Saturday, November 10, 2012

News 11.10.2012

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

News Saturday, November 10th, 2012

By: Jan Velinger

* An amateur rally in the Czech Republic ended in tragedy on Saturday
after a car lost control and crashed into onlookers.

* The Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra has said that the
militaries of NATO countries should cooperate more in the future.

* Lawyers for Czech lobbyist and businessman Roman Janousek say they
have signed a settlement with the victim of a hit-and-run he caused in

* Two foreigners have been caught attempting to smuggle cocaine into
the country.

* Zlin and Russia's Yaroslavl have signed an agreement on future
cooperation in key areas.

Amateur rally ends in tragedy

Four people were killed in an amateur automobile race in the Slovacko
area in the Czech Republic on Saturday. At around two pm near the
village of Lopenik - in a race known as RallyShow Uhersky Brod - one of
the cars in the race flew off the road and hit a tree before being
deflected into onlookers. One of those killed was a child. Police and
fire fighters have sent experts to the scene to provide post-trauma
counselling. The tragedy, which echoes a similar incident in the Barum
Rally at the beginning of September which saw one fatality, is being

Defence minister: NATO armies must cooperate more in future

The militaries of NATO member countries should cooperate more after the
ISAF mission ends in Afghanistan in 2014, Czech Defence Minister
Alexandr Vondra told the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Prague on
Saturday. He stressed that member countries must not give up their own
defence at the time of financial cuts. Deeper cooperation would help
NATO members retain their military capabilities, he added. The
three-day session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which is a
counselling body, began Friday. Committees consisting of delegates from
the parliaments of allied countries are discussing current security
challenges and international affairs.

Janousek lawyers, hit-and-run victim, reach settlement

Lawyers for Czech lobbyist and businessman Roman Janousek say they have
signed a settlement with the victim of a hit-and-run caused by their
client in March. Although no amount has been disclosed, the settlement
is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of crowns: several
times more the damages assessed by the victim's physicians. In March,
Mr Janousek struck the victim - a 51-year-old woman - in Prague as he
attempted to drive away from the scene of a minor accident he had
caused moments earlier. Police determined he had been drinking behind
the wheel. If found guilty, Mr Janousek faces up to 10 years in jail;
the settlement could influence the severity of the sentence.

Eighteen-year-olds arrested for cocaine smuggling

Customs officials have revealed they arrested two 18-year-old
foreigners this week attempting to smuggle roughly eight kilos of
cocaine into the Czech Republic. Jiri Bartak, the spokesman for the
Customs Administration's central office, revealed the amount the young
women were smuggling had been estimated at around 12 million crowns in
street value, with one gram selling for 1,500. The suspects, from
Iceland, flew from Brazil through Germany and hid the cocaine in hollow
parts of their luggage and smaller cases, the spokesman confirmed.

Region of Zlin and Yaroslavl oblast sign cooperation agreement

The region of Zlin, south Moravia, represented by Governor Stanislav
Misak and the governor of the Yaroslavl oblast in Russia, Sergei
Yastrebov, signed an agreement on Friday promising close cooperation in
the future. The move coincided with a memorial hockey game between Zlin
and Yaroslavl honouring members of the team and others killed in last
year's Lokomotiv Jaroslavl air disaster. The crash claimed the lives of
44 people, including three Czech players. One of them, Karel Rachunek,
was a Zlin native. Areas where the regions of Zlin and Yaroslavl could
cooperate in the future include tourism, the spa business, agriculture,
industry, and job creation.

Klaus gives lecture on academic soil questioning wisdom of further EU

Czech President Vaclav Klaus reiterated his stance on the European
Union and further integration on Friday in a lecture at the Institute
of Chemical Technology in Prague. In a hall packed with students, the
president, relishing the chance to speak on academic soil, criticised
this year's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU, arguing the
reasoning behind cause-and-effect was faulty. In his view the EU exists
because there is peace in Europe and not because it was a guarantor of
it. Mr Klaus, long opposed to further EU integration, argued that
further integration was no guarantee of greater economic prosperity,
calling it a "dead end". Mr Klaus steps down as Czech president next
March; 11 candidates will face off in a first round in the country's
direct presidential election in January.

Textile fire at dump site being monitored by fire fighters

Fire fighters are keeping a close eye on a blaze that broke out at a
dumpsite in the region of Liberec, north Bohemia, preventing it from
spreading to similar nearby facilities. Burning in a sheet metal hall
are between 2,500 to 3,000 tonnes of textiles thought to originally
have been from Germany. Experts estimate that it will take two or three
days for the fire to run its course. The fire broke out on Friday
afternoon and spread rapidly throughout the hall, the mayor of Bulovka,
the village hosting the dumpsite, confirmed. The mayor refused to
speculate whether the fire had been set intentionally. The hall is 60
by 20 metres; textiles inside are piled five or six metres high.
According to experts the temperature inside is over 1000 degrees


Partly cloudy skies with sunny periods are expected at the start of the
weekend; daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 8 degrees

Articles posted on today
Alex Zucker: the challenge of making translations visible

We have featured plenty of contemporary Czech novelists in this
programme over the last decade, but we should spare a thought for their
translators, patiently working at home alone, struggling at a craft
every bit as challenging as alchemy. In Czech Books this week, David
Vaughan talks to a translator who has done more than any other to bring
the middle and younger generation of Czech novelists to
English-speaking readers.
Magazine 10.11.2012

A miniature copy of the wax heart made in remembrance of the late
Vaclav Havel is to be donated to the Czech-American community in
Chicago; a Czech police officer is caught smuggling turtles from Hong
Kong to the Czech Republic and, somewhat unusual garden architecture
with a Soviet armoured vehicle in the front line. Find out more in
Neighbours in a foreign country: a new border divides villages in two

After the split of Czechoslovakia at the beginning of 1993, Radio
Prague devoted several programmes to the impact of the new border on
ordinary people's lives. For most, life stayed much the same, but the
split did have a very real impact on people living close to the border,
and on Czechs living in Slovakia or vice versa. Here is one Slovak
student, settled in the Czech Republic, talking to Radio Prague a few
months after the split:

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