Friday, August 31, 2012

News 8.31.2012

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

News Friday, August 31st, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* The Czech Air Force has officially taken over the NATO Baltic
air-policing mission.

* Czech police have broken up a major international ring of document

* A court in Brno has handed out record compensation for the 2006 death
of a woman during delivery.

* In football, Plzen has been drawn against Atletico Madrid while
Sparta Prague against Olympic Lyonnais in the group stage of UEFA
Europa League.

Czech Air Force takes over Baltic airspace policing

The Czech Air Force has officially taken over the NATO Baltic
air-policing mission. The commander of the Czech contingent
symbolically took over the mission from Poland at a ceremony at the
Siaulia airbase in Lithuania on Friday. The Gripen fighters of the
Czech Air Force will start policing the Baltic airspace on Saturday.
Their mission will last four months. This is the second time Czech
pilots are guarding the airspace of the three Baltic countries -
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - who lack their own air forces. Czechs
were first deployed there in 2009.

Police breaks up international gang of document forgers

Czech police have broken up a major international ring of document
forgers which was based in Prague and Brno but operated in several
other European countries, a spokesman for the organized crime unit of
the Czech police force said on Friday. Seventeen people including one
Czech citizen were arrested during police raids over the last week. The
gang was headed by five Albanian and Bulgarian men with permanent
residency in the Czech Republic. They forged Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian,
Belgian, Dutch, Finnish and Danish passports, IDs and driving licences,
as well as those of various post-Soviet states.

The police said the gang had gained control of the European black
market for forged documents over the last decade as its counterfeits
could not really be detected during ordinary checks. If convicted, gang
members face up to 10 years in prison.

Deputy PM drops objections to new police chief

Deputy prime minister, and leader of the coalition LIDEM party,
Karolina Peake, on Friday dropped her objections to the new head of
Czech police. After meeting the new police boss, Martin Cervicek, Ms
Peake said she considered his appoinetment " a done deal". Earlier this
week, Karolina Peake threatend to withdraw her groups's support for
some key government bill in retaliation for the dismissal of Mr
Cervicek's predecessor in the post of the police cheif.

Four Prague-Frankfurt flights cancelled due to Lufthansa strike

Four Lufthansa flights between Prague and Frankfurt were cancelled on
Friday due to a strike by the German carrier's cabin staff. The strike
began at 5 AM and lasted for eight hours. The four cancelled flights
included two Prague-bound flights arriving at 9:05 and 11:25, and two
Frankfurt-bound connections leaving at 9:50 and 12:10, a spokeswoman
for Prague airport said. Lufthansa cancelled over 200 flights due to
the strike.

Brno court hands out record compensation for woman's death during

A court in Brno on Friday ordered a hospital in Trebic to pay record
compensation of 3.5 million crowns to the husband and children of a
36-year-old woman who died there in 2006 during the delivery of her
third child. The court upheld a review of the case by the Health
Ministry which said the woman died of internal bleeding the doctors
failed to notice. Criminal proceedings against the doctors had been
dropped but the judge said on Friday that based on the new verdict,
charges against the maternity ward's head doctor might be raised again.

Prague transit authority informs of major changes

Prague transit authority sent out dozens of staffers to the streets of
the capital on Friday to inform travellers of major changes to the
transportation system, a day before they come into effect. The
city-owned company will cut several tram and bus lines, move some
transfer points and introduce cross-city bus lines. The authority plans
to save up to 400 million crowns through the makeover which has however
come under heavy criticism from the public and a number of NGOs.

Prices of baked goods to increase due to poor harvest

The associations of Czech millers and bakers on Friday warned that this
year's poor wheat harvest would increase the prices of bread and other
baked products. The wheat harvest is expected to be some 20 percent
lower this year due to long periods of drought; that means that one ton
will sell at 6,500 crowns, some 30 percent more than in the first half
of this year. It's not clear by how much the prices of bread will
increase as bakers' associations will hold talks with supermarket
chains in the coming months; however, bakers say their costs have risen
by 20 percent this year due to increased prices of fuel, energy and

Pilsner to raise prices

The biggest Czech beer producer Pilsner Urquell will raise prices of
their world-famous brew on average by three percent, starting 1
October, the brewery announced Friday. The increase is due to the
rising prices of ingredients. The price hikes will apply to a large
part of the company's portfolio, mainly bottled beer. However, it will
exclude the 50-litre barrels of the popular Gambrinus and Radegast
brands to boost dropping beer sales in pubs and bars. Other Czech
breweries are reportedly not considering any immediate price hikes but
said they could not rule out a similar move.

Brno police fine "rooftop driver"

Police in Brno on Thursday night fined a man who was steering his car
with his legs through the sun roof while sitting on top of the car. The
21-year-old man, accompanied by two friends, was driving his car on the
parking lot outside one of the local supermarkets. When police arrived
at the scene and flagged him down, the driver tried to get back into
his seat but crashed into the police car in the process, a police
spokeswoman said. The young man was not under the influence of alcohol
or drugs. The police handed him a fine of 2,000 crowns, or around 100
US dollars, and instructed him about road traffic rules, the
spokeswoman added.

Football: Sparta Prague, Plzen drawn opponents in Europa League group

In football, last season's Czech runners-up Sparta Prague was drawn on
Friday against Olympic Lyonnais of France, Spain's Athletic Bilbao and
the reigning Israeli champions Kiryat Shmona in Group I of Europa
League. The other Czech club which reached the group stage of the
competition, Viktoria Plzen will play last year's Europa League
champions Atletico Madrid, the Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv and
Academica Coimbra of Portugal in Group B. The first matches of the
group stage are schedules for September 20.


The weekend will be mostly cloudy with rain showers. Daytime highs
should range between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Business News 31.8.2012

This week in business news: the government's economic advisory council
says state institutions are not being frugal enough; fuel prices are
breaking high records for the second week in a row; a Czech company
will build wind generators in Pakistan; hops harvest this year is
drastically lower than usual; and the two main Krkonose ski resorts
will now be run by private companies.
Muffs and veils - Hollar's original take on the Four Seasons

Born in Prague, he lived in Brussels, Stuttgart, Cologne, and later
London and Antwerp, meticulously recording his surroundings and
reflecting the society around him in his art. Vaclav or Wenceslaus, or
even Wenzel, Hollar sounds like a modern-day European artist, but he
actually lived four hundred years ago. Although he was brought up to go
into law, Hollar became an etcher and draughtsman, whose work now
provides us with beautifully detailed depictions of the people,
architecture, landscapes and even a battle that took place in Europe in
the seventeenth century. This week, the Czech National Gallery opened a
small exhibit in the print room of the Schwarzenberg Palace of Hollar's
allegorical etchings of the Four Seasons. I spoke to the exhibit's
curator Alena Volrabova, and asked her why she selected these specific
pieces for the exhibit:
Czech paralymic athletes start their medal campaign in the London 2012

This week a spectacular opening ceremony heralded the beginning of the
2012 Paralympic games in London with the themes of enlightenment and
diversity. Czechs are being represented at the games by 52 athletes
competing across many traditional events like athletics and swimming,
but will also be appearing in paralympics-only sports such as Boccia.

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