Saturday, March 17, 2012

News 3.17.2012

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

News Saturday, March 17th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* The association of philosophical faculties' deans has called for the
resignation of Education Minister Josef Dobes.

* Czech entrepreneur Tomas Pitr, who is in prison for tax evasion in
Switzerland, will return to the Czech Republic.

* An anonymous hacker has managed to manipulate the video archive of
Czech TV.

* Anti-government protests continued on Friday evening.

* Record temperatures have been registered across the Czech Republic.

Philosophical faculty deans call for education minister's resignation

The deans of all ten of the country's philosophical faculties have
called on Prime Minister Petr Necas to dismiss Education Minister Josef
Dobes. In an open letter to the prime minister, the deans criticize the
education minister for his failure to prepare quality legislation that
would overhaul the university system as well as his refusal to directly
discuss such matters with university representatives. They added that
the Education Ministry has demonstrated it is unable to provide
financial stability to universities. Philosophical faculties especially
should be committed to social responsibility, freedom of speech and a
firm stance on citizens' rights, the deans' association writes. In late
February, thousands of students, professors and university
administrators had taken to the streets for a weeklong protest against
a proposed education reform.

Czech tax evading entrepreneur Tomas Pitr to return to Czech Republic

Czech entrepreneur Tomas Pitr, who has been in prison in Switzerland
since 2010, has decided to return to the Czech Republic, the daily
Mlada fronta dnes reported. The businessman, who has been charged with
tax evasion, retracted his application for asylum in Switzerland on
Friday and will return to his home country in the coming weeks.
According to his lawyer, the decision is partially motivated by
personal reasons but also the fact that Mr. Pitr has been reviewing
Czech court proceedings in his case and concluded that he will most
likely receive a fair trial. He was sentenced to five years in prison
by a Prague city court in 2006.

Internet activist hacks Czech TV website

A hacker who goes by the pseudonym of p1r@t3z'sec has managed to enter
the website of Czech TV. On Saturday, instead of finding a video
archive on the site, visitors instead saw a video declaration by
hackers, drawing attention to poor online security. In the video, voice
demands for information to be freely accessible and news coverage to be
objective and truthful are voiced. Until that is the case, hackers will
not step down and continue hacking relevant websites. Some say that the
hacker's attack may be connected to this week's anti-government
protests. Among the demands of demonstrators were far-reaching changes
in the management of Czech TV.

Anti-government protests continue

Anti-government protests continued in Prague's Wenceslas Square on
Friday evening. Roughly a thousand demonstrators gathered on the square
to demand the resignation of the current government coalition and
president Vaclav Klaus. Demonstrators signed a petition and listened to
live renditions of covers of songs by Czech protest singer Karel Kryl.
The protests, organized by a citizens' initiative, started on Thursday,
when thousands of people gathered in Prague and other cities across the

Survey: Czechs continue to place trust in NATO

According to a fresh survey by the Public Opinion Research Center,
three-fifths of Czechs continue to place trust in NATO and believe the
alliance is still necessary and important. Czech faith in NATO has
remained relatively unchanged in recent years. The majority of
respondents also said that they believe a state's sovereignty needed to
be defended and that in the case of an armed conflict, the Czech
Republic would dependent on NATO protection. Only 26 percent of those
polled believe that the Czech Republic's NATO membership is problematic.

Baby girl left in Karvina-Raj hospital's babybox

A baby girl was found in the babybox at the hospital Karvina-Raj on
Friday evening. It was the first infant to be placed in the hospital's
babybox and the seventh in the Czech Republic to be given up by means
of the babybox this year. The girl, who has been named Radka-Barborka
by hospital staff, is in good health and, according to doctors, was
born that day. Overall, nearly 70 infants have been left anonymously in
babyboxes since the system was launched in 2005.

Museum of Water Treatment open on weekend

The Museum of Water Treatment in the Prague neighborhood of Podoli will
be accessible to visitors the entire weekend. It is opening its gates
on the occasion of the upcoming World Water Day, which is marked on
March 22. The interesting exhibition portrays changes in water
treatment and features the original water pump of the Klatovy
waterworks from 1830 as well as other rare items. Visitors can see the
exhibition Saturday or Sunday between 9:30 a.m. and 16:30 p.m.

Record high temperatures registered across the country

Record high temperatures were registered at over 40 weather stations
across the Czech Republic on Friday, with temperature hikes of six and
seven degrees Celsius over the last 24 hours. The highest temperature
of 20.4 degrees was recorded in Cesky Krumlov. The oldest record - 15.1
degrees Celsius from 1899 - was broken in the central Bohemian town of


The weekend brings the start of spring weather with clear skies and
daytime highs between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. The pleasant
conditions are expected to last until Monday, when the weather will
cool down slightly.

Articles posted on today
"Sala's Gift": a whole war in a tin box

You will probably not have heard of Gross Sarne, Brande, Blechhammer or
Schatzlar, but these are places that should be remembered. They were
all Nazi slave labour camps in World War Two. The last on that list,
Schatzlar, or Zacler as it is known in Czech, was in what is now the
Czech Republic, in the part of north-eastern Bohemia annexed by the
German Reich in 1938. Few people in this country, even among the
inhabitants of Zacler itself, know that the camp even existed, but a
new book should help to put that right. The daughter of one of the
survivors has just been in the Czech Republic, to launch the Czech
edition of her book "Sala's Gift". The book tells her mother's story,
drawing richly from Sala's own memories and from several hundred
letters that, against all odds, survived the war. David Vaughan tells
the story.
Playing cat-and-mouse with the Soviets to keep on air

In the days immediately after the Soviet invasion in August 1968, staff
at Czechoslovak Radio played a cat-and-mouse game with the occupying
forces. For the first couple of days, they managed to continue
broadcasting directly from the radio headquarters, despite the presence
of tanks outside.
Science Journal 17.3.2012

In this edition of Science Journal: Czech physicists make the American
Science magazine with an experiment on quantum walks. And the secrets
of the Antarctic unfold beneath the watchful eyes of scientists from
Masaryk University in Brno, who are expanding their research at James
Ross Island this year.

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