Saturday, February 4, 2012

News 2.4.2012

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

News Saturday, February 4th, 2012

By: Christian Falvey

* The cabinet is preparing to replace Education Minister Josef Dobes,
several Czech media outlets report.

* Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg says he supports a UN Security
Council resolution on Syria, but does not believe it will change
developments in the country.

* Police have moved to prosecute forty people for tax evasion amounting
to some 800 million crowns.

* Some 500 people assembled in central Brno on Saturday to protest
Czech participation in ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

* Members of the scientific community have called upon the prime
minister to join the EU budget pact.

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Media: Cabinet preparing to oust Dobes
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The cabinet is preparing to replace Education Minister Josef Dobes,
several Czech media outlets report. According to the daily Pravo, a
threat by the European Commission to halt the payment of 53 billion
crowns from the Education for Competitiveness Operational Programme due
to a lack of transparency in the ministry was the last straw for Mr
Dobes, who has been dogged by high profile scandals since taking
office. Meanwhile the education minister is also under fire for hiring
a member of the Czech Radio Council to his press department in
contravention of the law. Pravo cites anonymous information that deputy
Public Affairs chairwoman Dagmar Navratilova is being considered for
the position.


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Schwarzenberg supports Security Council resolution on Syria, but does
not expect change
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Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg says he supports a UN Security
Council resolution on Syria, but does not believe it will change
developments in the country. Speaking from Munich where he is attending
an international security conference, Mr Schwarzenberg told the Czech
Press Agency that it is necessary to send a signal to Syrian President
Bashar Asad that the West is not indifferent to the violent suppression
of anti-government protests in Syria. The Security Council is to vote
on the resolution on Saturday, but Russia has warned that it will block
its passage. The Czech Republic is not currently represented on the
council.


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Police prosecuting forty people for tax evasion
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Police have moved to prosecute forty people for tax evasion amounting
to some 800 million crowns. According to the website of the
anti-corruption department, the charges are the result of several years
of investigation of people who had offered companies decreased tax
liabilities and the directors of the companies who had accepted the
offers, or reported the export of non-existent goods abroad. If found
guilty they face between five and ten years imprisonment.


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Demonstrators protest Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
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Some 500 people assembled in central Brno on Saturday to protest Czech
participation in ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
Speakers addressed the importance of online liberty and some criticised
the government for approving the agreement without public discussion. A
performance showed how the agreement could lead to users of pirated
material being checked for proof of purchase. Protesters also gathered
in Ostrava and Plzen. An earlier demonstration was held in Prague on
Thursday.


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Scientists demand Czech accession to EU budget pact
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Members of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic have sent an open
letter to Prime Minister Petr Necas demanding that the country join the
EU budget pact. The scientists write that it is time that the Czech
Republic stop behaving like an erratic troublemaker and join the
countries that are trying to effectively solve problems. Moreover, they
criticise the PM for saying that the budget pact "does not bring us
anything advantageous" while at the same time preaching budgetary
discipline. The idea that the national interests of the Czech Republic
are markedly different than those of other EU countries is
unfathomable, the scientists write.


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Police barring increasing numbers of people from households due to
domestic violence
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Police are barring increasing numbers of people from their households
due to domestic violence. According to a report from the support group
Bileho kruhu bezpeci, police confiscated keys in 1430 cases in 2011,
about a third more than in the previous year. That number has risen
steadily since 2008, when 679 people were barred from their homes.
Experts for the group say the trend is due not to rising aggressiveness
but to the fact that the Czech police are much more experienced in
utilising this option today. Domestic violence has only been a criminal
act in the Czech Republic since 2004 and police have been able to bar
people from their households since 2007.


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Woman captured on camera calling in bomb threats
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Police are seeking a woman they believe was responsible for two bomb
threats called in over the previous two days. Metro service was limited
for an hour on Thursday after a woman called in a 30-minute warning.
The bus and metro stations at Smichov were then evacuated after another
threat was made some 24 hours later. Security cameras caught a woman
wearing the same clothing at both locations where the calls were made.


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Weather
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Conditions over the weekend are expected to be clear and sunny with
daytime highs dropping to -12o Celsius and night-time lows to around
-20o. Temperatures in higher altitudes could drop to -40o.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Mailbox 4.2.2012
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This month in Mailbox we read from your letters of condolence on the
death in December of the former president Vaclav Havel, we read from
your feedback regarding Radio Prague's programmes and we quote from
your answers to January's mystery Czech quiz question.
Listeners/readers: Michael Fanderys, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Stephen
Hrebenach, Steve Olear, Hans Verner Lollike, Mary Lou Krenek, Jaroslaw
Jedrzejczak, Charles Konecny, Vladimir Gudzenko, Colin Law.

http://radio.cz/en/section/mailbox/mailbox-2012-02-04


An Englishwoman who has lived in Prague for over six decades - 'war
bride' Ivy Kovandova
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Ivy Kovandova is one of the few remaining so-called war brides in the
Czech Republic. 'War brides' are Englishwomen who married Czechoslovak
pilots or soldiers stationed in the UK during WWII - an estimated
10,000 soldiers and about 2,500 pilots from Czechoslovakia fought
alongside the allies, and many of them married local women. Some of
those women accompanied their husbands back to their native land after
the war. But most left Czechoslovakia due to the strain that the
arrival of the communist regime placed on their lives, or simply
because they felt lost and homesick. Ivy Kovandova, however, still
lives in her cozy apartment in Prague's Vrsovice neighborhood and says
she has never even considered leaving. Just a few weeks ago, she
celebrated her 90th birthday. I recently visited Ivy at her home, where
she told me all about her adventurous life over cake and coffee.

http://radio.cz/en/section/czech-life/an-englishwoman-who-has-lived-in-prague-for-over-six-decades-war-bride-ivy-kovandova


Paul Robeson in Prague: paying homage to Dvorak and socialism
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In last week's From the Archives we featured Martin Luther King,
interviewed by Czechoslovak Radio in 1963. But Dr King was not the
first civil rights campaigner to address Czech and Slovak radio
listeners. Four years earlier, in June 1959, Paul Robeson came to
Prague, to take part in an international left-wing cultural congress.
Robeson was a man of many talents - singer, actor, athlete, writer and
civil rights activist. He never concealed his sympathies with the
communist regimes of the Eastern Bloc, and his political views -
combined with the colour of his skin - earned him virtual pariah status
in many sections of the US political establishment. This culminated in
1950 when he was refused a passport.

http://radio.cz/en/section/archives/paul-robeson-in-prague-paying-homage-to-dvorak-and-socialism-1


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