Saturday, June 18, 2011

News 6.18.2011

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

News Saturday, June 18th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The opposition Social Democrats have slammed the government for
conducting a two-track foreign policy.

* The Czech foreign minister has admitted there are differences of
opinion, but said he is fully in control of the reins.

* A police investigator was found to have been assembling sensitive
data relating to private phone conversations made by well-known figures.

* President Klaus hosted a small party at Prague Castle to celebrate
his 70th birthday.

* Passengers of an intercity bus had a miraculous escape from a
horrific accident.

Opposition slams government for two-track foreign policy

The opposition Social Democrats have slammed the government for
conducting a two-track foreign policy. The verbal attack came shortly
after the cabinet rejected minister Schwarzenberg's foreign policy
concept for allegedly being too pro-European. The criticism came from
the ranks of the Civic Democratic Party and was supported by President
Vaclav Klaus. Shadow foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek said it was high
time to address this lack of unity in Parliament. Mr. Zaoralek said he
had information from reliable sources that Czech embassies abroad often
received two sets of different instructions -one lot from the foreign
ministry and another from the office of the government.

Foreign minister says he is fully in control of the reins

In an interview for the internet daily on Saturday Foreign
Minister Karel Schwarzenberg of TOP 09 admitted that he and the Civic
Democrats sometimes differed on foreign policy issues, but he said he
was fully in control of the reins. Asked whether President Klaus's
eurosceptic views did not create difficulties in how the country's
foreign policy was perceived abroad, Mr. Schwarzenberg said the
president was fully entitled to his views within a democratic debate.
The Czech foreign minister has made it clear he would not budge on his
foreign policy stand, telling that the Czech Republic should
stop playing enfant terrible in the EU and instead actively partake in
a constructive debate.

Policeman found to have been assembling sensitive data

A police investigator from the town of Varnsdorf was found to have been
assembling sensitive data relating to private phone conversations made
by well-known figures such as the head of the Constitutional Court,
judge Pavel Rychetsky, or CEZ manager Daniel Rous. The officer claims
he requested the information in connection with a people-trafficking
case he was working on. However the daily Mlada fronta Dnes which broke
the story says the case was merely an excuse for the officer to get to
the respective data. It is not clear if he was collecting the data for
a third party. The case is being investigated.

President gets Festschrift at birthday celebration

President Klaus hosted a small party at Prague Castle on Friday evening
to celebrate his 70th birthday with a select group of good friends and
close associates, after official celebrations planned for Thursday had
to be cancelled due to a nationwide transport strike. At the event,
President Klaus was presented with a book of essays -Festschrift -put
together for him by over 50 well-known personalities - present and
former politicians, economists, philosopher and cultural figures. Among
them are former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, American economist
Gary Becker, Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka, prime minister Petr
Necas, former German president RomanHerzog and Nigel Lawson - British
Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Newly-wed couple hit by tragedy

A wedding celebration ended in tragedy for a newly-wed Czech couple in
Prague on Friday. During the celebration the newly-weds walked out onto
a 3rd floor balcony from which they both fell. The bride was killed on
impact the groom is in critical condition. The cause of the tragedy is
being investigated. A police spokesman told journalists the couple were
not drunk when the incident occurred.

Passengers of intercity bus miraculously escape from horrific accident

Passengers of an intercity bus that got stuck on the rail tracks at a
crossing near the town of Plzen had a miraculous escape -managing to
get off the bus just moments before it was swept off the tracks by an
oncoming train. The accident left only two people lightly injured - the
bus driver who failed to get off in time and a train passenger who was
standing in the alley when the impact occurred. The driver says he was
crossing the tracks when his engine failed and the gates went down on
either side. He quickly ordered the passengers to disembark and the
last one left the bus just seconds before the oncoming train hit it,
ploughing the vehicle for approximately 50 metres before grinding to a

Tennis - Kvitova to face Bartoli

Fifth seed Petra Kvitova will face sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli in the
final of the Wimbledon warm-up grasscourt championships in Eastbourne
after both had relatively easy semi-final wins on Saturday. Both
matches were delayed after rain washed out play on Friday.

Left-handed Czech Kvitova, seeded eight at Wimbledon, led the in-form
Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-6 (9-7) before the match was halted in
the second set, which she was leading 4-2, when Hantuchova retired with
an abdominal strain. Kvitova is seeking her fourth WTA title of the


Skies are expected to remain grey and overcast though most of the
weekend with day temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Mailbox 18.6.2011

Today in Mailbox: Ways of listening to Radio Prague, Radio Prague's
signature tune, earthquake in New Zealand, Prague's Olsanske Cemetery.
Listeners quoted: Hiroshi Kawamura, Nobuya Kato, Avinash Premraj,
Soumya Bhattacharjeem, Bob Boundy, Barbara Ziemba.

Radio under the Swastika

In last week's From the Archives, we heard how German troops marched
into Prague on March 15 1939. The next day, Edvard Benes, who had
resigned as Czechoslovakia's president in the wake of the Munich
Agreement, and was in exile in London, told Britain's Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain that from now on, he would be leading the
resistance against the German occupation. Five months later, war broke
out and at the end of 1939 the BBC began its broadcasts in Czech.

Beyond pork and dumplings - alternative diets in the Czech Republic

When you think of Czech cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is
pork, sausages and other meat dishes, such as the beef roast svickova,
which some would say is the country's national dish. Certainly, the
country is not known for its vegetarian and vegan fare. So how
difficult is it to live on a meatless diet in the Czech Republic, and
how is the country's attitude to food in general changing? In this
edition of Czech Life, we look at alternative forms of nutrition.

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