Saturday, August 11, 2012

News 8.11.2012

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

News Saturday, August 11th, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* The Czech Republic is set to host a major exercise of NATO's air

* The Christian Democrats are considering changing their name to
attract more voters.

* Hundreds of people came on Saturday to see the underground of the
Plasy monastery in western Bohemia.

* The city of Prague is staging a flood drill on Saturday, the 10th
anniversary of the devastating 2002 floods.

* David Svoboda is first ahead of the final event of modern pentathlon
at the London Olympics.

Czech Republic to host NATO air force exercise

The Czech Republic will in early September host a major exercise of
NATO's air forces, a spokeswoman for the Czech Ministry of Defence said
on Saturday. The air forces of 17 NATO member states will take part in
the exercise which will under command of NATO headquarters in Ramstein,
Germany. The planes including A-10 and F-16 of the US Air Force will be
based at the Czech Air Force base in Namest nad Oslavou. The ministry
spokeswoman said the event will be NATO's only air force exercise this

Prague stages flood drill

Ten years after devastating floods hit Prague, authorities in the Czech
capital are staging a flood drill on Saturday. Firefighters, soldiers
and volunteers began erecting anti-flood barriers on the right bank of
the Vltava River in central Prague which has been closed for traffic.
Barriers were also erected outside some metro stations in Prague's Old
Town. The authorities are testing new pumps which should get water out
of local wells. People can also take part in the drill; on the Zofin
island, they can join contests in building barriers. The drill will end
by Saturday night.

Christian Democrats to change party name

Leaders of the Czech Republic's Christian Democrats are considering
changing the party's name to attract more voters, the daily Pravo
reported on Saturday. Party chair Pavel Belobradek, told the daily
there were eight or ten alternatives to the group's official name -
Christian and Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party. One of them
was to drop the word Christian to attract more voters, or just using
the name People's Party, as it was known before 1989. The changes will
be discussed and implemented at a Christian Democrat congress in

Founded in 1919, the Christian Democrats are one the oldest Czech
parties. They were part of coalition government before the war, during
communism and after 1989. In the last general elections in 2012 the
party won no seats in the lower house but recent polls suggest they
might again reach Parliament.

Girl dies in northern Bohemia car crash

A 17-year-old girl died in a car crash near Trutnov, in northern
Bohemia, in the early hours of Saturday. Police said the car, in which
the victim was travelling, was probably going to fast, swayed off the
road in a curve and hit a slope. The 19-year-old driver and another
passenger on the front seat, aged 18, suffered light injuries in the
accident. The police said the girl was probably not wearing a seatbelt.

Hundreds come to see Plasy monastery underground

Hundreds of people came on Saturday to explore the underground passages
of the Plasy monastery near Plzen, in western Bohemia. The underground
air and water supply system, which is not normally closed for the
public, was built in the 18th century, and is a unique technical
monument in the country. The Baroque monastery of the Cistercian order
was erected on marshland; its architect, Jan Blazej Santini used
thousand of wooden poles to strengthen the building's foundations.

Football: Czech teams drawn opponents for Europa League's final
qualification round

Three Czech football teams have been drawn opponents for Europa
League's final qualification round. Sparta Prague will play
Netherland's Feyernoord Rotterdam, Viktoria Plzen will face KSC Lokeren
from Belgium while Czech champions Liberec who failed to qualify for
the Champions League are set to play Ukraine's Dnepropetrovsk. The
first leg of the play-offs is scheduled for August 23, the second a
week later.

Olympics: David Svoboda first ahead of modern pentathlon final event

Czech athlete David Svoboda is ranked first ahead of the final event of
men's modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games. Svoboda won the first
event, shooting, and in fencing he equalized the Olympic record. He was
on second place after swimming but moved back to top after
show-jumping. The remaining event, a cross-country run, is scheduled
for later on Saturday.


The weekend will be mostly overcast but should clear up later on
Sunday. Daytime highs are expecting to range between 17 and 21 degrees

Articles posted on today
The revolution begins

November 17 1989 did not begin dramatically. It was the fiftieth
anniversary of the execution of nine Prague students who had led
protests in 1939 against the German occupation. Various officially
sanctioned commemorations were taking place and the centre of Prague
was filled with students.
The US failed to counter communist threat in post-war Prague, says
historian Igor Lukes in his new book

Immediately after the end of the Second World War, Czechoslovakia
became a testing ground in the contest between democracy and communist
one-party rule. In Prague, the United States was hoping to challenge
Stalin's aim of including the country within the Soviet empire by
supporting Czech and Slovak democrats in their uneven struggle against
the communists. In his new book entitled On the Edge of Cold War -
American Diplomats and Spies in Post-war Prague, Boston University
professor of history Igor Lukes explores the US efforts to counter the
communist offensive in Czechoslovakia, and arrives at the conclusion
that the half-hearted and even amateurish attempts by US diplomats in
Prague were doomed to fail.

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