Thursday, March 31, 2011

Radio Prague Today 3.31.2011

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

President pardons man sentenced to six years for shooting

On Wednesday, President Václav Klaus issued an official pardon to a man serving a six-year prison sentence for attempted murder. The case of Karel Bašta, who shot at thieves escaping his property, seriously injuring one of them, was recently addressed by the Supreme Court, which upheld the stiff sentence by ruling that in similar cases killing a thief in defence of property needed to be assessed as murder – not manslaughter. By granting a pardon, the president has brought the case to a surprising conclusion, one that the convicted man himself could not have expected.

Environmentalists up in arms over plans for Šumava National Park

The Šumava National Park – a protected nature reserve in southern Bohemia –is at the centre of a row between scientists, environmental activists and the park's new management. The park's new director, former prime minister Jan Stráský, is proposing a radical remedy for the parks bark-beetle infestation problem –a combination of logging and effective insecticides. Critics are up in arms saying the proposed strategy would do irreversible harm to the valuable ecosystems and biotopes in the nature reserve and lower the non-intervention areas in the park from the present 33 to 22 percent, which goes against the general principles of nature reserve protection. Environment activist Vojtěch Kotecký says the new management is about to throw the baby out with the bathwater.