Saturday, July 7, 2012

News 7.7.2012

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

News Saturday, July 7th, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* Police in Poland have been put on alert over a three-week old baby
kidnapped in the Czech city of Usti nad Labem.

* Several Romany groups have called for a boycott of Monday's official
commemoration of

* Meteorologists have warned against strong thunderstorms that will hit
the north of the country.

* The Czech military has lost capacity to perform tasks arising from
its international commitments, says the army's new chief of staff.

* The 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival concludes with an
awards ceremony on Saturday.

Polish police on alert over kidnapped Czech baby

The Polish police and border guards have been put on alert over a
three-week-old baby girl who was kidnapped in the Czech city of Usti
nad Labem on Wednesday, Czech TV reported on Saturday quoting Polish
media. The girl was snatched from a carriage in front of her mother by
a man who reportedly spoke German and drove off in a VW car towards
Germany. The Czech police alerted their colleagues in Germany and
Poland and asked them for cooperation. Polish media report the
kidnappers might be heading towards Belarus.

Romany groups call for boycott of Holocaust victims commemoration

Several Czech Romany groups on Saturday called for a boycott of
Monday's official ceremony in commemoration of Romany victims of the
Holocaust. Prime Minister Petr Necas and other officials are to attend
the event held at the site of a former concentration camp in Lety, in
southern Bohemia; however, some Romany representatives said the
government should first remove a large pig farm built on the site of
the camp after the war. The farm's existence has been a controversial
issue in the Czech society for years; attempts by several Czech
governments to remove failed due to high relocation costs demanded by
the farm's owners.

Meteorologists warn against storms in north Bohemia

Meteorologists on Saturday warned against strong thunderstorms that
will hit the north of the country later in the day. Up to 70 mm of
precipitation is expected to fall in the region which could swell local
rivers as the soil is already soaked by previous rain. Storms, heavy
rain and strong winds have been causing problems in the Czech Republic
over past several days. Fallen trees block roads and railway lines in
many parts of the country and dozens of people were rescued from their
flooded homes.

Czech army lost capacity to fulfill its commitments, says new chief of

The Czech military has lost capacity to perform tasks arising from its
international commitments and treaties, the army's new chief of staff,
Petr Pavel told the daily Mlada fronta Dnes on Saturday. General Pavel
said either the army will have to restructure, get more funds from the
state budget or re-define its role. The new chief of staff also said
that under his command, the army would be more open in expressing its
views and recommendations. Lieutenant General Petr Pavel assumed the
post of the army's chief of staff last month when he replaced Vlastimil
Picek. He served in the UN peace-keeping force in the Balkans and
commanded a Czech special operations unit before becoming deputy chief
of staff in 2011.

Karlovy Vary film festival concludes with awards ceremony

The 47th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
concludes on Saturday with an awards ceremony at the Thermal Hotel. The
Crystal Globe awards will be handed to the creators of the winning film
and the winners of individual categories. US actress Susan Sarandon is
set to receive an award for her contribution to world cinema. More then
11,000 people attended the festival which offered over 200 movies, 23
of them in world premieres. The news agency CTK reported on Saturday
many critics and guests at the festival were disappointed with the main
competition this year which included films with brutal and naturalist
scenes better suited for an independent film event.

Prague authorities to re-test cab drivers

Prague authorities are planning to re-examine all taxi drivers in their
knowledge of the capital next year, the CTK news agency reported on
Saturday quoting draft legislation. Cab drivers with valid licenses
will also have to pass the tests as the validity of their certification
will be cut short by the bill. The planed move has been criticized by
the city's taxi drivers association which says the new legislation will
do nothing to limit the numbers of illegal drivers.

Man shoots two people before killing himself

A 56-year-old man shot a 45-year-old woman and her 26-year old son in
Trinec, in the northeast of the country, on Friday night, a spokesman
for the regional police force said. The wounded man died in hospital
while the attacker committed suicide. The police said it was not clear
what triggered the incident; the 56-year-old shooter reportedly entered
an apartment and opened fire at his victims, chasing them into the
street where he later shot himself.


The next few days will be mostly overcast with some sunny spells. Rain
showers and storms are again expected to hit the country in late
afternoon or night. Daytime highs should range between 27 and 31
degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Science Journal 7.7.2012

In this edition of Science Journal, two interviews with Czech
scientists who have recently published two very different articles in
the prestigious American journal Nature, one mapping biodiversity
mathematically, and one fighting HIV.
Olga Wallo: a Bohemian tale

In Czech Books this week, David Vaughan meets the poet and novelist,
Olga Wallo. In recent years she has become something of a literary
phenomenon in the Czech Republic, even though she was over fifty when
her first novel was published in 1998. Prior to that, she was better
known as a translator and dubbing director, a career which she
describes as a form of "inner emigration" from communism. Her novels
are strongly autobiographical and Vaclav Havel has described them as a
way of "tracing the path which our nation travelled not so long ago."
Perestroika passes Czechoslovakia by

When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union, it heralded a
revolution in Soviet-American relations. At a series of high-profile
summits, beginning in Geneva in 1985, a growing personal trust
developed between the Soviet and American leaders. Here is President
Reagan - from the Czech Radio archives - in Moscow on June 1 1988:

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