Sunday, July 31, 2011

Radio Prague Today 7.31.2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 30 July 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


The Roseau River First Nation in southern Manitoba has settled its land claim with the Canadian government. The settlement is worth $80 Million for the band, which originally filed the claim in 1982. Every band member is to receive five thousand dollars, while the remaining $61Million is to go into a trust fund. The settlement is negotiated compensation for Ottawa unfairly stripping the indigenous group of 60 per cent of its reserve farmland in the Red River Valley and opening it up for settlers in 1903.


Halifax's city hall is ready to take the next step toward building a new ten-thousand seat sports stadium. A city staff report recommends moving to a second phase of study, which would examine the feasibility of the stadium as a venue for various events beyond sports. A similiar recommendation is in a report from Halifax's stadium steering committee, a 15-member volunteer group. Both documents will go to regional council on Tuesday. The staff report warns of potential problems. Although the stadium is expected to be in use for 50 days of the year, some events would attract only small audiences. At present, Halifax has no sports team that could use the stadium, although discussions have long been going on about bringing a Canadian Football League team to the city. Halifax Regional Municipality officials are considering a stadium that might host an international women's soccer tournament in 2015. The stadium could cost about CDN$60 million, but the real cost is unknown. It would be constructed with public funds from the three levels of government and with public sector money.


The government in the province of Alberta has charged three companies in connection with the collapse of a stage during a music festival two-years ago. One woman was killed in the mishap which occurred during a sudden storm at the Big Valley Jamboree. The charges relate to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers. They were announced Friday, as fans gathered in Camrose for this year's popular country music festival.


More than eighteen thousand dancers and 16 bands will perform during the annual Carribben Carnival that began on Saturday in Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty opened the Carnival, which was formerly known as Caribana. A parade followed along a three-and-a-half kilometre stretch of a highway bordering Lake Ontario. Thousands of people are expected to attend the Carnival events, bringing tourist dollars during a slow tourist season. Fewer Americans are visiting Canada this year as a result of a weaker American dollar and struggling U.S. economy.



U.S. government legislators failed again on Saturday to reach a compromise that would end a looming financial crisis. The Republican Party used its majority in the House of Representatives to reject a Democratic Party bill proposed in the Senate that would slash spending and avert a federal government default on the national debt. The vote was 246-173. The vote was taken even before the Senate had voted on the proposal. Further negotiations will be needed before the government reaches its debt ceiling on Tuesday. Failure to reach a compromise could have wide-ranging economic consequences in the United States and on world stock markets.


More bodies have been recovered from the scene of Ukraine's worst mining accident in four years. Twenty-four miners were killed on Friday by an explosion at the Sukhodolskaya-Vostochnaya coal mine in the eastern Lugansk region. Two miners are still missing. A separate mining accident occurred a few hours later at the Bazhanova pit in the town of Makiyivka in the neighbouring Donetsk region, killing eight people. President Viktor Yanukovych has announced a day of mourning on Sunday. He also called for a government commission to investigate the disasters and to improve safety standards. Deadly accidents are frequent in Ukrainian mines, which are underfunded and poorly equipped.


The U.S. has described its first direct talks on nuclear issues with North Korea in two years as constructive and businesslike. A State Department spokesmanhopes the encounter will lead to greater stability and continued discussions. He also described the discussions as exploratory. The two sides met on Thursday and Friday in New York.Earlier talks aimed at a multi-national nuclear disarmament initiativeinvolved South Korea, Russia, China and Japan. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited the North Koreans to New York after an unexpectedly positive meeting between North and South Korean officials at a security conference last week in Bali, Indonesia.


A Caribbean Airlines jet overshot the runway at Georgetown's Cheddi Jagan airport in Guyana on Saturday, sliding through a fence and finally splitting in two. None of the 163 people on board was killed, but several passengers were injured, a few of them seriously. One passenger suffered a broken leg and others reported neck and back injuries. Twelve Canadians were on board. It's not clear whether any of them suffered injury. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Boeing's 737-800 model was introduced in 1996 and has suffered eight serious crashes causing a total of 525 deaths.


French investigators say pilots of an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 on a flight from Rio de Janiero to Paris lacked adequate training. They say the pilots failed to discuss repeated stall warnings and did not have the training to deal with the hazard, which caused the plane to go down, killing all 228 people on board. Investigators based their findings on flight data recorders recently recovered from the seabed. Their report concludes that the crew failed to "formally identify the loss of altitude" despite an alarm ringing for nearly a minute. It also calls for mandatory training in high-altitude stalling for all pilots.Air France has rejected the report.


There's a claim that Islamist militia was behind the killing of a Libyan rebel commander. A rebel minister Ali Tarhouni says General Abedel Fattah Younes was killed by members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade, a group linked to the rebels. The General defected to the rebels in February after serving in the Libyan leadership since the 1969 coup which brought Colonel Muammar Gadafhi to power. In other developments, NATO says it bombed Libyan state TV transmitters overnight. The Libyan Broadcasting Authority said three of its technicians were killed and 15 other people injured in the attack in the capital, Tripoli. NATO says the operation was intended to stop inflammatory broadcasts by Gaddafi's government. Libyan state TV is reportedly still broadcasting following the attack.


Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Syria on Friday to demand the end of President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic rule. Activists said troops fired tear gas and live ammunition, killing at least two people and wounding dozens of others. The biggest rally was held in the city of Hamma. Human rights groups say that since the protests began in mid-March, security forces have killed some 1,600 people and detained thousands of others.


The lawyer for two U.S. citizens detained on charges of espionage in Iran says they may be released soon. Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested by Iranian forces in July 2009 on suspicion of spying after crossing into Iran from Iraq. Ms. Shourd was freed on bail in September 2010 and returned to the United States. A court appearance for the two American men is scheduled on Sunday. Their lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, notes that the date coincides with the second annivesary of their detention. He said he believes the court will rule that the 24 months spent in jail will serve as their sentence. Under Iran's Islamic law, espionage can be punished by execution.


Two NATO service members, seven Afghan soldiers and a translator are dead following an ambush in eastern Paktia province. Afghan officials say a roadside bomb targeted their joint patrol before insurgents opened fire. The nationalities of the NATO soldiers have not been released.


The United States and China on Friday held top-level talks on Taiwan. Wang Yi, the top Chinese official in charge of Taiwan, met with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined part of the closed-door session. No details of the discussions were released, but it's expected they touched on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. The U.S. is expected to render a decision by October on whether to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Last year, the United States approved $6.4 billion in weapons for Taiwan, including Patriot missiles and Black Hawk helicopters -- but not jets or submarines. China lodged a protest, suspending military ties with the United States for months.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made an abrupt political shift, urging his socialist movement to reach out to the middle class and small business owners. The President, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, said in an interview Friday that he was entering a more reflective period of his life. He told his supporters to eliminate divisions and dogma, and end what he called the abuse of symbols such as the term "socialist". He has also suggested his supporters stop wearing red shirts, long a symbol of his radicalism. On Thursday, he wore a yellow shirt when he addressed supporters at his 57th birthday celebration. Analysts say his more moderate stance comes as a result of his attempts to expand support ahead of the presidential election in late 2012.


Iraq's prime minister says his country will purchase 36 fighter jets from the United States, more than doubling the number Iraq was previously planning to buy. Nouri al-Maliki told reporters Saturday in Baghdad that Iraq needs to be able to protect its sovereignty. Iraq had previously planned to purchase 16 F-16 fighter jets but the plans were put on hold earlier this year. Iraqi officials said they were going to use the money instead to pay for food rations. Mr. Al-Maliki says a delegation from the Iraqi Air Force will head to the U.S. to facilitate the deal.


Some 40 tribesmen in southern Yemen have been accidentally killed by government airstrikes. A Yemeni security official and a tribal chief described the victims as loyal to President Ali Abudullah Saleh. The president is facing a popular armed uprising. Some anti-government tribesmen have taken control of towns in southern Yemen. President Saleh was wounded in an attack on his palace in June. He's recuperating in Saudi Arabia. The botched airstrikes occurred on Friday close to Zinjibar near the southern coast. A local tribal chief has condemned the strikes.


King Mohammed VI is calling for elections soon and the reopening of Morocco's border with Algeria. He spoke in his first throne speech since citizens voted in a referendum earlier this month to curb some of his powers. The referendum came after pro-democracy demonstrations were held in several cities. The king said that any delay in holding elections threatened the dynamic of confidence generated by the reforms. No date for the elections has been set.


A group of armed, masked men clashed with police in Egypt's Sinai region on Saturday. Six people were killed during a shootout at a police station, among them, three civilians. Twelve suspects were arrested, including Egyptians and Palestinians. The cause of the disturbance is not known, but the armed men were heard expressing pro-Islamic statements.


A strong earthquake struck northeastern Japan on Sunday, shaking buildings with tremors measuring 6.4 that were felt as far south as Japan. The latest tremors were off the coast of Fukushima prefecture, where a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March caused widespread damage. There were no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the latest tremors.




Canada's women's relay team was disqualified in the women's 4x100-metre relay at the world swimming championships in Shanghai on Saturday. Jillian Tyler performed a double fly kick off the wall during the breastroke leg of the race. Swimmers are allowed only one kick. The United States won the gold.


The Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, 3-0.


Canada will play in a group with St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia in preliminary qualifying for the CONCACAF region. If Canada wins the second round qualifying group, Canada would be paired in Group C with Honduras and Cuba in the next round. Canada dropped 22 spots in the latest FIFA rankings to 105th overall, but is still the highest ranked side in the preliminary qualifying group.



Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, July 30. British Columbia will have clearing skies. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 22 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: showers. Whitehorse, 17. Northwest Territories: overcast. Yellowknife, 18. Nunavut: light rain. Iqaluit, 11. Alberta: variable cloudiness. Edmonton, 26. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 34. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, 30. Ontario: isolated showers. Toronto: 29. Ottawa, 29. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 29. New Brunswick: mainly sunny. Fredericton, 27. Nova Scotia: variable cloudiness. Halifax, 23. Prince Edward Island: mainly sunny. Charlottetown, 22. Newfoundland: drizzle. St. John's, 18.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

News 7.30.2011

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

News Saturday, July 30th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* The Czech Airlines' Pilots Association has called off a go-slow
protest that was to kick off Monday.

* Authors of Czech online articles thanking the Norwegian gunman Anders
Behring Breivik for killing 76 people may face prison sentences of up
to one year.

* Some 70 environmental activists have returned to a protected zone of
the Sumava National Park to protest the felling of bark-beetle infested
trees on Saturday.

* Czech and Indonesian police have arrested a Czech citizen who had
escaped his prison sentence and was hiding in Indonesia.

* The Czech Republic have reached the final of the European Under-19
Football Championship.

Czech Airlines pilots call off go-slow protest

The Czech Airlines Pilots Association on Saturday announced that they
would not, as they had previously threatened, hold a go-slow protest on
Monday. The pilots' association had planned the protest due to
redundancies at the state-controlled carrier CSA, however, its head,
Filip Gaspar, says that the pilots have reached an agreement with the
management of the airline. He added that as part of the agreement, all
future staff cuts would be discussed in detail with the union and would
be dependent on the development of the market. On Wednesday, Czech
Airlines started handing out notices to some of its pilots, a step that
the management of the airline says is in line with a plan to restructe
the airline, which was approved by the Czech government last year.

Authors of articles thanking Norwegian gunman may face up to one year
in prison

The authors of anonymous Czech online articles thanking the Norwegian
gunman Anders Behring Breivik for his killing of 76 people may face
prison sentences of up to one year, the daily Pravo writes on Saturday.
Czech Police's organized crime and secret police unit are working to
uncover the identities of the authors. Czech Police has also launched
an investigation into the profile of the Norwegian gunman in an effort
to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the Czech Republic. The
head of the organized crimes unit, Robert Slachta, said that due to
legal restrictions, investigators would face difficulties in solving
such cases, since they can only use wire-taps and undercover agents
when a group of organized criminals is attempting to illegally purchase
weapons. In addition, sentences for illegal gun acquisition in the
Czehc Republic are relatively mild: An individaul convicted of buying
guns illegally faces up to two years in prison. Mr. Breivik, who
committed the twin terror attacks that shook Norway on July 22nd, may
face up to 30 years in prison.

Environmental activists return to site of tree-felling in Sumava
National Park

Some 70 environmental activists who for the last week were holding a
blockade to protest the felling of bark-beetle infested trees returned
to a protected zone of the Sumava National Park on Saturday. The
protesters' spokesperson, Vratislav Voznik, said that loggers have not
been continuing their work on the weekend. However, the park's
management stated that loggers are felling some 100 trees in an area
that is deep in the forrest and that they had succesfully evaded the
environmentalists, who returned to the site on Saturday morning after
leaving Friday afternoon due to a bomb threat. A spokesperson for the
park management said that the activists had not slowed down the work of
the loggers on Thursday and Friday. Police are prepared to intervene
but are not currently at the site.

Czech and Indonesian police jointly arrest Czech murderer escaped to

Indonesian police arrested a Czech man who was convicted for a murder
he committed in 2008 and escaped before the start of his prison
sentence. Indonesian officers arrested the 29-year-old man, for whom an
international arrest warrant had been issued, in collaboration with
Czech police. He is currently in prison in the country's capital,
Jakarta. Due to the fact that the Czech Republic does not have an
extradition agreement with Indonesia, it could take up to a year until
the man can be returned to a Czech prison. In 2010, he had been dealt a
12.5-year prison sentence for killing a young man in front of a Prague
night club.

Feminists held first-ever SlutWalk in Czech capital

Some 20 feminists participated in the first-ever SlutWalk in Prague on
Saturday, which kicked off in the center in the afternoon. Participants
of slut walks, a recent international phenomenon that originated in
Toronto this year, dress provocatively in an effort to draw attention
to the fact that rape victims are still sometimes given the blame for
acts of sexual abuse. The first SlutWalk protest marches came as a
reaction to a Toronto police officer's suggestion that women "should
avoid dressing like sluts" to remain safe. Every day, one to two cases
of rape occur in the Czech Republic, and in 2010, police statistics
indicated an increase in rape cases by 22 percent as compared to the
previous year. Of those, 70 percent involved victims under 18.

Czechs to face Spain in final of European Under-19 Championship after
seeing off Serbs

The Czech Republic have reached the final of the European Under-19
Football Championship for the first time, after beating Serbia 4:2 in
Friday's semi-final in Romania. The Czechs, who are managed by Jaroslav
Hrebik, had a 3:0 lead within 20 minutes thanks to strikes from Tomas
Prikryl, Tomas Kalas, and Tomas Jelecek. They face Spain - who are
world and European champions at senior level - in Monday's final.

Czech soccer top flight resumes after summer break

Czech soccer's top flight competition, the Gambrinus League, resumed on
Friday evening after a summer break. In the opening game of the
2011/2012 season, newly promoted Dukla Prague drew 0:0 at home with
Sigma Olomouc. Later Bohemians 1905 beat Slavia Prague 2:0 at home at
Eden, the stadium they share. There are 30 rounds in the Gambrinus
League, with the last one set for late May.


Conditions on the weekend are expected to be partly cloudy with
scattered showers in some places and daytime highs of 23 degrees

Articles posted on today

"If I had been a boy, I would have been shot..." Part 6

We have now reached the sixth part in our serialized reading of "If I
had been a boy, I would have been shot...", the memoirs of Jaroslava
Sklenickova. Veronika Hyks has been reading the story of Jaroslava's
childhood in Lidice, brought to a violent end in June 1942, when the
Nazis decide to wipe away any trace of the village. Jaroslava - or Jari
- is the youngest of the women of Lidice to be sent to the Ravensbruck
concentration camp, and she is there with her mother and sister, Mila.
Nobody dares to think about what might have happened to the men and the
children of the village. David Vaughan brings us the story so far.

A bizarre speech by an ailing president

The wartime president of occupied Bohemia and Moravia, Emil Hacha, is
one of the saddest figures of Czech twentieth century history. An
elderly academic, he only agreed reluctantly to become head of state
after Edvard Benes resigned over the Munich Agreement in 1938. He made
the tragic mistake of remaining in office when Hitler marched into the
country six months later. Hacha's hopes of preserving at least some of
his country's independence were gradually worn down, and as his health
failed, he eventually became nothing but a puppet of the Gestapo.

Kozel Chateau

One of the best kept secrets among Czech castles and historic sites is
the gorgeous Kozel Chateau founded in the late 18th century in western
Bohemia. Founded by nobleman Jan Vojtech Cernin, a member of Emperor
Joseph II's court, the stone residence served an as exquisite hunting
chateau and today is one of the best examples of Classicist
architecture in Bohemia. The site is surrounded by fine lawns, a
beautiful park and forests perfect for visits in the spring and summer.
What's more, Kozel is only an hour or so away from Prague and just
minutes from nearby Pilsen.

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RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 July 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The Canadian economy shrank in May for the second straight month. Statistics Canada reports that GDP fell by .3 per cent in the month. The federal agency says mining and oil and natural gas production were down by 5.3 per cent. Oil and gas production were hurt by wildfires in northern Alberta, bad weather and maintenance shutdowns. However, production of computer and electronic products, chemicals and machinery rose. The Toronto Dominion Bank suggests the figures mean that highly indebted consumers will no longer be able to carry the economy on their backs as they have been doing.


The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously ruled against tobacco firms who wanted the federal government to share responsibility in lawsuits against cigarette companies. The high court ruled in the federal government's favor in two cases which the companies sought to force the government to help pay the bills for smokers who got sick. One of the cigarette companies, Imperial Tobacco Canada, had claimed that the Canadian government has been a senior partner of the tobacco industry for decades. Imperial Tobacco also said that the government legalized tobacco in Canada, heavily regulated it, and taxed it to the amount of billions of dollars every year.


The Canadian government says it will appeal the case of accused terrorist Abdullah Khadr to the Supreme Court of Canada. The government's leave-to-appeal request says Canada's ability to comply with its international obligations could be compromised if a lower-court decision staying his extradition to the U.S. is maintained. The request says the lower court erred in preventing an "admitted" terrorist to escape trial in the U.S. In October 2004, the U.S. paid Pakistan $500,000 to kidnap Mr. Khadr. He then admitted to American agents that he had procured arms for al-Qaeda. Pakistan freed him in the following year without charges and he returned to Canada. Last year, Ontario Superior Court ruled that although there were grounds to extradite Mr. Khadr, the extradition would be stayed because he had been mistreated during his 14 months of detention in Pakistan. His brother Omar is a prison in Guantanamo, where he confessed to acts of terrorism in a plea bargain.


B.C. Supreme Court has granted bail to three of four men accused of human trafficking in connection with the ship that arrived on Canada's west coast almost two years ago carrying 76 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka. The court ruled the three can be released on cash deposits and conditions. The court awaits more information before deciding on the fate of the fourth accused. The four were arrested in Toronto last month. Last summer, a second ship carrying almost 500 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka arrived in B.C. waters. The Canadian government alleged that many of the migrants are connected to the Tamil Tigers, a group classified as a terrorist organization in Canada. Ottawa cites the two cases as proof that immigration laws must be toughened.


Canada's Pacific Coast province of British Columbia is raising controversy with its decision to allow an energy company to use fresh water in a process to extract natural gas. Talisman Energy will take the water from a huge reservoir in the north of the province. The water will be pumped underground to release natural gas from shale deposits, a process is called fracking. There's opposition to the provincial government's decision within the government itself.


City Council has held a 23-hour session at which the public was invited to speak out on the subject of budget cuts. The session is believed to be the longest in city history. More than 300 residents signed up to weigh in but one-half of them left without having spoken. The city is facing a $775-million shortfall in next year's spending and Mayor Rob Ford must decide which services to cut. A consultant's report has suggested measures including the closure of libraries, the elimination of overnight buses, a reduction of police on the streets and the sale of the Toronto Zoo. Some councilors complained afterwards that many speakers focused on saving services but failed to provide alternatives to cost-cutting.



The death of Gen. Abdel Fatah Younes, the commander of forces fighting to oust leader Muammar Gadhafi, remains mysterious. Rebels are blaming the Libyan leader for his murder. Gen. Younes was shot dead Thursday by an armed gang after he was summoned from the battlefield to Benghazi by the rebel National Transitional Council to discuss military issues. He was Libya's former interior minister and number two in the Gadhafi government prior to his defection in February.


Eighteen civilians were killed when a roadside bomb destroyed their minivan Friday in Helmand province. The attack occurred a day after a Taliban attack in Uruzgan killed 21 people. The latest bomb blast came as United Nations figures show civilian deaths are up 15 percent in the first half of this year. Officials say the figures are reaching record levels in the long war between insurgents and the Kabul government that is backed by NATO-led troops.


Saboteurs blew up an oil pipeline near the Syrian city of Homs Friday. The official SANA news agency reports that the pipeline is badly damaged and leaking great amounts of oil. The latest pipeline blast came just hours ahead of newly called protests against President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic government. Meanwhile, Syrian security forces fired at demonstrators in the southern city of Dera'a, as thousands took to streets across Syria after Friday prayers to demand the downfall of Mr. al-Assad.



The CEO of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has repeated a commitment to decide by the end of the year how to react to its rival Bombardier's production of its CSeries airliners. Frederico Fleury Curado said in Montreal on Friday that Embraer is considering whether to re-engine its largest aircraft, the E195, or to develop an even larger family of planes. The Brazilian company has come under pressure to modify its airliner models after Boeing announced last week it would re-engine its 737 aircraft, following a similar decision by Airbus. All three of Bombardier's competitors are trying to reduce fuel burn to compete against the savings promised in Bombardier's new design.


TSX on Friday: 12,943 - 104. Dollar: US$1.04,

down 0.43 of a cent

. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $95.92 - $1.52.




Canada's Martha McCabe won the bronze medal

Friday in the women's 200-metre breaststroke at the world swimming


The Toronto native took third place in two minutes 24.81 seconds.

American Rebecca Soni, who led from start to finish, won gold in

2:21.47. She also won Tuesday's 100-metre breaststroke.

Yuliya Efimova of Russia won the silver in 2:22.22.



British Columbia on Saturday: rain, high C23 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 16, Yellowknife 24, Iqaluit 7. Alberta: mix sun cloud north, sun south. Saskatchewan: sun. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 24, Regina 25, Winnipeg 27.Ontario: mix sun cloud south, rain north. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto, Montreal 28, Ottawa 27. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton,, Charlottetown, St. John's 19, Halifax 17.

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