Wednesday, August 8, 2012

News 8.8.2012

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

News Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

By: Christian Falvey

* Anti-corruption police raided the offices of the state CzechInvest
agency in Prague

* Authorities report a sharp rise in drug tourism on the Czech-German
border.

* The outgoing ambassador to NATO has warned against continued
decreasing of military expenditures in the Czech Republic and other
NATO countries

* The percentage of Roma children in schools for the mentally impaired
has declined in the last two years, according to the Czech School
Inspectorate.

* Unemployment in the Czech Republic grew to 8.3% in July from 8.1% in
June.



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Police raid state CzechInvest agency
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Anti-corruption police raided the offices of the state CzechInvest
agency in Prague on Wednesday. The reason for the raid is not yet
known; police and CzechInvest officials were unable to comment as the
investigation is ongoing. According to the Czech Press Agency, the
company's electronic systems were taken offline and employees were sent
home. A press release made by the Social Democratic Party in July
accused the company's director of trying to quietly privatise one of
its main functions, which is to manage European grants and draw
investors into the country. CzechInvest denied the allegation.


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Drug tourism on the rise on Czech-German border
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The authorities report a sharp rise in drug tourism on the Czech-German
border. According to Bavarian police an increasing number of Germans
have been travelling to the Czech border areas to buy drugs from
Vietnamese dealers, mainly the methamphetamine-based drug pervitin and
marihuana. While in 2010 Bavarian police detained 183 people with drugs
they had bought in the Czech border areas last year their number rose
to 553. The police say that while initially people bought small amounts
for their own use they now suspect that a distribution network is being
created with an ever greater amount of drugs being smuggled to Germany.


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Czech NATO envoys warn against decreasing defence spending
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The outgoing ambassador to NATO and his successor have strongly warned
against continued decreasing of military expenditures in the Czech
Republic and other NATO countries. In an interview for the Czech Press
Agency Martin Povejsil said he considers the situation very serious and
that the allies would be faced with a real danger if member states
continue to decrease their spending. Jiri Sedivy, who will assume the
post in September, said the Czech Republic will have to offer other
quality ways of participating in NATO activities if spending on defence
continues to decrease and the presence in Afghanistan is reduced. NATO
recommends its member states to spend about 2 percent of their GDP on
defence. Military spending in the Czech Republic last year, for
instance, amounted to only 1.15 percent of GDP.


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Army to lower number of officers in HQ
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Deputy Defence Minister Jiri Sedivy also told the Czech Press Agency on
Wednesday that the Czech military would be lowering the number of
officers at its headquarters, including the General Staff, in order to
slim down the command structure. The first rule of the restructuring,
he said, was that it not affect combat units. Civilian employees will
also be dismissed within the scope of restructuring the Defence
Ministry. Sedivy also said that while the number of troops will be
lower, media reports of up to several thousand were exaggerated.


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MP Slegr offers to guarantee Rath in case of bail
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MP Jiri Slegr of the LEV 21 party has offered to guarantee fellow
member David Rath in the event of his being released from prison. Mr
Slegr said he wanted to allow the former governor of Central Bohemia to
be in contact with his children and did not believe that Dr Rath would
leave the country or continue in the crimes for which he is being
prosecuted. David Rath has been in prison since mid-May, when he was
caught receiving a suspected bribe of seven million crowns which police
believe involved rigging tenders for EU-funded projects. Media reports
have suggested he may be eligible for bail in mid-August, though the
police have declined to comment.


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Less Roma children in schools for mentally impaired
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The percentage of Roma children in schools for the mentally impaired
has declined in the last two years, according to the Czech School
Inspectorate. The institute's inspection revealed that Roma children
make up 26.4% of pupils in such programmes, compared to 35% two years
ago. The Czech Republic has faced international criticism for years for
the rate at which Roma are improperly diagnosed with serious learning
disabilities and send to practical, formerly called special, schools.
Since last year parents have had to agree with the placement of their
children in such schools. The government and the ombudsman are planning
to announce further steps to combat the problem in September.


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Unemployment grew to 8.3% in July
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Unemployment in the Czech Republic grew to 8.3% in July from 8.1% in
June. The number of job seekers rose by just over 11,000 to nearly half
a million. According to fresh statistics from the Ministry of Labour
and Social Affairs, the lowest rate of unemployment was in Prague at
3.3% followed by Mlada Boleslav and Plzen; the highest was in the
region of Bruntal in Northern Moravia, where there were 42 job seekers
per open position last month. Unemployment benefits were granted to
18.9% of the unemployed.


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Senate economics committee rejects church restitution bill
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The Senate economics committee has recommended that the upper house
reject the government's proposal for church restitution. The bill will
be voted on next week in the Senate, which is controlled by the
opposition. Should it be rejected, the proposal will head back to the
Chamber of Deputies, where the government will require 101 votes to
overturn the Senate vote. Under the draft legislation, the Czech state
would return some 56 percent of the physical property worth around 75
billion crowns; for the rest, Czech churches and religious societies
would receive some 60 billion crowns in compensation over a period of
30 years.


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Six dozen political groups register for autumn regional elections
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Some six dozen political groups have registered for this autumn's
regional elections. The previous regional elections in 2008 saw 60
groupings, four of which did not run because they failed to meet all
election requirements. The elections will show whether the opposition
Social Democratic Party will be able to maintain its dominance of all
13 of the Czech Republic's regions. Apart from the major political
parties, extra-parliamentary groups like the Party of Citizens�� Rights
of Milos Zeman, Sovereignty of Jana Bobosikova, the Greens, the Pirates
and the far-right Workers�� Party of Social Justice will seek the
support from voters.


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WWII mine set off by tractor
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A mine exploded in a field near Breclav in South Moravia on Wednesday
when it was run over by a tractor. Police said the 47-year-old driver
was mulching his field when the glass and wheels were shattered by the
explosion. He walked away from the blast unharmed, though the machine
itself was badly damaged. The mine is believed to have been laying in
the ground since the Second World War.


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Weather
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Conditions should be partly cloudy to overcast with daytime highs
between 22 and 26o Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/candidates-prepare-for-regional-and-senate-elections.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/volby/urna_zamcenap.jpg
Candidates prepare for regional and Senate elections
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Tuesday marked the final day that candidates could register for
regional and Senate elections this autumn. Candidates will contest 27
seats in the Senate, while others will vie for posts in 13 regional
assemblies.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/candidates-prepare-for-regional-and-senate-elections

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/new-owner-promises-bright-future-for-worlds-largest-pneumatic-post-system.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/r/historie/potrubni_posta6p.jpg
New owner promises bright future for world's largest pneumatic post
system
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The Czech capital boasts many historical monuments but few of its
residents realize it is also home to the world's last preserved
pneumatic post. Using simple laws of physics, messages and small
parcels were shipped though the system of pipes until the network was
severely damaged by the 2002 floods. But now, 125 years since the
Prague pneumatic post was first launched, a Czech businessman promises
to bring it back.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/new-owner-promises-bright-future-for-worlds-largest-pneumatic-post-system

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/marketplace/czech-owner-of-prague-bar-in-london-still-looking-for-true-czech-cocktail-to-serve.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/restaurace/prague_bar_londynp.jpg
Czech owner of Prague Bar in London still looking for true Czech
cocktail to serve
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Excluding the Czech Olympic team and its fans, there are an estimated
50,000 Czechs living in London. Most of them came in search of better -
or better paid - jobs but some have also set up their own businesses.
One of them is Ludek Dvorak, who came to the British capital over a
decade ago from Litvinov, in the north of the Czech Republic, and
opened his own bar. Today, Mr Dvorak runs two bars in London, both
called Prague. One of them is located in the trendy area of Shoreditch,
the other just a few minutes' walk from the Czech Olympic House in
Islington.

http://radio.cz/en/section/marketplace/czech-owner-of-prague-bar-in-london-still-looking-for-true-czech-cocktail-to-serve






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