Saturday, February 11, 2012

News 2.11.2012

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

News Saturday, February 11th, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* People in twenty Czech cities have joined the international protests
against the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement ACTA.

* A British support organization says Roma school children from the
Czech Republic have no problem integrating into the UK mainstream.

* A trade union leader has warned that low salaries in the sphere of
social services are undermining care for the elderly and disabled.

* The arctic weather which is holding the country in its grip has
caused damages to the tune of millions of crowns.

* Revelers have taken to the streets for a Mardi Gras carnival in
Prague.

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Czechs join ACTA protests worldwide
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People in twenty Czech cities have joined the international protests
against the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement ACTA. Critics
say the treaty, which aims to establish international standards to
enforce intellectual property rights, amounts to internet censorship
and is in violation of privacy laws. Government websites in many
countries have been hacked in protest. Although the Czech Republic
signed the agreement in Tokyo in late January, its ratification in this
country will not be easy. The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection
has described it as problematic with regard to existing legal
guarantees of individual rights and Prime Minister Petr Necas said last
week the government would suspend ratification until it had analyzed
the possible impacts of the treaty.


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Equality says Roma children have no problem integrating into UK
mainstream
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A study conducted by Equality, a UK national support organisation for
the Roma, has shown that a number of Roma children who had previously
been placed in special schools in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were
successfully completing primary and secondary education at integrated,
mainstream schools in the United Kingdom. The average attainment of
Roma pupils aged 9-15 in numeracy, literacy, and science at UK
mainstream schools was just below average. Only a small percentage of
the overall cohort of Roma pupils (2 to 4 percent) at schools surveyed
were regarded as requiring special education needs because of learning
difficulties or disabilities that made it more difficult for them to
learn or access education than most children of the same age. For these
Roma pupils, this extra help is given within the mainstream school. The
Czech Republic is now in the process of integrating Roma children who
had previously been placed in special schools into the mainstream.
However the effort is meeting with considerable opposition from
teachers who say that children who come from special schools will slow
down the pace of education for the rest of the class.


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Low salaries in social services undermining care for elderly
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Low salaries in the sphere of social services are undermining the
quality of care for old, disabled and helpless persons, according to
health and social care trade union leader Dagmar Zitnikova. Mrs.
Zitnikova warned that there was a massive drain of experienced and
qualified staff and if measures were not taken to correct the problem,
the system of care for old people would soon break down. Social care
workers earn around 10,000 crowns a month, which is markedly below the
country' s average monthly gross salary of 24,000 crowns. Some 43,000
people work in social care services in the 10 million strong Czech
Republic.


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Smog alert remains in place in central Bohemian region
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A smog alert remains in place in several central Bohemian cities with
dust particles in the air twice exceeding set norms. The towns of Mlada
Boleslav, Beroun and Pribram are said to be the worst affected. The
local authorizes have appealed to drivers to leave their cars at home
and use public transport until the situation improves. Doctors have
warned people suffering from heart problems or asthma to stay indoors
as much as possible. Children and the elderly have also been warned
about possible complications particularly in view of the continuing
frosty weather.


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Cold snap causes extensive damages
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The arctic weather which is holding the country in its grip has caused
damages to the tune of millions of crowns, according to a survey
conducted among local insurance companies. The frost is damaging water
pipes and heating pipes around the country, as well as rail tracks and
power networks. Buses and trucks are having problems with diesel fuel
which freezes at certain temperatures and car batteries are failing in
the frost. The country's largest insurer Ceska Sporitelna says that
since the arctic weather hit is has received 700 claims worth tens of
millions of crowns.


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State veterinary office investigating salmonella in poultry
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The State Veterinary Office is investigating a case of salmonella
bacteria found in poultry. A random test conducted in several
hypermarkets showed that all poultry products tested contained the
bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in small measure,
though in one case the product failed to meet the set EU norms.
Inspectors say this was likely to have been as a result of inadequate
transport or storage conditions. The health authorizes have warned
consumers to make sure that their poultry is properly cooked which
should completely destroy any salmonella bacteria it contains.


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Mardi Gras celebrations open in Prague
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Revelers have taken to the streets for a Mardi Gras carnival in Prague.
Most of the events planned over the next few days will take place in
the Lesser Town and on Prague's old Town Square where people will be
able to enjoy the performances of clowns, acrobats and revelers in
masks and carnival dress. There will be concerts of baroque music and
dancing and crazy competitions. Some restaurants in the city centre are
offering special Mardi Gras menus.


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Weather
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The coming days should bring clear to partly cloudy skies with day
temperatures dropping to around - 10 degrees Celsius and night time
lows to around -30.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Dickens and the Good Soldier Svejk
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Here is a question for the Dickens bicentenary. What is the connection
between the great 19th century English novelist and the best-loved
Czech literary anti-hero? The answer is, surprisingly enough, that
without Dickens we quite possibly wouldn't have Svejk at all. David
Vaughan looks at this and some other Czech links with Dickens in this
week's Czech Books.

http://radio.cz/en/section/books/dickens-and-the-good-soldier-svejk


Satchmo and the liberating power of jazz
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Nothing better symbolizes the political thaw in 1960s Czechoslovakia
than the boom in jazz, which many saw as embodying the very idea of
individual expression and freedom from constraint. It is not hard to
imagine the excitement when Louis Armstrong came to Prague in March
1965. Many people felt that Czechoslovakia had at last come in from the
cold, and his concert at Prague's Lucerna Ballroom was a cultural
milestone. It ended with Satchmo thanking his audience, commenting that
the Czech passion for jazz had come as quite a surprise to him.

http://radio.cz/en/section/archives/satchmo-and-the-liberating-power-of-jazz-1


Screen Czech 11.2.2012
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The undisputed most famous Czech director alive today, Milos Forman
speaks about his varied career in the Czechoslovakia and in Hollywood
ahead of his 80th birthday. I'll be talking to the model, singer and
now actress Iva Fruhlingova about what it's like to make her screen
debut and the ups and downs of working with one of the most successful
Czech directors still resident in the country, Filip Renc.

http://radio.cz/en/section/screen-czech/screen-czech-2012-02-11


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