Monday, June 27, 2011

News 6.27.2011

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

News Monday, June 27th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The leaderships of the three ruling parties are meeting separately
for consultations following the collapse of talks on the future of the
government on Sunday.

* An international conference marking the 20th anniversary of the
dissolution of the Warsaw Pact has opened in Prague.

* The Czech Republic will support Macedonia in its EU integration

* The Czech Republic has concluded its chairmanship of the Decade of
Roma Inclusion project.

* Tuesday's general strike in Greece is expected to disrupt dozens of
Greek-bound flights from Prague.

Talks on government's future continue separately

The leaderships of the three ruling parties are meeting separately for
consultations following the collapse of talks on an addendum to the
coalition agreement on Sunday. The talks ended abruptly late Sunday
night after the two stronger parties in government -the Civic Democrats
and TOP 09 - told the junior party Public Affairs they were not willing
to debate any further demands. Public Affairs -which had called for a
re-write of the coalition agreement, four ministerial posts and newly a
bigger budget for the transport ministry will now have to decide
whether it is willing to remain in the centre-right cabinet under the
present conditions. Public Affairs had threatened to walk out of the
government unless an addendum to the coalition agreement was concluded
by the end of the month. No further talks between the three parties
have been scheduled.

President Klaus confident solution will be found

On a visit to neighbouring Slovakia, President Vaclav Klaus down-played
the political developments in his homeland saying that tension and
squabbles were common in this coalition government, but that they did
not present a serious threat. Mr. Klaus said that serious as things
might look, he would not call this a crisis and was confident that a
solution would be found. On a three day visit to Slovakia President
Klaus on Monday met with his Slovak counterpart Ivan Gasparovic.

International conference marks anniversary of Warsaw Pact dissolution

An international conference entitled "Europe - Whole and Free? Two
Decades Since the End of the Warsaw Pact" opened in Prague on Monday,
in Cernin Palace, in the very same building where the Warsaw Treaty
Organization was dissolved 20 years ago. Speakers hailed the
non-violent demise of the Soviet-led military alliance which they said
boosted security in Europe and helped unify the continent. The
conference which is to last through Thursday is organized jointly by
the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence in
cooperation with the non-governmental organization Opona. Among the
distinguished guests present are the former president of Latvia Vaira
V����e-Freiberga, former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher,
Malcolm Rifkind, former defence and foreign secretary of the United
Kingdom and others. Former Czech president Vaclav Havel is not present
due to health problems.

Czechs back Macedonia's integration efforts

The Czech Republic will support Macedonia in its effort to become a
member of the EU and NATO, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said
following talks with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski in
Prague on Monday. Mr. Necas said the Czech Republic supported the EU's
expansion to the Balkan states as a guarantee of greater stability on
the continent and said the Czech Republic was ready to share its
accession know-how. The two heads of government agreed to further boost
economic ties and smooth the way for mutual foreign investment.

Czechs hand over chairmanship of Roma inclusion project

The Czech Republic on Monday handed over chairmanship of the Decade of
Roma Inclusion project to Macedonia. The project, initiated in 2005 by
the World Bank and the Open Society Institute, is an international
effort on the part of 8 central and east European countries to tackle a
wide range of educational and social disadvantages faced by Roma
communities in this part of the world. During its cahirmanship the
Czech Republic established five priorities - giving Roma children equal
opportunities in education, improving the position of Roma women and
children, involving the Roma in local administration and improving the
media profile of the Roma minority.

Human rights activists ask politicians to openly support Chinese

A group of human rights' activists have called on Czech top officials
to openly voice their support for Chinese prisoner of conscience Gao
Zhisheng. The group which met in the Senate on the occasion of the
launch of the Czech version of the lawyer's book A China More Just - My
Fight as a Human Rights' Lawyer in the World's Largest Communist State,
called on the Czech president, prime minister and foreign minister to
bring up the human rights issue in talks with Chinese top officials.
They criticized the fact that on too many past occasions human rights
issues have been overshadowed by economic interests.

Commemorative ceremonies for victims of communism

Former political prisoners, government and parliament officials and
cultural figures gathered in Pankrac prison on Monday to mark the 61st
anniversary of the murder of democratic politician Milada Horakova
after a show trial in the communist 1950s. Pleas for clemency by the
likes of Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill a Eleanor Roosevelt failed
to have any effect. The only woman murdered by the regime, Horakova
became a symbol of anti-communist resistance. Gatherings commemorating
the victims of communism took place in other parts of the country.

Tuesday's general strike in Greece to disrupt air travel

Tuesday's general strike in Greece is expected to disrupt most
transportation including air travel, a spokeswoman for the flight
company Travel Service told the CTK news agency on Monday. Passengers
heading for Greece are likely to have their flights re-scheduled and
have been asked to contact the agency for the latest developments.
According to the company the strike will affect at least ten flights
bound for Greece. Some 2,000 people are bound for Greece by air on
Tuesday. The strike is expected to close down airports in Greece from 7
to 11 am and then again from 5 to 9 pm.

Overworked drivers and technical state of tourist buses to blame for
most accidents abroad

The poor technical condition of Czech buses and overworked drivers are
behind the heightened number of accidents involving Czech tourist
busses abroad, the daily Lidove noviny says in its Monday edition,
citing experts. The Association of Czech Travel Agencies has called on
its members to exert more pressure on bus companies to correct these
deficiencies. There are also calls for tougher road controls which
would prevent companies from dispatching buses which are not in top
condition and sending out less than experienced drivers in the interest
of making the most of the tourist season. There were three serious
accidents involving Czech tourist buses in the month of June.

Doctors issue tick warning

The health authorities have issued warnings that the threat from
infected ticks has reached a peak. Three thousand people have sought
medical attention after developing problems from tick-bites since the
start of the season. Doctors warn untreated tick bites can lead to
serious cases of Lyme disease or worse, tick-borne encephalitis, or
TBE, an infection of the brain that can prove fatal.


The next few days are expected to be warm and sunny with day
temperatures hitting the 30s.

Articles posted on today

Sports News 27.6.2011

Czech tennis players Kvitova, Berdych breeze through first three rounds
at Wimbledon but Cetkovaska crushed by Lisicki in 4th; the Czech U21
and U17 football teams suffer defeats at the European and World
championships; the national inline hockey team edges the US by a score
of 3:2 in the final of the World Championships; hockey goalie Ondrej
Pavelec is now a Winnipeg Jet.

Mycologist Jan Borovicka on mushrooms and where to find them

With mushroom season in full swing, our guest in this edition of One on
One is Jan Borovicka, a leading member of the Czech Mycological
Society, who combines a very Czech hobby of mushroom picking with his
profession of geochemist at the Czech Academy of Sciences. How has the
internet changed mushroom picking? Why are mushrooms safe to eat even
after Chernobyl and Fukushima? And, most importantly, where are the
best spots to find them? These are some of issues we discussed with Jan
Borovicka, who says this year's mushroom-picking season did not start
out that great.

Premature resignation of Czech Football Association chairman met with
disappointment and disbelief

The chairman of the Czech Football Association, Ivan Hasek, announced
on Sunday that he was leaving his post in favor of resuming a career in
coaching. The resignation of the man who has sometimes been dubbed "the
savior of Czech football" two years into his four-year contract was met
with consternation and disappointment by members of the football
association and the public alike. Samuel Beckwith, the blogger behind
the Czech Football Daily, speaks about the implications of Mr. Hasek's
resignation, what it means for the future of soccer in this country and
what Mr. Hasek's achievements were.

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