Monday, November 19, 2012

News 11.19.2012

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

News Monday, November 19th, 2012

By: Jan Velinger

* The Czech foreign minister has said that Israel has a right to defend
itself in conflict.

* The deficit in the state budget should not exceed 100 million crowns,
according to a new proposal submitted by the country's finance minister
Miroslav Kalousek.

* Oncologist Pavel Klener and cardiologist Jan Pirk have been awarded
Ceska hlava prizes for excellence in science and technology.

* Singer Petra Janu will celebrate her 60th birthday on Monday with a
sold-out concert in Prague.

* Tennis player Radek Stepanek has moved up six spots in the ATP ladder
after leading the Czech squad to triumph in this year's Davis Cup.

Foreign minister echoes PM's stance on Israel, right to self defence

The Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, echoed the prime
minister's stance, saying on Monday at a meeting of EU foreign
ministers, maintaining that Israel, had the right to self defence.
Violence has continued to escalate between the Palestinian terirroty of
Gaza and Israel after an Israeli airstrike killed the military leader
of the Palestinian group Hamas. Mr Schwarzenberg expressed the hope
that both sides in the conflict would agree to a ceasefire but said
that if rockets from Gaza against Israel continued that the country had
the right to send in ground troops. More than 80 people have died on
the Palestinian side over the last six days; three Israelis have been

Czech PM discusses situation with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu

In related news, on Sunday, the Czech prime minister, Petr Necas, spoke
over the phone with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, saying
Israel had the right to self defence. The Czech president, Vaclav
Klaus, had been due to begin a four-day state visit to Israel on Sunday
but was forced to cancel the trip in view of the situation. A spokesman
could not confirm last week whether an alternative visit would be

Government to discuss budget

The deficit in the state budget should not exceed 100 million crowns,
according to a new proposal submitted by the country's finance minister
Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09. The budget includes measures aimed at
boosting the economy, including investment in research, transport and
education, which the minister stressed were areas that would not see
austerity cuts.

Overall, however, the state is planning on cutting expenses in the form
of salaries and bonuses next year by 324 million crowns to 128.2. Those
figures remain unchanged from the original draft budget that the
Chamber of Deputies returned to the government. The average gross
monthly pay in the civil service will grow by just 24 crowns to 23,857
crowns next year when the number of civil servants is to decrease by
272, CTK reported. The state will pay a total of 424,818 employees from
the budget in 2013. The government will discuss the budget at its
meeting on Wednesday.

Ceska hlava prizes - recognising excellence in science - awarded

Oncologist and haematologist Pavel Klener, cardiologist Jan Pirk, and
epidemiologist Ervin Adam have received Ceska hlava awards recognising
excellence in science and technology. Mr Klener received the top prize
for a pioneering method of chemotherapy to combat malignant tumours.
The award for Innovation went to Jan Pirk for groundbreaking use of
mechanical pumps capable of replacing the human heart. The pumps, in
cases where there is no other option, buy patients extra time for a
heart transplant. In an operation earlier this year, the system
extended the life of a Czech fire fighter by six months. Epidemiologist
Ervin Adam, who is 90 years old, received the Patria prize for his work
in combating polio.

Methanol kills 64-year-old in Ostrava

Poisoned alcohol has claimed a 36th victim in the Czech Republic, a
64-year-old man who was found dead in his home in the region of
Moravia-Silesia. Twenty-two people in the region have died since
bootleg alcohol containing lethal amounts of methyl was released onto
the Czech market in mid-September. At the weekend, a couple from
Havirov who consumed laced alcohol fell ill and were hospitalised: one
of them, a 48-year-old woman, was in critical condition, but doctors
managed to stabilise the patient. The authorities have repeatedly
warned individuals not to consume hard liquor of unknown origin ie.
bottles lacking new excise stamps.

Education Ministry checks reveal shortcomings in schools' drawing of EU

Dozens of schools in the Czech Republic improperly drew EU funds, the
Education Ministry has found. Cases uncovered will be passed on to
revenue authorities; some schools could required to return millions of
crowns. Education Ministry PR representative Hynek Jordan revealed that
62 cases out of 222 checks so far had shown shortcomings: in all 3,800
schools outside the capital applied for 4.2 billion crowns in funding.
Mistakes made in drawing funds and applying them in related projects so
far amounted to 13.7 million crowns. Forty-three schools are still
being audited.

Suspect killed in police chase

Police in Sumperk have revealed that a car chase in the area ended in a
fatal crash on Saturday. Officers were in pursuit of a 27-year-old
suspect caught trying to break into recreational cottages. Jumping into
his vehicle, the suspect tried to run police over before making his
escape. He was pursued for 36 kilometres, while the police fired shots
to try and get him to stop. The chase ended when the suspect lost
control of the wheel and crashed into a tree. He died on the spot. The
case is still under investigation, a police spokesman said; the General
Inspection of the Security Forces is also looking into the incident.

Petra Janu celebrates 60th birthday

Czech singer Petra Janu will celebrate her 60th birthday with a
sold-out concert at Prague's Lucerna concert hall on Monday. Guests Ota
Petrina, Eva Pilarova and Marta Kubisova have been invited. Petra Janu
has already received best wishes from pop legend Karel Gott who made a
special note of her birthday in his Sunday programme Zpatky si dam
tenhle film on Czech Radio 2 - Praha. Monday's concert will also see
the launch of a new three-disc release entitled Ma pout (My Pilgrimage).

Tennis: Stepanek moves up six spots in ATP rankings

Tennis player Radek Stepanek has moved up six spots in the ATP ladder
after leading the Czech squad to triumph in this year's Davis Cup. The
player finishes his season in 31st spot. On Sunday, Stepanek won the
final and deciding match against Spain's Nicolas Almagro to clinch the
Czechs' first Davis Cup win in 32 years (the first time for the Czech
Republic as an independent state). One Czech daily called Sunday's
success the tennis "equivalent of Nagano" - the Winter Olympics in 1998
where the Czech hockey team won gold.


Mostly cloudy skies are expected over the next several days; daytime
temperatures should reach highs of around 7 degrees on Tuesday.

Articles posted on today
Mark Baker - Prague-based travel writer and journalist

Mark Baker is a travel writer and journalist. He first visited Prague
as a student in 1984 and began living here, after a stint in Vienna, in
the early 1990s. Since then he has written or co-written a number of
guidebooks to the Czech Republic and other countries in the region.
Sports News 19.11.2012

In Sports News this Monday: The Czech men's tennis team scored a famous
victory at the weekend, beating Spain in the final of the Davis Cup to
take the title for the first time as an independent state. The hero of
the hour, veteran Radek Stepanek, says he is "living the dream" and
that the presence at Prague's O2 Arena of the Czechoslovak team that
took the trophy in 1980 made the occasion all the sweeter.
Anti-government protests held on Velvet Revolution anniversary

The Czech Republic on Saturday marked the 23rd anniversary of the
Velvet Revolution which toppled the communist rule in the country. Top
Czech officials commemorated the student march of November 1989 which
led to the fall of the communist regime, as well as the Nazi
persecution of Czech students from 50 years before. But this year, the
anniversary was partly overshadowed by anti-government rallies held in
Prague and other places in protest against the government's austerity

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