Friday, August 12, 2011

News 8.12.2011

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

News Friday, August 12th, 2011

By: Jan Richter

* Organized crime has infiltrated state administration as well as the
police and judiciary, according to the Czech Interior Ministry.

* The police have released the identikit of a man suspected of a triple
murder in the central Bohemian town of Mukarov.

* The Czech central bank has slightly revised downwards its estimate of
this year's public finance deficit.

* The Czechoslovak queen of chanson, Hana Hegerova, has announced her
retirement after nearly 50 years on stage.

* Thousands of motorcycle racing fans are descending on Brno for the
Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.

Interior Ministry: organized crime infiltrated state administration,
police and judiciary

Organized crime in the Czech Republic has infiltrated state
administration as well as the police and judiciary, according to a
report by the country's interior ministry released on Friday. In its
strategy for fighting organized crime, the ministry warns that criminal
groups will attempt to push their members to elected positions. The
gangs presently gain access to both the private and public spheres
through extensive corruption. To fight organized crime more
efficiently, the ministry suggests joint investigation teams should be
established that will include tax administrators and other specialists.
The Interior Ministry also plans to increase the expertise of police

Police release identikit of triple murder suspect

The police on Friday released the identikit of a man suspected of a
triple murder that took place in the central Bohemian village of
Mukarov on Wednesday. The man, who is on the run, was described as
being around 30 years old, 180 cm tall, stocky, with an oval face and
short dark hair. Witnesses saw the suspect stab a 48-year-old man; the
police later found the bodies of another man and a woman in a nearby
house. The victims are believed to have been relatives but the motive
behind the murders is unclear.

Czech troops decorated upon return from Afghanistan, Kosovo

Forty Czech soldiers who recently returned from missions in Afghanistan
and Kosovo were decorated with the Medal for Service Abroad at a
military air base in Namest nad Oslavou on Friday. Around half of them
were pilots who came back after serving four months in Kabul where they
trained local forces; two of them suffered injuries during their
mission. More than 7,000 Czech troops served in foreign missions last
year; currently there are some 700 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.

Czech central bank revises this year's budget deficit

The Czech National Bank on Friday revised downwards its estimate of
this year's public finance deficit by 0.2 percent to 3.8 percent of the
country's gross domestic product. The Czech Finance Ministry expects
the deficit this year to reach 4.2 percent of the GDP. The central bank
also estimates a state budget deficit of 3.0 percent of the GDP in
2012, down from previously estimated 3.8 percent. The country's overall
foreign debt this year should reach 40.9 percent of the gross domestic
product which should rise to 41.8 percent of the GDP in the year 2012.

Chanson diva Hana Hegerova announces retirement

The queen of Czechoslovak chanson Hana Hegerova has announced her
retirement after nearly 50 years on stage. The 79-year-old singer told
the daily Mlada fronta Dnes on Friday she would no longer sing and
perform publicly, saying she wanted to enjoy a stress-free lifestyle.
Ms Hegerova recently cancelled a series of concerts over health
problems but denied health issues were behind her decision to retire.
However, she said she might in the future appear as a guest of another

Hana Hegerova, a native of Bratislava, Slovakia, began performing in
1953 after graduating from a conservatory. She has recorded over 20
albums and performed in France, Canada, Germany and other countries
during her career. She has also appeared in a number of films, most
recently in the 2008 award-winning movie Czech RAPublic.

Police detain third suspect in Novy Bor attack

The police have detained a third suspect in Sunday's brutal attack on a
bar in the town of Novy Bor. The seventeen-year-old youth gave himself
up to police on Thursday after the arrest of two of the gang members.
The incident took place on Sunday night and was sparked by a request
for two youths playing on the bar's gaming machines to produce IDs. A
conflict ensued after which the minors were made to leave. They
returned with a group of friends armed with clubs and machetes who
smashed the place up in a frenzy seriously injuring a number of people.
The police have already charged two men with inflicting grievous bodily
harm and are still searching for two other suspects. The town's
inhabitants have called a demonstration to express their concern and
call for increased security measures.

Chodsko folk festival begins in west Bohemian town Domazlice

The Chodsko folk festival began in the west Bohemian town of Domazlice
on Friday, the country's largest festival of bagpipe music which has a
rich tradition in the region. Dozens of Czech and foreign ensembles are
taking part in the three-day event, first held in 1955. The festival
also features film screenings and rock concerts along with a historic
crafts marker. Admissions to all shows are free.

Hundreds farewell actress and communist apologist Jirina Svorcova

Hundreds of people on Friday paid their last respects to Jirina
Svorcova, an actress and member of the totalitarian communist
hierarchy. Ms Svorcova died earlier this week at the age of 83. She
began her career in film and theatre in the 1950s and spent more that
40 years in Prague's Na Vinohradech theatre; however, most Czech
remember her as an apologist of the communist regime she supported
throughout her life. Among those who bid farewell to the late Jirina
Svorcova was the last pre-1989 communist party leader Milos Jakes, the
current communist party chair Vojtech Filip; the Cuban embassy in
Prague sent a wreath to the funeral service.

Thousands arrive in Brno for motorcycle Grand Prix

Thousands of racing fans are descending on Brno for the Grand Prix of
the Czech Republic, the 11th event of the motorcycle world
championships held at the Masaryk Circuit over the weekend. Organizers
expect some 250,000 people to turn up for Sunday's races. The police
advise locals to avoid roads in the vicinity of the circuit, situated
some 15 km west of the city, just off the D1 motorway.

Czech riders do poorly in Brno Grand Prix practice

Two Czech riders, Karel Abraham and Jakub Kornfeil, did poorly in
Friday's free practice for the motorcycle Grand Prix in Brno. In the
MotoGP category Karel Abraham finished 17th, more than 2.6 second after
Spain's Dani Pedrosa who came in first. In the 125 ccm category,
another Czech Jakub Kornfeil finished 20th.


The weekend will be mostly overcast with rain showers and occasional
storms. Daytime highs will range between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Churches accept government's restitution proposal

More than twenty years after the fall of communism the Czech Republic
stands another chance to establish a new relationship between the state
and the country's churches and redress the wrongs of the past. Church
representatives on Thursday accepted the government's proposal for
property restitution and a gradual phasing out of financial
contributions from state coffers.

Business News 12.8.2011

In today's business news: A debate on tax reform has been postponed due
to a dispute over flat expense deductions between the prime minister
and the finance minister, the bankrupt betting giant Sazka is to be
sold in a public tender, grocery chains launch online discount coupons,
the Czech Tourism agency announces a campaign targeting gay and lesbian
travelers, and an American journal finds that Czech banknotes have some
of the world's highest levels of a potentially dangerous chemical.

Pavel Bobek - Part 2

For a lot of Czechs, Pavel Bobek is THE voice of country pop, thanks to
his hugely popular Czech-language versions of hits by U.S. singers like
John Denver and Kris Kristofferson. He is also a trained architect, and
was a close friend of Jan Kaplicky, who died in 2009 after a long and
fruitless struggle to have one of his plans realised in Prague. In
this, the second part of a two-part interview, Pavel Bobek speaks about
Kaplicky and aspects of his own career. But first he discusses his love
of Johnny Cash, whose songs he recorded on his most recent LP.

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