Thursday, June 7, 2012

News 6.7.2012

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

News Thursday, June 7th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek was attacked by demonstrators on
Thursday.

* Education Minister Petr Fiala has decided to freeze the planned
controversial university reform.

* Ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky has threatened to resign.

* The lawyers of former governor and MP charged with corruption David
Rath are preparing a constitutional complaint.

* Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has reached the semi-finals of the
French Open.



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Protesters spit at and hit finance minister
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Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek was attacked by demonstrators at a
protest in front of his ministry on Thursday. Several people spat at
the minister and hit him. He had stepped out of the ministry to address
protesters from the Stop the Government initiative. Some 200 people
gathered there on Thursday afternoon for the last of a series of
blockades in front of selected ministries. The demonstrators oppose the
government's reforms and austerity measures. Union members and other
activists who have joined the initiative are calling on the government
to resign.


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Education minister freezes controversial reform
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Education Minister Petr Fiala has decided to freeze a planned
controversial reform of the country's university system. Instead of a
new law, changes will be made via an amendment to the existing
legislation. Mr Fiala also said on Thursday that he is planning to
rework a much-debated legal change on university finances to where the
introduction of tuition fees would no longer be mandatory. He is
planning to discuss legislative changes with university representatives
in weeks to come.


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Ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky threatens to resign
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Ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky has threatened to resign from his post
unless the lower house acts on his suggested changes to the
legislation. Among the points that he has criticized is a bill under
which a repeat-offender who does not have permanent residence in a
given municipality could be banned from that municipality for up to
three months. In addition, he has asked Parliament to cancel a law
under which unemployed persons have to regularly report at Czech post
offices while they are seeking work, a measure meant to cut down on
unemployment benefit fraud.


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Lawyers of former governor and MP charged with corruption prepare
constitutional complaint
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The lawyers of former Central Bohemian governor David Rath, who is
charged with corruption, have announced that they are preparing to file
a constitutional complaint. One of the MP's lawyers said that there are
several points in the case that have raised legal questions which need
to be addressed by the Constitutional Court. In particular, Mr Rath's
lawyers believe that the way in which he was stripped of his immunity
may have been at odds with Czech law. Previously, Mr Rath had filed a
constitutional complaint regarding his case.


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Poll: Fischer and Zeman most likely contenders for presidential office
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A fresh poll suggests that former prime minister Jan Fischer would win
the presidential elections if they were held today. In this most recent
survey, former prime minister Milos Zeman for the first time saw a
better polling result than economist Jan Svejnar, who in previous
surveys had come in second. Some 36 percent of respondents would cast
their ballot in favor of Mr Fischer, while some 12.5 percent would vote
for Mr Zeman. Some 11 percent of men and women polled believe that Mr
Svejnar should become the country's next president. Next year, Czech
voters will be able to elect their president directly for the very
first time.


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Survey: Majority of Czechs in favor of cutting unemployment benefits
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According to a new survey by the STEM agency, the majority of Czechs
believe that the current social welfare system does not motivate
unemployed persons to actively seek work. Respondents said that
unemployment benefits should be reduced in order to create an incentive
for employment seekers. Nearly 70 percent believe that the government
should cut down on unemployment benefits, while nearly 60 percent said
that the current system creates little to no motivation.


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Concentration camp exhibition draws thousands of visitors
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Over 10,000 people have visited a concentration camp exhibition at
Prague's Karlovo namesti. The exhibit was installed at the square on
occasion of the 70-year-anniversary of the Heydrich assassination. The
organizers, the civic initiative Post Bellum, say that every day,
visitors are standing in line to see the provocative display. It maps
the life stories of some 70 people who fought in the resistance and
against the Nazi regime during World War II.


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Czech Trade Inspecting Authority bans green frog toy
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The Czech Trade Inspecting Authority has issued a warning regarding a
green frog toy that is being sold on the Czech market. The toy, which
is manufactured in China, has a sucker that infants may easily swallow
and suffocate. A spokeswoman for the authority said that a ban had been
issued on the sale of any such toys.


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Man charged with attempted murder of elderly mother
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Police are investigating a case in which a 49-year-old man attempted to
kill his 83-year-old mother. The man tried to strangle his mother, who
was sleeping but awoke from the severe pain he inflicted on her. The
perpetrator's girlfriend heard her cries for help and intervened.
Neighbors called the police. The victim was afraid to tell police what
had happened and did not do so for several days after the attack. If
found guilty, the man could face a prison sentence of up to 18 years.


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Tennis: Kvitova reaches French Open semi-final
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Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava
Shvedova 3-6 6-2 6-4 and reached the semi-finals of the French Open for
the first time on Wednesday. Although Shvedova led Kvitova 4-2 in the
final set, the Czech fourth seed kept her focus through driving rain to
complete victory after her 142nd-ranked opponent drilled a backhand
wide on matchpoint. Kvitova will now take on title favorite Maria
Sharapova for a place in Saturday's final.


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Weather
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The coming days are expected to be cloudy to overcast with rain in
places and day temperatures hovering at around 20 degrees Celsius.




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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/czech-foreign-ministry-warns-against-all-travel-to-sinai.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/c/zeme/egypt_sharmp.jpg
Czech Foreign Ministry warns against all travel to Sinai
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The Czech Foreign Ministry has issued a strong warning against all
travel to the Sinai Peninsula. Quoting intelligence reports, the
ministry warns of a heightened risk of terrorism across the area
including the popular resorts of Sharm-El-Sheikh and Dahab. But Czech
travel agencies have slammed the warning which they say is too vague.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czech-foreign-ministry-warns-against-all-travel-to-sinai

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/ombudsman-says-discrimination-of-romany-children-in-czech-education-system-persists.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/c/romove/skolstvi/ai/zs_prakticka_ostrava_3trida1p.jpg
Ombudsman says discrimination of Romany children in Czech education
system persists
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The Czech government has in the past few years repeatedly been
criticized by international bodies for discrimination of Romany
children in the Czech education system. Now the Ombudsman's office has
confirmed what the European Commission and the European Court of Human
Rights have said all along - that the much criticized practice of
sending Romany children to schools for children with learning, mental
or physical disabilities persists on a broad scale.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/ombudsman-says-discrimination-of-romany-children-in-czech-education-system-persists

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/panorama/adra-czech-republic-celebrates-its-20th-anniversary.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/c/humanitarni/adra/afrika_rozvoz_zdravotnickeho_materialup.jpg
ADRA Czech Republic celebrates its 20th anniversary
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The Adventist Development and Relief Agency ADRA is marking its 20th
birthday in the Czech Republic. The Czech branch, set up in 1992, now
provides aid both at home and abroad as well as organizing
awareness-raising programs among primary school children. Dagmar
Goldmannova, head of the Department for International Projects and
Development Education, visited Radio Prague's studio this week to talk
about the agency's achievements and plans for the future.

http://radio.cz/en/section/panorama/adra-czech-republic-celebrates-its-20th-anniversary






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