Saturday, June 9, 2012

News 6.9.2012

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

News Saturday, June 9th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* Protests against the international agreement ACTA were held in Prague
on Saturday.

* Some 17,000 people marched through the Czech capital in order to
raise awareness of breast cancer.

* A unique heart surgery was performed at Prague's center for
experimental medicine.

* Prague's open museum night kicks off on Saturday.

* The Czech Republic's national football team was defeated 4:1 by
Russia in the teams' opening match at the EURO 2012.

Czechs join European day of protest against ACTA

Czech protesters are taking to the streets on occasion of a European
day of demonstrations against the international Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement (ACTA). Protests are set to begin in Prague in the
afternoon. Among the organizers of the demonstrations in the Czech
capital is the group Anonymous, which opposes internet censorship. The
controversial international agreement has come under fire from both
internet users and officials. Some believe that it will pave the way
for regulations that may censor content available on the internet and
infringe upon freedom of expression online.

Around 17,000 join breast cancer awareness march in Prague

Some 17,000 men and women participated in a breast cancer awareness
march through the Czech capital on Saturday. Among the participants was
the well-known actress Ana Geislerova. According to organizers, the aim
of the event was to draw attention to the disease, its risks and means
to prevent it. In addition, the march hopes to motivate women to get a
breast exam to help reduce the number of cases that are diagnosed too
late. Doctors estimate that some 1600 Czech women die of breast cancer
each year; some 6000 have their breasts removed due to cancer.

German president expresses sorrow over Lidice and Lezaky

German President Joachim Gauck said in a letter to his Czech
counterpart Vaclav Klaus on Friday that Germany was aware of its
historical responsibility for the massacres in the Czech villages of
Lidice and Lezaky during World War II. Mr Gauck wrote the letter ahead
of the 70th anniversary of the destruction of Lidice and Lezaky by the
Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of acting Reichsprotector of
Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942. Heydrich
succumbed to wounds suffered in the attack which was orchestrated by
Czech paratroopers.

As a result, Lidice, in Central Bohemia, was obliterated on June 10 and
Lezaky, East Bohemia, was burnt to the ground on June 24. In Lidice
alone, all 173 men were executed, while most women and children were
sent to concentration camps. Some of the children were selected for
"re-education" in Nazi Germany. In his letter, German President Gauck
wrote that the despicable acts in Lidice and Lezaky filled him with
"deep sorrow and shame", but cited positive ties between Germany and
the Czech Republic today as reason for hope. In response, Vaclav Klaus
thanked his German counterpart, saying that he considered the letter a
strong statement and positive gesture.

Reactions to Gauck's letter mixed

In related news, the mayor of Lidice, Veronika Kellerova, said she
considered the letter a gesture of reconciliation. She said that she
was pleased that the German president had written such a letter on
occasion of the 70-year-anniversary of the massacre. Others were less
positive, such as survivor Pavel Horesovsky, who as a child was
forcibly removed from the village and sent to Germany for
"re-education". He said that he was waiting for an official apology
from Germany to this day.

Prague doctors perform unique heart surgery

Doctors from Prague's IKEM, the institute for experimental medicine,
have succeeded in a unique operation. A young man with a heart tumor
underwent heart surgery at the Prague center. His heart was replaced by
two mechanic pumps, a type of heart surgery that to date only had been
performed once before, in Texas. The patient is in stable condition;
the operation was a success.

Prague Museum Night kicks off Saturday

Prague Museum Night kicks off on Saturday evening. Nearly 40
institutions are participating, with a total of 65 spaces open
after-hours for the museum night. The event starts at 7 pm and runs
until 1 am; special busses are in operation to bring visitors from
location to location. Last year, some 180,000 visitors came out for the
open night of Prague museums, which takes place for the ninth time this

Football: Russia scores four in Euro opener to defeat Czech Rep

The Czech Republic's national football team was soundly defeated by
Russia on Friday in the teams' opening match at Euro 2012. The Russians
were dangerous throughout, building on precision passes and clever
plays that saw them routinely outpace the Czech defense. The Czechs
played well in patches, dominating, for example, in the opening 15
minutes. Still it was Russia that scored twice in the first half.

The Czechs responded early in the second when Plasil sent a low ball to
Vaclav Pilar who sidestepped Russia's goalie and put the ball in the
net. Soon afterwards, Rosicky came close to getting an equalizer but
Russian goalie Malafeev stopped his low shot. Russia then regained
momentum and added two more to win 4:1.

National team coach on Czech squad's defeat

Speaking on the Czech defeat against Russia in the first EURO 2012
championship game on Friday, national coach Michal Bilek said that of
course, the Czech squad was very disappointed with their performance.
However, he added, now was the time to show strength and character. The
team still had a week to improve its standing in the competition. He
said that he would analyze mistakes made in the first match; but then,
it was time to move on.


Cloudy conditions are expected at the weekend with daytime temperatures
on Saturday reaching highs of around 22 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
The literary legacy of Lidice

This weekend is the 70th anniversary of the Nazi destruction of the
village of Lidice. Shortly after the massacre, the British novelist
Kathleen Hewitt wrote: "The tragedy of Lidice is part of a tragedy so
great that one hesitates before daring to comment on it." But she added
that "words are potent weapons, as it is of words that history is
made." Since the Nazis tried to wipe Lidice from the map, many, many
words have been written about Lidice; it has captured the imagination
of writers like few other wartime atrocities, and dozens, perhaps
hundreds, of novels, stories, poems and essays have responded to the
tragic events of the night from June 9 to June 10 1942. David Vaughan
looks at the literary legacy of Lidice.
Radio Prague and the Cold War in Africa

In the last years of the Cold War, Radio Prague's English department
was many times bigger than it is today and divided into several
sections, devoted to different parts of the world. One of the most
important was the Afro-Asian service. Africa was an important Cold War
battleground and Radio Prague's Afro-Asian service was not just telling
the people of Africa about Czechoslovakia. It also covered events
within Africa itself, following closely the Soviet political line. At
one time the department was receiving tens of thousands of listeners'
letters every year.

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