Monday, May 30, 2011

News 5.30.2011

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

News Monday, May 30th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The Association of Independent Unions has threatened to halt railway
services and block roads unless the government softens its health and
pension reforms.

* The Czech Food Inspection authority has ordered intensified random
checks on all market vegetables in connection with the Spanish cucumber

* British police have detained a Czech wanted on suspicion of child

* Academicians and NGOs have slammed the education minister for
reportedly turning a blind eye to discrimination of Romany children.

* The newly reconstructed Golden Lane below Prague Castle is to reopen
to visitors on Wednesday.

Czech unions threaten transport strike over reforms

Czech trade unions will halt railway services and block roads after
June 10th unless the centre-right cabinet softens its health and
pension reforms, the second-biggest union group said on Monday. The
Association of Independent Unions said it was willing to negotiate
until June 10 but made it clear that unless a compromise agreement was
reached by that date it would launch a strike and transport blockade
without further delay. The government, although weakened by infighting,
has so far refused to budge and has stuck to its plan to cut the
country's budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2013.

Food Inspection Authority orders intensified random checks on all

The Czech Food Inspection authority has ordered intensified random
checks on all market vegetables in connection with the Spanish cucumber
scare. It emerged on Sunday that over 200 potentially infected Spanish
cucumbers were imported to the Czech Republic, of which 120 were sold
on the market. The vegetables came from Germany on Tuesday and were
distributed to over a dozen retailers in different parts of the
country; the same German dealer also supplied cucumbers to Austria,
Luxembourg and Hungary.

Potentially infected Spanish cucumbers are believed to be behind an
outbreak of E.coli bacterial infections in Germany, the UK, Sweden,
Denmark and the Netherlands. At least ten people have died of the
infection in Germany, another 30 are in reported to be in serious

Chief hygiene officer to public: observe standard precautions

The country's chief hygiene officer Michal Vit has told Czechs there is
no reason for concern if they observe standard precautions when
preparing food. He stressed that all fruits and vegetables should be
properly washed and where possible peeled in order to prevent bacterial
infection. Slicing boards and knives should also be properly washed
before coming into contact with other food. Mr. Vit asked people to
check out the list of stores which had the potentially infected
cucumbers on sale and dispose of any suspect produce they may still

British police arrest Czech pedophile

British police on Friday detained a 37-year-old Czech pedophile who is
wanted by the Czech authorities on suspicion of child abuse, the Czech
police presidium reported on Monday. The man who has a record of child
abuse was reportedly spending time abroad in order to avoid outpatient
medical treatment which the court ordered him to undergo. The suspect
is believed to have abused a five year old girl in southern Moravia
last year. If found guilty he could face up to ten years in prison. The
man was arrested on an Interpol warrant and is expected to be
extradited to the Czech Republic shortly.

EU commissioner: Czechs among top humanitarian aid providers

Kristalina Georgieva, EU commissioner for international cooperation,
humanitarian aid and crisis response told the CTK news agency on Monday
that the Czech Republic is one of the EU's best providers of
humanitarian and development help. On a working visit to the Czech
Republic, the EU commissioner said this was largely due to good
organization and people's willingness to provide aid to areas afflicted
by natural or humanitarian disasters. Ms. Georgieva said the Czech
Republic's participation in humanitarian actions is by far the biggest
of the 12 EU "newcomer" states.

Sazka in bankruptcy proceedings

The lottery company Sazka is in bankruptcy as of May 30 and its board
of directors has lost the right to handle the company's assets which
will now be administered by an insolvency administrator. The decision
was reached at a meeting of the company's creditors on Friday. Sazka��s
management wants to turn to court to defend itself against the decision
on bankruptcy. The company was declared insolvent at the end of March.

Police helpless as driver speeds down wrong lane

The police say it was not in their power to stop a 33-year-old driver
from speeding down a Czech motorway in the opposite lane. The man, a
foreign national who was later found to be on drugs, caused ten lighter
accidents as he sped down the R1 motorway from eastern Bohemia to
Prague for a stretch of over 70 kilometers. The police said on Monday
it was not in their power to close down the motorway within so short a
time and radical action would have put other unsuspecting drivers at
risk. The man was going in the opposite direction at a speed of 180
kilometers per hour, dodging cars and forcing them to the side of the
road. The police only arrested him after he had left the motorway on
the suburbs of Prague. He has been charged with endangering public
safety for which he could get up to eight years in jail.

Academicians and NGOs slam education minister for turning a blind eye
to discrimination of Romany children

Academicians and NGOs who were to assist the Education Ministry with
the task of integrating Romany school children in the education process
have abandoned the endeavor and are refusing to cooperate with the
ministry further saying it has no intention of making any real progress
on the issue. Tomas Habart from the NGO People in Need said the
Education Minister Josef Dobes was not serious about tackling the
problem and the group set up to deal with it was practically paralyzed
as a result of personnel changes made by him. Amnesty International has
issued a similar statement saying the Czech Republic is likely to be
hit by sanctions for failing to take any action against discrimination
of Romany children in the education system.

Written school leaving exams begin

Written exams as part of state school-leaving exams began on Monday at
hundreds of secondary schools across the Czech Republic. This year,
students are for the first time taking a unified state school-leaving
exam valid for all secondary schools in the country. The tests had been
distributed under tight security measures to prevent leaks, Education
Minister Josef Dobes said. The first written exam is in the Czech
language, followed by tests in math and a foreign language. The written
part of the state school leaving exams will conclude on June 7.

Presidential couple to reopen Golden Lane

President Vaclav Klaus and the first lady Livia Klaus are to reopen the
newly reconstructed Golden Lane below Prague Castle on Wednesday. The
lane with its charming row of Mannerist-style houses dating back to the
late 15th century has just undergone the most extensive reconstruction
in its history. Prague Castle administration which paid 34 million
crowns for the reconstruction of one of the most visited sites of the
Prague Castle compound has made sure that its historic value is well
preserved. After the street reopens some of the houses will serve as
museum exhibits - their interiors reflecting their former use : a
goldsmith's workshop, an alchemists' den or a fortune-tellers home.


The coming days are expected to be warm and sunny with rain predicted
mid-week. Tuesday's highs are expected to reach 28 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Sports News 30.5.2011

Kreuziger takes an historic sixth place in the Giro d'Italia; French
Open remains a dream for Petra Kvitova, who lost the fourth round to Li
Na; the Czech women's basketball team beats Russia to win the Karlovy
Vary Grand Prix; and Bolt is back for the Golden Spike Ostrava, and
having a go at golf.

Czech authorities launch checks of fresh vegetables in response to
German outbreak of E.coli infection

The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority on Monday ordered a
nation-wide inspection of fresh vegetables. The decision comes after
more than a hundred Spanish cucumbers possibly contaminated with a
deadly mutated E. coli bacterium went on sale in several health food
outlets in the country. Czech authorities are implementing the checks
after vegetables with the infectious bacteria killed ten consumers in
neighboring Germany.

Czech journalist Jana Ciglerova - a media professional with experience
both at home and abroad

Jana Ciglerova studied journalism in Prague and in London, where she
started working as a UK correspondent for the daily Lidove noviny when
she was still a student. She has since then written for an interesting
variety of publications, including The Observer. Upon her return to the
Czech Republic, she became the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, later
launched a women's weekly and currently works for the daily Mlada
fronta Dnes as well as producing a TV show. In this week's One on One,
Jana Ciglerova speaks about UK media, feminism and how she first became
interested in becoming a journalist.

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