Friday, August 10, 2012

News 8.10.2012

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

News Friday, August 10th, 2012

By: Dominik Jun

* Tim Robbins is to make a film in Prague about the Velvet Revolution.

* Three people are accused by anti-corruption police over alleged
manipulation of a twenty million crown Education Ministry tender.

* Police president Petr Lessy accuses Interior Minister of
extortion-like methods to force him to resign.

* Authorities in Ostrava have ordered the demolition of a building in
the city's Roma ghetto.

* Czech competitor Barbora Spotakova has won gold in the women's
javelin throw at the Olympic Games.

Customs officials seize 1,000 pairs of counterfeit shoes

Customs officers in the central Czech town of Usti nad Orlici have
confiscated a shipment of 1,000 pairs of counterfeit shoes, designed to
pass off as being from the company Gucci. According to reports, the
losses incurred for such copyright infringement is estimated at 14
million crowns. The shoes were to be imported to a distributor in Brno,
who could now face a fine of up to 100,000 crowns. More than 68,000
pairs of counterfeit brand name shoes have been confiscated in this
region of the Czech Republic this year alone according to CTK.

Tim Robbins to make film about Velvet Revolution

American actor Tim Robbins, star of movies such as "The Shawshank
Redemption" and "The Player" has reached a deal to direct a movie to be
called "Wenceslas Square" about the events of the 1989 revolution that
led to the downfall of communism in Czechoslovakia. The movie, to be
shot in Prague, will reportedly centre around a male CIA agent and a
female agent of the communist secret police known as StB, who is tasked
with attempting to undermine her American counterpart. The film is
based on a 2007 short story of the same name by US author Arthur
Phillips. Casting for the project is set to begin later this year, with
filming taking place in the spring of 2013. This will be the first
fictional movie to directly and centrally dramatise the events of
November 1989.

New poll gives Fischer strong standing in presidential race

A new poll released by the Meridian polling agency gives former
caretaker PM Jan Fischer 34.5% support in the upcoming presidential
elections to succeed Vaclav Klaus. Such a result would virtually
guarantee Fischer progressing to the second round of voting in which
only two people would vie for the public vote, the first of its kind in
Czech history. The poll indicates a small increase in support for
Fischer, while former PM and presidential candidate Milos Zeman is in
second place with 14% followed by 11.5% for Jan Svejnar, who ran
against President Klaus in the 2008 elections, the last to be decided
by parliament rather than the public. The presidential elections will
be held in January 2013.

Three people accused by anti-corruption police over Education Ministry

The Czech anti-corruption police have accused three people, one of whom
is reportedly an employee of the Ministry of Education of seeking to
manipulate a 20 million crown tender at the ministry. The tender, which
has since been halted, is for the installation of a new scientific and
research information system. According to police, the trio sought to
influence the process in order that the current provider of a system
called eProjekty, currently paid via a multi-million crown contract,
was awarded the new tender too. According to Czech Radio's Radiozurnal,
which first broke the story, the Ministry of Education is standing by
the unnamed employee, stating that she could not have singularly
influenced such a tender by herself.

Police president claims pressure from Interior Minister

In an interview with the newspaper Pravo published on Friday, Czech
police president Petr Lessy claimed that Minister of the Interior Jan
Kubice was using extortion-like methods to pressure Lessy to leave his
post. As one such example Lessy claimed that he was being deliberately
denied bonuses equating to around a third of his expected pay. The
conflict between the two officials goes back to the police president's
nomination for the post at the end of 2010, which was supported by
former Interior Minister Radek John but not by current minister Kubice.
Lessy made news recently when he accused Finance Minister Kalousek of
exerting pressure on him in an anti-corruption investigation related to
allegedly overpriced purchases of military hardware by the Ministry of

Authorities order demolition of property in Ostrava ghetto

Authorities in the city of Ostrava have ordered the demolition of one
building in the Privoz district ghetto, home to a community of Roma
recently ordered to vacate the area. The announcement came on Friday
morning with an order for the demolition of house "number 9" - one of
ten in the area and described as in the worst condition - ordered to
take place within 15 days for reasons that the property is in a
dangerous state of disrepair. Last week, local authorities ordered Roma
families in the area to evacuate the ghetto, again ostensibly for
health and safety reasons, although many families have refused to do so.

President Klaus attends mass on Czech-Polish mountain

Czech president Vaclav Klaus attended a mass at noon on Friday on the
1,602m high mountain of Snezka, which borders Poland in the north of
the country. The mass was also attended by hundreds of Czechs and Poles
and is a traditional affair designed to celebrate the name day of the
Czech Catholic St. Lawrence or Vavrinec. Construction of a new
cable-car meant that the 71-year-old president had to undertake the
upper part of the mountain trek on foot.

Spotakova triumphs in women's javelin

Czech competitor Barbora Spotakova has won gold in the women's javelin
throw at the Olympic Games in London. The athlete dominated in the
competition: her longest throw was 69.55 metres but all four of her
attempts were more than any of her nearest rivals could muster.
Spotakova becomes just the third competitor in Czech Olympic history to
defend their title at the Summer Olympics, a feat previously achieved
only by legends Emil Zatopek and Jan Zelezny (Spotakova's couch).
Spotakova won her first gold four years ago in Beijing. The medal
brings the Czech tally at the London games to eight.

Baby foal born at Prague Zoo

A baby horse, or foal, said to be the great-great granddaughter of the
last wild Przewalski or Asian Wild Horse subspecies to roam freely in
the country, was born at Prague Zoo on Friday. The foal was born in the
early hours without zoo staff present. Her mother, Hara, was born in a
German zoo and gave birth to her first offspring a year ago. Prague Zoo
has had Przewalski horses in its care since 1932; it has since returned
two such horses to their ancestral grazing lands in the country of
Mongolia. Staff at the zoo have suggested that if all goes well with
its newest horse, she too could one day return to the wild in Mongolia.

The Czech Republic has eighth fastest average Internet speeds in the

According to a new report published by Akamai, a computer analytics
company measuring Internet connection speeds across the globe, the
Czech Republic now has the eighth fastest Internet connection speeds in
the world (7.1 Mbps). According to the study, the fastest average
speeds are found in South Korea (15.7 Mbps), while the global average
stands at 2.6 Mbps. Also faster than the Czech Republic are Japan, Hong
Kong, Holland, Latvia, Switzerland and Ireland. The report also shows
that Internet speeds in the Czech Republic have increased by about 1
Mbps in the last year.


Cloudy conditions with sunny periods are expected on Friday. Daytime
temperatures should reach highs of around 21 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Business News 10.8.2012

In this week's Business News: new inflation and industrial production
figures are released; the Czech postal service wins top marks in global
efficacy test; unemployment climbs to 8.3%; Finance Ministry seeks to
name and shame VAT avoiders; two supermarket chains fined hundreds of
thousands for poor practices and foreign bidders seek D1 motorway
'13 Chambers' highlights work of Czech Republic's Generation Zero

In this week's Arts my guest is Jana Fantova, the head of komiksfest
which returns in October and the curator of an on-going exhibition at a
19th century chateau in East Bohemia. Entitled 13 Chambers of Comics,
the exhibition highlights works by some of the country's best graphic
novel illustrators and artists.
Social Democrat campaign against church property restitution labelled
"Third Reich propaganda"

A controversial campaign by the opposition Social Democrats directed
against the church property restitution bill has turned into a major
brawl with Czech Catholics and other churches. After church officials
compared it to anti-Semitic and anti-clerical propaganda of the Third
Reich, Social Democrats leaders fought back and called into question
the Catholics' own record from WWII.

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