Saturday, January 28, 2012

News 1.28.2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Saturday, January 28th, 2012

By: Jan Velinger

* The Czech Republic and other non-euro zone countries will reportedly
be able to participate in future euro zone summits.

* The former head of the Communist Party has expressed the suspicion
that his party is being 'spied on' by the government.

* The diary of 81-year-old Michal Kraus, an Auschwitz survivor, was
published on Friday on the occasion of International Holocaust
Remembrance Day.

* A trio survived a train collision with their car on Friday, with a
two-year-old in the back seat coming through unscathed.

* Musher Vit Kolator has won the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race.

Czech Republic will be able to take part in euro zone summits

The Czech Republic and other non-euro zone countries will participate
in future euro zone summits, Czech Radio's flagship station Radiozurnal
reported on Saturday, referring to the latest draft of the planned
fiscal compact. According to Radiozurnal, states will be eligible
providing they sign. Highly-placed sources confirmed that Czech, Polish
and Swedish negotiators at a meeting of prime ministers in Brussels had
played a key role in pushing through the concession: originally,
members of the euro zone had intended to meet on their own. The
centre-right Czech government this week approved a 1.5 billion euro
loan to the IMF to help contain the debt crisis in the euro zone and
gave conditional approval for the Czech Republic to join the emerging
fiscal compact - a process that will either have to be ratified by
Parliament or in a national referendum.

Communist MP suspects government of spying on party

MP and former head of the Communist Party Miroslav Grebenicek has
expressed the suspicion that his party is being spied on by the
country's centre-right government. Mr Grebenicek expressed his concerns
in a written message to the prime minister in which he stressed that he
had registered information recently that the Interior Ministry and
certain intelligence branches had been "tasked" with monitoring his
party. He also questioned the prime minister about whether other
political parties, including his own right-of-centre Civic Democrats,
were being watched. In the Communist MP's view, such tactics could be
pursued to draw public attention away from lobbying, backroom deals and
political corruption. Prime Minister Petr Necas denied the claims
outright, stressing in his written reply that intelligence service
activities were defined by law; he maintained that no investigation of
the Communist Party could be conducted at the behest of the government
without lawful reason.

Holocaust survivor publishes childhood diary recalling life in
concentration camps

The diary of Michal Kraus (who survived the Holocaust as a boy) was
published on Friday on the occasion of International Holocaust
Remembrance Day. As a boy, Kraus went through Terezin and later the
Auschwitz and Mauthausen concentration camps where he lost both parents
and he survived two death marches. He wrote his diary shortly after the
end of the war but never published it. He had started writing a diary
at home, prior to deportation but in Auschwitz it was taken away from
him. The diary will be officially presented at the seat of the Prague
Jewish Community on February 2.

Mr Kraus��s diary describes the events and relations in the camp and
condemns inhuman behaviour of some inmates, the Czech news agency
reports. In July 1948, 17-year-old Michal Kraus left Czechoslovakia and
moved to Canada with the help of the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee. He took his diary with him and later gave it to the
Holocaust Museum in Washington. Copies of the diary are kept by four
museums in the Czech Republic and Israel. Mr Kraus, now 81, decided to
publish his diary because of the persecution of ethnic and other
minorities, still a problem in the Czech Republic and Europe in
general, he said.

Trio survive collision with train

A 33-year-old motorist and 29-year-old passenger suffered serious head
injuries on Friday night when their car was hit by a transport train
near Ceske Budejovice. The accident took place at around 9:30 pm at a
railway crossing. A two-year-old in a baby seat in the back of the car
was unhurt. Signal lights at the crossing were not in operation, an
official from the Railways Inspectorate said. Damage to the train was
reported at more than 200,000 crowns, while damage to the car was
estimated at 50,000.

Thirty-four-year-old driver killed in accident

A 34-year-old motorist was killed in an accident between the villages
of Keblice and Brnany in the Litomerice area on Saturday. The accident
took place at around 9:30 am. The driver lost control of her vehicle
which went off the road and hit a tree. Both emergency personnel and
fire fighters were called to the scene to try and free her from the
car, but were unable to save the woman, a police spokeswoman said.

Sedivackuv Long dog sled race won by Kolator

The winner of the 16th annual dog sled race called Sedivackuv Long,
held in the north-eastern Czech Republic, is musher Vit Kolator. Mr
Kolator won the four-stage race with his eight dogs in 11 hours and 35
minutes. Ales Picl came in second, five minutes behind. Almost 100
mushers from eight countries with some 500 dogs competed in the race -
considered one of the toughest on the European continent. They had to
overcome 240 kilometres in deep snow and freezing conditions in the
Orlicke mountains in just four days.


The rest of the weekend should see partly cloudy to overcast skies with
more snow and day temperatures dropping to minus 3 degrees. Night time
lows can reach minus 15, though in some places as much as ten degrees

Articles posted on today

Hana Andronikova: mourning a powerful Czech literary voice

It seems very strange to be talking about the Czech writer Hana
Andronikova in the past tense. When she died of cancer on December 20th
last year, she was only 44, and until the last months of her life had
been at the height of her creative powers. Author of two successful
novels, several plays and numerous short stories, she was one of the
most versatile younger Czech writers, and will be hugely missed. David
Vaughan looks at her life and work.

Transforming token integration into good faith: Martin Luther King
talks to Czechoslovak Radio

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the
true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal.'" The unforgettable words of Dr Martin
Luther King Jr., delivered on August 28 1963 on the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The speech, addressed to a crowd of
a quarter of a million, was a defining moment in the American civil
rights movement, and its echoes reached as far as communist Eastern
Europe. In Czechoslovakia the civil rights movement had already aroused
considerable interest, and not just because of the pleasure that the
regime took in pointing to America's shortcomings; Czechoslovak Radio's
correspondent in the United States, Karel Kyncl, had already
interviewed Dr King in March of that same year. Here is a short extract
from the interview, where Dr King has just been outlining the progress
made so far in ending segregation:

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