Thursday, August 30, 2012

News 8.30.2012

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

News Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* At a meeting with police union leaders, the new head of Czech police
promised to increase the force's budget by 700 million crowns.

* The prime minister has urged coalition parties not to withdraw their
support for the government's key bills over the dismissal of the police

* A top Czech court has ordered a man from Olomouc to serve the rest of
his prison sentence for defacing political campaign posters.

* Price of fuel at Czech gas stations hit a new high.

* Czech hockey player Frantisek Kaberle, a five-time world champion and
a Stanley Cup winner, has ended his career.

New police president promises to increase police budget

At a meeting with police union leaders on Thursday, the new head of
Czech police, Martin Cervicek, promised to increase next year's budget
of the police force by 700 million crowns. Police unions objected
Wednesday's decision by the interior minister to sack Mr Cervicek's
predecessor, Petr Lessy. Interior Minister Jan Kubice dismissed Petr
Lessy after criminal charges of libel and abuse of authority were
filled against him. After Thursday's meeting with the new police boss,
union leaders said it was a good start for future co-operation.

PM Necas urges coalition parties to stand behind government legislation

Prime Minister Petr Necas on Thursday urged coalition parties not to
withdraw their support for the government's key bills over the
dismissal of the police president. The warning came after deputy prime
minister, and head of the LIDEM party, Karolina Peake, called for a
meeting of coalition leaders over Wednesday's dismissal of police
president Petr Lessy which she said complicated matters within the
coalition. The lower house is set to vote next week on two crucial
government bills on the restitution of church property and raising the
VAT rates. Prime Minister Necas said the issues were not related and
warned the government would fall if its reform legislation is rejected.

Court orders man to serve sentence for defacing campaign posters

The Czech Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a complaint by the justice
minister and ordered Roman Smetana to serve the rest of his prison
sentence. Mr Smetana, then a bus driver in Olomouc, was sentenced in
2011 for defacing political campaign posters of several political
parties; he was sentenced to pay the damages and do 100 hours of
community service. While he complied with the former, he rejected the
latter and was therefore ordered to serve 100 days in prison. He spent
some 30 days in jail before then-justice Minister Jiri Pospisil filed a
compliant in his favour. However, the Supreme Court said on Thursday
the complaint was unjustified.

One in seven Czechs understand pension reform

Only 14 percent of Czechs understand the basic principles of the
pension reform, according to a survey by the STEM/MARK agency released
on Thursday. 70 percent of those polled said they did not know the
rules for joining the so-called second pillar of the system, which
means they would pay part of the pension tax to private funds. The
government's pension reform will allow those under the age of 35 to
join the second pillar beginning in 2013; those aged 35 and over will
only have a chance to join the programme in the first six months of
that year.

Court buildings in Usti nad Labem evacuated over bomb threat

Police evacuated two court buildings in Usti nad Labem in the north of
the country on Thursday after an anonymous bomb threat. The police
received a phone call alerting them of the threat at 8 AM; a male voice
said the explosive will go off at 10. The police searched the buildings
and found no suspicious objects, a police spokeswoman said. Hundreds of
people had to leave the buildings of the regional and district courts;
the authorities also temporarily closed a nearby bridge over the Labe
River. The police are now searching for the caller who faces up to five
years in prison.

Fuel prices hit new high

The prices of fuel at Czech gas stations hit a record high last week
when a litre of gasoline Natural 95 sold at an average price of 38.17
crowns, 13 hellers more than the previous week, according to the latest
figures by the CCS firm released on Thursday. The prices of diesel also
reached a new high of 37.17 crowns per litre. The firm said however
that many gas stations sold fuel at prices of over 40 crowns per litre.
Analysts believe the surge in fuel prices had been caused by rising
prices of oil on world markets as well as the weakening Czech crown to
the dollar.

Czech firm to build wind farms in Pakistan

Czech firm Wikov Wind has signed a two-billion-crown deal to build wind
farms in the Sindh province of Pakistan, the news agency CTK reported
quoting the Pakistani publication Business Recorder. The firm signed
the deal with the provincial government; the construction of 25 wind
generators that will produce 50 megawatts of power, should begin in
January 2013 and conclude by the end of that year.

Riot police break up out-of-control Facebook party

Riot police were called in to break up a house party organised on
Facebook in the north-eastern town of Orlova on Wednesday night after
hundreds of people showed up. When neighbours alerted the police over
noise and public disorder in the street, the woman who advertised the
party said that it had got out of control; however, dozens of people
attacked the police officers and a riot squad had to be called in to
disperse the party-goers. Five officers were injured in the incident
while five people were arrested, a police spokeswoman said.

Hockey defenceman Frantisek Kaberle ends career

Czech hockey player Frantisek Kaberle, a five-time world champion and a
Stanley Cup winner, has ended his career. The 38-year-old defenceman,
who in the last season played for HC Plzen in the Czech top division,
said a series of minor injuries prevented him from getting fully into
training. In the NHL, Kaberle played for the Atlanta Thrashers, the Los
Angeles Kings and the Carolina Hurricanes with whom he won the Stanley
Cup before returning to the Czech Republic in 2009. As part of the
Czech national team, Frantisek Kaberle also won a bronze medal at the
2006 winter Olympics in Torino.

Press: skier Zahrobska back in training after brain surgery

The condition of Czech skier Sarka Zahrobska, who in July underwent
surgery to remove a brain tumour, has improved, according to a report
by the gossip website The website said the 27-year-old skiing
champion had resumed training and could be fit in time for the new
season. Her agent said they were awaiting the latest test results.
Sarka Zahrobska is scheduled to appear at a news conference on Saturday.

US Open: Kvitova advances to third round

The fifth seed at the US Open, Petra Kvitova, has advanced to the third
round. The left-handed Czech player, who is the only female player to
reach three Grand Slam quarterfinals so far this year, was able to
overpower France's Alize Cornet in straight sets. The final score was
6:4, 6:3. Kvitova, last year's Wimbledon and WTA Championships winner,
will next face another French player Pauline Parmentier.


The current warm and sunny conditions are expected to deteriorate
towards the end of the week, with rain setting in on Friday. Daytime
highs should not exceed 20 degrees Celsius in the coming days.

Articles posted on today
Celebrity chef laments current Czech food culture

In his weekly TV show "Ano, sefe!" or "Yes, Boss!," Zdenek Pohlreich
sets restaurant owners straight. Some might say he is the closest
equivalent that the Czech Republic has to Gordon Ramsay. And the Czech
celebrity chef has some authority on the topic: he started cooking in
1975, then left the country shortly after the Velvet Revolution and
spent some time working abroad. Since returning home, he has applied
what he calls "the Western standard of cooking and service" to a number
of restaurants around Prague. Zdenek Pohlreich's current operation is
the restaurant in the city's famous Hotel Imperial, where he talked
about why so many restaurants fail at producing decent food.
Former police president says he will be vindicated of charges

Shockwaves have continued to reverberate across the Czech political
scene over the unexpected firing of police president Petr Lessy. On
Wednesday, the police official was relieved of duty with unusual speed
after he was charged with libel and abuse of public office. The
opposition slammed the step as an assault on the independence of the
Patient survives six months without heart

A patient in the Czech Republic has become the first person in the
world to survive for nearly six months without a heart. The patient, a
37-year firefighter, had a malignant tumor that allowed immediate
transplantation as the only alternative. When a donor was not found in
time, his heart was replaced by two mechanical pumps.

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