Saturday, October 13, 2012

News 10.13.2012

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

News Saturday, October 13th, 2012

By: Ian Willoughby

* After the counting of three-quarters of votes in regional elections,
the Social Democrats are ahead in 10 of the 13 regions being contested.

* The Czech prime minister has said the regional elections were a
marked success for left-wing parties and a defeat for the right.

* The great Czech animator Bretislav Pojar has died at the age of 89.

* Franciscan monks killed by a mob in the 17th century have been
beatified in Prague.

* Tomas Berdych has lost in the semi-finals of tennis's Shanghai

Social Democrats ahead in regional elections but set to lose power in
three regions

After the counting of three-quarters of votes in regional elections in
the Czech Republic, the opposition Social Democrats are ahead in 10 of
the 13 regions being contested. The Civic Democrats, who head the
right-of-centre Czech government, are so far topping the polls in one
region, as are the Mayors for Liberec Region group and the Communist
Party. Prior to the weekend's elections, the Social Democrats held
power in all 13 regions. Prague is the only region where voting has not
taken place. Voter turnout reached 35.6 percent.

In terms of national breakdown per party with three-quarters of votes
counted, the Social Democrats had received 24.2, the Communists 20.9
percent, the Civic Democrats 11.9 percent, the Christian Democrats 9.8
percent and TOP 09 6.3 percent.

Elections have also been held for one third of the seats in the Czech
Senate. The Social Democrats are hoping to make up ground in the upper
chamber, where they would enjoy an absolute majority if they capture
three more seats. Constituencies in which no candidate receives more
than 50 percent will see run-off votes between the two leading
candidates next weekend.

PM Necas: failure of right due to government reforms

The Czech prime minister, Petr Necas, has said the regional elections
were a marked success for the Czech Republic's left-wing parties and a
defeat for the right. He told reporters that the results had resulted
from necessary government reforms, which have included a raft of
austerity measures. Mr. Necas conceded that the poor showing of his
Civic Democrats could also reflect internal divisions within the party.

Czech animator Bretislav Pojar dies at 89

The great Czech animator Bretislav Pojar died on Friday at the age of
89. In a career stretching back to the late 1940s, Mr. Pojar wrote and
directed many short films in the puppet animation and stop motion
animation styles. He emigrated to Canada in the 1960s, where his work
for the Canadian Film Board won numerous awards. Those prizes included
a Best Short Film Award at Cannes in 1972 for Balablok, which satirised
armed conflict.

Monks murdered by 17th century mob beatified in Prague

A group of Franciscan monks who were killed by a Prague mob in the 17th
century were beatified in a ceremony at the city's St. Vitus' Cathedral
on Saturday. The beatification - the first to take place in the Prague
archdioceses, according to a representative of the Roman Catholic
Church - accompanied a mass celebrated by the Vatican-based Cardinal
Angelo Amato. Fourteen Franciscans were put to death at a Prague
monastery in 1611 after the city's inhabitants suspected them of
collaborating with an invading army. The head of the Czech Roman
Catholic Church, Archbishop Dominik Duka, said the killings had arisen
as the result of a moral crisis in Europe and could therefore serve as
a warning today.

Man dies after setting himself on fire at court

A man who set himself on fire on Friday on the steps of the court in
the central Bohemian town of Litomerice has died. The man, who was 57,
was transported by helicopter to the burns unit at a hospital in
Prague's Vinohrady district but succumbed to his injuries in the early
hours of Saturday, a hospital spokesperson said. A police investigation
is underway but no motive for the self-immolation is yet known.

Berdych loses to Djokovic in Shanghai semi-final

Tomas Berdych has been beaten by Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of
tennis's Shanghai Masters. The Czech men's number one lost 3-6 4-6 to
the Serb, who has defeated Berdych in 10 of their 11 meetings to date.
However, reaching the semi-finals in Shanghai for the first time could
help the Czech - who is ranked seventh in the world - earn a berth at
the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Bilek backs Peckhart to score more after debut strike in 14th appearance

The manager of the Czech national soccer team, Michal Bilek, says he
hopes forward Tomas Peckhart will continue to impress are finally
getting his first goal in a 3:1 win over Malta in a World Cup qualifier
on Friday night. It was the 14th international appearance by the tall
Nuremberg striker, who is 23. Bilek told reporters he believed Peckhart
would now hit the net more often, adding that a weight had clearly
fallen from the player's shoulders after his debut strike. Theodor
Gebre Selassie and Jan Rezek also scored in Friday's game, which left
the Czechs third in Group B behind Italy and Bulgaria, who they face in
Prague on Tuesday.


There should be a good deal of sunshine in the Czech Republic in the
coming days, but some places will see rain. Temperatures are expected
to reach a maximum of 15 or 16 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Pavol Rankov: a Slovak novelist found by Czechs in translation

When the Slovak writer Pavol Rankov published his novel "It Happened on
September the First (or Whenever)" in 2009, it came just after the
Slovak national football team had beaten the Czech Republic. In an
enthusiastic review, one Czech critic suggested that the same had now
happened in literature and that the Rankov's literary achievement had
put his Czech contemporaries to shame. When the author came to Prague
earlier this week, David Vaughan took the opportunity to talk to him
about a remarkable novel that speaks volumes about a part of the world
that has seen too much history.
Foreign capital reaches post-revolution Czechoslovakia

With the fall of communism, it was not long before foreign investors
began taking an interest in Czechoslovakia. This ranged from huge
industrial multinationals to young college graduates, who arrived in
Prague with backpacks in the early 1990s, and happened to spot a
business opportunity. Many burned their fingers; some made a quick buck
and disappeared, and others settled down and stayed here for good. In
1991, Radio Prague interviewed a few of these pioneering investors.
Magazine 13.10.2012

In Magazine: a street prostitute looking for clients unwittinglyy stops
a police car, the Czech Pirate Party unveils a statue representing
corruption, and Czech glass masters have produced a breath-taking
life-size dress designed by Bianca Matragi.

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