Saturday, April 30, 2011

Radio Prague Today 4.30.2011

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Charles Ota Heller: a soldier at the age of nine

In the last days of World War II, nine-year-old Ota Heller picked up a revolver and fired it at a German soldier. He did not wait to see if the man was still alive. For decades afterwards he talked to no one about the experience, and only recently has Ota Heller – or Charles Ota Heller, as he is now called – felt able to return to his memories of the war, collecting them in his book "Out of Prague". In this week's Czech Books he talks to David Vaughan.

Tyršův dům – Home of the Sokol movement

In today's Spotlight Radio Prague visits an early Baroque palace known as Michnův palác in the historic quarter of Malá strana. Built in the 16th century, it first belonged to the Micha family before it became munitions factory in the mid-1700s. In the early 20th century, after the founding of Czechoslovakia, it was sold to the patriotic Sokol sport and gymnastics organisation, which renovated it and named it Tyršův dům (or Tyrs' House) after its main founder.

After Munich: Czechoslovakia left to her fate

In recent weeks, I've tried to capture something of the tense atmosphere of the time leading up to the Munich Agreement of September 30 1938, when the British and French Prime Ministers Chamberlain and Daladier allowed Hitler to carve up Czechoslovakia and march unopposed into the Sudetenland. The agreement left the country as a fragment of its former self; not only Germany, but also Hungary and Poland, claimed large chunks of Czechoslovakia's borderlands. Here is how Radio Prague reported on the final border agreement, reached some weeks after Munich was signed. The scale of the loss is huge.

News 4.30.2011

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Saturday, April 30th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is set to travel to Tunisia and
Morocco next week.

* The Out Distance parachute memorial drew a record number of over
1,000 visitors.

* The deputy chairwoman of the Czech Constitutional Court harshly
criticizes the finance minister's reaction to the court's recent
verdict.

* Radio Free Europe is to celebrate its 60-year anniversary on Sunday.

* The Miss Roma 2011 competition takes place on Saturday.

========================================================================
Foreign Minister to travel to Tunisia, Morocco
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is set to visit Tunisia and
Morocco next week. Mr. Schwarzenberg will be traveling to Tunis, the
capital of Tunisia, on Friday. Mr. Schwarzenberg's official visit is
the first by a Czech official since this year's upheavals in Tunisia,
where anti-government protests brought down the country's autocratic
regime in January. On Sunday, the Czech foreign minister will continue
on to Morocco. The country recently saw its deadliest terrorist attack
in eight years, when a suspected suicide bomber detonated a device in a
crowded square, killing fifteen people. The anti-government protests in
Tunisia were followed by a wave of similar protests in Egypt, Sirya and
Lybia, as well as a number of other Middle Eastern and North African
countries.


========================================================================
Out Distance parachute memorial draws record number of visitors.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Saturday, over a thousand people attended the 69th Out Distance
parachute memorial in Orechov near Jihlava, which commemorates a Czech
resistance group that parachuted from a British Halifax plane in 1942
to help prepare the assassination of deputy Reich Protector Reinhard
Heydrich. General Tomas Sedlacek, one of the last surviving
parachutists, was in attendance. Organizers said that this year's
visitor numbers are the highest in the history of the event.

The Out Distance group did not land where they had planned due to a
navigation error. One of its members committed suicide a month after
landing, two others went to Prague and joined the Operation Anthropoid,
which succeeded in assassinating the deputy Reich Protector. One of the
group's members, soldier Karel Curda, however revealed the hiding place
of the assassins to the Gestapo. Rather than be killed by the Germans,
the assassins committed suicide after the Germans circled their hiding
place, a church in Prague.


========================================================================
Deputy chairwoman of constitutional court lashes out against finance
minister
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The deputy chairwoman of the Czech Constitutional Court, Eliska
Wagnerova, harshly criticized Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek for
his reaction to a recent verdict issued by the court regarding a change
in law for building savings accounts. The court had ruled that a cut in
contributions by the government was unlawful, since it retroactively
affected agreements signed under different conditions. Mrs. Wagnerova
said in an interview printed in the Saturday edition of the daily
Lidove noviny that the finance minister was well aware of retroactivity
being a problematic factor and had tried to circumvent the law. She
compared his practises to those widely used in Nazi-era Germany. In a
reaction to the ruling, Mr. Kalousek said on Thursday that he is
planning to discontinue state support of buildings savings accounts
entirely starting 2012.


========================================================================
Radio Free Europe to celebrate 60-year anniversary
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sixty years ago on Sunday, Radio Free Europe aired its first broadcast
from Munich, to the then communist state of Czechoslovakia. Today, the
radio station reports the news in 28 languages and 21 countries where a
free press is either banned by the government or not fully established.
Its broadcasts are often regarded as a rare source of objective
information. The radio station was born out of an American government
initiative in 1949; a test version of its program was broadcast from a
van near the Czechoslovak border in 1950. Until 1995, Radio Free Europe
was based in Munich, from where it was moved to Prague to cut expenses.
In 2002, its Czech-language broadcasts ended after over half a century
for the same reason.


========================================================================
Miss Roma 2011 competition underway in the southern Moravian city of
Hodonin
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Twelve girls will be competing for the Miss Roma 2011 award on
Saturday. A total of 80 applied to the contest, this year held in the
southern Moravian city of Hodonin. Apart from traditional beauty
pageant elements, such as the swim suit and evening wear competition,
the girls also compete in czardas, a traditional Hungarian folk dance
popularized by Roma music bands. Organizers say that more and more
young Romany women are interested in the competition.


========================================================================
Czech doctors have diagnosed 35 cases of HIV in first quarter of 2011
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the fist quarter of 2011, Czech doctors diagnosed a total of
thirty-five new cases of patients infected with the HIV-virus. One case
of AIDS ended fatally in the same period. The information was released
Friday by the Czech Aids Help Society. To date, a total of 1557 cases
of infection with the HIV-virus have been detected in the Czech
Republic since 1986. Compared to other industrialized nations, the rate
of infection in the Czech Republic is relatively low, however the Czech
Aids Help Society warns that awareness of the risks of unprotected sex
is still as important as ever, despite the fact that thanks to a number
of new medications, HIV is no longer the death sentence that it once
was.


========================================================================
Parliament to pass change in highway traffic law
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Parliament is in the process of passing a change in highway traffic law
under which drivers charged with more than one traffic offense will
only be held accountable for the gravest one. To be dealt with in this
way, multiple traffic offenses must have taken place in the same
three-month period. The goal of the law is to create milder
circumstances for drivers who have accumulated a lot of offenses within
a one-year period; the most aggressive of drivers may benefit from this
change in law.


========================================================================
Police criminality decreases only slightly
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The result of an inspection into criminal behavior among police on the
job finds that it is declining, but only slowly. According to fresh
statistics, inspectors in 2010 counted a total of 242 cases of unlawful
behavior from officers on the job, a drop of about 8.4 percent as
compared to the previous year. The chief inspectors said they were
nonetheless pleased with the result, adding that the inspection is
meant to prevent police officers from committing unlawful or
irresponsible acts at work.


========================================================================
Japanese community in Prague raises money for native country's recovery
effort
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Japanese citizens living in Prague have raised a total of 40,000 Czech
crowns, which will go to the Japanese Red Cross to help disabled people
affected by the recent earthquake, which killed over 14,000 and left
the country in a devastated state. The Czech capital's Japanese
community donated money for the recovery effort, as well as organizing
a sale of used goods at a city flea market to help raise funds. In
addition, a concert organized by Japanese music students living in
Prague also generated a sum of several ten thousand crowns to help with
the recovery effort.


========================================================================
Famous Venus of Petrkovice to return home for a day
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Venus of Petrkovice, a statuette from the Upper Palaeolithic period
believed to be 23 thousand years old and valued at 50 million euros,
will be exhibited at the site where it was first discovered in
Ostrava-Petrkovice. The event will take place on Sunday, May 1 and last
only throughout the day. The figurine, a headless female torso just 4.6
centimetres tall, was found by archaeologist Bohuslav Klima in July,
1953. The statuette is carved from hematite.


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

Over the weekend, cloudy skies and daytime temperatures between 14 and
18 degrees Celsius are expected, with a change of isolated
thunderstorms.

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

Charles Ota Heller: a soldier at the age of nine
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the last days of World War II, nine-year-old Ota Heller picked up a
revolver and fired it at a German soldier. He did not wait to see if
the man was still alive. For decades afterwards he talked to no one
about the experience, and only recently has Ota Heller - or Charles Ota
Heller, as he is now called - felt able to return to his memories of
the war, collecting them in his book "Out of Prague". In this week's
Czech Books he talks to David Vaughan.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/books/charles-ota-heller-a-soldier-at-the-age-of-nine


Tyrsuv dum - Home of the Sokol movement
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In today's Spotlight Radio Prague visits an early Baroque palace known
as Michnuv palac in the historic quarter of Mala strana. Built in the
16th century, it first belonged to the Micha family before it became
munitions factory in the mid-1700s. In the early 20th century, after
the founding of Czechoslovakia, it was sold to the patriotic Sokol
sport and gymnastics organisation, which renovated it and named it
Tyrsuv dum (or Tyrs' House) after its main founder.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/spotlight/tyrsuv-dum-home-of-the-sokol-movement-1


After Munich: Czechoslovakia left to her fate
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In recent weeks, I've tried to capture something of the tense
atmosphere of the time leading up to the Munich Agreement of September
30 1938, when the British and French Prime Ministers Chamberlain and
Daladier allowed Hitler to carve up Czechoslovakia and march unopposed
into the Sudetenland. The agreement left the country as a fragment of
its former self; not only Germany, but also Hungary and Poland, claimed
large chunks of Czechoslovakia's borderlands. Here is how Radio Prague
reported on the final border agreement, reached some weeks after Munich
was signed. The scale of the loss is huge.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/after-munich-czechoslovakia-left-to-her-fate-1


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Daily Bulletin | 30.04.2011, 18:30 UTC

DEUTSCHE WELLE / DW-WORLD.DE Newsletter

30.04.2011, 18:30 UTC
DAILY BULLETIN

DW-WORLD.DE's top stories from Germany and Europe

---------------

Overview of Topics

* Borussia Dortmund grabs German soccer title
* Arrested terror suspects were planning attack in Germany
* Gadhafi calls for ceasefire but says he'll die before he leaves Libya
* Criticism grows ahead of Pope John Paul II's beatification
* France suspends soccer director for alleged racial quotas
* Desperate measures gain ground among conservationists
* Ten nations urge new push for non-proliferation
* PARTNER SITE: Commentary from atlantic-community.org
* Free podcasts: live performances from the Beethovenfest
* Find out what's making the news across Asia
* Global Media Forum 2011
* Free podcasts and LIVE-STREAM: Paavo Jarvi interprets Beethoven

---------------

Borussia Dortmund grabs German soccer title

After last week's shock defeat, Dortmund basked in the limelight on
Saturday as the newly crowned German champions following their 2-0 victory
at home against Nuremberg.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I0

---------------

Arrested terror suspects were planning attack in Germany

Three suspects, arrested in Germany on Friday, had concrete plans for a
bomb attack, according to state prosecutors, and were working for al-Qaeda.
Officials said, however, that the men had not yet chosen a target.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I1

---------------

Gadhafi calls for ceasefire but says he'll die before he leaves Libya

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has offered to negotiate with NATO and
foreign troops to end alliance airstrikes against his country, but rejected
calls for him to step down.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I2

---------------

Criticism grows ahead of Pope John Paul II's beatification

After his 25 years as the leader of the Catholic Church, many of Pope John
Paul II's followers want to see him made a saint. As the deceased pontiff
comes closer to canonization, others are criticising the Vatican.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I3

---------------

France suspends soccer director for alleged racial quotas

French soccer was plunged into turmoil on Saturday following the suspension
of Francois Blaquart, the national federation's technical director, over
plans to enforce racial quotas at the youth level.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I4

---------------

Desperate measures gain ground among conservationists

While zoos are being recognized as key centers for conservation, the impact
of climate change has brought some experts to the conclusion that more
radical solutions are needed to save vulnerable species.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I5

---------------

Ten nations urge new push for non-proliferation

The foreign ministers of ten countries have called for fresh efforts by the
international community to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and materials
at a meeting in Germany.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I6

---------------

PARTNER SITE: Commentary from atlantic-community.org

Atlantic-community.org is an online platform for transatlantic debate on
key issues of international politics and globalization. Find thought
provoking analysis from international policy leaders and decision makers.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I7

---------------

Free podcasts: live performances from the Beethovenfest

Deutsche Welle presents highlights recorded live at the Beethovenfest,
including star performers and up-and-coming talent like percussionist
Martin Grubinger and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Download for
free!

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I8

---------------

Find out what's making the news across Asia

Our daily reports and analysis on a wide range of issues from the world of
politics, business and culture provide an in-depth look at what's going on
in that part of the world.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02I9

---------------

Global Media Forum 2011

The fourth Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum "Human Rights in a globalized
World - Challenges for the Media", international conference, 20-22 June
2011, Bonn/Germany

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02Ia

---------------

Free podcasts and LIVE-STREAM: Paavo Jarvi interprets Beethoven

DW presents live recordings from this year's Beethovenfest, available
starting Sept. 9. Also, don't miss the LIVE-STREAM of all nine Beethoven
symphonies from Sept. 9-12, interpreted by conductor Paarvo Jarvi.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa2srI45gen02Ib

---------------

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Copyright 2011 DEUTSCHE WELLE

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 April 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports
Canadian

CANADIANS DIE IN MOROCCO BOMB BLAST

A pregnant woman and her husband who both used to live in Montreal are among those killed in a bomb blast at a bustling tourist cafe in Morocco. An Israeli consul official confirmed Friday that Israeli-Canadian Michal Zekry and her husband, Messod Wizman, died after the blast Thursday in Marrakech. Fourteen others were also killed in what the Moroccan government now says was a remote-controlled bomb. The couple, who lived in China, were visiting Wizman's parents in Casablanca and had taken a day trip Marrakech. They left their three-year-old son behind with his grandparents. A long-time friend of Zekry's says the couple moved to China a few years ago so Wizman could pursue a business opportunity. The Moroccan government says two Canadians, two French citizens, a Dutchman and two Moroccans were among the dead. The names of the victims were not released. Canada's Foreign Affairs Department is only confirming one Canadian death in the explosion. Morocco's interior minister said Friday the style of the bombing matches al-Qaida's.



BLACK SELLS MANSION

Former Canadian media mogul Conrad Black has reportedly sold his mansion in the US state of Florida for $23 million. Mr. Black was freed on bail last summer after serving nearly two and-a-half years in a Florida prison. A Chicago court is still dealing with appeals of his 2007 convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice. Mr. Black is asking the US Supreme Court to cancel his two remaining convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice. Last year, an appeals court in Chicago struck down Mr. Black's other two fraud convictions. If America's highest court will not hear the case, the two convictions against Mr. Black will stand. He's free while the appeal process runs its course.



ONTARIO FARM WORKERS LOSE UNION FIGHT

More than 80,000 Ontario farm workers in the province of Ontario have lost the right to unionize. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday that a provincial ban on farm unions is constitutional. In November 2008, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a United Food and Commercial Workers union charter challenge against the ban. The Ontario government appealed the ruling to the high court, which allowed the government's appeal, denying Ontario agriculture workers the right to join unions and bargain collectively. UFCW Canada represents more than 250,000 Canadian workers and has been advocating for farm worker's rights for over two decades.



NDP GAINING ON TORIES AS VOTE APPROACHES

Three days before Monday's general election, Canada's left-leaning New Democrats appear to be gaining on the incumbent Conservatives. A Nanos survey released Friday suggests that support for Jack Layton's New Democratic Party has risen to 31.2 percent. That's only five percentage points behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives at 36.4 percent. The official opposition Liberals led by Michael Ignatieff, meanwhile, trailed with 22.0 percent support, followed by the separatist Bloc Quebecois at 5.7 percent and the Green Party at 4.0 percent. A Decima survey released on Thursday found similar results. With the surge of popularity for the NDP, other party leaders are becoming more critical of NDP policies. Both Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff say Mr. Layton is making to many promises what would be to costly for taxpayers.



TERROR SUSPECT GRANTED BAIL

A Toronto man facing terrorism charges after allegedly planning to join a Somali group linked to al-Qaida has been granted bail. Mohamed Hersi appeared in a Brampton court Friday and bail was set at $200,000. Mr. Hersi was arrested at Toronto's Pearson Airport last month on his way to Cairo via London. Police allege the 25-year-old planned to join the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which is trying to overthrow Somalia's transitional government. Canada has labelled the group a terrorist organization. Mr. Hersi's lawyer says his client had no intention of becoming a member of al-Shabaab and was set up by a man who tried to befriend him.



CANADIAN EQUIPMENT IN SPACE

The original robotic Canadarm used aboard US space shuttles will make its final trip into space on Saturday. The giant robotic arm introduced almost 30 years ago, will be aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. The chief engineer behind the 15-metre arm, James Middleton, says it's been a tremendous success. Endeavor was scheduled to launch on Friday. However, technical difficulties forced the flight back a day.



FLOOD WATERS SLOW TO RECEDE

Officials in the prairie province of Manitoba say it may be several months before significant flood waters recede from the western part of the province. Officials say a lot of water has been coming into the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan, which has caused record flood levels in some areas. But Manitoba's flood protection means very few properties have been affected. Almost 2,000 people have had to leave their homes because they were cut off by water. Some 80 provincial highways have been affected and some 600 municipal roads are closed.



GUN AVOCATES SEEK VOTE AGAINST CONSERVATIVE PARTY

Gun-control advocates are urging Canadians to vote in Monday's federal election for either the Liberal Party or the Bloc Quebecois. They say the two parties helped defeat a Conservative government's private member's bill last September that would have abolished the long-gun registry. Members of the New Democratic Party were allowed to vote as they saw fit on the bill. The Conservatives say money spent to keep the registry running is unjustified and the database information is incomplete and unreliable. But most police forces across the country wanted the registry to remain in place.





International

RUSSIA

A Moscow court on Thursday found two members of a small ultra-nationalist group guilty of the 2009 murder of a renowned Russian lawyer and a journalist close to the opposition. A jury found Nikita Tikhonov, 31, guilty of committing the twin murder, and his companion Yevgenia Khasis, 26, of complicity in the crimes. The court also said the pair had "unidentified accomplices". A ruling is expected on May 5. Human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, 34, and 25-year-old journalist Anastasia Baburova, who worked for the Novaya Gazeta, were gunned down in broad daylight on the way to the Moscow metro after a press conference on January 19, 2009. The murders caused outrage in Russia and in the West, where authorities are openly alarmed that killers and their masterminds often go unpunished in this kind of violence. Tikhonov and Khasis were arrested in October 2009 in a joint operation by investigators, special FSB services and interior ministry agents.



TUNISIA

Tunisia's official news agency says that more than 800 inmates have escaped from two prisons after fires were set in some cells. The agency says that that 522 inmates from the prison in Kasserine escaped after a fire in two cells. Another 300 inmates escaped from the Gafsa prison. The two towns are both in Tunisia's centre-west region, some 150 kilometres apart. Personnel at the prison in Gafsa were on strike at the time. Tunisia has been hit with social unrest since the country's long-time autocratic ruler was ousted Jan. 14 in an uprising. Some 11,000 inmates escaped from Tunisian prisons during the unrest shortly after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile.



SWITZERLAND

The UN's top human rights body has approved an investigation of Syria's bloody crackdown on its uprising and demanded that the nation immediately release political prisoners and lift restrictions on journalists and the Internet. Friday's action came during a special session of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council on a vote of 26-9 with 7 abstentions. Five others did not participate in the vote. Opposition among many Arab and African nations forced the US-drafted resolution about the UN-led investigation to be watered down to omit Syria's unopposed candidacy for the council. Activists say that since the uprising in Syria began in mid-March, inspired by revolts across the Arab world, more than 450 people have been killed nation-wide.



CHINA

China is again defending its position on human rights after criticism by the United States. China's Foreign Ministry says the Chinese people are most qualified to speak on China's human rights situation and the Chinese judicial system would continue to handle cases in accordance with law. China was reacting to a US envoy's criticism on Thursday. US Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner accused China of serious failings on human rights. He made the criticism in Beijing after Sino-American talks on rights issues. He was highly critical of China's recent crackdown on dissidents, lawyers and activists and their arrests. Chinese authorities have launched their toughest campaign against government critics in years after anonymous online appeals emerged in February calling for weekly protests to emulate those that have shaken the Arab world. Meanwhile, China on Friday released prominent human rights lawyer Teng Biao. Mr. Teng was among the most prominent rights lawyers detained in a crackdown on dissent in February. No immediate reason was given for his release.



CHILE

Chile's Supreme Court has reduced the sentences of five military men convicted in the disappearances of nine people under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The court also acquitted a sixth officer related to the disappearances of the Revolutionary Left Movement activists in the months following the Sept. 1973 coup d'etat that toppled leftist president Salvador Allende. The court's ruling grants the men probation, allowing them to stay out of jail. Among them is Humberto Julio Reyes, who was deputy secretary of foreign relations in Pinochet's military regime between 1973-1990. His 10-year sentence was reduced to three years with probation. Two colonels, a general and a sergeant saw their 15-year sentences reduced to five years each. They also will be granted probation.



PERU

Leaders of Latin America's most aggressive free trading nations, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, agreed on Thursday to expand their existing commercial ties with rich Asian markets. The document known as the Pacific Alliance creates a framework for integration" that will eventually allow for the freer movement of goods, people and services. Trade experts say the Pacific Alliance could progress more quickly than existing regional trade blocs such as Mercosur, which is led by Brazil and includes Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. It has been around for years but has made fewer advances breaking down trade barriers.



EGYPT

Egypt will permanently open the Rafah border crossing to ease the blockade on Gaza. The decision has upset Israel which is concerned about regional security. Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi says closing Gaza's only crossing that bypasses Egypt has largely kept Rafah closed, opening it exceptionally for humanitarian cases from the besieged Gaza Strip. Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006, further tightening it the following year when the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the territory from forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Since 2007, Gaza's 1.5 million people have relied on a web of tunnels beneath the Rafah border for most of their needs. A 2005 agreement brokered by the United States put the Palestinian Authority and Israel in charge of Rafah, with observation from the European Union.



PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

A Fatah official said Friday the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, will meet next week in Cairo with Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmud Abbas to sign a unity deal. It will be the first time the two men have met since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June 2007, forcibly ousting Fatah from the coastal territory after days of street fighting. Both parties have agreed to form a transitional government ahead of elections to take place within the next year. The announcement caused criticism from Israel which said it would damage chances for peace. But Mr. Abbas said the interim government would not dictate policy when it came to negotiations with Israel which would remain the mandate of the Palestine Liberation Organisation that he heads.



UGANDA

Army troops and police fired live bullets at rioting demonstrators Friday. At least two people were killed and 120 others were wounded in the largest anti-government protest in sub-Saharan Africa this year. Rioters burned tires in downtown streetsof Kampalaas security forces fired tear gas and guns. A Red Cross spokeswoman said 15 of the wounded and been hit by live bullets. Battles between protesters and police were also reported elsewhere around the country. The protests are the first serious demonstrations in sub-Saharan Africa since a wave of anti-government protests swept leaders in Tunisia and Egypt out of power. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for a quarter-century, has vowed repeatedly that his government will not be taken down by protests.



LIBYA

There are reports that forces loyal to leader Muammar Gadhafi have been shelling an area near the airport in the city of Misrata. Libyan rebels say at least two men died in the morning fighting. The two-month battle for Misrata has killed hundreds and prompted warnings of a humanitarian crisis. The city is increasingly the focus of fighting as the other key front in the rebel-held east settled into a stalemate. Protests in Libya escalated into war when Libyan troops fired on demonstrators and protesters seized several eastern towns. The protests were inspired by the revolts that toppled long-time autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia



YEMEN

President Ali Abdullah Saleh is threatening to withdraw from a Gulf Cooperation Council transition deal to end the violence in Yemen. He has accused Qatar of a conspiracy. He singled out Qatar among the six-nation Council and accused it of causing unrest in Yemen where more than 145 people have been killed in the past three months as protesters demand the immediate ouster of the president. The foreign ministers of the Council that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are to meet in Riyadh on Sunday to finalise the Yemen transition deal before presenting it to the parties for ratification. The plan proposes the formation in Sanaa of a government of national unity, Mr. Saleh transferring power to his vice president and an end to the deadly protests in Yemen that began in late January. The president would submit his resignation to parliament within 30 days, to be followed two months later by a presidential election.



SYRIA

A Syrian human rights group says at least 24 people were killed across Syria on Friday as thousands of people took to the streets across the country, calling for President Bashar Assad's downfall and pledging support for the citizens of the besieged southern city of Daraa. Daraa is at the heart of the country's six-week uprising. The regime has unleashed the army, backed by tanks and snipers, to crush the protest movement.



UNITED KINGDOM

Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton were married Friday at London's Westminster Abbey. More than a million people lined the streets of London and the televised ceremony was expected to be seen by about two billion people around the world. Buckingham Palace announced Friday that Prince William and his bride will receive the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Canada's Governor General, David Johnston, and his wife were among the invited guests at the wedding. Millions of Canadians were expected to watch the ceremony. Canada's government sent a gift that respects the couple's wishes. The couple requested that gifts in their name be sent to one of the organizations on a list of charities. Canada's government will donate $50,000 to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. Canada will be the couple's first trip abroad after their marriage.





Financial

FRIDAY'S MARKETS

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 50.39 points, at 13,944.79. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 47.23 points, at 12,810.54 and the Nasdaq closed up 1.01 points at 2,873.54. The Canadian dollar closed at 105.66 cents US, up 0.51 of a cent. The US dollar stood at 94.64 cents Cdn, down 0.46 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.5806, down 0.19 of a cent and US$1.6701, up 0.61 of a cent. The euro was worth C$1.4015, down 0.81 of a cent.





Sports

SPORTS

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Thursday's result: Vancouver defeated Nashville 1-0 to take a 1-0 lead in games in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series.

 

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Thursday's result: Toronto defeated Texas 5-2.

 

 

OLYMPICS

A Russia newspaper reported Friday that Russia is on the verge of agreeing a $5 million deal with the sports experts behind Canada's success at the Vancouver Games to win gold for the hosts at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The Vedomosti daily said Russia's Olympic Committee will announce the agreement in the coming days with Allinger Consulting. The company will be tasked with ensuring the hosts win no less than 14 golds at the 2014 Games in the Black Sea resort. The move to hire foreign experts comes after Russia won only three golds at the 2010 Games, a debacle for a country that considers itself a sporting superpower and a concern at the highest level in the leadership. The firm is led by former Canadian speed skater Cathy Priestner-Allinger and her husband Todd who were behind the "Own the Podium" programme that turned the 2010 Winter Games into a massive success for Canada. Canadian media have already reported that Priestner-Allinger has stepped down from the programme's advisory board in Canada to prevent any conflict of interest in the talks with Russia. The report quoted a Russian Olympic official as saying the contract was worth $5 million. The Russian Olympic Committee was not available for further comment, but the report said the principle of the deal was confirmed by Russian Olympic Committee deputy chief Akhmed Bilalov. Under the agreement, Allinger would draw up a step-by-step training programme for the Russian squad, compile a list of potential medallists and monitor individual training sessions. It will also provide a quarterly report on the latest developments in sports science and create a group of specialists to find the best equipment.





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RCI Cyberjournal

CANADIANS DIE IN MOROCCO BOMB BLAST


A pregnant woman and her husband who both used to live in Montreal are among those killed in a bomb blast at a bustling tourist cafe in Morocco. An Israeli consul official confirmed Friday that Israeli-Canadian Michal Zekry and her husband, Messod Wizman, died after the blast Thursday in Marrakech. Fourteen others were also killed in what the Moroccan government now says was a remote-controlled bomb. The couple, who lived in China, were visiting Wizman's parents in Casablanca and had taken a day trip Marrakech. They left their three-year-old son behind with his grandparents. A long-time friend of Zekry's says the couple moved to China a few years ago so Wizman could pursue a business opportunity. The Moroccan government says two Canadians, two French citizens, a Dutchman and two Moroccans were among the dead. The names of the victims were not released. Canada's Foreign Affairs Department is only confirming one Canadian death in the explosion. Morocco's interior minister said Friday the style of the bombing matches al-Qaida's.

BLACK SELLS MANSION


Former Canadian media mogul Conrad Black has reportedly sold his mansion in the US state of Florida for $23 million. Mr. Black was freed on bail last summer after serving nearly two and-a-half years in a Florida prison. A Chicago court is still dealing with appeals of his 2007 convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice. Mr. Black is asking the US Supreme Court to cancel his two remaining convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice. Last year, an appeals court in Chicago struck down Mr. Black's other two fraud convictions. If America's highest court will not hear the case, the two convictions against Mr. Black will stand. He's free while the appeal process runs its course.

ONTARIO FARM WORKERS LOSE UNION FIGHT


More than 80,000 Ontario farm workers in the province of Ontario have lost the right to unionize. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday that a provincial ban on farm unions is constitutional. In November 2008, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a United Food and Commercial Workers union charter challenge against the ban. The Ontario government appealed the ruling to the high court, which allowed the government's appeal, denying Ontario agriculture workers the right to join unions and bargain collectively. UFCW Canada represents more than 250,000 Canadian workers and has been advocating for farm worker's rights for over two decades.

NDP GAINING ON TORIES AS VOTE APPROACHES


Three days before Monday's general election, Canada's left-leaning New Democrats appear to be gaining on the incumbent Conservatives. A Nanos survey released Friday suggests that support for Jack Layton's New Democratic Party has risen to 31.2 percent. That's only five percentage points behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives at 36.4 percent. The official opposition Liberals led by Michael Ignatieff, meanwhile, trailed with 22.0 percent support, followed by the separatist Bloc Quebecois at 5.7 percent and the Green Party at 4.0 percent. A Decima survey released on Thursday found similar results. With the surge of popularity for the NDP, other party leaders are becoming more critical of NDP policies. Both Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff say Mr. Layton is making to many promises what would be to costly for taxpayers.

TERROR SUSPECT GRANTED BAIL


A Toronto man facing terrorism charges after allegedly planning to join a Somali group linked to al-Qaida has been granted bail. Mohamed Hersi appeared in a Brampton court Friday and bail was set at $200,000. Mr. Hersi was arrested at Toronto's Pearson Airport last month on his way to Cairo via London. Police allege the 25-year-old planned to join the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which is trying to overthrow Somalia's transitional government. Canada has labelled the group a terrorist organization. Mr. Hersi's lawyer says his client had no intention of becoming a member of al-Shabaab and was set up by a man who tried to befriend him.

CANADIAN EQUIPMENT IN SPACE


The original robotic Canadarm used aboard US space shuttles will make its final trip into space on Saturday. The giant robotic arm introduced almost 30 years ago, will be aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. The chief engineer behind the 15-metre arm, James Middleton, says it's been a tremendous success. Endeavor was scheduled to launch on Friday. However, technical difficulties forced the flight back a day.

FLOOD WATERS SLOW TO RECEDE


Officials in the prairie province of Manitoba say it may be several months before significant flood waters recede from the western part of the province. Officials say a lot of water has been coming into the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan, which has caused record flood levels in some areas. But Manitoba's flood protection means very few properties have been affected. Almost 2,000 people have had to leave their homes because they were cut off by water. Some 80 provincial highways have been affected and some 600 municipal roads are closed.

GUN AVOCATES SEEK VOTE AGAINST CONSERVATIVE PARTY


Gun-control advocates are urging Canadians to vote in Monday's federal election for either the Liberal Party or the Bloc Quebecois. They say the two parties helped defeat a Conservative government's private member's bill last September that would have abolished the long-gun registry. Members of the New Democratic Party were allowed to vote as they saw fit on the bill. The Conservatives say money spent to keep the registry running is unjustified and the database information is incomplete and unreliable. But most police forces across the country wanted the registry to remain in place.


RUSSIA


A Moscow court on Thursday found two members of a small ultra-nationalist group guilty of the 2009 murder of a renowned Russian lawyer and a journalist close to the opposition. A jury found Nikita Tikhonov, 31, guilty of committing the twin murder, and his companion Yevgenia Khasis, 26, of complicity in the crimes. The court also said the pair had "unidentified accomplices". A ruling is expected on May 5. Human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, 34, and 25-year-old journalist Anastasia Baburova, who worked for the Novaya Gazeta, were gunned down in broad daylight on the way to the Moscow metro after a press conference on January 19, 2009. The murders caused outrage in Russia and in the West, where authorities are openly alarmed that killers and their masterminds often go unpunished in this kind of violence. Tikhonov and Khasis were arrested in October 2009 in a joint operation by investigators, special FSB services and interior ministry agents.

TUNISIA


Tunisia's official news agency says that more than 800 inmates have escaped from two prisons after fires were set in some cells. The agency says that that 522 inmates from the prison in Kasserine escaped after a fire in two cells. Another 300 inmates escaped from the Gafsa prison. The two towns are both in Tunisia's centre-west region, some 150 kilometres apart. Personnel at the prison in Gafsa were on strike at the time. Tunisia has been hit with social unrest since the country's long-time autocratic ruler was ousted Jan. 14 in an uprising. Some 11,000 inmates escaped from Tunisian prisons during the unrest shortly after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile.

SWITZERLAND


The UN's top human rights body has approved an investigation of Syria's bloody crackdown on its uprising and demanded that the nation immediately release political prisoners and lift restrictions on journalists and the Internet. Friday's action came during a special session of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council on a vote of 26-9 with 7 abstentions. Five others did not participate in the vote. Opposition among many Arab and African nations forced the US-drafted resolution about the UN-led investigation to be watered down to omit Syria's unopposed candidacy for the council. Activists say that since the uprising in Syria began in mid-March, inspired by revolts across the Arab world, more than 450 people have been killed nation-wide.

CHINA


China is again defending its position on human rights after criticism by the United States. China's Foreign Ministry says the Chinese people are most qualified to speak on China's human rights situation and the Chinese judicial system would continue to handle cases in accordance with law. China was reacting to a US envoy's criticism on Thursday. US Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner accused China of serious failings on human rights. He made the criticism in Beijing after Sino-American talks on rights issues. He was highly critical of China's recent crackdown on dissidents, lawyers and activists and their arrests. Chinese authorities have launched their toughest campaign against government critics in years after anonymous online appeals emerged in February calling for weekly protests to emulate those that have shaken the Arab world. Meanwhile, China on Friday released prominent human rights lawyer Teng Biao. Mr. Teng was among the most prominent rights lawyers detained in a crackdown on dissent in February. No immediate reason was given for his release.

CHILE


Chile's Supreme Court has reduced the sentences of five military men convicted in the disappearances of nine people under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The court also acquitted a sixth officer related to the disappearances of the Revolutionary Left Movement activists in the months following the Sept. 1973 coup d'etat that toppled leftist president Salvador Allende. The court's ruling grants the men probation, allowing them to stay out of jail. Among them is Humberto Julio Reyes, who was deputy secretary of foreign relations in Pinochet's military regime between 1973-1990. His 10-year sentence was reduced to three years with probation. Two colonels, a general and a sergeant saw their 15-year sentences reduced to five years each. They also will be granted probation.

PERU


Leaders of Latin America's most aggressive free trading nations, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, agreed on Thursday to expand their existing commercial ties with rich Asian markets. The document known as the Pacific Alliance creates a framework for integration" that will eventually allow for the freer movement of goods, people and services. Trade experts say the Pacific Alliance could progress more quickly than existing regional trade blocs such as Mercosur, which is led by Brazil and includes Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. It has been around for years but has made fewer advances breaking down trade barriers.

EGYPT


Egypt will permanently open the Rafah border crossing to ease the blockade on Gaza. The decision has upset Israel which is concerned about regional security. Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi says closing Gaza's only crossing that bypasses Egypt has largely kept Rafah closed, opening it exceptionally for humanitarian cases from the besieged Gaza Strip. Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006, further tightening it the following year when the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the territory from forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Since 2007, Gaza's 1.5 million people have relied on a web of tunnels beneath the Rafah border for most of their needs. A 2005 agreement brokered by the United States put the Palestinian Authority and Israel in charge of Rafah, with observation from the European Union.

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES


A Fatah official said Friday the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, will meet next week in Cairo with Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmud Abbas to sign a unity deal. It will be the first time the two men have met since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June 2007, forcibly ousting Fatah from the coastal territory after days of street fighting. Both parties have agreed to form a transitional government ahead of elections to take place within the next year. The announcement caused criticism from Israel which said it would damage chances for peace. But Mr. Abbas said the interim government would not dictate policy when it came to negotiations with Israel which would remain the mandate of the Palestine Liberation Organisation that he heads.

UGANDA


Army troops and police fired live bullets at rioting demonstrators Friday. At least two people were killed and 120 others were wounded in the largest anti-government protest in sub-Saharan Africa this year. Rioters burned tires in downtown streetsof Kampalaas security forces fired tear gas and guns. A Red Cross spokeswoman said 15 of the wounded and been hit by live bullets. Battles between protesters and police were also reported elsewhere around the country. The protests are the first serious demonstrations in sub-Saharan Africa since a wave of anti-government protests swept leaders in Tunisia and Egypt out of power. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for a quarter-century, has vowed repeatedly that his government will not be taken down by protests.

LIBYA


There are reports that forces loyal to leader Muammar Gadhafi have been shelling an area near the airport in the city of Misrata. Libyan rebels say at least two men died in the morning fighting. The two-month battle for Misrata has killed hundreds and prompted warnings of a humanitarian crisis. The city is increasingly the focus of fighting as the other key front in the rebel-held east settled into a stalemate. Protests in Libya escalated into war when Libyan troops fired on demonstrators and protesters seized several eastern towns. The protests were inspired by the revolts that toppled long-time autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia

YEMEN


President Ali Abdullah Saleh is threatening to withdraw from a Gulf Cooperation Council transition deal to end the violence in Yemen. He has accused Qatar of a conspiracy. He singled out Qatar among the six-nation Council and accused it of causing unrest in Yemen where more than 145 people have been killed in the past three months as protesters demand the immediate ouster of the president. The foreign ministers of the Council that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are to meet in Riyadh on Sunday to finalise the Yemen transition deal before presenting it to the parties for ratification. The plan proposes the formation in Sanaa of a government of national unity, Mr. Saleh transferring power to his vice president and an end to the deadly protests in Yemen that began in late January. The president would submit his resignation to parliament within 30 days, to be followed two months later by a presidential election.

SYRIA


A Syrian human rights group says at least 24 people were killed across Syria on Friday as thousands of people took to the streets across the country, calling for President Bashar Assad's downfall and pledging support for the citizens of the besieged southern city of Daraa. Daraa is at the heart of the country's six-week uprising. The regime has unleashed the army, backed by tanks and snipers, to crush the protest movement.

UNITED KINGDOM


Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton were married Friday at London's Westminster Abbey. More than a million people lined the streets of London and the televised ceremony was expected to be seen by about two billion people around the world. Buckingham Palace announced Friday that Prince William and his bride will receive the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Canada's Governor General, David Johnston, and his wife were among the invited guests at the wedding. Millions of Canadians were expected to watch the ceremony. Canada's government sent a gift that respects the couple's wishes. The couple requested that gifts in their name be sent to one of the organizations on a list of charities. Canada's government will donate $50,000 to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. Canada will be the couple's first trip abroad after their marriage.


FRIDAY'S MARKETS


In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 50.39 points, at 13,944.79. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 47.23 points, at 12,810.54 and the Nasdaq closed up 1.01 points at 2,873.54. The Canadian dollar closed at 105.66 cents US, up 0.51 of a cent. The US dollar stood at 94.64 cents Cdn, down 0.46 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.5806, down 0.19 of a cent and US$1.6701, up 0.61 of a cent. The euro was worth C$1.4015, down 0.81 of a cent.


SPORTS


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Thursday's result: Vancouver defeated Nashville 1-0 to take a 1-0 lead in games in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series.

 

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Thursday's result: Toronto defeated Texas 5-2.

 

 

OLYMPICS

A Russia newspaper reported Friday that Russia is on the verge of agreeing a $5 million deal with the sports experts behind Canada's success at the Vancouver Games to win gold for the hosts at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The Vedomosti daily said Russia's Olympic Committee will announce the agreement in the coming days with Allinger Consulting. The company will be tasked with ensuring the hosts win no less than 14 golds at the 2014 Games in the Black Sea resort. The move to hire foreign experts comes after Russia won only three golds at the 2010 Games, a debacle for a country that considers itself a sporting superpower and a concern at the highest level in the leadership. The firm is led by former Canadian speed skater Cathy Priestner-Allinger and her husband Todd who were behind the "Own the Podium" programme that turned the 2010 Winter Games into a massive success for Canada. Canadian media have already reported that Priestner-Allinger has stepped down from the programme's advisory board in Canada to prevent any conflict of interest in the talks with Russia. The report quoted a Russian Olympic official as saying the contract was worth $5 million. The Russian Olympic Committee was not available for further comment, but the report said the principle of the deal was confirmed by Russian Olympic Committee deputy chief Akhmed Bilalov. Under the agreement, Allinger would draw up a step-by-step training programme for the Russian squad, compile a list of potential medallists and monitor individual training sessions. It will also provide a quarterly report on the latest developments in sports science and create a group of specialists to find the best equipment.

Friday, April 29, 2011

News 4.29.2011

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Friday, April 29th, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* The head of the opposition Social Democrats has said in an interview
that forming a minority government supported by the Communist Party
would be acceptable should the result of the next election allow it.

* A new poll conducted by Factum Invenio has indicated that if a
general election were held today it would be won handily by the Social
Democrats.

* A former Communist Party MP has been cleared of charges that he
tortured political prisoners under the former totalitarian regime.

* The State Prosecutors' Office has confirmed that the late suspect
Otakar T. was in all likelihood the man responsible for the rape and
murder of nine-year-old Anna Janatkova.

* The police on Friday are expected to end their on-site investigation
at an explosives plant in eastern Bohemia.

========================================================================
Social Democrats' leader says future minority government supported by
Communists one of several possibilities
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The head of the opposition Social Democrats, Bohuslav Sobotka, has said
in an interview for financial daily Hospodarske noviny that forming a
minority government supported by the Communist Party would be an
acceptable option for him if the next election results allow it. But he
stressed that it was not his party's goal to rule together with the
Communists. In 1995, the Social Democrats passed a party decree banning
it from forming a coalition with the Communist Party at the national
level; both parties, however, have since governed together in local
governments.


========================================================================
New poll: Social Democrats, Communists would clinch enough votes to
pave way for Leftist government
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In related news, a new poll conducted by Factum Invenio has indicated
that if a general election were held today it would be won handily by
the Social Democrats, who would pick up 74 seats in the lower house of
Parliament. The centre-right Civic Democrats, the head of the current
ruling coalition, would clinch just 48. According to the survey, the
Communists would pick up 33 mandates, paving the way for a Leftist
government. Coalition party TOP 09, the poll suggests, would get 14.2
percent of the vote and the Christian Democrats - who failed to cross
the five percent threshold last time - would now gain enough votes to
return to the Chamber of Deputies.

According to the poll, upstart party Public Affairs, whose members were
elected on an anti-corruption platform last year, would not make it in.
Public Affairs was at the centre of a recent coalition scandal that has
left the credibility of the government badly damaged.


========================================================================
Former Communist Party MP cleared of torture charges
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Former MP Josef Vondruska has been cleared of charges that he tortured
political prisoners under the country's former communist regime,
justice authorities have said. A court in the north-western city of
Liberec on Thursday found Mr Vondruska, 63, not guilty due to lack of
direct evidence. Before Prague's communist regime collapsed in 1989, Mr
Vondruska worked as a prison guard. He was accused by former detainees
of having carried out particularly brutal beatings of political
dissidents. The court ruled, however, that prosecutors had only
presented indirect evidence of Vondruska's alleged crimes The
prosecution immediately appealed the verdict. Mr Vondruska served as a
lawmaker from 2002 to 2010; his parliamentary immunity was lifted in
2007 to allow him to stand trial.


========================================================================
Group of States against Corruption: more transparency needed in
financing of Czech political parties
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption has
indicated in a report that the Czech Republic is among countries that
need to make the financing of political parties and movements more
transparent. The report stresses that access to information about
financing was needed, as well as a more frequent overview of donations.
Also recommended in the report is improvement in the Czech Republic in
the area of independent monitoring of pre-election campaigns. More
pro-active monitoring needed to be present, the group found, but would
require a strengthened mandate and support in funds.


========================================================================
State Prosecutors' Office confirms suspect Otakar T. was in all
likelihood the man who killed Prague nine-year-old
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Prague State Prosecutors' Office has confirmed that the late
suspect Otakar T. was in all likelihood the man responsible for the
rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl from the Troja district last
year. Prosecutor Jana Hercegova made the announcement on Friday, saying
that the chain of indirect evidence in the case practically ruled out
that the perpetrator could have been anyone else. The evidence cited
includes changes in the suspect's testimony to the police, DNA evidence
found on the murdered child's schoolbag, and dactyloscopic traces found
on a plastic bag underneath. Nine year-old Anicka Janatkova disappeared
on her way from school last October sparking a nation-wide search.
Otakar T. - suspected by the police early on - was charged with the
girl's rape and murder only months later, after her body was found. He
attempted to commit suicide in a holding cell and died later from
related injuries.


========================================================================
Police to wrap up on-site investigation at explosives plant
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The police on Friday are expected to end their on-site investigation at
an explosives plant in eastern Bohemia which suffered a huge
nitro-glycerine explosion last Wednesday that claimed four lives. The
bodies were not recovered following the tragedy; only some human
remains were found. The full result of the investigation into the
accident is expected by the end of May. Specialists from the country's
Mining Office have conducted their own investigation of the damaged
site, as well as questioned witnesses, and have for now banned the
further production of dynamite-type explosives in other areas of the
factory.


========================================================================
State forestry company launches mega-tender
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The state forestry company Lesy Ceske republiky has launched a tender
on a five-year project on the sale of lumber and other forestry work to
begin in 2012. The news was confirmed by a company spokesman on Friday.
The tender is reportedly worth one billion Czech crowns. According to
available information the public tender will be divided along 117
sections. Work will include the cutting and removal of lumber together
with the planting of new trees. A fifth of lumber removed will have to
be traded on the market or sold off in auction to give smaller
producers a chance. LCR owns some 1.3 million hectares, roughly half of
the country's forests and 90 percent of the Lesy Ceske republiky's
forests are subject to the tender. The mega-tender, however, has come
under criticism from a number of environmental groups and some lumber
firms.


========================================================================
Former environment minister named 'winner' of Ropak award
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The former environment minister Pavel Drobil (of the Civic Democrats)
has been named the winner of this year's "Ropak" (or Oil Guzzler),
recognising the worst environmental policies. Winners of the anti-award
are chosen each year by the Czech environmentalist group Deti Zeme
(Children of the Earth). Mr Drobil, the organisation said, was singled
out for the anti-award for a number of reasons, including, it charged,
for weakening the importance and competencies of the environment
ministry. The Ropak award takes its name from a fictional creature that
survives on industrial waste; the animal was invented by Czech
filmmaker Jan Sverak.


========================================================================
Famous Venus of Petrkovice to return home for a day
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Venus of Petrkovice, a statuette from the Upper Palaeolithic period
believed to be 23 thousand years old and valued at 50 million euros,
will be exhibited at the site where it was first discovered in
Ostrava-Petrkovice. The event will take place on Sunday, May 1 and last
only throughout the day. The figurine, a headless female torso just 4.6
centimetres tall, was found by archaeologist Bohuslav Klima in July,
1953. The statuette is carved from hematite.


========================================================================
Hockey: goalie told to shorten leg pads ahead of championship, coach
awaits new arrivals
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Republic's starting goalie at the Ice Hockey World
Championships, Ondrej Pavelec, has been told by officials to change
part of his equipment ahead of his first game. He will have to shorten
his leg pads which were reportedly a centimetre too long. The goalie
expressed surprise over the decision, saying the equipment was exactly
the same as he used in the championship last year in Germany and the
same that he uses regularly in the NHL.

The team's coach Alois Hadamczik, meanwhile, has completed 18 names on
the team roster with six spots left to fill. The team should now get
added strength from overseas, including help from forward Tomas
Plekanec who arrives in Slovakia on Saturday. The team he plays for,
the Montreal Canadiens, was eliminated in the NHL playoffs earlier this
week.


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

Cloudy conditions and a chance of thunderstorms are expected into the
weekend. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of 19 degrees Celsius.

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

A post-crisis interview with Prime Minister Petr Necas
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech government has been through a great deal in the nine months
since the three-party coalition was formed. While struggling with
wide-ranging systemic reforms, the ministries have been hit by one
scandal after another, culminating in a major government crisis this
month, in which it was unclear whether the coalition would survive. In
a special feature today we talk with the Prime Minister of the Czech
Republic and chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Petr Necas, about
the issues that the government has faced and where it stands now.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/special/a-post-crisis-interview-with-prime-minister-petr-necas


Business News 29.4.2011
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In this week's business news: An expert from a government think tank
criticizes the behavior of the country's immigration police, the
Confederation of Industry elects a new president, the home electronics
company ETA is to let go a fifth of their staff, Czech cinemas see
their revenue drop by nearly 40 percent, and the Food Inspection
Authority closes down a Prague location of the national grocery chain
Albert.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/economic/business-news-2011-04-29


Brno braces itself for Sunday's neo-Nazi march
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The city of Brno, in the south-east of the country, is bracing itself
for Sunday's extremist march through one of the city's Romany
neighbourhoods. A local court had overturned a ban on the march issued
by Brno City Hall. Now, police are getting ready to deploy hundreds of
officers to oversee the march, while several local groups are planning
to try and block part of its route.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/brno-braces-itself-for-sundays-neo-nazi-march


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Daily Bulletin | 29.04.2011, 18:30 UTC

DEUTSCHE WELLE / DW-WORLD.DE Newsletter

29.04.2011, 18:30 UTC
DAILY BULLETIN

DW-WORLD.DE's top stories from Germany and Europe

---------------

Overview of Topics

* William and Kate marry in front of global audience of billions
* Germany detains trio of al Qaeda suspects
* Minsk metro bomb plot suspects face death sentence
* New economist takes over at German Central Bank
* Latvia fears emigration crisis as German jobs lure workers
* Germany opens ice hockey World Championship with historic victory
* EU targets 16 banks in credit default swap probe
* Russian government troops kill militants in North Caucasus
* PARTNER SITE: Commentary from atlantic-community.org
* Free podcasts: live performances from the Beethovenfest
* Find out what's making the news across Asia
* Global Media Forum 2011
* Free podcasts and LIVE-STREAM: Paavo Jarvi interprets Beethoven

---------------

William and Kate marry in front of global audience of billions

Prince William and Kate Middleton were married by the Archbishop of
Canterbury, becoming the British monarchy's new fairytale couple. The event
was watched live by millions of TV viewers.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I0

---------------

Germany detains trio of al Qaeda suspects

German federal police on Friday arrested three men suspected of belonging
to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. The men are to be arraigned in a
federal court in Karlsruhe on Saturday.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I1

---------------

Minsk metro bomb plot suspects face death sentence

Two men charged with a bombing that killed 14 people in the Belarusian
capital, Minsk, face a possible death penalty. President Aleksander
Lukashenko has initiated a crackdown on opponents since the attack.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I2

---------------

New economist takes over at German Central Bank

A former adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel replaces Bundesbank President
Axel Weber as the head of the German Central Bank. Some see political
favoritism playing a role in what they say is an independent appointment.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I3

---------------

Latvia fears emigration crisis as German jobs lure workers

While the chance to work in Germany might be attractive to many Latvians,
there are fears of an emigration crisis in the country and debate about
what the long-term consequences could be.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I4

---------------

Germany opens ice hockey World Championship with historic victory

Germany had failed to defeat Russia in their previous 37 meetings at the
ice hockey World Championship. Flawless goaltending led the unfancied
Germans to their first victory over the world's No. 1 ranked team.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I5

---------------

EU targets 16 banks in credit default swap probe

The European Union on Friday opened an anti-trust investigation into the
practices of 16 banks in the market for a type of financial insurance known
as credit default swaps.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I6

---------------

Russian government troops kill militants in North Caucasus

At least 10 people have been killed in a two-day anti-terrorism operation
ordered by the Kremlin. Tensions in the North Caucasus region are still
high following January's bombing of Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I7

---------------

PARTNER SITE: Commentary from atlantic-community.org

Atlantic-community.org is an online platform for transatlantic debate on
key issues of international politics and globalization. Find thought
provoking analysis from international policy leaders and decision makers.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I8

---------------

Free podcasts: live performances from the Beethovenfest

Deutsche Welle presents highlights recorded live at the Beethovenfest,
including star performers and up-and-coming talent like percussionist
Martin Grubinger and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Download for
free!

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02I9

---------------

Find out what's making the news across Asia

Our daily reports and analysis on a wide range of issues from the world of
politics, business and culture provide an in-depth look at what's going on
in that part of the world.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02Ia

---------------

Global Media Forum 2011

The fourth Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum "Human Rights in a globalized
World - Challenges for the Media", international conference, 20-22 June
2011, Bonn/Germany

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02Ib

---------------

Free podcasts and LIVE-STREAM: Paavo Jarvi interprets Beethoven

DW presents live recordings from this year's Beethovenfest, available
starting Sept. 9. Also, don't miss the LIVE-STREAM of all nine Beethoven
symphonies from Sept. 9-12, interpreted by conductor Paarvo Jarvi.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa24vI45gen02Ic

---------------

Note

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Copyright 2011 DEUTSCHE WELLE

Asia Compact | 29.04.2011, 18:00 UTC

DEUTSCHE WELLE / DW-WORLD.DE Newsletter

29.04.2011, 18:00 UTC
ASIA COMPACT

---------------

Overview of Topics

* Find out what's making the news across Asia
* China is ageing
* Non-Formal Education helping rural Bhutan
* North Korea will talk for food
* Thailand, Cambodia agree to ceasefire
* Global Media Forum 2011
* Walled in! - The inner German border
* PARTNER SITE: Commentary from atlantic-community.org
* Free podcasts: live performances from the Beethovenfest
* DW Asia goes multimedia
* All about 2010 FIFA World Cup
* Free podcasts and LIVE-STREAM: Paavo Jarvi interprets Beethoven
* Travel Europe on a shoestring
* An interactive research trip to Papua New Guinea
* Join us for a jungle expedition

---------------

Find out what's making the news across Asia

Our daily reports and analysis on a wide range of issues from the world of
politics, business and culture provide an in-depth look at what's going on
in that part of the world.

---------------

China is ageing

According to the new Chinese census, the population of the People's
Republic of China is aging rapidly. The results of the census are bound to
spark a debate over China's one-child-policy.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I0

---------------

Non-Formal Education helping rural Bhutan

Many people in rural Bhutan have to stay back at home to help parents on
the farms and end up missing out on school. This is where the Non-Formal
Education (NFE) program for basic functional literacy has come as a boon.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I1

---------------

North Korea will talk for food

After a three day trip to North Korea, "the Elders" fly to South Korea.
Former US President Carter speaks of a humanitarian disaster in the North
and urges the US and South Korea to resume aid to the impoverished nation.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I2

---------------

Thailand, Cambodia agree to ceasefire

After one week of clashes at the border, Thailand and Cambodia have signed
a ceasefire. But leaders of the two countries are still wary. The fighting
has caused thousands of villagers near the border to flee their homes.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I3

---------------

Global Media Forum 2011

The fourth Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum "Human Rights in a globalized
World - Challenges for the Media", international conference, 20-22 June
2011, Bonn/Germany

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I4

---------------

Walled in! - The inner German border

For the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Deutsche Welle has
developed a unique project in cooperation with the Berlin Wall Foundation:
an animated depiction of the former German-German border.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I5

---------------

PARTNER SITE: Commentary from atlantic-community.org

Atlantic-community.org is an online platform for transatlantic debate on
key issues of international politics and globalization. Find thought
provoking analysis from international policy leaders and decision makers.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I6

---------------

Free podcasts: live performances from the Beethovenfest

Deutsche Welle presents highlights recorded live at the Beethovenfest,
including star performers and up-and-coming talent like percussionist
Martin Grubinger and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Download for
free!

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I7

---------------

DW Asia goes multimedia

For more background on the biggest stories in Asia, check out Deutsche
Welle's new Asia page in English at www.dw-world.de/asiacompact.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I8

---------------

All about 2010 FIFA World Cup

Keep up with all the action around the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Visit
DW-WORLD.DE for the complete coverage of the tournament.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02I9

---------------

Free podcasts and LIVE-STREAM: Paavo Jarvi interprets Beethoven

DW presents live recordings from this year's Beethovenfest, available
starting Sept. 9. Also, don't miss the LIVE-STREAM of all nine Beethoven
symphonies from Sept. 9-12, interpreted by conductor Paarvo Jarvi.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02Ia

---------------

Travel Europe on a shoestring

Want to explore Europe but you're on a tight budget? In this weekly
podcast, DW-RADIO's Pulse takes you to some of Europe's most interesting
cities and proves you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy them.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02Ib

---------------

An interactive research trip to Papua New Guinea

Join our reporter on an interactive journey to Papua New Guinea and visit
the country's protected forests. You can speak to the local people and find
out more about their communities.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02Ic

---------------

Join us for a jungle expedition

Learn about conservation and the threats that are facing the rainforests in
Guyana when we take you on a virtual tour. Our new WebDoc provides an
interactive journey through the jungle. (more)

The DW-WORLD.DE Article
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02Id

---------------

Note

To unsubscribe to this newsletter, please click here.
<http://newsletter.dw-world.de/public/unsubscribe.jsp?gid=900027394&uid=9037017074&mid=900743444&sig=CAHJEHNPDNJBIICN&locale=en>

If you have any questions or comments, please send us an email:
myasia@dw-world.de

For more information, please click here.
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02Ie

Contact
http://newsletter.dw-world.de/re?l=ewa238I45gen02If

Copyright 2011 DEUTSCHE WELLE