Monday, August 1, 2011

News 8.1.2011

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

News Monday, August 1st, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* Doctors' salaries increased by 3.7 percent last year, averaging
50,000 crowns per month, a Czech news site has reported.

* The trial of three men - charged with the killing of a homeless man
in Sumperk last year - has gotten underway.

* The Czech Academy of Sciences has awarded visiting US astronaut
Andrew Feustel a medal recognizing his contribution to science and

* A blaze in the Czech Republic's Krkonose Mountains has destroyed most
of a famous 19th century chalet.

* The Hollywood Reporter has rated Prague's film academy, FAMU, the
'seventh best' in the world.

idnes: doctors' average monthly salaries rose by 3.7 percent in 2010

The news website idnes has reported that the average salary for Czech
doctors and dentists reached 50,000 crowns per month in 2010. According
to the website, salaries improved by 3.7 percent from the previous
year. Nurses at public hospitals earned an average of 27,000 crowns per
month (the equivalent of around 1,600 US dollars) -some 4,000 crowns
more than at private facilities. The average monthly salary in the
Czech Republic is just under 24,000 crowns per month. Doctors' salaries
will further increase this year following an intense campaign where
they threatened to walk out in protest over pay.

Suspects in brutal murder of homeless man appear in court

Three suspects charged with beating a homeless man to death last year,
appeared for the first time in court on Monday. Josef Kral, Jiri
Znojil, both 19, and 25-year-old suspect Miroslav Cervenak are charged.
Last September, under the influence of alcohol, they targeted and beat
the 39-year-old victim in a Sumperk park, kicking him in the head and
face repeatedly. The victim later died in hospital. A metropolitan
police officer who responded to the call compared the brutality to
scenes from a butcher's shop. One of the suspects, Mr Cervenak, has
denied involvement, telling the court on Monday that he had tried to
get the others to stop. If found guilty, the three men could face up to
18 years in prison.

Amendment to controversial muzzle law takes effect

The Czech media will be able to publish transcripts of wiretap
recordings if it is in the public interest - stipulated in an amendment
to the controversial "muzzle law" which came into effect on Monday. The
original legislation was introduced on January 1, 2009, strongly
restricting the publication of sensitive data in order to protect the
identities of victims of violent crimes. But the law was strongly
criticised by domestic and foreign media as restricting freedom of the
press, who also saw sanctions of up to five years in prison or the
possibility of five million crown fines for offenders as excessive. The
new amendment allows for exceptions as long as the information released
is in the public interest, for example, in cases of suspected
corruption of politicians or other civil servants.

Academy of Sciences awards US astronaut Feustel

The Czech Academy of Sciences has awarded visiting US astronaut Andrew
Feustel a medal for his contribution to science, education and culture
as well as the promotion of humanitarian ideas. The astronaut will tour
Czech towns to give lectures and take part in debates on space
exploration for almost two weeks. The 45-year-old Feustel will also
co-chair a programme prepared by the US Embassy and the Academy of
Sciences called "The Junior Ambassadors of Science and Technology",
encouraging Czech youth to develop interests in engineering and the

Mr Feustel recently took a Czech flag and a plush toy of the legendary
animated Czech character krtek or Mole (created by artist Zdenek Miler)
on the last mission of the space shuttle Endeavor. The astronaut's wife
Indira, who has Czech roots and is with him on his visit to the Czech
Republic, said the idea of taking the popular krtek on the mission was
to draw children and youth to the wonders of space exploration.

Blaze destroys historic chalet

Fire fighters responded on Monday morning to a blaze in the Krkonose
Mountains, in the north of the country, which destroyed two of three
historic chalets dating back to the 19th century. The third building
was also damaged, partly consumed by flames. The earliest chalet in the
complex of buildings known as Petrova bouda was first opened in 1811 by
Johann Pittermann, and was later transformed into a hotel by a
follow-up owner. The buildings destroyed on Monday had been boarded up
since 2008 and were in poor condition. The cause of Monday's fire has
not been determined, but the police and fire fighters will conduct an

The Czech news website idnes reports that prior to World War II the
Krkonose Mountains boasted some 30 such winter chalets, many of which
have long since been torn down or have fallen into ruin.

Head of hospital charged on three counts by state prosecutor

A state prosecutor has pressed several criminal charges against the
head of the Olomouc Faculty Hospital, Radomir Maracek, including
alleged machinations in public tenders and other shady business
dealings, signing disadvantageous contracts and papering over others.
By the prosecutor's estimate, the suspect caused almost seven million
crowns in damages. Police began their investigation in February; if
found guilty, Mr Maracek could face up to eight years in prison.

Croatian police save three-year-old Czech boy from overheated vehicle

Croatian police saved a three-year old Czech boy from an overheated
vehicle in the Dalmatian coast's city of Split on the weekend.
According to the news site 24sata, the parents had left the child, who
was sleeping in the car, on Saturday afternoon to take a walk through
the city. Passersby, who saw that the boy in the car was screaming,
called the police, which saved the boy from the vehicle within 45
minutes. He is currently being treated for dehydration at hospital. It
is not yet clear whether Croatian authorities will be prosecuting the
parents of the child.

Statistical Office: Czech men and women living longer compared to 20
years ago

The Czech Statistical Office has reported new numbers regarding
life-expectancy in the Czech Republic. Over the last 20 years the
numbers have increased in men and women's favour by almost seven and
five years respectively. Czech men, on average, now live to 74.4 years
of age and Czech women to 80.6. In 1990, the average for Czech males
was 67.6 and 75.4 for women. Since 1920, the average life span has
increased far more dramatically: by 27.4 years for men and 31 for
women, the office said.

Hollywood Reporter places Prague film academy best in Europe, 7th

The Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts
(FAMU) in Prague has been named the best film school in Europe by
prestigious film magazine The Hollywood Reporter. In the article FAMU
placed seventh out of 25 film schools worldwide. The American Film
Institute topped the list, followed by the University of Southern
California and the Beijing Film Academy. FAMU's place on the list is
attributed in large part to its successful alumni. In the 1960s these
included filmmakers from the Czechoslovak New Wave, among them Milos
Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus), Vera Chytilova, and
Jiri Menzel. Later graduates included the Bosnian filmmaker Emir
Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies, Undergound), and the Polish-born
Agnieszka Holland (Total Eclipse).

Czechs face Spain in final of European U19 football championship

Monday evening will see the Czech Republic face Spain in the final of
UEFA's European Under-19 football championship. The final kicks off in
Bucharest at seven pm local time. Gines Melendez's Spain are seeking
their fifth victory in the competition - a result which would allow
them to retain the trophy. By contrast the Czechs, under coach Jaroslav
Hrebik, are hoping to win their first U19 title. In the semi-final the
Czechs eliminated Serbia 4:2, while Spain crushed Ireland 5:0. The
Czechs were undefeated in the group stage, while Spain posted one loss
- against Turkey.


The beginning of the week should be partly cloudy with showers in
places but also sunny periods. Daytime temperatures on Tuesday are
expected to reach highs of 23 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

New traffic regulations target serious offenders

August 1st has brought into force an amendment to the road law which
aims to simplify the penal points system in place by being more
tolerant of minor offenses while increasing punishment for dangerous
driving. The new measures are the second phase of a reform aimed at
making Czech roads safer.

Lucie Kostelecka, bringing the sounds of South Africa to Czech audiences

Czech singer Lucie Kostelecka fell for the charm of South African music
during her stay in that country several years ago. Lucie even studied
singing with South African teachers, and when she returned home after
three years, she decided to bring the songs by the acclaimed singer and
human rights activist Miriam Makeba to Czech audiences. On Saturday,
she performed at the Africa Day held at Prague's riverside Zlute Lazne.
Unfortunately, it was a cold and drizzly day but when I sat down with
Lucie, she told me it had been a great show despite the rain.

Sports News 1.8.2011

In Sports news this week: Czech swimmer Barbora Zavadova comes in
seventh in the Women's 400m Individual Medley Final at the FINA World
Championships, the results of the Czech World Cup 2014 qualifying group
are announced, the Czech team faces Spain in the final of the European
Under-19 Championship, and the Czech soccer top flight resumes after
summer break.

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