Thursday, May 12, 2011

News 5.12.2011

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

News Thursday, May 12th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* At a meeting of interior ministers of EU member states in Brussels,
the Czech Republic supported the introduction of temporary border
controls within the Schengen zone.

* The Public Affairs party, a junior government coalition member, has
threatened that it will leave the government unless its demands are met.

* Prime Minister Petr Necas is cancelling the majority of his
appointments on Thursday and Friday due to an eye operation.

* Public Affairs leader Radek John is to hand in his official
resignation from the post of anti-corruption tsar to the prime minister
as soon as he recovers.

* American film-makers have shown interest in the Czech wine-growing
region Velke Pavlovice, in southern Moravia, as a location for film

Czech Republic supports introduction of temporary border controls
within Schengen zone

The Czech Republic has put forward a proposal to temporarily exclude EU
member states which are not sufficiently protecting their borders from
the free-travel Schengen zone. The deputy of the interior minister,
Viktor Cech, told journalists on Thursday that the Czech Republic's
position on the issue of border controls within the Schengen zone was
that the possibility should exist to impose temporary border controls
on countries which do not adhere to Schengen regulations. A majority of
EU member states supported expanded border controls in the bloc's
free-travel zone, as some southern member states struggle with an
influx of migrants from North Africa.

Public Affairs threatens to walk out of government coalition

The Public Affairs party, a junior member of the government coalition,
on Thursday presented a list of demands that they expect to be met by
Prime Minister Petr Necas's government. Among the changes the party is
seeking to push through are a new anti-corruption legislation and
personnel changes. Should their demands not be met, the party has
threatened to leave the government coalition.

Prime minister undergoes eye surgery, cancels majority of work

Prime Minister Petr Necas underwent an eye surgery in Prague on
Thursday, and has therefore cancelled the majority of his appointments
both on Thursday and Friday. The prime minister will be indisposed at a
time when the government is facing another potential crisis following
the resignation of Public Affairs leader Radek John from the post of
anti-corruption tsar. Mr. John had only recently been offered the post
as part of a resolution to the cabinet crisis that shook the government
a few weeks ago.

Public Affairs leader to hand in his resignation when prime minister

Deputy prime minister and leader of the Public Affairs party Radek John
signed his resignation on Wednesday and is prepared to hand it to Prime
Minister Petr Necas. A source close to Mr. John told journalists on
Thursday that Mr. John had not yet been able to officially hand in his
resignation due to the fact that the prime minister was undergoing an
eye surgery. He added that as soon as Mr. Necas recovered from his
surgery, Mr. John was going to meet with the prime minister and hand
over his resignation.

Public Affairs head of deputies' group and MP not to drop out of race
for party chairman

Head of the Public Affairs group of deputies Karolina Peake and MP
Michal Babak are not going to withdraw from the race for party
chairmanship. The two Public Affairs members are not going to follow
the party's de-facto leader Vit Barta, who on Wednesday had called upon
its members to rally behind its current leader, Radek John, and dropped
out from the race to become party chairman. Public Affairs' elections
of a new chairman are set to start next Thursday.

Activists protest international defense technology exhibition

Activists protested against the 11th International Exhibition of
Defence and Security Technologies currently under way in Brno. Dressed
at clowns, the protesters, who are members of the initiatives
Protestfest and Food Not Bombs, tried to get into the Brno Exhibition
Centre. They said they wanted to draw attention to the fact that
producers of cluster bombs are displaying their products at the
exhibition. In 2010, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans
the stockpiling and use of nearly all existing cluster bombs, took
effect. Since then, 108 countries have adopted it.

American film producers express interest in shooting in southern Moravia

American film-makers are considering shooting films and documentaries
in the Czech wine-growing region of Velke Pavlovice in southern
Moravia. The director of the Vinium company, Karel Lycka, said that he
had been contacted by Hollywood producers who were interested in the
location for its local wine-growing tradition and the attractive
conditions granted to film productions by the Czech Republic. He added
that a number of American producers had expressed interest in the
region and that he is currently in negotiations with some of them. The
Czech Republic is one of 12 EU states that grant tax-incentives to
American film-makers.

Vietnamese gets eight years for growing cannabis

A young Vietnamese man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for
growing marijuana. Police found some 400 cannabis plants in a house
near the eastern town of Opava. The 24-year-old has pled not guilty,
saying he was paid 20,000 crowns a month to mind the house and the
plants for a fellow Vietnamese. He said he was caring for the plants
because he believed they were to be used as animal feed.

Rare Indian Elephant baby born in Ostrava zoo celebrates one-month

The biggest attraction of the Ostrava zoo, an Indian Elephant baby, is
celebrating its one-month anniversary today. According to employees of
the zoo, the baby has not yet been given a name by its sponsor, but is
in good health and well cared for by its mother. It is only the second
elephant baby to be born in a Czech zoo; the first was born in Ostrava
zoo in March but died a week ago. Indian Elephants are an endangered
species threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.

Smetana memorial ceremony kicks off Prague Spring festival

A memorial ceremony was held at the composer Bedrich Smetana's grave on
Thursday, marking the 127th anniversary of his death. The ceremony was
put together by the organizers of the 66th annual Prague Spring
festival and is held each year ahead of the classical music event. His
famous cycle of symphonic pieces Ma Vlast, or My Country, kicks off the
Prague Spring each year. The festival was established in 1946, has
survived the communist era and continues to be considered the country's
most important classical music event.

Hockey championships: Czech Republic beats USA 4:0

The Czech Republic soundly defeated the United States in the
quarterfinal round of the World Ice Hockey Championships in Slovakia.
The score was 4:0. Star forward Jaromir Jagr scored three goals for the
Czechs, one in each third; Tomas Plekanec enjoyed his fifth goal of the
tournament in the 5Oth minute. The Americans now leave the tournament
while the Czechs will go on to Friday's semi-final against the winner
of Wednesday evening's bout between Germany and Sweden.


Currently sunny conditions are expected to give way to partly cloudy
skies over the coming days with a chance of showers and highs of around
23o Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Czech baristas compete in the art of coffee-making

When Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Claus
visited the Czech Republic in 1993 the head of protocol at Prague
Castle went into overdrive. It was the first visit by a foreign royal
since the fall of communism and everything had to be perfect. There was
just one tiny hitch that made headlines - when the queen visited the
North Bohemian brown coal mining region and accepted an invitation for
a cup of coffee she was presented with a murky brown mixture - a
Turkish-style cup of coffee that has nothing to do with real Turkish
coffee. Czech style Turkish coffee -a remnant from the communist days -
was made by pouring boiling water over ground coffee and waiting for it
to settle before drinking it and using your teeth to filter the dregs.
The queen was charm itself - but much to the locals' surprise she left
her coffee untouched.

Classical music fans descend on capital for 66th Prague Spring festival

Classical music fans are gearing up for one of the most prestigious
events in the cultural calendar - the Prague Spring International Music
Festival, which gets underway on Thursday evening. Founded in 1946, as
a newly-liberated Czechoslovakia was emerging from six years of war and
Nazi occupation, the festival has survived communist dictatorship and
the commercial pressures of capitalism to remain the country's
preeminent classical music festival.

Sale of Fair Trade products in Czech Republic increases by 60 percent

Fair Trade product sales in Czech Republic increased by some 60 percent
in 2010, representing a turnover of some 80 million crowns. The sharp
rise in interest in items produced or in developing countries under
transparent conditions and according to clear ethical norms, has been
attributed to several factors and earlier Radio Prague discussed some
of them with Tomas Bily, the head of the Czech Fair Trade Association.

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