Saturday, February 18, 2012

News 2.18.2012

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

News Saturday, February 18th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* Czech President Vaclav Klaus is holding a two-day meeting with his
counterparts from Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia.

* Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka was elevated to cardinal by Pope
Benedict XVI at a ceremony in Rome on Saturday.

* The opposition Social Democrats have put forward two potential
candidates for the post of president ahead of the 2013 direct
presidential elections.

* The famous Czech-American director Milos Forman celebrates his 80th
birthday on Saturday.

* English singer-songwriter Sting is playing a concert in Prague on
Saturday evening.

Czech President hosts Slovak, Croatian and Serbian Counterparts

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is hosting his counterparts from Slovakia,
Croatia and Serbia at the Lany castle near Prague for a two-day
meeting. On the agenda are EU-issues such as Croatia's EU accession and
Serbia's long-term plan to join the union. The four heads of state had
decided to hold this meeting at a session of the United Nations'
General Assembly a year-and-a-half ago.

Prague archbishop elevated to cardinal

Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka was elevated to cardinal at a ceremony
in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on Saturday morning. The Prague
archbishop is one of 22 new cardinals that Pope Benedict XVI created in
the ceremony. Hundreds of Czech pilgrims were in attendance. Dominik
Duka was presented with a scarlet biretta and a gold ring, the
traditional symbols of the title. As a cardinal, Dominik Duka will be
among those clerics authorized to elect a new pope.

On Saturday afternoon, the Prague archbishop led mass for Czech
Catholics at Rome's Church of Saint Gregory VII. The head of Czech
diplomacy, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, was in attendance. On
Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating a special mass with the
22 newly named cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica. Archbishop Duka is
the 11th Prague archbishop to be named cardinal.

Opposition puts forward candidates for direct presidential elections

At a party meeting on the weekend, the opposition Social Democrats put
forward their two potential candidates for the post of president in the
2013 direct presidential elections. Both economist Jan Svejnar and the
party's deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier were determined possible
nominees; a final decision is expected in May. Mr. Svejnar and Mr.
Dienstbier are set to travel across the country to speak to potential

At the two-day meeting, high-ranking party officials will also be
discussing the upcoming regional and Senate elections, which party
chairman Bohuslav Sobotka has labelled "a referendum on the government
of Prime Minister Petr Necas". Following the ratification of a new
bill, Czechs will be able to elect their head of state in a direct vote
for the first time in 2013, when President Klaus's second term in
office expires.

Far-right extremists hold protest march in Jihlava

Several dozen protesters from the Workers' Youth movement, an
organization connected to the far-right Workers' Party for Social
Justice, marched the streets of the city of Jihlava, in the Vysocina
region, on Saturday. According to organizers, the march was held to
express support to Serbia and protest the "forceful removal" of Kosovo
from the country. Some 200 people were trying to block the far-right
extremists' march; police kept the situation under tight control and
prevented clashes between extremists and those protesting the march.

Esteemed Czech-American director Milos Forman turns 80 on Saturday

World-famous Czech-American director Milos Forman is celebrating his
80th birthday on Saturday. Around the world, Czech Centers are honoring
the filmmaker with exhibitions of posters for his films and screenings
of his popular works. Mr. Forman, who was born in Caslav in 1932, left
his native Czechoslovakia after the Soviet-led invasion of his home
country in 1968. He settled in the United States, where he established
himself as one of the most successful directors alive today. His films
"One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) and "Amadeus" (1984) were
awarded five and eight Academy Awards, respectively.

Sting plays Prague Saturday evening

English singer-songwriter Sting will be performing at Prague's Congress
Center on Saturday evening. The former frontman of the rock band Police
is currently touring Europe with his Back to Bass tour. The concert in
the Czech capital has been sold out for weeks. Along with his band and
jazz singer Jo Lawry, Sting will be performing classics such as "Every
Breath You Take" as well as new material in front of some 3000
visitors. Back to Bass, which marks the 25-year-anniversary of his solo
career, kicked off in the UK on February 5th.

Police find body of woman who had been reported missing

Police found the body of a 24-year-old woman, who had gone missing in
January, in the city of Liberec on Friday. A police spokeswoman said
Saturday that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the case.
The young woman had had been missing since January 23. A neighbor had
informed police of her disappearance.


The weekend brings more rain and some snow showers. Daytime
temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius are expected. Nighttime
lows can reach up to minus 4 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Tomas Zmeskal: The Biography of a Black-and-White Lamb

When Tomas Zmeskal's first novel was published four years ago, one
critic described it in ecstatic terms as a "gold vein amid the deadwood
of contemporary Czech scribbling". The book, A Love Letter in Cuneiform
Script, went on to win the coveted European Union Prize for Literature
last year and Tomas Zmeskal has won international acclaim, although we
are still waiting for either of his two novels published so far to
appear in English. David Vaughan talks to the writer.

Alexander Dubcek: hope and despair in 1968

The political reforms of the 1960s accelerated dramatically when on
January 5 1968 Alexander Dubcek became First Secretary of the Communist
Party, the most powerful position in the country. Dubcek immediately
set Czechoslovakia on a course of economic and political reform, to
create what was described as "socialism with a human face". Today we
are going to hear two recordings of Dubcek from 1968 that show both the
hopes with which the year started and the despair which followed the
Soviet invasion in August.

Science Journal 18.2.2012

Presbytis hosei canicrus - let's call him Miller's Grizzled Langur, is
one of the rarest primates in the world, with hardly any pictures in
existence and very few people having ever seen one. In fact it was
believed that the long-tailed monkey was extinct, until scientists
observing two natural springs in the Kutai National Park in Borneo came
across one grizzled patron after another.

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