Tuesday, July 26, 2011

News 7.26.2011

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

News Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The Czech president, on Australian television, has commented on the
brutal bombing and shooting massacre that occurred in Norway.

* In related news, the Czech president has made international headlines
after he refused to go through a metal detector at the Australian
Parliament House.

* Prague residents have been expressing their condolences and laying
flowers at the Czech capital's Norwegian embassy.

* The deputy chairman of the Czech Senate has strongly condemned the
blockade in the Sumava National Park.

* The Czech Air Line Pilots Association has announced it will protest
against redundancies by delaying flights.

President comments on brutal bombing and shooting massacre in Norway

Commenting on the shooting massacre and brutal bombing that occurred in
Norway on Friday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who is currently on a
lecture tour in Australia, said the event was beyond comprehension and
had shaken Europe. Mr. Klaus discussed his views of the tragedy on the
Australian news channel ABC News 24. In the interview he was asked
whether there had been a shift in Europe towards extremist or radical
views but he replied that he wouldn't generalize; he did allow that
there were others who shared the gunman's views. Mr Klaus was also
asked about immigration and European social and economic policy.

In his notorious manifesto, Norwegian suspect Anders Behring Breivik
warned of the threat that Muslim immigrants posed for Europe, and cited
Mr. Klaus' criticism of the EU on several occasions. The suspect is
currently charged with terrorism-related crimes, which carry a prison
term of up to 21 years. The Czech Republic's president was among the
many who sent condolences to Norway at the weekend, strongly condemning
the attacks.

Czech president refuses to go through security at Australian Parliament

In related news, the Czech president made headlines when he refused to
go through a security device on his way to being interviewed in the
Australian Parliament House, where ABC1 has its Canberra studio. TV
producer Michelle Ainsworth, who was waiting to escort the Czech head
of state to the station's studio, says that Mr. Klaus stopped in front
of the security device and said that he would not go through it.
Reportedly, the security guard informed Mr. Klaus that everyone who
wishes to enter the building had to pass through the metal detector
first. According to Mrs. Ainsworth, Mr. Klaus told her that she could
interview him in his hotel before leaving without saying goodbye.

Earlier this year, a video clip that showed Mr. Klaus pocketing a
ceremonial pen on an official visit to Chile went viral and made
international headlines.

Prague residents express condolences at Norwegian embassy in Prague

Over a hundred Prague residents laid flowers and signed a list of
condolences at the Czech capital's Norwegian embassy on Monday.
According to the deputy of Norway's ambassador to the Czech Republic,
Tijana Balac Nilsen, the embassy appreciates the outpour of empathy and
support from the Czech population. Among those who expressed their
condolences were diplomats from a number of countries, the Prague
archbishop Dominik Duka, as well as ordinary Prague residents who
pledged their solidarity to Norway in the wake of the twin terror
attacks that killed at least 76 on Friday. A special mass in honor of
the victims will be held at Prague's St. Vitus cathedral on Friday.

Police start evacuating environmental activists from tree blockade

Police started removing environmental activists holding a blockade in
the Modrava region of Sumava National Park to prevent the felling of
bark-beetle infested trees from the area on Tuesday afternoon. A police
spokeswoman said that at least two activists, who had chained
themselves to trees in an effort to prevent them from being felled, had
been evacuated from the site, to where some 40 police officers have
been deployed. According to the organizer of the blockade, Mojmir
Vlasin, police brutality has been escalating. He says that one officer
attacked a protester, choked and threatened him. He added that the
blockade has not been successful because the activists are outnumbered
by the police. On Tuesday, a court order was issued to remove three
members of the vigil organizer, the Czech branch of Friends of the
Earth, from the site.

The park's management is determined to push ahead with logging activity
arguing that another 30,000 trees in the vicinity are in imminent
danger of infestation. A meeting between activists and the park's
director on Monday night failed to produce any result.

Deputy chairman of Czech Senate condemns blockade in Sumava National

In related news, deputy chairman of the Senate Premysl Sobotka
condemned the environmentalists' blockade in the Sumava National Park,
stating that it demonstrated a lack of respect for the law. He also
said that the activists were clearly trying to gain media attention,
which for them seems to be more important than environmental causes. He
added that the radical environmentalists protesting against the felling
of bark-beetle infested trees were violating the rules of democratic
society, and that even their presence off the marked tracks in the
protected area of the national park was a legal offense. The Senate is
expected to debate proceedings against bark-beetle infestation in the
Sumava National Park at its session next week.

Czech Air Line Pilots Association announces protest against redundancies

The Czech Air Line Pilots Association CZALPA CSA announced at a press
conference on Tuesday that as soon as any of their members are let go
by Czech Airlines, flights will be delayed in protest. The head of the
association, Filip Gaspar, said that it opposes planned redundancies
since they go beyond what had been agreed on in a plan to restructure
the company, which was approved by the government. According to Czech
Airlines, however, all redundancies are part of this plan and have
previously been discussed with the Czech Air Line Pilots Association. A
new wave of redundancies is planned for late July and early August.
Some 50 employees of the company's 350 had already been let go at the
beginning of this year.

Health Minister hospitalized during cycling holiday

Health Minister Leos Heger was hospitalized on Monday and spent the
night in a hospital in the South Bohemian city of Ceske Budejovice. Mr.
Heger was in the region for a cycling holiday. He started feeling sick
as he was riding his bike. He has since been released and the incident
was not serious, a spokesman for the ministry said on Tuesday. Mr.
Heger is an avid cyclist and rower.

Oldest Czech woman dies at age of 107

The oldest Czech citizen, 107-year-old Marie Tresnakova, died on
Friday, the daily Pravo reported on Tuesday. Mrs. Tresnakova had not
been feeling well in the weeks before that, a spokesperson for the
elderly persons' home where she was living since 1994 told the
newspaper. Following the death of Marie Tresnakova, the currently
oldest resident of the Czech Republic is Evangelie Carasova, who turned
107 in February. She was born in Greece and escaped to Czechoslovakia
during the civil war in her native country, in 1948. Her recipe for a
long life is a quiet and modest lifestyle, consuming lots of dairy
products and avoiding alcohol. The oldest living human world-wide is
Besse Cooper, from Georgia, America. She will be turning 115 in a month.

Police arrest gang suspected of selling and producing steroids

Police have arrested an 11-member-gang that is suspected of producing
and selling illegal anabolic steroids. The suspects, aged between 31
and 52, are of Czech and Slovak nationalities, most of them former
athletes, fitness trainers and organizers of various sports
competitions. They face sentences of up to 12 years in prison.
According to a press release published by the organized crimes unit of
Czech police on Tuesday, the gang's steroid production plant was
located in the Zlin region and was active not just in the Czech
Republic and Slovakia, but also in other countries across Europe.

Police arrest suspect in child murder case

Police have arrested a man who is suspected of killing an 11-year-old
girl who was found dead on Monday near the Silesian city of Krnov. A
police spokeswoman confirmed that a suspect had been arrested on
Tuesday but refused to provide any further details. The man is set to
be interrogated on Wednesday.


The coming days should be partly overcast, with rainstorms in places
and daytime highs of up to 23 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

The Clementinum, the Baroque pearl of Prague

Standing in the centre of the Clementinum - if you can locate such a
thing in the labyrinth - you are surrounded by around a millennium of
history and millions of volumes of books inside one of the most
beautifully preserved masterpieces of Baroque art the city of Prague
has to offer. This is the seat of the Czech National Library and the
whispering and rustling that echoes through its grand halls add
perfectly to its natural mysteriousness.


Environmental activists losing ground at Sumava National Park

The number of environmental activists holding a blockade in the Modrava
region of Sumava National Park to prevent felling of bark-beetle
infested trees swelled on Tuesday morning in reaction to Monday's
forced evacuation by police. However logging continues and the
protesters have been losing ground, both literally and legally as a
regional court and the Czech Environment Inspection Office found
nothing amiss with the management's policy.


Roma advocacy group suspends police cooperation over neo-Nazi marches

A leading Roma advocacy group has suspended co-operation with the
interior ministry, accusing the police of going soft on far-right
extremism. The group - Romea - says at several neo-Nazi demonstrations
this year police allowed marchers to shout racist slogans without
making any arrests. The Czech interior ministry denies the claims.


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