Saturday, September 10, 2011

News 9.10.2011

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

News Saturday, September 10th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* The remains of the three Czech ice hockey players killed in
Wednesday's tragic plane crash arrived in Prague on Saturday.

* Hundreds of far-right extremists attended party gatherings organized
by the Workers Party for Social Justice in North Bohemia on Saturday.

* A radical traveling to North Bohemia for Saturdays' demonstrations
shot a blank firing revolver at the police.

* A fire that broke out in the Ostrava city hospital on Saturday has
caused damages of roughly two million Czech crowns.

* A retired Czech football international is among six people charged
with stealing dozens of luxury cars, a website reported.

Remains of killed ice hockey players arrive in Prague

A military plane carrying the bodies of three Czech ice hockey stars
who were killed in a tragic plane crash near the Russian city of
Yaroslavl on Wednesday arrived at Prague's military airport Kbely in
the early hours of Saturday. The president of the Czech ice hockey
federation, Tomas Kral, as well as relatives of the deceased players
received the bodies of Karel Rachunek, Jan Marek and Josef Vasicek at
the airport, from where they will be transported to their families. The
public will pay their respects to the three Czech victims of this
week's tragic air accident on Sunday afternoon at Old Town Square in
Prague. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. On Wednesday, a passenger
plane carrying almost all of the Russian hockey team Lokomotiv
Yaroslavl went down near the city's airport and caught fire. The crash
caused 43 deaths; one person is reported to have survived, though he is
in critical condition with severe burns.

Hundreds attend far-right party gatherings in Northern Bohemia

Some three to four hundred far-right extremists gathered in the North
Bohemian towns of Varnsdorf, Rumburk and Novy Bor on Saturday. The
events in the three towns were organized by the Workers Party for
Social Justice and aimed against the region's Romany minority. Some two
hundred activists traveled to the area in support of the Romanies who
live there. Dozens of police officers worked to ensure safety; police
helicopters monitored the party gathering and march in Novy Bor.
Interior Minister Jan Kubice and the deputy chief of police Vladislav
Husak were also present in Novy Bor.

Ahead of the extremists' gathering, the government's human rights
commissioner, Monika Simunkova, has called on residents of the three
towns to not buy into the arguments of radicals and to carefully
consider their participation. For days, police have maintained a state
of readiness in the area due to assemblies and demonstrations provoked
by tensions between ethnic Czechs and Roma, which have escalated over
the past month.

Right-wing radical shoots blank firing revolver at police during bus

In related news, during a police inspection of a bus in which far-right
extremists were traveling to Saturday's demonstration in North Bohemia,
one of the passengers got out of the bus and shot a blank firing
revolver at the officers. The perpetrator was arrested. The event
happened on Saturday afternoon, a police spokeswoman said. Roughly
twelve firearms were confiscated in the inspecting of the bus.

Necas to visit Israel next week

Prime Minister Necas and several cabinet members will be visiting
Israel next week for high-level meetings. The government announced the
aim of the two-day visit as strengthening partnership and collaboration
between the two countries, particularly with regards to science and
technology, research and development, and innovation. The delegation is
scheduled to meet with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the
business community. The upcoming UN vote on Palestinian membership in
the organization will likely also be on the table, with the Czech
Republic having been reported in the Israeli media as being one of five
Western European states that plans to vote against the motion. The
Czech government has thus far refused to state publicly its position on
the matter.

Fire breaks out in Ostrava city hospital

A fire that broke out on the grounds of the city hospital in Ostrava on
Saturday caused damages of roughly two million Czech crowns. No one was
injured. The fire broke out in the sauna of the hospital's
rehabilitation ward, from where it spread through the buildings ground
floor. Firefighters evacuated over forty people, among them employees
and patients of the hospital.

Indian elephant "christened" in Ostrava zoo

The Indian elephant cub Rashmi, born in Ostrava zoo in April, was
"christened" in an inflatable paddling pool on Saturday. Rashmi, Indian
for ray of sun, is only the second such animal to be born in one of the
country's zoos. Indian elephants are threatened by extinction, with
only around 55,000 specimens living in the wild. Ostrava zoo's elephant
pavilion was built in 2004 and cost 85 million Czech crowns.

Website: retired football star Skuhravy among six charged with luxury
car theft

Retired Czech football star Tomas Skuhravy is among six people charged
with stealing dozens of luxury cars in the Czech Republic and Germany,
the website of TV Nova reported. Police would only confirm that one of
those charged was a former international soccer player. Mr. Skuhravy,
who is 46, spent much of a successful career at the Italian club Genoa.
He still lives in the city, where he works as a pundit on a local TV
station. Nicknamed the "bomber", the 6ft 4in striker won 43 caps with
Czechoslovakia and six with the Czech Republic.

Viktoria Plzen win last game before Champions League debut

Viktoria Plzen won their last Czech league game before their debut in
the prestigious Champions League, with a 3:2 away victory over Sigma
Olomouc on Friday. Plzen, who have been in indifferent form in the
domestic competition, will face the Belarus's BATE Borisov in Prague on
Tuesday in their first match in a Champions League group stage that
will also see them take on two of the biggest clubs in Europe,
Barcelona and AC Milan. Viktoria Plzen won the Czech league for the
first time this year, the centenary of the club's founding, before
becoming only the third Czech side ever to reach the Champions League.


Conditions over the weekend are expected to improve, with daytime highs
of up to 24 degrees Celsius on Saturday and record temperatures of 29
degrees on Sunday.

Articles posted on today

Moving across the big pond - Czech programmer Jakub Vrana prepares for
his new job at Facebook

At a conference in the US, the 33-year-old Czech programmer Jakub Vrana
made quite an impression on developers from the well-known social
networking site Facebook and became the first Czech to be hired by the
company. Now, he is preparing to move across the ocean and set up a new
life in California, near San Francisco, where Facebook's headquarters
are located. Ahead of his departure from the Czech Republic, he speaks
about what he is looking forward to and what he will miss, what the
interviewing process was like and which of his projects he thinks
caught the Facebook team's attention.

Sazava Monastery

The Sazava Monastery, which shares its name with the town and river
Sazava, was declared a national cultural monument in 1962 by the
Czechoslovak state. It is one of the oldest and best preserved
monasteries in all of Bohemia. It is also important as an early
cultural bridge between the eastern and western branches of the church
and because of its use of the Old Slavonic, the first written Slavic

Olga Szantova: the voice of Radio Prague

It was five years ago this week that our much-loved colleague, Olga
Szantova, died at the age of 71. As a child she had spent most of World
War II in New York, which was where she picked up her perfect East-Side
English. Olga became one of the most familiar voices of Radio Prague's
English broadcasts during the political thaw of the 1960s, and she was
also among the radio journalists who managed to carry on broadcasting
secretly during the Soviet invasion of 1968, as several recordings from
the time still bear witness.

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