Friday, August 26, 2011

News 8.26.2011

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

News Friday, August 26th, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* Preparations are reportedly underway for an official state visit to
Prague in December by Russian President Dmitry Medevedev.

* Czech police will maintain a heightened presence in areas of North
Bohemia for at least the next two or three weeks in response to an
increase in violence.

* A spokesman for the Defence Ministry has said there is a possibility
transport planes decommissioned by the Czech military could be donated
to Afghanistan or Iraq.

* A snake breeder from Moravia was transported to Prague's General
Teaching Hospital on Friday after being bitten by a viper.

* Football's Sparta Prague dropped out of the Europa League's play offs
after losing to Romania's Vaslui 2:1 on aggregate.

Website: Russian president to visit Prague in December

News sites, including Czech Position, have reported that preparations
are well underway for a first official visit to Prague by Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev. The internet daily on Friday cited sources
at Prague Castle who indicated the visit is planned for December. It is
likely to coincide with an exhibition of artefacts from the Kremlin at
Prague Castle beginning on December 9th. The Czech and Russian
presidents met in Prague in April of last year during the landmark
signing of a new nuclear arms reduction deal by Mr Medvedev and US
President Barack Obama.

According to sources, discussions during the December visit will focus
on numerous topics, including a major tender on the construction of two
reactors (with options for an additional three) at the Czech nuclear
power plant Temelin. The Russian company Atomstrojexport in partnership
with the Czech engineering company Skoda JS is competing for the deal
with the US-based Westinghouse and France's Areva.

Police to maintain heightened presence in areas of North Bohemia

Czech police will maintain a heightened presence in areas of North
Bohemia for at least two or three weeks, the police president Petr
Lessy announced late Thursday after meeting with officials in Rumburk.
Patrols in the area have been reinforced in reaction to growing tension
between members of the local Roma and non-Roma community, and are
intended to drive local crime down. The town of Sluknov has registered
a number of violent incidents in recent weeks, while Rumburk was the
site of a street fight and allegedly racially-motivated attack last
weekend involving more than 20 people. On Friday some 200 police
officers will monitor demonstrations that are expected to go ahead in
Rumburk and Varnsdorf. In roughly three weeks, the police will assess
developments and consider further steps, the police president said.

More than 200 show up for demonstration in Varnsdorf

In related news, demonstrations - which have not been sanctioned by
local authorities -began in Varnsdorf and Sluknov on Friday afternoon.
More than 200 people in Varnsdorf turned up. A third demonstration also
got under way in Rumburk, but shortly after five pm only several dozen
people were on the square. Local politicians were most wary of the
demonstration in Rumburk, which was originally planned by a group with
reported ties to the neo-Nazi movement. In the end the demonstration
was taken up by local Social Democrats who booked the square earlier.

Necas meets with Belgian prime minister

Czech Prime Minster Petr Necas met with his Belgian counterpart Yves
Leterme in Prague on Friday - an informal meeting, CTK reported, which
included sightseeing in the historic centre. The Belgian prime minister
is in the Czech Republic on a working and also private visit, heading
to Pribor, near Ostrava in the east of the country later on Friday. He
will be marking the 20th anniversary of Belgian company Primus CE's
operations on Czech soil. The last time a Belgian prime minister
visited the Czech Republic was seven years ago: Guy Verhofstadt in 2004.

Education Minister: teacher salaries will not suffer in 2012

Education Minister Josef Dobes has confirmed that teacher salaries will
not suffer in 2012, but will see a promised overall financial injection
of four billion crowns. He made the statement after meeting with union
officials on Friday, but did not say how much actual salaries would go
up. The minister indicated that 700 million crowns could come from
savings this year, if agreed by Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, and
that further funds could be saved by curtailing further investment.

Public Affairs release audit results

The leader of Public Affairs, a member in the coalition government
revealed on Friday the results of a recent audit proving there was no
money laundering within the political party. Radek John presented the
findings, saying also that a separate audit into the finances of fellow
party member Michal Babak had also found no irregularities. The report
by the auditing company BDO, said it had found no signs of expedient
distortion of the party's accounting data, but stressed that there had
been major shortcomings of a procedural nature. Mr John has said those
will be remedied soon.

Spokesman: Czech Republic could donate decommissioned transport planes

The Czech Republic could donate Russian-made An-26 Antonov transport
planes - decommissioned earlier this year after 30 years of service -
to Afghanistan or Iraq, a Defence Ministry spokesman has said. But he
stressed that no decision has been taken yet. The move could help
either country build up its own aerial defences. In the past, the Czech
Republic donated 12 Russian Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan.
The Czech military has also been trying to sell off L-159 fighter
planes in Asia, sources report. One of the goals of the ISAF mission in
Afghanistan is to build up the country's aerial forces by 2016.

Breeder in hospital after being bitten by viper

A 44-year-old snake breeder from Ostrava-Privoz was transported to
Prague's General Teaching Hospital on Friday after being bitten by a
viper, CTK reported. The accident took place at around 7 am; his wife
called an ambulance as he began to collapse in reaction to the venom.
Doctors in Ostrava, who treated the patient, opted for his transfer
after consultation with toxicology specialists in Prague. The man was
flown in stabilised condition and is to receive anti-venom at the
hospital. But the doctor who treated him said a worsening of the
patient's condition could not be ruled out.

Last year, in a similar incident, a Czech snake breeder miraculously
survived a black mamba bite which is almost always fatal. Quick
reaction on the part of the breeder, who drove himself to the hospital,
helped save his life.

Six people die in road accidents

Six people died in traffic accidents on Friday, making August 26th the
worst day on Czech roads since June 30th, when seven people were
killed. One motorist died on Prague 5's busy Plzenska street after a
collision with another car sent his vehicle into a tram stop. A
pedestrian was hit in the accident and was lucky to escape uninjured.

Football: Sparta drops out of Europa League

Sparta Prague beat FC Vaslui 1:0 in the second leg of the Europa
League's play offs in Prague on Thursday night; however, the hosts
dropped out of the competition as they lost the first leg 2:0. Sparta,
with a two-goal deficit from the first leg, pushed to score early but
the Romanian team's defence resisted. With time, the visitors had some
good opportunities but it was Sparta that went ahead on a goal from
Manuel Pamic in the 59th minute. Sparta tried to score a second goal
but ran out of time.


Clear skies are expected at the start of the weekend but Saturday will
see a gradual worsening of conditions and a chance of thundershowers.
Daytime temperatures on Saturday should reach highs of around 29
degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Business News 26.8.2011

In this week's business news: the government moves to shift the burden
from direct to indirect taxation, Standard & Poor's raises Czech
sovereign ratings, Trade and Industry Ministry statistics reveal a drop
in FDI and the Czech Mint reports a surge of interest in investment

Fresh Film Festival opens in Prague with "defiance" as main theme

The Fresh Film Festival - highlighting work by debuting directors and
student filmmakers - got underway in Prague this week, offering viewers
a rare opportunity to see films they would otherwise have little chance
to see. Last year "heroes" were the main theme; this year it's

Czech Republic to abolish infant homes by 2013

The Czech government plans to abolish all of the country's infant homes
where babies under the age of three are placed if they are considered
at risk or their families cannot take care of them. Some 2,000 infants
spent time in these homes last year - but beginning in January 2013,
the government wants to place babies in individual foster care. Most
experts have welcomed the idea but many warn that much needs to be
improved in the foster care system before infant homes can be
abolished. Radio Prague spoke to Petra Vrtbovska, the head of the NGO
NATAMA which helps to find foster parents for children at risk.

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