Sunday, October 9, 2011

News 10.9.2011

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

News Sunday, October 9th, 2011

By: Jan Richter

* Jockey Josef Vana has won the Grand Pardubice steeplechase for the
eighth time.

* The annual Forum 2000 conference, organized under the auspices of
former president Vaclav Havel, begins in Prague.

* Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra wants to debate the issue of the
country's air defence with the opposition.

* The Finance Ministry has proposed increased tax breaks on individual
pension savings.

* Tennis player Tomas Berdych has won the China Open tournament in
Beijing, claiming the sixth title of his career.

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Jockey Vana wins eighth Grand Pardubice title
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Czech jockey Josef Vana won the 121st edition of the Grand Pardubice
steeplechase on Sunday for the eighth time. At the age of 58, Vana was
a strong favourite in the race that he won on ten-year-old Tiumen for
the third time in a row. Second in the race came Josef Bartos on
Sixteen, followed by Dusan Andres on Valldemoso. Nine out of fifteen
horses finished the race, the continent's oldest steeplechase
cross-country run. Josef Vana said Tiumen was said he would compete
again next year if singer Karel Gott came and support him.


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Forum 2000 begins in Prague
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The 15th Forum 2000 conference, organized under the auspices of former
president Vaclav Havel, begins in the Czech capital on Sunday. The
theme of this year's conference is democracy and the rule of law;
around 140 guests including Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the
President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga, US economist Joseph Stiglitz will
also be debating corruption, organized crime and other issues.


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Defence Minister to talk air defence with opposition
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Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said on Sunday he wanted to
discuss the issue of the country's air defence with the opposition. The
Czech military's lease of six Saab Jas Grippen fighters will expire in
2015 and the Czech Republic will need to be able to protect its air
space with supersonic fighters. Mr Vondra said he wanted to talk to the
opposition Social Democrats about how to deal with the situation given
the long-term nature of the problem and very high costs. For his part,
the Social Democrat shadow defence minister, MP Jan Hamacek welcomed Mr
Vondra's stance.


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Guarantee on Czech military's CASA planes extended
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In related news, the Defence Ministry has negotiated a six month
guarantee extension on four CASA military aircraft the Czech military
bought in 2009, Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra told TV Prima on
Sunday. The 3.5 billion deal, which the ministry concluded without a
public tender, has been criticized as non-transparent and overpriced.
The planes have failed to meet the required criteria and have not
passed all army tests. Mr Vondra said he hoped all problems would be
dealt with and the Czech Air Force would be able to use the planes.
Cancelling the contract would only come as an extreme solution, the
Czech Defence Minister said.


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Minister, entrepreneurs head to South-East Asia
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A delegation of Czech entrepreneurs, headed by the country's Industry
and Trade Minister Martin Kocourek, on Sunday set off on a five-day
trip to India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Several Czech companies are
expected to sing deals in the engineering and energy industries; a
major Czech machinery firm, Vitkovicke strojirny should sign a contract
with India's Heavy Engineering Corporation.


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Finance Ministry propose increased tax breaks on pension savings
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At a meeting on Sunday of Finance Ministry officials, employers'
representatives and union leaders, the Finance Ministry proposed an
increase in tax breaks on individual pension savings. The respective
deductible item should increase from 24,000 to 30,000 crowns a year, a
labour union leader said. The ministry hopes this would make more
people opt for early retirement. However, both the employers and union
leaders disagree with the plan; they believe that people with demanding
jobs should be primarily entitled to early retirement and their
individual pension savings should be given even higher tax breaks.


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Tennis: Berdych wins China Open title
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Czech tennis player beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 3:6, 6:4, 6:1 in the
final of the China Open in Being on Sunday, claiming the his sixth ATP
title of his career. The third seeded Czech lost the first set but took
the second and third thanks to his strong serve and consistent play.
The victory lifts him up two places to world's number seven in the ATP
ranking.


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Football goalie Petr Cech makes rock debut
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Czech international and Chelsea FC goalkeeper Petr Cech made his rock
band debut in Prague's Rock Cafe on Saturday night when he appeared on
drums with the Czech band Eddie Stoilow. The 26-year-old athlete
performed three songs with the band in front of hundreds of fans. After
the concert, Petr Cech said his dream had come true; members of the
band said the idea originated from their long friendship with the
goalie. The concert took place during in between two games crucial for
the national side's bid for next year's European championship. On
Friday, the Czechs lost 2:0 to Spain and need at least a tie against
Lithuania on Tuesday to keep their hope alive of advancing to the EURO
2012.


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Weather
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The current spell of rainy weather will continue into the week, with
mostly overcast skies, frequent rain showers and daytime highs between
11 and 15 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Music by much-loved pop star Miro Zbirka
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In this edition of the Sunday Music Show we profile Slovak pop star
Miro Zbirka. The Prague-based singer, widely known by his nickname
Meky, released his first album in Czechoslovakia in 1979 with the pop
group Modus, a band with which he recorded now classic hits like
Dievcata, Draha and others, before moving on to a successful solo
career. Zbirka, whose mother was from Great Britain, also sings in
English so we'll be hearing a variety of material, including one song
from remastered material recorded in English in West Germany in the
1980s.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/sunday-music-show/music-by-much-loved-pop-star-miro-zbirka


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