Saturday, July 23, 2011

News 7.23.2011

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

News Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* Czech authorities have condemned terrorist attacks which killed at
least 91 people in Norway.

* Security measures in the Czech Republic have been increased following
the Norway tragedy.

* The threat of flooding has largely subsided as water levels on
troubled rivers in parts of the country have gone down.

* A special police detail - which had been guarding the Prague mayor
after he received death threats - has been called off.

* A 47-year-old motorist was lucky to survive a train collision in
southern Bohemia on Saturday with only minor injuries.

Czech authorities condemn Norway attacks

Czech authorities have condemned brutal terrorist attacks which struck
Norway on Friday killing at least 91 people. At least seven people died
in an explosion at government offices in Oslo, and an additional 84
people or more were killed in a shooting rampage at an island youth
camp outside the city. One Norwegian national is in custody in
connection with the attacks. The Czech Foreign Ministry released a
statement expressing shock and regret. In its statement it said the
Czech Republic was ready to provide assistance. It also reiterated that
it was necessary for the international community to stand together
against the threat of terrorism. It is not yet clear who is behind the
Norway attacks; early reports suggested responsibility by Islamic
militants, but it is now thought to have been conducted by homegrown
far-right extremists, as the suspect in custody allegedly belonged to
an extremist group. The attacks have been widely condemned by the US,
the European Union, NATO and others.

Czech police tighten security measures

The Czech police have tightened security measures in reaction to the
terrorist attacks in Norway on Friday, police spokesman Jan Melsa
confirmed; he described the measures taken as preventative. Patrols at
Czech airports and at key areas in the capital and around the country
were heightened as of Friday afternoon. The spokesman said the measures
would not directly affect citizens. He also stressed that the police do
not have any information that the Czech Republic was facing any danger.
The police are, however, assessing the situation in coordination with
foreign colleagues.

High flood alerts remain in place on two rivers

Water levels on a number of swollen rivers in north-eastern Bohemia and
Moravia began subsiding on Friday night, leaving high flood alerts only
on the Dedina and Orlice, where levels, however, have also fallen. With
the risk of floods abating and conditions improving on Friday, families
who had been evacuated from their homes in areas began returning.
Despite improvements, some 170 people were nevertheless evacuated from
local summer camps. Some lower-category roads had been closed in the
Liberec, Hradec Kralove regions and parts of northern Moravia. Earlier
in the week some rail routes had been closed because they were either
waterlogged or hampered by fallen trees. The Czech Republic was hit by
disastrous floods one year ago, which caused major damage and claimed
several lives.

Daily: Police unit no longer guarding mayor

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda is no longer being guarded by a special
police detail, the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Friday on
its iDnes site, saying the mayor was no longer receiving death threats
in the form of letters or text messages. The mayor was given the extra
guard at the beginning of this year after he began receiving threats
last December. Police are continuing to look for the perpetrator. The
threats, vulgar in nature, reached their peak in February and March
when an unknown party slashed the tires on the mayor's car parked near
his home and sent him a package of photographs of his family complete
with TNT powder. No detonator was included and there was no danger of
an explosion, the daily writes. According to Mf Dnes, the police unit
was called off a fortnight ago and the mayor has declined to speculate
on why the threats stopped.

Extremists march in support of imprisoned skinhead

Some 150 right-wing extremists staged a march through the town of
Svitavy on Saturday in support of imprisoned skinhead Vlastimil
Pechanec who was convicted of the murder of a Svitavy Romany man in
2001. Some 130 riot police members, including officers on horseback,
and a police helicopter monitored the march during which no incidents
were registered a police spokeswoman told the CTK news agency.
Participants carried posters proclaiming Mr Pechanec's innocence and
met on the square. Far-right extremists have held demonstrations in
Svitavy for several years.

Driver lucky to survive train collision with only minor injuries

A 47-year-old motorist in the area of Pisek, South Bohemia, was lucky
to escape with only minor injuries after failing to heed warning lights
at a local train crossing and colliding with an express train, news
website idnes has reported. The collision affected only the back of the
car; 25 people on the train were unhurt. The accident took place on
Saturday morning and transport along the route was stopped for several
hours. An inspection team from Czech Railways is looking into the cause
of the accident; the driver explained to the police that it was likely
he had been unable to see the flashing signal due to sharp sunlight.
Transport on the route has since resumed.

Woman fighting for life in hospital after setting self alight

A 48-year-old woman from the Melnik area, north of Prague, is fighting
for her life a day after allegedly dousing herself in gasoline and
setting herself alight. Relatives found the woman in her home at five
in the morning on Friday. She was airlifted to a Prague hospital where
she remains in critical condition. The police are investigating the
incident but have not learned why the woman attempted to take her life.


Cloudy conditions with rainfall but also periods of sunshine in places
are expected to continue into the weekend; daytime temperatures should
reach highs of around 18 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

"If I had been a boy, I would have been shot..." Part 5

In Czech Books we hear the fifth part of Jaroslava Sklenickova's moving
memoirs, "If I had been a boy, I would have been shot...", read by the
Czech-British actress, Veronika Hyks. After the assassination of the
Nazi Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, the "Butcher of Prague",
Reinhard Heydrich, the Czech village of Lidice was chosen for complete
destruction on the night from 9-10 June 1942. Jaroslava - or Jari - was
among 184 women from the village sent to the Ravensbruck concentration
camp. David Vaughan gives us the story so far.

Bombs over Prague and Brno

The scene is Prague. It is just before midday on St Valentine's Day,
February 14, 1945. An air-raid siren begins to wail. In previous weeks,
Czechs have got used to the sirens, as Allied bombers have launched
raid after raid on German cities, but so far the German-occupied Czech
capital has been spared. This time it is different. Not long after the
sirens stop a fleet of American Flying Fortresses appears in the skies.
152 tons of bombs are dropped on the densely populated centre of the
city. The result is 701 people killed and over a thousand injured.

Science Journal 23.7.2011

Where will the energy of the future come from? If it comes from nuclear
fusion, then the COMPASS tokamak fusion reactor in at Prague's
Institute of Plasma Physics will have played an important role in
making it a reality.

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