Sunday, November 27, 2011

News 11.27.2011

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

News Sunday, November 27th, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* The Czech military is reportedly considering returning its L-159
fighter jets to manufacturer Aero Vodochody in exchange for upgrades on
planes currently in use.

* The country's health minister has said that hospitals next year could
get up to three percent more in health care funds than in 2010.

* The Czech Republic's Ride of the Kings has been added to UNESCO's
list recognizing intangible cultural heritage.

* Pop diva Lucie Bila, singer Karel Gott and hard rock band Kabat have
finished first in their respective categories at the Cesky slavik

* Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych has lost to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Czech Army considers plane deal with Aero Vodochody

The Czech military is reportedly considering returning its L-159
fighter jets to manufacturer Aero Vodochody in exchange for upgrades on
planes currently in use. According to public broadcaster Czech TV, the
barter agreement would be worth between 20 and 40 million crowns - a
fraction of the planes' original price. Defence Ministry spokesman Jan
Pejsek admitted the deal was a possibility. The Czech Republic has
tried to sell its L-159s for several years now but without success.
Manufacturer Aero Vodochody is dealing with Iraq but it is uncertain an
agreement will be reached.

Health minister: hospitals will see bump in funds

The country's health minister, Leos Heger, has said that hospitals next
year should get three percent more in health care funds than in 2010;
he made the statement on Czech TV's Sunday debate programme Otazky
Vaclava Moravce. According to the minister, the bump should free-up
state hospitals to pay rises for doctors of at least 6.25 percent; he
suggested under certain circumstances the figure could rise to the 10
percent requested by the doctors' unions. At the beginning of the year,
doctors had threatened to leave en masse before reaching a deal with
the minister in February. But since, Mr Heger has argued that the 10
percent target has been difficult to meet in light of the newest
economic downturn.

Court rules police head to remain in custody

The Prague district court ruled on Sunday that the head of the city's
municipal police force, Vladimir Kotrous, will remain in custody,
meeting a request by the state attorney who had expressed the concern
that the police head could otherwise influence witnesses. Mr Kotrous
was stopped in his car in Prague on Friday afternoon after allegedly
accepting a bribe - apparently related to the provision of services for
the police force; unbeknownst to him he had been under investigation
for some time. Members of the country's anti-organised crime unit
worked late into Friday evening securing evidence and sealing off the
head office at Prague's Municipal Police headquarters. Vladimir Kotrous
has headed Prague's Municipal Police since 2002, but has been with the
force ten years longer than that.

Far-right extremists meet in Vimperk

A rally by far-right extremists was held in the town of Vimperk, South
Bohemia, on Saturday with around 300 people attending. The
demonstration, organized by the ultra-right Workers' Party of Social
Justice, was held to criticize alleged problems with some town
inhabitants presumably Romanies. The extremist party's leader Tomas
Vandas spoke at the rally, claiming the situation in Vimperk - a town
with 8,000 inhabitants - was deteriorating. By contrast, the police
have said the crime rate in Vimperk is among the lowest in the South
Bohemian region. Originally the demonstration was banned by the police
over an anti-Romany discussion on facebook but the decision was
overturned by the regional court. The rally saw no incidents.

Ride of the Kings added to UNESCO heritage list

The Ride of the Kings - an annual tradition practiced in the Slovacko
region of southeastern Moravia in the Czech Republic has been entered
onto UNESCO's list recognizing intangible cultural heritage. The
decision was taken by the UNESCO inter-government committee meeting in
Bali, Indonesia. Overall, the committee is to assess 84 cultural
traditions from around the world.

The famous Ride of the Kings is held in Hluk, Kunovice, Vlcnov and
Skoronice - all in the Slovacko region. According to some researchers
the tradition originated in pagan times when young boys competed in
putting cattle out to pasture - where the best 'became king'. Other
ethnographers explain the origin of the ride as related to the flight
of Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus from Czech King George of Podebrady
in the 15th century. In order to mask his identity Corvinus dressed in
women's folk costume and put a rose in his mouth.

The folk festival is highly colorful and is accompanied by folk music.
The Czech Republic sought the Ride of the Kings being added to the
UNESCO heritage list for several years. The Ride of the Kings is not
the first Czech tradition on the UNESCO list. The Slovacko folk dance
of military recruits that originated in the 18th century was entered in
2005. The Shrovetide processions with masks in the region of Hlinsko,
East Bohemia, as well as falconry, whose roots go back to the 9th
century Great Moravian Empire, were added last year.

Performers Bila, Gott, Kabat dominate Cesky slavik awards

Pop diva Lucie Bila, singer Karel Gott and hard rock band Kabat
finished first in their respective categories at the Cesky slavik
awards (Golden Nightingale) on Saturday. Bila racked up the most
overall votes - more than 42,000 - winning for best female singer; Gott
received more than 32,000 votes to pick up his 37th award for best male
performer. He jokingly reminded the audience that when he was first
entered in the competition when it began he received only three votes.
Gabriela Guncikova won the award for best newcomer. The Cesky slavik
awards, originally known as Zlaty slavik, have been running since 1962.
The winners are voted by members of the public.

Berdych loses to Tsonga at ATP World Tour Finals

Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych was defeated by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Playing in his first
semi-final in the prestigious season-ending tournament, Berdych was
unable to mount a convincing comeback after losing the first set 6:3.
The second set was closer, finishing 7:5 in Tsonga's favor. The win is
Tsonga's first against the Czech player who is the world No. 7.

Football: Cech keeps clean sheet against Wolverhampton

Chelsea goalie Petr Cech kept a clean sheet against Wolverhampton,
helping to turn around his team's recent flagging fortunes. The London
football club had lost three of its last four matches, as well as
suffered defeat by Leverkusen in the group stage in the Champions
League. But the squad was able to win 3:0 on Saturday, helping take
some of the heat off team manager Andre Villas-Boas, who took over in
the summer. Chelsea are currently fifth in the league.


Partly cloudy skies are expected into the new week, with daytime
temperatures reaching highs between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Famous Czech jazz flutist Jiri Stivin

This week's Sunday Music Show is devoted to one of the country's most
prominent jazz artists -flutist Jiri Stivin. The 68-year-old musician,
who is reputed to be able to play on a blade of grass, says the feel
for jazz is something you are born with and some of the best renditions
come from children who are as yet unspoiled by the constraints of a
music education.

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