Saturday, February 25, 2012

News 2.25.2012

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

News Saturday, February 25th, 2012

By: Jan Velinger

* The justice minister, Jiri Pospisil, has threatened to step down
unless the newly-reinstated chief Prague prosecutor is recalled from
his post.

* The newly-reinstated Vlastimil Rampula has said he will file a
criminal complaint against his predecessor Stanislav Mecl for alleged
illegal intrusion.

* Melting ice and snow have raised water levels on numerous rivers
throughout the country leading to a number of flood threats.

* An exhibition recalling one of the darkest periods in Czechoslovak
history has opened at the National Memorial on Vitkov Hill.

* In hockey, the Washington Capitals' goalie Michal Neuvirth shined on
Friday in his team's 4:1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Justice Minister threatens to step down

The Czech Justice Minister, Jiri Pospisil, has suggested in an
interview for Lidove noviny that if the newly-reinstated Chief Prague
Prosecutor Vlastimil Rampula is not recalled by the supreme state
attorney, he will leave the government. The chief prosecutor was sacked
last July on the suspicion that he had been holding up key corruption
investigations; last year, the Czech branch of Transparency
International called Rampula's dismissal necessary for the restoration
of public trust in the office. However, in an appeal Mr Rampula's
dismissal was thrown out as unjustified by the Prague Municipal Court.
In the Saturday's interview, the justice minister nevertheless repeated
that he stood behind changes that had been made at the prosecutor's
office and said if possible that he would push ahead with additional

Rampula to file criminal complaint for alleged illegal intrusion

In related news, the battle between officials at the Prague High State
Attorney's office took a new turn on Friday with the newly-reinstated
Vlastimil Rampula saying he would file a criminal complaint against his
predecessor, Stanislav Mecl, and others for alleged illegal intrusion
into a close aide's office. The complaint is to be formally filed on
Monday. The reinstated chief prosecutor, who showed CCTV images of the
alleged intrusion at a press conference, also demanded an explanation
from Mr Mecl and Supreme State Prosecutor Pavel Zeman. The images
screened reportedly showed two individuals, accompanied by Mr Mecl,
entering the offices of his deputy Libor Grygarek on the night of
February 17.

Melting ice and snow raise water levels on some rivers, lead to flood

Melting ice and snow have raised water levels on numerous rivers
throughout the country leading to a number of flood threats. Regions
where warnings are in place include Hradec Kralove, South Moravia and
Olomouc. The highest alert is in place in the area of Ceska Lipa; the
warnings, issued by the Czech Hydometeorological Institute, will remain
in effect until noon on Sunday. It is expected that a drop in
temperatures in Saturday night will quell flood dangers.

Waterways in the Liberec region experienced problems on Saturday with
two ice floes breaking away on the Jizera River: ten recreational homes
were flooded in Dolni Sytove. In some places garages were flooded.
Large pieces of accumulated ice saw a waterway break its banks in the
regions of Plzen where fire fighters intervened: bulldozers are being
used to break up the ice pieces to free up the flow to try and prevent
further flooding.

Exhibition recalling Gottwald cult of personality opens at National

A new exhibition at the National Memorial on Vitkov Hill opened on
Saturday allowing visitors to visit underground chambers where
Czechoslovakia's first communist president Klement Gottwald was
embalmed. The historic site was infamously used as a mausoleum for
Gottwald's body after his death. The exhibition, named The Laboratory
of Power, includes a machine room and other chambers where original
equipment used in the embalming process was stored. Photographs and
slogans are included to evoke the atmosphere of the 1950s - one of
darkest periods in Czechoslovak history which followed with the
Communist takeover in February 1948.

Senate chairman makes clear specific dates for next presidential
election still to be chosen

The chairman of the Senate, Milan Stech has said he has yet considered
which of four possible dates could be chosen for the Czech Republic's
first-ever direct presidential election. Voters will be able to choose
a successor to current Vaclav Klaus at the earliest next January 11 and
12, 2013 and February 1 and 2 at the latest. Mr Stech told the Czech
news agency that the matter was being looked at by senatorial
committees overseeing the changes. The change to the system of electing
the president in the Czech Republic will see voters elect the new
president directly, using a two-round system.

Motorcyclist dies in accident near Kosmonosy

A 30-year-old motorcycle rider died in near the town of Kosmonosy in
the area if Mlada Boleslav on Saturday after losing control of his
vehicle and hitting a traffic sign. A local police spokesman said the
motorist did not have a license for the motorcycle he was driving. The
accident took place shortly after two-thirty pm: the rider swerved into
the oncoming traffic lane as he lost control, before hitting the sign,
the spokesman confirmed.

NHL action: Neuwirth stops 30 shots in Capitals' win over Montreal

Twenty-three year-old Czech goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped 30 shots in
the Washington Capitals' Friday night win over Montreal - putting the
brakes on a largely miserable February run. Prior to Friday's game the
Caps had lost eight of 11 matches. The goalie allowed only one goal and
was named the game's first star. The final score was 4:1. The
Washington Capitals are in ninth spot in the Eastern Division and have
to improve if they want to qualify for this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.


Conditions over the coming days are expected to be mostly cloudy with
scattered showers and highs of around 8o Celsius.

Articles posted on today

An Englishwoman who has lived in Prague for over six decades - 'war
bride' Ivy Kovandova - Part II

In the previous episode of Czech Life, we brought you the first part of
the life story of Ivy Kovandova - one of the so-called war brides,
English women who got married to Czech soldiers or pilots during World
War II and then followed their husbands back to their native
Czechoslovakia. Today, it is time for the second part of Ivy's story -
which starts with her arrival in her husband Oldrich Kovanda's home

August 21 1968 on the airwaves

In the course of 1968 the Soviet Union made it increasingly clear that
it disapproved strongly of the Prague Spring reforms. Yet, despite
mounting tensions with Moscow, the Soviet led invasion on the night
from August 20-21 1968, came as a huge shock. Today we are going to
hear some of the broadcasts from that fateful day. We start with Radio
Moscow, with an official Soviet version of events.

Varnsdorf, a north Bohemian town in the path of Buddha

A town surrounded by deep pine forests, dotted with old timbered
German-style villas and occasional Communist-era prefab houses, a town
boasting many parks, a river, two churches - and the country's first
Buddhist temple. This is Varnsdorf, a town of 16,000 in the
northernmost part of the Czech Republic.

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