Saturday, May 14, 2011

News 5.14.2011

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

News Saturday, May 14th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* Two Czechs, who were sentenced to ten years for a 74-million crown
robbery, have been arrested in Thailand.

* Public Affairs deputy chair Michal Babak has withdrawn his candidacy
for the party's top post.

* The Muller company is pulling its milk-rice pudding off the shelves
after slivers of glass were found in some of the products sold.

* Farmers say the bout of freezing cold weather in early May will
severely damage this year's fruit harvest.

* Dethroned by Sweden in Friday's semi-finals of the world ice hockey
championship, the Czech team is gearing up for Sunday's match against

Two Czech bank robbers arrested in Thailand

Two Czechs who were found guilty of a 74-million crown robbery have
been arrested in Thailand. The two young men were sentenced to ten
years in prison by a Czech court but only served a year of that
sentence before the former justice minister Daniela Kovarova ordered
their temporary release on the grounds of a complaint pertaining to an
alleged violation of their rights. By the time the matter was
investigated and Kovarova's successor Jiri Pospisil reversed the order,
both men had disappeared. The two men were arrested on an Interpol
warrant with the help of Austrian police.

Public Affairs deputy withdraws candidacy for top post

Public Affairs deputy chair Michal Babak has withdrawn his candidacy
for the party's top post. Babak broke the news on Saturday saying that
the media attacks against his person were harming the junior coalition
party. The deputy chair has been unable to satisfactorily explain the
origin of six million crowns he donated to the party, giving rise to
speculation about shady financing. The party is expected to elect a new
leader next weekend. The current chairman Radek John will be defending
the post, other candidates are Karolina Peak, head of the party's
deputies club, and MP Dagmar Navratilova. The party's unofficial leader
Vit Barta originally announced his candidacy but later withdrew it
urging party members to unite under Radek John.

Muller pulling milk rice pudding off Czech shelves

The Muller company, a multinational producer of dairy products, is
pulling its milk-rice pudding off the shelves after slivers of glass
were found in some of the products sold. The Czech Food Inspection
Office said it had received a fast-alert warning late Friday. The
warning concerns milk-rice with cinnamon and cherry flavour, as well as
the natural variety with an expiry date May 23rd. Over twelve thousand
cases of these puddings were imported to the Czech Republic and have
been put on sale.

Fruit growers in trouble

Farmers say the bout of freezing cold weather in early May will
severely damage this year's fruit harvest and may bring some farmers to
the brink of bankruptcy. Fruit growers with apple, plum and cherry
orchards say the damage is the worst in several decades with fruit
trees on close to 7,000 hectares of land cut down in their bloom. Close
to 40 percent of Czech fruit orchards have been affected with farmers
predicting a poor harvest or none at all. Local fruit processing
companies could also feel the brunt. Fruit growers say they want to
approach the Agriculture Ministry about the possibility of some form of

Prague Castle throws its doors open to the public

Thousands of people on Saturday took the opportunity to inspect the
historic premises of Prague Castle which are usually off-limits to the
public. Thousands queued up since the early morning hours to see the
castle's interior, including the Spanish Hall, the Throne Room and the
Mirror Hall. Visitors can see where the presidential elections take
place, which rooms former presidents favoured and the dining room used
to host banquets for visiting royals and heads of state. The Office of
the President opens these premises to the public only on special
occasions. The next opportunity to view them will be on October 28, a
public holiday marking the birth of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918.

Czech killed in freak accident in Sofia

A twenty-five-year-old Czech man is reported to have been killed in a
freak accident in Sofia, Bulgaria when the balcony he was standing on
with two companions collapsed under them. The two young women were
injured, one critically. The cause of the accident is being
investigated. The ctk news agency which reported the death, said that
next to the modern new constructions that have been springing up since
the fall of communism, there are many derelict buildings in the capital
in urgent need of repair.

Hockey championships: Czechs to play Russia for the bronze

Dethroned by Sweden in Friday's semi-finals the Czech Republic's
national ice hockey team has swallowed its disappointment and is
gearing up for Sunday's match against Russia in which they will be
playing for the bronze. The Czechs who were out to defend their title,
were beaten 5:2 by Sweden, visibly losing steam after the first period.
It was the team's first defeat at the tournament. A disappointed
Jaromir Jagr said later that the team had taken fallen prey to euphoria
and taken their victory for granted.


The coming days should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered
showers and day temperatures between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Krivoklat Castle

With the arrival of spring in the Czech Republic the tourist season is
beginning to slowly re-awaken and with it a favourite Czech pastime -
visiting the country's many castles and chateaux with family and
friends. In that spirit today we visit the royal castle of Krivoklat -
a most remarkable site with a history that stretches back to the 12th
century. Found on a promontory of rolling hills overlooking deep
woodlands, Krivoklat was a favourite of King Wenceslas IV. He used it
primarily for leisure and sport, preferring it to his father's more
famous Karlstejn, located in the same region. Over the centuries
Krivoklat then served as bastion as well as prison; as fans of the
esoteric will know even famous English alchemist Edward Kelley was
imprisoned there, breaking his leg in a botched escape. Certainly,
Krivoklat never easily released its own. Their histories continue to
pervade the site going back hundreds of years.

Jan Masaryk and the experiment in vivisection

In 1938 at the height of the Sudeten crisis, Jan Masaryk was
Czechoslovakia's ambassador in London. He was the son of the country's
first President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and was well known as being both
articulate and entertaining. He was also completely bilingual, his
mother Charlotte being from the United States. But Jan Masaryk's
abilities as a communicator failed to influence the politicians in
Britain, when, in September 1938, they agreed to let Hitler take over
the Sudetenland. Masaryk resigned immediately as ambassador and in the
following broadcast he makes his reasons only too clear.

Unique WWII recordings found in an attic

Every year in May, ceremonies take place on town and village squares
across the Czech Republic to mark the anniversary of the end of World
War II. Since the fall of communism, a particular effort has been made
to remember the Czechs and Slovaks who fought in the British armed
forces, whose role was long neglected by the communist regime. Recently
rediscovered recordings offer a unique and highly atmospheric insight
into the life of the Czechoslovak RAF pilots. David Vaughan has more.

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