Tuesday, May 3, 2011

News 5.3.2011

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

News Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

By: Jan Richter

* Czech police have accused eight people of supporting terrorist groups
in northern Caucasus.

* Czech MPs have approved minor changes to the country's driving

* If passed, the proposed health care reform will allow foreign women
to undergo abortions in the Czech Republic.

* A man has landed a five-year jail sentence for purposefully pushing a
slower car off the motorway.

* The northern part of the Czech Republic has been hit by heavy snowing
and sub-zero temperatures.

Czech police accuse eight people of supporting terrorism

Czech police have accused eight people of supporting terrorist groups
in northern Caucasus, a spokesman of the organized crime unit told the
Czech news agency CTK on Tuesday. Police said that five citizens of
Dagestan and two Bulgarian nationals operated a base in the Czech
Republic that supplied forged documents, firearms and explosives to the
Djammat Shariat group operating in northern Caucasus.

Members of the group were arrested in early April. Six of them are in
custody in the Czech Republic; the remaining two are being investigated
in Germany. The organized crime unit of Czech police started
investigating the case in 2008.

President Vaclav Klaus relieved at Osama's killing

Czech President Vaclav Klaus received the news of Osama bin Laden's
death with great relief, he said in a statement that appeared on his
website on Tuesday. Mr Klaus believes Osama's death will increase
security, and calm the situation world-wide. Other Czech officials
reacted to the killing of the Al Qaeda leader on Monday. Mr Klaus's
deputy chief of staff, Petr Hajek, however on Monday questioned the
death of the terrorist network leader. Mr Hajek said Osama bin Laden's
death was "as credible as a birth certificate found and published after
all the years".

MPs approve changes to driving legislation

Czech MPs approved on Tuesday minor changes to the country's driving
legislation. If passed by the Senate and signed into law by the
president, drivers will no longer have points taken away for having
less than 0.3 per mil of alcohol in their blood while driving; however,
any alcohol content in the driver's blood will still be punishable by
fines. Under the new law, points will no longer be subtracted from
drivers who fail to turn on their car's headlights, and for minor
speeding offences.

Health care reform to allow foreign women undergo abortions at Czech

The proposed reform of the country's health care system will allow
foreign women to undergo abortions in the Czech Republic. The Czech
Health Ministry says current abortion legislation, approved in 1986, is
in breach of EU regulations, the ministry said. A similar measure was
included in the previous draft of health care reform, and was one of
the reasons why it was rejected by the Czech Parliament. The ministry
would like the lower house vote on the current proposal by the end of

New poll puts opposition Social Democrats in lead

A new poll by the SC&C agency has put the opposition Social Democrats
ahead of the coalition parties. The survey, paid for by public
broadcaster Czech TV and released on Tuesday, says that 27 percent of
those polled would vote for the Social Democrats, followed by 21
percent for the senior coalition Civic Democrats. Third came another
coalition party, TOP 09 with 16 percent while 12 percent of those who
took part in the survey said they would vote for the Communists. The
junior coalition party, Public Affairs, with 4 percent, would not make
it to the lower house. The Christian Democrats, who failed to cross the
five-percent threshold needed to win seats in the Chamber of Deputies,
would now get just that.

Czech NGO to send humanitarian aid to Libya

A leading Czech NGO, People in Need, will send humanitarian aid to
civilians in Libya. The NGO's head, Simon Panek said that given the
deteriorating humanitarian situation in the conflict-stricken country,
People in Need would release 500,000 crowns, or over 30,000 US dollars
from its rapid response fund, and was preparing first shipments of aid
to the besieged city of Misrata. The cargo should be on its way next

Czech Industry and Trade Ministry to extend its export-supporting

The Czech Industry and Trade Ministry would like to extend its network
of offices in foreign countries that promote Czech exports by half.
Minister Milan Kocourek told reporters on Tuesday that the existing
network of ten such centres will be extended to cover all regions of
the world. The Czech Foreign Ministry recently stopped hosting
pro-export offices in their own facilities, and the economic agenda
should be managed by diplomats. The move did not satisfy Czech
exporters who were pushing for an independent export-supporting network.

Acting diva Jirina Bohdalova turns 80

One of the most famous Czech film, TV and stage actresses, Jirina
Bohdalova, celebrates her 80th birthday on Tuesday. Several Czech TV
channels will mark the occasion with special shows dedicated to the
actress who will throw a big party on Thursday. Jirina Bohdalova, a
native of Prague, spent most of her career at the Vinohradske Theatre
in the capital. She has appeared in hundreds of films, most nobly in
the 1969 political thriller Ucho; she received two Czech Lion film
awards for her roles in Fany and Nesmrtelna teta.

Dangerous driver gets five years for pushing car off road

A 41-year-old Czech man was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in
prison for a nasty road accident he caused last year. The man thought
another car on the D1 motorway outside Prague was going too slowly.
When he was passing it, he drove into the other car and pushed it off
the road. The slower car ended in summersaults on the side of the
motorway; rescue workers said it was a miracle that neither of the two
passengers in the car suffered serious injuries. The dangerous driver
later apologized, and claimed he had no intention of hurting anyone.
The court also banned the man from driving over a period of seven years.

Czechs beat Denmark at hockey world championships

The Czech Republic's national hockey team beat Denmark 6:0 at the World
Championships in Slovakia on Monday, securing a spot in the
tournament's knock-out stage. The Danes only put up resistance in the
first period which the Czechs still won 1:0. But in the second, the
Czechs scored 4 goals in just over three minutes, and admitted no
surprises in the game. After beating Latvia 4:2 in its first appearance
in the tournament, the Czech team is yet to face Finland in the group
stage on Wednesday.

Snow and freezing temperatures surprise country's northern part

The northern part of the Czech Republic was hit by snow and sub-zero
temperatures on Tuesday morning. The Krkonose mountains saw up to 30 cm
of fresh snow; even lower places in the regions of Liberec, Karlovy
Vary and Pardubice registered of up to 3 cm of snow in the last 24
hours. Temperatures in the north of the country dropped below minus 2.5
degrees Celsius.


The current spell of cold and rainy weather will continue until the end
of the week, with overcast skies, rain showers and daytime highs of
around 13 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Mikulov museum displays historic scientific instruments from town's
380-year-old Piarist school

The Regional Museum in Mikulov, in southern Moravia, has opened an
exhibition of historic scientific instruments once used at the town's
380-year-old grammar school. The exhibition highlights the beauty of
the elaborate antique objects, and it also shows what role the school,
founded by the Catholic order of the Piarists in the middle of the
Thirty Years' War, played in the town's history.


Czech security expert: Bin Laden's death will hurt Al Qaeda financially

The killing of Osama Bin Laden by US special forces has evoked
widespread relief in the democratic world, but it has also left many
questions unanswered - for instance how significant a victory is Bin
Laden's death in the fight against terrorism and how strong is Al Qaeda
without him. Radio Prague spoke to Czech security expert Andor Sandor
to get his view on the matter.


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