Saturday, April 28, 2012

News 4.28.2012

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

News Saturday, April 28th, 2012

By: Christian Falvey

* The government plans to concentrate on pro-growth measures following
budget cuts.

* Police are investigating accusations of embezzlement in the lottery
company Sazka.

* Hackers using the moniker Anonymous shut down the governing parties'
websites on Saturday.

* Presidential candidate Jan Fischer has opened his first election

* A number of carbon monoxide poisonings have been reported due to gas
appliances affected by the sharp rise in temperature.

Government will focus on economic growth after cuts, says PM

Prime Minister Necas has told an ideological conference of his party
that the government will concentrate primarily on pro-growth measures
after the Chamber of Deputies renewed its mandate on Friday. The
government's top goal of balanced budgets could not be attained without
a growing economy, he said. Analysts have voiced concern that the
budgetary cuts the government approved in early April will decrease the
performance of the economy. Mr Necas said that for that reason the
government will now concentrate on renewing economic growth.

Police investigating Sazka for embezzlement

Police have begun an investigation into accusations that the lottery
company Sazka defrauded T-Mobile customers of 230 million crowns. The
telecommunications firm has yet to receive the money, which its
customers spent on lottery terminals in the spring of last year, and
claims that Sazka kept it. The largest betting company in the Czech
Republic, Sazka was declared bankrupt last spring and its business
activities have been taken over by the finance companies PPF and KKCG.

Anonymous shuts down governing parties' websites

Hackers using the moniker Anonymous shut down the governing parties'
websites on Saturday. The Civic Democratic Party and TOP 09 took their
sites offline for security reasons after it became apparent that a
strong attack was underway. The website of the Communist Party was also
down Saturday afternoon, while the Public Affairs website was slow.
Anonymous warned of the attack ahead of time as part of an initiative
called "Together for Change! We Want Real Democracy!" The opposition
Social Democrats said they did not condone the attack, but that they
considered it an expression of a broad feeling of helplessness and
dissatisfaction in society.

Fischer opens election office

Former prime minister and presidential candidate Jan Fischer has opened
his first election office in Prague's Zizkov district, where he will
meet with citizens and representatives of various organisations. A
statistician, Mr Fischer was appointed to run an interim technocratic
government in 2009; he has since led the polls in political popularity
and has a strong lead over the other candidates for president, among
them economist Jan Svejnar, former PM Milos Zeman and TOP 09 chairman
Karel Schwarzenberg. The first direct election of the Czech president
will take place in early 2013.

Temperatures break records across the Czech Republic

Temperatures broke records across the Czech Republic on Friday and
Saturday, reaching 30o Celsius in places. The Clementinum in Prague,
which has been noting temperatures since 1775, registered 27.7o on
Saturday, which broke a 212-year-old record of 25,9o. The highest
readings were made in the West Bohemian city of Plzen where the
temperature reached 30.1o C, nearly four degrees above the record.
Meteorologists say the heat wave could last through Monday in the
eastern part of the country. With 138 cm of snow still on the ground in
some mountain areas, avalanche areas have been put on alert.

High number of carbon monoxide poisonings

A number of carbon monoxide poisonings were reported in Prague on
Friday, as the sharp rise in temperature caused leaks from unsealed gas
water heaters and flues. Nine people were reportedly injured, among
them three minors. Rescue services say the problem is annual and is
caused by low atmospheric pressure combined with high temperatures, but
the number of people affected on Friday was extra-ordinary. People are
advised to set up sensors to detect the gas, which is odourless.

Occupy movement takes to Prague's Lesser Quarter

Supporters of the Occupy movement held a demonstration in Prague's
Lesser Quarter on Saturday; the group plans to stay on Klarov green
until May 12. Several tents have been erected and discussions, lectures
and other events are to take place. Speakers at the protest camp are
pushing for political change and drawing attention to the part of banks
and politicians in the global economic crisis. Some of the
demonstrators also came out against the controversial ACTA treaty.


Conditions over the coming days are expected to be hot, with clear
skies and daytime highs reaching 30o Celsius.

Articles posted on today
A taste of Prague spring for an actor in Egypt's revolution

It was apt that one of the participants in this year's Prague Writers'
Festival was the Egyptian novelist Hamdy el-Gazzar, who played an
active part in the dramatic events last spring on Cairo's Tahrir
Square. It is no coincidence that the revolutions across North Africa
and the Middle East came to be known as the "Arab Spring", taking their
name from events in Czechoslovakia - the Prague Spring - over forty
years earlier. You do not have to look far to find parallels between
the atmosphere of then and now, and the events of '68 are also a
warning that not every popular uprising ends happily. David Vaughan
talks to Hamdy el-Gazzar about his experience as a writer and
"Hooligans and swindlers": the communist regime and the Plastic People

In the 1970s the communist authorities tolerated popular music as long
as it was insipid, colourless and unoriginal - everything that the
Czech psychedelic rock band The Plastic People of the Universe most
definitely was not. Their music was inspired by Frank Zappa and The
Velvet Underground, their lyrics anarchic, their behaviour
unconventional and their hair long. In 1976 four members of the band
were sentenced to prison terms for what was described as "organised
disturbance of the peace", and in December of the same year
Czechoslovak Radio broadcast a documentary that painted the band in the
darkest possible colours and included extracts from their music,
recorded secretly at their concerts.
Magazine 28.4.2012

In this edition of Magazine: a security guard hand-cuffs himself by
accident; a man is arrested after failing to notice that his passport
contains an inconceivable expiry date and Brno tests a pissoir for dogs.

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