot tests, Education Minister Josef Dobes said
on Czech Television on Sunday. The failure rate for the maths exam
climbed to 48 percent, was 40 percent for German, 34 percent for
English and 22 percent for Czech. Minister Dobes said he expected the
final failure rate not to exceed 20 percent when uniform school leaving
exams are phased in next year. He said students would have more time to
prepare and would be better motivated.


========================================================================
Czech PM and Foreign Minister paper over pre-summit rift
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas and Foreign Minister Karel
Schwarzenberg have sought to repair a rift between them. The rift
occurred ahead of the recent two day summit of EU heads of government
in Brussels when the foreign minister complained that the prime
minister had not told him what policy positions over the EU had been
taken in a meeting with President Vaclav Klaus. The prime minister said
he was under no obligation to tell him everything. A joint statement
released by the government spokesman to the Czech News Agency said the
prime minister and foreign minister had lined up their EU positions in
pre-summit meetings and shared the same views.


========================================================================
National Gallery faces 15 percent cut in 2011 budget
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The National Gallery In Prague is mulling the temporary closure of some
of its permanent exhibitions and reducing the number of temporary ones
in order to save money. Czech Radio said the option of closing some
exhibitions is being weighed up as the gallery seeks to meet a 15
percent cut in its budget next year. The gallery's spokeswoman said
more details on the savings would be given in December. The gallery
already moved in October to end free late afternoon admission to
galleries.


========================================================================
Health minister downplays threat of doctors' mass exodus
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Health Minister Leos Heger said on Sunday that he had no fear of a mass
exodus of Czech doctors abroad. German and Austrian hospitals last week
sought to sign up local health workers at a jobs fair in Prague
promising more pay and better conditions. The move comes with around a
quarter of Czech hospital doctors having signed a petition stating
their desire to work abroad and doctors' unions calling for pay rises
of up to 150 percent. Mr. Heger said smaller hospitals would have to
close and staff transferred to larger ones if the exodus took place.
Fewer doctors would work longer hours, have less time for patients but
get better pay, he added.


========================================================================
Documentary film about coal mining threat to town wins Jihlava prize
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The prize for the best Czech documentary film at the 14th Jihlava
International Documentary Film Festival was awarded to Martin Dusek and
Ondrej Provaznik. Their film "Zeny SHR" recounts the tale of two women
in the struggle over plans to start mining coal at the town of Horni
Jiretin in north Bohemia. The world cinema prize was awarded to Czech
documentary maker Karel Vacek. Festival attendees voted Martin
Marecek's film "Auto*Mat" about the problems of a cycling activist as
the best documentary over the last decade.


========================================================================
Business talks to dominate Kuwait visit
------------------------------------------------------------------------

President Vaclav Klaus begins a three day state visit to the oil and
gas rich state of Kuwait on Sunday. He is due to meet the Gulf state's
ruler, the sultan, head of the national assembly, prime minister and
members of the cabinet. The visit has an overwhelmingly economic and
business dimension with the president accompanied by a large Czech
delegation seeking to boost ties and land contracts. The Czech
delegation includes representatives from engineering, rubber, optics,
arms and wood processing companies.


========================================================================
Speed skater Sablikova wins second race in Berlin
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech speed skater Martina Sablikova won her second race of the new
season on Sunday. She won the 1500 metres event being staged in Berlin
with a time of 1.58,25, a personal best for the new season. Fellow
Czech Karolina Erbanova took second place. The 18-year-old was also
second in the 500 metres sprint event.


========================================================================
Czech women's volleyball team wins first world championship match in
opening group
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech women's volleyball team has won its first match in the
women's world championships being played in Japan. The Czech team won
3:0 against Puerto Rica on Sunday after suffering defeats from the
Netherlands and Brazil in the opening two group games. The Czech now
face Italy on Tuesday with the final match in the initial group against
Kenya.


========================================================================
Peschke in WTA Championships doubles final
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech tennis player Kveta Peschke and Slovenian partner Katarina
Srebotnik play in the WTA Championships doubles final in Doha on
Sunday. The number two seeds will take on the top seeded
Argentinian-Italian pairing of Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.
Peschke and Srebotnik beat US player Lisa Raymond and Australian Reanne
Stubbs 7:6, 6:3 in the semi-finals.


========================================================================
Sparta win closes gap on league leaders Viktoria Plzen
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In football, Sparta Prague have closed to gap on league leaders
Viktoria Plzen to nine points after a narrow 1:0 home win in the derby
match against Bohemians 1905 on Saturday night. The win takes Sparta to
second in the table. Sigma Olomouc failed to overtake Sparta, going
down 0:1 against mid-table Hradec Kralove on Sunday.


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

Sunny weather with cloudy spells is expected to continue until Tuesday
with daytime maximum temperatures climbing to an unseasonally high 13
degrees Celsius.

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

The Education Minister has revealed that around a third of pupils
failed the easy version of school leaving exams during their trials.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Education Minister has revealed that around a third of pupils
failed the easy version of school leaving exams during their trials.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#1


The Czech prime minister and foreign minister have sought to mend a
rift that erupted ahead of the recent EU summit.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech prime minister and foreign minister have sought to mend a
rift that erupted ahead of the recent EU summit.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#2


Prague's National Galley is mulling closing some of its main
exhibitions temporarily to save money.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prague's National Galley is mulling closing some of its main
exhibitions temporarily to save money.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#3


Roger Scruton and a special relationship
------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the most prominent guests at the Forum 2000 conference in Prague
earlier this month was the conservative English philosopher and writer
Roger Scruton. In the Czech Republic he is well known not just for his
extensive writings on the history of modern philosophy, but also for
close links he forged with Czechoslovakia in the years before the fall
of communism. In this week's Czech Books, Roger Scruton talks to David
Vaughan about how his special relationship to this country has
developed over the years.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/books/roger-scruton-and-a-special-relationship


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 10.31.2010

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

The Education Minister has revealed that around a third of pupils failed the easy version of school leaving exams during their trials.

The Education Minister has revealed that around a third of pupils failed the easy version of school leaving exams during their trials.

The Czech prime minister and foreign minister have sought to mend a rift that erupted ahead of the recent EU summit.

The Czech prime minister and foreign minister have sought to mend a rift that erupted ahead of the recent EU summit.

Prague's National Galley is mulling closing some of its main exhibitions temporarily to save money.

Prague's National Galley is mulling closing some of its main exhibitions temporarily to save money.

Roger Scruton and a special relationship

One of the most prominent guests at the Forum 2000 conference in Prague earlier this month was the conservative English philosopher and writer Roger Scruton. In the Czech Republic he is well known not just for his extensive writings on the history of modern philosophy, but also for close links he forged with Czechoslovakia in the years before the fall of communism. In this week's Czech Books, Roger Scruton talks to David Vaughan about how his special relationship to this country has developed over the years.

RCI Cyberjournal

No decision yet from Khadr sentencing jury


GUANTANAMO BAY--The sentencing jury in the case of Omar Khadr retired for the evening Saturday after hearing starkly differing views of him from the prosecution and the defence.

Khadr was called a terrorist and murderer on one hand, a misled child with a bad father who was used by al-Qaida, on the other.

On Monday, as part of a plea bargain, Khadr pleaded guilty to five charges, including murder, in the death of an US soldier in a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr was 15 at the time.

After sentencing instructions from the judge, the seven-member military jury retired to consider what sentence to impose on Khadr. He could be freed or face a life in prison.

The judge told the panel that the eight years Khadr has already spent in custody can be taken as a mitigating factor.

The defence has called for his immediate return to Canada. The prosecution is seeking another 25 years in prison.

St. Andre honoured at Olympic Stadium


MONTREAL--An estimated 40,000 people turned out at Olympic Stadium Saturday  to honour Saint Andre, a Quebecer who was named a saint earlier this month by the Vatican. Among those in attendance were Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Andre was born in 1845, orphaned at the age of 12 and later became a Catholic brother in Montreal. He was renowned for healing the sick, and the Vatican credits him with performing miracles. He died in 1937 at the age of 91. During the six days and nights before his funeral, more than one million people filed past his coffin. St. Andre was canonized at a ceremony at the Vatican on Oct. 17.

Would-be migrants arrested in Thailand


OTTAWA--Canada's immigration minister reports that Thai authorities have arrested more than 100 ethnic Tamil migrants who were on their way to Canada. Jason Kenney says he hopes the arrests will send a message to other migrants hoping to be smuggled into Canada. Mr. Kenney didn't say whether Canadian officials were involved in the arrests. Two boatloads of ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka have arrived in Canada over the past year. The federal government has proposed new legislation that would impose tougher jail terms on human smugglers. It would also allow Illegal migrants to be detained for as long as one year.

No news on missing Canadian in Mexico


ACAPULCO--There are fears that a Canadian businessman who's been missing in Mexico for the past week might have met with foul play. Daniel Dion, who is 51, was conducting business when he was last seen a week ago in Acapulco, leaving a restaurant with three men. Mr. Dion's family says owners of the restaurant have refused to hand over the restaurant's security tapes. The family is seeking help from Mexican police and the Canadian consulate and several family members have travelled to Mexico's southwest coast to search for clues to his disappearance.


World Airport Alerts


Airport security in many countries around the world, including Canada, has been stepped up after explosives were found in two packages on cargo planes Friday. Security alerts are in place in Europe, the Middle East and the US. Experts have identified the explosive found in the two packages from Yemen that were addressed to synagogues in Chicago. They contained the explosive P-E-T-N. It's the same chemical used in the failed attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner last Christmas Day. American officials suggest it's the work of the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida.

Yemen


Authorities in Yemen say a woman has been arrested on suspicion of sending the two mail bombs found on cargo planes in the United Arab Emirates and England. Police are looking for others who may be involved. In Britain, officials said Sunday a preliminary investigation showed the mail bomb found inside a cargo plane north of London Friday could have brought down the aircraft. British Home Secretary Theresa May says there are no indications that another terrorist attack is planned.

Far East


The prime ministers of Japan and China met informally at a regional summit in Hanoi on Saturday amid a diplomatic row that has plunged the two countries' relations to a five-year low. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he was able to speak briefly with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit. He later said the two nations have weathered a long history together and the current spat should not be regarded as decisive trouble. It was hoped the summit could provide a venue for China and Japan to defuse their row which erupted after Japan arrested a Chinese trawler captain near a disputed island chain in the East China Sea. The U.S. and Russia were formally invited to join the 16-member East Asia forum. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ASEAN leaders that Washington has a direct interest in seeing peaceful resolutions to disputed islands and that the U.S. will remain a major power in the Asia-Pacific.

Iraq


An Iraqi health official says the death toll from a suicide bombing north of Baghdad stands at 26. A hospital official in the Balad Ruz district said that five more people died Saturday from injuries sustained in Friday's blast. It happened when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a popular cafe last night. The cafe is located in a neighbourhood that is home to many Shiites of Kurdish ethnicity. Iraq is approaching its eighth month without a new government following inconclusive elections in March. Meanwhile, Saudi King Abdullah invited Iraq's political leaders on Saturday to meet in Riyadh to try to resolve a deadlock over forming a new government.

Indonesia


Emergency officials in Indonesia say 23,000 people are homeless and in desperate need of help after being swamped by a tsunami off Sumatra last week. Stormy weather is making it difficult for ships carrying aid and has also forced helicopters carrying humanitarian workers from landing. A powerful earthquake triggered the tsunami. The two disasters left over 400 people dead. Meantime, there was another violent eruption from the Mount Merapi volcano in central Java, Indonesia, on Saturday. So far, no casualties have been reported. In the first eruption on Tuesday, more than 30 people were killed. There are concerns that pressure under the volcano could cause a devastating eruption.

United States


Tens of thousands of people, Canadians among them, travelled to Washington, DC Saturday for a rally held by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

The rally is aimed at toning down the

angry rhetoric that is characterizing political discourse in the US.

Many of the young Americans in attendance carried anti-Tea Party signs and expressed dismay about the mainly right-wing views of the populist party.

Mid-term congressional elections are being held this Tuesday.

Afghanistan


President Hamid Karzai says he was not informed beforehand of a drug raid that involved Russian and US forces in eastern Afghanistan this week. He is demanding an explanation. Mr. Karzai's press office said the Afghan leader is eager to improve ties with Russia, but that no country should carry out military operations on Afghan soil without permission. The raid on Thursday in Nangarhar resulted in the seizure of $56-million dollars worth of heroin and morphine. The US has said that Afghan law enforcement agencies also took part in the operation.


RIM and India move closer


NEW DELHI-- India is easing a threat to ban popular services on Blackberry devices. The government says Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the smartphones, has agreed to an interim arrangement to address security concerns. India had threatened to ban corporate email and Messenger services by August if RIM didn't come up with a way for the government to monitor them.


Sunday forecast


Vancouver is cloudy with a chance of showers and a forecast high temperature of 12 degrees Celsius. A mix of sun and cloud and 10 in Calgary, sunny and zero in Regina, sunny and six in Winnipeg, a mix of sun and cloud and six in Toronto, a mix of sun and cloud and three in Ottawa, sunny and four in Montreal, a mix of sun and cloud and four in Fredericton, cloudy with a chance of showers or flurries and five in Halifax, periods of rain, windy and four in St. John's, sunny and two in Whitehorse, cloudy and four in Yellowknife, a mix of sun and cloud, a chance of flurries and minus-eight in Iqaluit.


Saturday sports


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE--Friday's results: Montreal defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 and Edmonton defeated Chicago 7-4.

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE--Friday's results: Montreal defeated Toronto 37-30 and Calgary defeated Hamilton 55-24.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION--Friday's result: Toronto defeated Cleveland 101-81.

FIGURE SKATING--Canada captured silver and bronze in pairs Saturday at Skate Canada International in Kingston, Ont. Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch won silver with total score of 170.92 points. Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers won bronze with 161.15. Russians Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze captured the gold with 171.40.

 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

News 10.30.2010

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

News Saturday, October 30th, 2010

By: Chris Johnstone

* The Czech government has signalled support for a proposal to give war
veteran status to fighters against the Communist regime.

* The Czech pavilion at the World Exhibition has been given a silver
medal for creativity.

* Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas says he has led moves to block tax
harmonisation in the European Union.

========================================================================
Finnish tax proposal headed off at EU summit
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has helped to torpedo proposals for tax
harmonisation in the 27-strong European Union at a two day meeting of
European leaders in Brussels that ended on Friday. The Czech prime
minister said he took a leading role in opposing proposals from Finland
for greater tax harmonization. The broad-based proposals called for a
step by step harmonization of taxes that would counter harmful tax
competition between countries. Tax issues are overwhelmingly dealt with
by national governments at the moment though accusations that some
countries offer special tax deals, for example to companies in a bid to
attract investment and jobs, has sporadically fuelled calls for a
clampdown.

The Czech Prime Minister also welcomed the fact that no decision was
taken to sign what he described as a "blank cheque" for EU countries
that encounter severe financial problems such as Greece. Government
leaders will resume discussions in December about the format of a new
mechanism to help such countries.


========================================================================
Government says legitimising fight against Communists necessary
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech government has signalled that it is willing to support a
proposal for war veteran status to be given to active fighters against
the Communist regime. A proposal from the upper house of parliament,
the Senate, calling for such recognition will be discussed by the
government on Wednesday. It has already said ahead of the meeting that
it believes such a move to legitimize the fight against the Communist
regime is necessary. The move has been attacked by left-wing lawmakers.
A final decision on giving active anti-Communist fighters the same
status as war veterans and resistance fighters during the Nazi
occupation will be taken in parliament.


========================================================================
Czech pavilion wins World Expo 2010 silver award for exhibition
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai has been awarded
a silver medal for the creativity of its exhibition, 'Fruits of
Culture.' The gold award was given to Slovenia. The commissioner for
the Czech pavilion Pavel Antonin Stehlik said the award was recognition
of the success of the national presentation aimed at stressing diverse
beliefs, cultures and use of technology. The Czech pavilion has been
visited by more than 8.5 million visitors, around 12 percent of the
total for the whole exhibition, making it one of the most successful
taking part. The exhibition closes its doors on Sunday.


========================================================================
Refugee aid charity highlights continued long asylum decision delays
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A top lawyer with a Czech organisation for helping refugees has
contrasted the fast-track treatment given to a Cuban political prisoner
and other asylum seekers in the Czech Republic. Eva Hola, a lawyer with
the non-profit charity the Organisation for Aid to Refugees, said many
refugees who had suffered imprisonment and torture from countries such
as Syria, the Congo, and Iran had to wait for a year for their asylum
applications to be processed. In one case one applicant from Iraq is
still waiting after three years. Cuban political dissident Rolando
Jiminez Posada was given immediate asylum and greeted by the Minister
of Interior Radek John when he arrived with his family in Prague this
week. OAR's Hola said the long waits for an asylum decision continued
in spite of applications falling by a third between 2007 and 2009.


========================================================================
Top police and fire organisations subjected to audit: report
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Minister of the Interior Radek John plans to complete a far reaching
audit of the Czech police service's top body, the presidium, and
general directorate of the fire service according to Saturday's edition
of the daily paper Pravo. The audit aimed at uncovering waste and
suspect public tenders should be completed by mid-December according to
the paper. The minister said he had received hundreds of e-mails
highlighting problems and waste since he came into office and added
that skeletons had been hidden in cupboards. The minister has already
launched an audit into the office managing ministry property and
providing services but decided to sack the head of department last week
before the results came out.


========================================================================
Unions draw up own proposals to amend labour law
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unions representing state employees have drafted their own proposals
for changes to the labour code. Unions came up with their proposals at
a meeting on Friday called to react to the government's latest
proposals to shake up public sector pay and conditions. Earlier in the
week Prime Minister Petr Necas said he was willing to drop proposed
changes to public sector pay scales but would not yield on a demand for
a 10 percent cut in public sector wage costs next year either through
wage cuts or redundancies. The unions, which have given warning of
strike action, will hand over their proposal on Monday.


========================================================================
German and Austrian hospitals send head hunters to Prague
------------------------------------------------------------------------

German and Austrian hospitals are holding a job fair in Prague over the
weekend, offering qualified Czech hospital staff significantly higher
salaries and better work conditions than they can hope to get in the
Czech Republic. The fair comes at a time when many Czech doctors and
nurses are actively seeking jobs abroad, fearing that their pay and
work conditions will further deteriorate as a result of the
government's austerity plans. Since September more than 3,500 doctors
have signed a petition saying they would resign by the end of the year
if the government did not increase salaries in state-owned hospitals
and clinics.


========================================================================
Czech winemakers say St. Martin's production boosted in spite of poor
weather
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech winemakers say they can put around 1.75 million bottles of young,
so-called St. Martin���s wine, on the market this year. This is more than
half as much again as produced last year. Winemakers say that the
boosted production is an achievement given that poor weather this year
which gave them around two weeks less time to prepare the wine. The
wine is traditionally produced for St. Martin's day, which falls on
November 11, after which is followed a long fast. The wine is the first
of the season.


========================================================================
Women's volleyball team suffers second world championship defeat
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech women's volleyball team has suffered its second defeat in the
world championships being played in Japan. The Czech team went down 2:3
in sets against current Olympic title holders Brazil. In the opening
game the Czechs lost 0:3 to the Netherlands. The Czechs still have
three matches to play in the opening group stage. These are against
Porto Rica, Kenya, and Italy.


========================================================================
Viktoria Plzen win more room at the top
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In football, Czech league leaders Viktoria Plzen returned to winning
ways with a 4:2 victory over Teplice on Friday night. The win extends
their lead to twelve points over second placed Sigma Olomouc and Sparta
Prague. Sparta can close the gap on Saturday in the local derby against
Bohemians 1905. Olomouc plays mid-table Hradec Kralove on Sunday. Plzen
suffered their first defeat since the start of the season last week.


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

Sunny weather is expected to continue until Monday with daytime maximum
temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius.

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

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas says he has led moves to block tax
harmonisation in the European Union.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas says he has led moves to block tax
harmonisation in the European Union.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#8


The Czech government has signalled support for a proposal to give war
veteran status to fighters against the Communist regime.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech government has signalled support for a proposal to give war
veteran status to fighters against the Communist regime.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#2


The Czech pavilion at the World Exhibition has been given a silver
medal for creativity.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech pavilion at the World Exhibition has been given a silver
medal for creativity.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#3


On your knees!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague's Czech language
course in which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics.
Today's song is by Ivan Hlas and is called Na kolena.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/SoundCzech/on-your-knees


Magazine 30.10.2010
------------------------------------------------------------------------

As temperatures drop even Prague's statues are bundling up, former US
secretary of state Madeleine Albright was in Prague this week for the
launch of her book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box
and, a man wins three quarters of a million on the outcome of the
senate elections. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/magazine/magazine-2010-10-30


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 10.30.2010

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas says he has led moves to block tax harmonisation in the European Union.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas says he has led moves to block tax harmonisation in the European Union.

The Czech government has signalled support for a proposal to give war veteran status to fighters against the Communist regime.

The Czech government has signalled support for a proposal to give war veteran status to fighters against the Communist regime.

The Czech pavilion at the World Exhibition has been given a silver medal for creativity.

The Czech pavilion at the World Exhibition has been given a silver medal for creativity.

On your knees!

Welcome to another edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague's Czech language course in which you can learn new phrases with the help of song lyrics. Today's song is by Ivan Hlas and is called Na kolena.

Magazine 30.10.2010

As temperatures drop even Prague's statues are bundling up, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright was in Prague this week for the launch of her book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box and, a man wins three quarters of a million on the outcome of the senate elections. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.

RCI Cyberjournal

GUANTANAMO: TESTIMONY OF RAPE SCARE PRESENTED AT KHADR PROCEEDINGS


The military tribunal at Guantanamo, Cuba, that is holding a sentencing hearing for Canadian Omar Khadr heard testimony of a rape threat on Friday. The defence presented a statement which contained a testimony given at earlier hearings by U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Claus, who interrogated the 15-year-old Khadr after he was severely wounded and captured in Afghanistan. Claus admitted that he had told the boy about a young Muslim boy sent to a U.S. prisomn who was gang-raped. In the statement, Khadr said the story scared him greatly. The judge had earlier ruled there was no evidence he had been tortured. The military jurors are expected to hear closing sentencing arguments on Saturday. On Monday, Khadr admitted guilt to have terror-related charges, including the murder of a U.S. soldier.

CHICAGO: COURT UPHOLDS, DISMISSES BLACK CONVICTIONS


A U.S. court has ruled again in the case of a Canadian-born former newspaper tycoon, Conrad Black. He and several associates were convicted in 2007 of stealing $6.1 million from the Hollinger International newspaper chain and sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. Last July, he was granted bail pending a decision by the court on whether to retry four criminal convictions. The U.S. appeals court in Chicago has dismissed two fraud convictions against him, but maintained a third fraud charge and an obstruction of justice conviction. Black will now be resentenced. Prosecutors could retry him on the two convictions that were overturned. But legal experts consulted by The Globe and Mail newspaper doubt that will happen. They also doubt he'll serve any more jail time because any new sentence would be far less than his original term.

OTTAWA: ECONOMIC SLIDE BRAKED


Figures released today show the Canadian economy grew by 0.3 per cent in August. That follows a decline of 0.1 per cent in July. The result was in line with what analysts had expected. Statistics Canada reported growth in oil-and-gas extraction, wholesale trade and manufacturing, the finance and insurance sector, and in construction and retail trade.

MOSCOW: RUSSIA COMPLAINS ABOUT VISA FORM


Russia's foreign ministry has complained that a new Canadian visa application form asks would-be visitors to Canada too many questions. The new form was introduced this month. It asks questions about military service, including the names of commanding officers and places where soldiers served. The foreign ministry says the form is excessive and that if it's not withdraw Canadians may have to fill out a similar one. The Union of Russian Travel Agencies says that the completion of the form could violate laws on military secrets.


VIETNAM


Relations between China and Japan seemed to worsen Friday at an Asian meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. There had been anticipation that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao might meet separately with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in an attempt to sort out the recent series of disputes between their countries. But China's assistant foreign affairs minister, Hu Zhengyue, made a statement denouncing Japan behaviour at the event. Mr. Hu says Japan should not have raised the question of their dispute over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and that Japan had released untrue information about a meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers. China and Japan have been feuding since Sept. 8 when a Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels in waters near the disputed islands.

INDONESIA


People near the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia were sent into a panic early on Saturday morning after another eruption that sent ash flying more than 12 kilometres away. Witnesses say that the eruption was louder and stronger than the one on Tuesday that killed 34 people. Thousands of villagers in central Java have fled the area. Scientists are worried that intense pressure inside the volcano could create a massive eruption.

KOREAS


South Korean officials say North Korean troops fired two shots Friday at a South Korean army post near their tense border. The officials said South Korea soldiers responded by firing three shots from a machine gun. There were no further shots following the exchange.

Exchanges of fire break out occasionally near the heavily fortified frontier.

But Friday's incident, some 90 kilometres northeast of Seoul, came at a sensitive time. South Korea is preparing to host the G20 summit in Seoul on Nov. 11-12.

Cross-border tensions have been high since the South accused the North of torpedoing one of its warships in March with the loss of 46 lives.

FRANCE


A French labour union says workers at all four of France's 12 oil refineries have voted to end their strike. At one point, all 12 refilneries were shut down, creating major gasoline shortages. A second union, meanwhile, says striking workers at Marseille's oil terminals also voted Friday to end their strike. The unions have staged months of protests against the plan by President Nicolas Sarkozy to raise the retirement age by two years to 62. The protest movement has been waning since the National Assembly approved the retirement legislation earlier in the week.

BELGIUM


European Union leaders meeting in Brussels are taking steps aimed at averting another financial crisis. They agreed to give the EU the power to check the national budgets of its 27 member-nations. A country can thus be forced to put its financial house in order long before its economic problems threaten the entire Eurozone. The EU has also decided to establish a permanent fund to help the Euro in times of crisis.

IRAN


European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says Iran is ready to resume talks about its nuclear program.

Ms. Ashton says she received a letter from Iran saying the country is prepared to resume talks after Nov. 10.

She called Tehran's offer to resume talks "a very important" development.

The UN Security Council has slapped four sets of sanctions on Iran over its enrichment of uranium, which can be a step toward developing atomic weapons.

Iran insists it only seeks to master the technology to produce fuel for a planned network of nuclear power facilities.


MARKETS


TSX on Friday: 12,672, UP 108. Canadian dollar: US98. Euro: $1.41. Oil: US$81.37, down .81.

OTTAWA: NDP WANTS INVESTMENT REVIEW CHANGE


The leader of Canada's opposition New Democratic Party wants to change the way the federal government reviews proposed foreign corporate takeovers. Mr. Layton says he'll table a motion in the House of Commons to amend the Investment Canada Act to require the reviews to take place in the open instead of behind closed doors. Under the existing law, the government conducts reviews to determine whether a proposed takeover brings net benefit to Canada, reviews conducted secretly. Mr. Layton's concern stems from the hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. The NDP leader says such takeovers should only be allowed if they bring new capital, create new jobs and increase research and development in Canada. In another development, the governments of Manitoba, New Brunswick and Quebec have joined in support of Saskatchewan's rejection of the takeover bid.

OTTAWA: NDP WANTS INVESTMENT REVIEW CHANGE


The leader of Canada's opposition New Democratic Party wants to change the way the federal government reviews proposed foreign corporate takeovers. Mr. Layton says he'll table a motion in the House of Commons to amend the Investment Canada Act to require the reviews to take place in the open instead of behind closed doors. Under the existing law, the government conducts reviews to determine whether a proposed takeover brings net benefit to Canada, reviews conducted secretly. Mr. Layton's concern stems from the hostile takeover bid by BHP Billiton for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. The NDP leader says such takeovers should only be allowed if they bring new capital, create new jobs and increase research and development in Canada. In another development, the governments of Manitoba, New Brunswick and Quebec have joined in support of Saskatchewan's rejection of the takeover bid.

NEW DELHI: BLACKBERRY SQUABBLE SAID RESOLVED


A dispute between the Canadian telecommunications company, Research in Motion, and India's government, appears closer to a resolution. India says that RIM has agreed to allow government access to encrypted data sent by the company's BlackBerry messaging device. RIM initially objected to India's demand, saying that its BlackBerry customers rely on a confidential service. But India threatened to ban RIM's messenger and email services unless RIM complied. India says that RIM has made a temporary arrangement leading to a permanent solution. RIM has yet to confirm any arrangement.


WEATHER


British Columbia on Saturday: rain, high C12 Vancouver. Yukon: sun. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse -1, Yellowknife 2, Iqaluit -4. Alberta, Saskatchewan: sun south, mix sun cloud north. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 3, Regina -4, Winnipeg 5. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 11, Ottawa 4, Montreal 6. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 5, Halifax 7, Charlottetown 6, St. John's 13.


SPORTS


SWIMMING

Canadian swimmer Annamay Pierse has confirmed she contracted dengue fever at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi this month. She had been awaiting test results to confirm the diagnosis after she came down with symptoms. Pierse hopes to return to the pool in December.

SKATING

Canada's Cynthia Phaneuf leads after the women's

short program at Skate Canada International, the second of six ISU

Grand Prix events.

The 22-year-old from Brossard, QC., skated a crowd-pleasing

performance to Spanish guitar music to earn 58.24 points.

Ksenia Makarova of Russia is second with 57.90 while Agnes

Zawadzki is third with 56.29.

BIATHLON

The Canada Revenue Agency is revoking the charitable

status of Biathlon Canada because it issued almost $26 million in

receipts for questionable tax-shelter arrangements.

Ciao Community Newsletter - October 2010

You can also view this newsletter in your browser.

Ciao! Community Newsletter

 

Trick or Treat. Be so sweet. Give me something good to eat!

Dear shristees,

to celebrate Halloween with a scare, Ciao will be your guide in finding the perfect  costumes for her/him, spooky books and some of the most horrifying Halloween films.

Make Halloween to a real feast of fear, with Ciao!

October 29th»

Your Ciao Account in detail

 

Newsletter Content »

>> New at Ciao
>> Mini Surveys
>> Subject of the Month
>> The Interview
>> Diamonds
>> Inside Community
>> Service

New at Ciao »

   

New number of exceptional ratings!

We are glad to announce to you that we have changed the system for our exceptional ratings.

Currently every Ciao User (who has already one review rated helpful in average) is able to use a maximum of 5 "exceptional" ratings in 24 hours.

From now on, the exceptional rating is linked to the community points and calendar day so its means for example, as a red user, I could give 7 exceptional ratings from 24:00 till 23:59 each day. Read more...

   

Mini Surveys »

 

   

Browsing through Ciao

How much of their precious time does users spend on the Ciao, what are they doing during this time and what catches their eyes in particular on each Ciao page?

These are the questions on our mind for today's mini survey. We are looking forward to your answers.

1. How often do you log on Ciao?
Several times per day
Once per day
Every two or three day
Rarely
2. Where do you go first when you log in?
To my Ciao Account
To the member news
To the new reviews of friends
It varies
3. How frequently do you write reviews?
Almost every day
One per week
One per month
Depends
4. Which feature do you miss most on the Ciao website?
A Pop-up informing about new messages
A feature allowing me to see my Ciao friends online
The opportunity to chat with my Ciao friends
A direct connection to other social networks

 

Reporting of the last newsletter survey

In our last newsletter survey, we asked you about conflicts within the community.

The result:

- Over 70% of the respondents answered that they have never been involved in a conflict.  However, when a conflict takes place, experienced members are the most involved (20%).  Independent from the catchy definition of an "experienced member", we can suggest a simple explanation for this tendency: the longer people are on Ciao, the more they may tend to insist on their opinions, which is what Ciao is all about!

- For the question regarding the most frequent reasons for conflicts, the result was as expected.  With 20% of the all given responses, the reason rating was the most voted option.  However, in the final analysis we fortunately notice a huge variety of causes (47%) for conflicts.

Last but not least, we asked for your opinion about the way we resolve conflicts on ciao.  While 40 % of the respondents are happy with the current procedure, 43% of them would like us to take more drastic measures in resolution of conflicts.  We've taken this on board and we will certainly look into it.

In summation, we can say that the result of this survey shows that you believe that overall that there is a friendly atmosphere within the Ciao community.

We thank you for your active participation

 

Subject of the Month »

   

The top 5 Halloween nasties

As Halloween is just around the corner and you might be stuck for a few last minute costume ideas; let's have a look at some of our favourite Halloween horror monsters.

5) Hubble bubble toil and trouble….witches are another popular choice come Halloween, and they've featured in many movies, such as The Blair Witch Project (despite not actually being seen) but truth be told, the image of the witch has never quite reached the same fear filled realms as vampires and werewolves and such.  "Good witches" are much more common, in series such as Charmed and in children's series such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch or The Worst Witch.  Take a look here for some wonderful takes on the witch costume.

4) Mummies: the ultimate last minute go-to costume (just grab a few loo rolls: job done), mummies have been doing the rounds in popular media since the early nineteen hundreds and featuring most recently in the various Brendan Fraser "The Mummy" series of action/adventure movies.

3) Werewolves:  always a tricky and expensive choice for a Halloween costume; werewolves are maybe not a popular costume choice, but certainly a head-turning one when you get it right.  Werewolves crop up every so often in movies such as the recent remake of 1941 classic The Wolfman and often to be found fighting with vampires and vampire hunters.  Take a look on Ciao for some wildly differing takes on werewolf costumes.

2) Vampires: Ranging from the blood thirsty and deliciously evil Dracula type vampires to sparkly pent up pretty-boy teenage vampires found more in recent times in movies such as Twilight and in TV Series such as The Vampire Diaries and True Blood, vampires have been a staple of movies since the silent days.  Top tip for last minute vampire make-overs: some white face powder, plastic fake teeth and a plastic binbag as a cape, some ketchup or red lipstick for blood and you are good to go!  Incredibly big spiked hair is optional, but preferred by the ladies.

1) Zombies: Number one on the go-to list for horror nasties are everyone's favourite and perhaps the world's easiest to escape from monster; the dimwitted Zombie.  Zombies have made prominent appearances in everything from music videos to top games such as Dead Rising, House of the Dead, and of course the venerable Resident Evil series, and are another easy peasy Halloween costume.  Simply grab some light coloured face powder and dark eye shadow for around the eyes to add that popular "distant and hungry for brains" look and add lashings of fake blood/ketchup/other handy red liquids to some ripped up old clothes and you are ready to shuffle off to your Halloween party in style.

   

New Diamonds »

Congratulations!

These ten reviews from September have been awarded a Diamond for outstanding quality. Well done!

Ciao-Diamant ~~ I'd travel to lodge here ~~ by tune57

Ciao-Diamant To Doodle or Not to Doodle, That is the Question by Autarkis

Ciao-Diamant I Can't Fight With An Eclipse.. by chugglebunny

Ciao-Diamant Advertising love and religion... by Staffenburg

Ciao-Diamant Pitchers V's Pimm's - a pitched battle? by Bollinger78

Ciao-Diamant Icy Nut Masterpiece by Joe_B

Ciao-Diamant Caffè con Cosa Nostra by tallulabang

Ciao-Diamant 'We need secrets crets crets crets crets crets...' by greenierxyboy

Ciao-Diamant A new take on an old legend by pixie65

Ciao-Diamant A SUPER visit to Knowsley Safari Park....! by hayley_18

The Interview »

 

Halloween

Once again, we will celebrate Halloween on October 31st! What do you, as a Ciao user, know about the origin of Halloween and how do you celebrate? To answer this question, we lead an interview with AnneLorraine1, Ciao user since 02.06.2010 and winner of a diamond in September 2010.

 

There are various opinions about the true origin of Halloween. While some people connect this with the eve celebration of All Saints day, other people link it to the Celtic festival of Samhain. What is your opinion?


I used to think that Halloween was Christian in origin, leading back to the eve of 'All Saints Day', or 'All Hallows.' I thought that it had been believed, centuries ago, that evil abounded on October 31st, the day, particularly the evening, before All Saints Day. On the 1st November ( All Saints Day) the good spirits had their turn and were about in force, cleansing and chasing away evil. I thought of Halloween and the next day as an event important in reinforcing the concept of good overcoming evil.
Now, thinking about this it seems to me more likely that this festival probably did originate from the Celtic festival of 'Samhain' and came to be considered as pagan.  I have no firm knowledge on this subject, just my thoughts. Writing on this topic has made me think about this day, and I have found that 'Samhain Eve' is a very important Celtic festival, representing the end of summer (this would explain the food aspect- the use of apples and pumpkins in celebrations) and, more interestingly, I feel, it was (and still is by many) considered a magical time when the earthly and spiritual world meet. A time of magic and remembering those who have passed away.  


Which typical Halloween tradition do you know?


The playgroup attended by my children was held in a Baptist church hall. The minister requested playgroup staff not to celebrate Halloween in this group, as it would offend church members, being a pagan festival. Until then the children were painting Halloween scenes and preparing to make pumpkin lanterns.
In a primary school I helped with the children's 'apple bobbing.' Looking at some of the children, I felt this was a little unhygienic and made sure some of the, 'bobbers' found the apple before their face, and nose, went too far into the basin of water shared by all! I preferred the game played by myself and other children at birthday parties where hands were tied behind backs as one tried to take a bite from the apple attached to a string and held by an adult.
We didn't really celebrate Halloween in the 1960s, when I was a child, but we knew of this American custom due to televised U.S. programs and comics, such as 'Casper the friendly ghost' and 'Hot Stuff' the impish little red devil.
The first Halloween party I attended was in the early 1970s. It was quite different to parties nowadays as we didn't dress in costume. I think now, if attending a party, one would expect to wear scary attire.

It's getting more and more popular to celebrate Halloween, a fact which also increases the amount of people criticizing the attitude of our society to this event. Christians in the US are complaining about the abuse of Halloween through satanic organizations and other people dislike the feasting character of the event. What do you think?


I personally do not object to those who wish to dress up and attend parties on this day but I do wonder how it's classed a celebration if you hold orthodox Christian views. I would have thought that All Hallows or All Saints Day would have more relevance as a celebration.
I don't have religious objections to Halloween but can understand and respect the opinion of those that do. I suppose they could feel that this day trivializes evil and, perhaps even encourages it.   
For a pagan or one of Celtic persuasion, I can see that this is a day to commemorate.
But you may, and probably will, call me a 'grumpy old woman' when you read of my issues with, 'trick or treating'.
I strongly feel that in this day and age we should not be encouraging children to knock on doors asking for a sweet. Even worse, with the threat, even if only mild, of 'If you don't give me a sweet I'll have to trick you. Okay, most children will just make a joke if no sweet is forthcoming but some of the older ones find trick or treating an excuse for bad behaviour. In fact, I always hope it will rain on 1stNovember to cleanse my local area of the eggs that have been thrown upon the ground, and, in some cases, even on cars and front doors of those who didn't answer the ring of the doorbell.
I also find it a nuisance to have the doorbell ringing repeatedly, as children I don't know, ring for a sweet. I imagine it's worse for older people. I do feel mean and did last year consider buying sweets but decided that I would then be condoning something that I disagree with. So, I will stay true to my principles and hope that I don't get, 'egged!'
Regrettably, this day has become far too commercialized.


Final Question: How are you going to celebrate Halloween this year? Any Horror movie(s) you would like to recommend to the Ciao community?


I expect that my seventeen year old daughter will be going to a party, or at least some Halloween event.
Last year she wore a scary nurse outfit with lots of fake blood on it. She then went with friends (sensibly wearing coats over their costumes) to London's West End to 'The Passage of Terror.' I understand this to be a fast moving journey, running through a dark corridor as 'demons' etc. chase you. She was so panicked that she fell during this and felt quite embarrassed when she, with considerable relief, caught up with her friends at the exit, and safety. I couldn't enter this place myself, for all the tea in China. 
As to recommending horror movies, no, not my sort of thing, more in the line of fellow member, Hoggsflesh, I think.  I have in the past read some very scary books, but more in the genre of science fiction than goriness. The scariest movie I would choose to watch on Halloween would be, 'Casper the friendly ghost'. Not really in the spirit of things but spirit enough for me!

 

Inside Community »

 

 
 

 

New number of exceptional ratings!!!

Dear Community,

Since October the 1st, there is a change concerning the amount of available "exceptional" ratings on Ciao.
Now, more community points you have, more "exceptional" ratings are available for you during a calendar day.
Following our explanation for this change:

  1. The strong increase of good quality reviews on ciao over the last 10 years required an adjustment of the available amount of exceptional ratings. We can certainly argue about the subjective meaning of quality and there are for sure, enough examples of long reviews with little content. But the fact is: more and more users take their time to write detailed and valuable reviews on books, cars, CDs, DVDs or computers. This increase in the amount of exceptional ratings is particularly beneficial for the good reviews (as we agree that there must be more than 5 good reviews per day on Ciao). Some of you might disagree with the fact that we linked this change to the respective community levels but we would like you to see this new development as a motive. The more you do on ciao, more community points you get and more "exceptional" ratings you "are allowed" to give.
  2. Another reason for this change is simply the fact that we have received many enquiries from users on this matter; there are people, who are really active on ciao, love to read and rate few dozens of reviews daily. By doing this,  the number of only 5 exceptional-ratings in 24 hours was a sensitive limitation which frequently leads to the following comments: "I will come back later to rate you" or "will be noticed for the next available Exceptionals".

 

We hope that you will enjoy this change.

Your community Management

 

 

Service »

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