Tuesday, December 11, 2012

News 12.11.2012

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

News Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* Prime Minister Petr Necas has announced the details of a planned
cabinet reshuffle.

* The Sumava National Park says its population of wild boars is still
contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

* The car maker Skoda Auto has unveiled a third-generation Octavia

* The labour market outlook for the first quarter of 2013 looks bleak.

* Actress Antonie Hegerlikova has died at the age of 89.

PM announces details of cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Petr Necas has announced the details of a planned
cabinet reshuffle. The head of the Civic Democrats' deputies group in
the lower house Zbynek Stanjura is to take up the post of transport
minister, while Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake will head the
defense ministry. Her place at the head of the government's legislative
council is to be filled by her deputy Petr Mlsna. There are plans to
eventually merge the transport ministry with that of trade and industry
which would be run by a Civic Democrat. President Klaus is to appoint
the new ministers on Wednesday.

Sumava wild boars still radioactive

The Sumava National Park says its population of wild boars is still
contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster from 1986. Out of 44
wild boars shot during the hunting season 33 were found to contain high
levels of the radioactive isotope caesium, most likely due to eating
contaminated mushrooms in certain areas of the park. There are health
regulations in place making it obligatory to test any game hunted on
the park's premises. The authorities say the contamination is such that
the meat cannot serve as animal feed and the carcasses must be safely

Skoda Auto unveils new Octavia model

The car maker Skoda Auto has unveiled a third-generation Octavia model.
The company claims the new Octavia hatchback is longer and wider than
its predecessor providing more interior space and an engine starting at
1.4TSI. The new Octavia is to be shown at the Geneva international
motor show show and will go on sale in March of next year. Skoda Auto
is hoping to sell more than 500,000 Octavia models a year making it one
of the ten top-selling cars in the world.

Bleak labour market outlook for 2013

More Czech companies will lay off employees in the first quarter of
2013 than those planning to take on new staff according to a Manpower
Labour Market Index poll conducted among 750 Czech firms. Only 3
percent of employers said they were hiring staff while 11 percent are
planning lay-offs. 85 percent of respondents said they were not
planning on significant changes in staff numbers. The report is the
most pessimistic outlook in four years, a fact widely attributed to a
fall in turnover due to dropping demand.

Antonie Hegerlikova dies at 89

Actress Antonie Hegerlikova, one of the last living stars from the
golden era of Czech film, has died at the age of 89. In a career
spanning over 70 years Hegerlikova starred in hundreds of theatre
performances and appeared in over thirty films and TV series. She was
unforgettable in the roles of Lady Mcbeth, Electra. Nora, Marysa and
played a central figure in the long-running TV series F.L. Vek. In 2005
she received the Thalia award for her lifelong contribution to Czech

Qatar Airlines as yet uncertain over bid for CSA

Qatar Airlines has said it is as yet undecided as to whether it wants
to make a bid for shares in the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines,
or CSA. The heard of Qatar Airlines Akbar Baker told the Reuters news
agency on Tuesday that his company was still studying the offer. The
government is offering to sell a 96 percent stake to a European buyer;
other airlines could only purchase a less than 50 percent stake in
order to ensure that CSA remains a national carrier. The Czech finance
minister said last week that of the 50 airlines the Czech government
had approached only two had expressed interest in the privatization of
CSA: Korean Air and Qatar Airlines. The Czech government made a
previous unsuccessful attempt at selling off CSA in 2009.

Inspectors intensify checks at open air markets

The country's chief inspection office says it has intensified checks of
food products at open air, farmers' and Christmas markets ahead of the
Christmas season. The most frequent transgressions are uncertified
goods of unclear origin and products past their expiry date. Special
attention is also being paid to adherence to the ban on spirits at open
air markets in Prague. The inspection office says it has conducted over
1,500 inspections of food products at open air and farmers' markets
since the start of the year issuing over 200 fines to the tune of 1
million crowns.

Students doing better in international tests

Czech students have achieved above-average results in international
tests conducted in 52 countries, the Czech education ministry said on
Tuesday. The tests cover reading literacy, mathematics and science with
Czech students placing 14th, 22nd and 8th in the respective subjects.
Education Minister Petr Fiala said he was pleased with the result which
was a significant improvement. The improvement is being attributed to
the ongoing reform of the school system which allows schools greater
freedom in planning their curricula and puts greater emphasis on

Snow, ice complicates situation on roads

Snowfall and icy conditions have continued to complicate the situation
on Czech roads. Several roads on Tuesday morning were blocked or
narrowed by slow-moving transport trucks. According to a police
transport website visibility near Strakonice was less than 100 metres.
Heavy snowfall in the area of Uherske Hradiste left a three-kilometre
stretch of road impassable; fog also complicated matters. Drivers have
been warned to exercise extreme caution and not set out for the
mountain regions without winter gear.

Eight dead of exposure

Sub-zero temperatures over the past four days have claimed eight lives.
Shelters for the homeless are bursting at the seams and although
efforts are being made to accommodate anyone who turns up many homeless
people try to weather the night out in the open. Police officers in
Prague are devoting special attention to localities where they gather
and check up on them several times a day.


The coming days should bring overcast skies, scattered snow showers and
day temperatures dropping to - 3 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Chanukah celebrations begin in Prague

As always in the weeks preceding Christmas, Jews around the world begin
the holiday season before their Christian neighbors. The story of
Chanukah is not in the sacred texts of the Torah, and those who
celebrate it, do so most often at home, eating various foods fried in
olive oil, playing games with chocolate Hanukah gelt (chocolate coins),
and receiving presents each of the eight nights of the festival. Some,
though, prefer to share this holiday of light, as it is called, with
others. To see how it is celebrated around Prague, I headed to a
creative workshop organized by the city's Jewish Museum.


Notorious Communist prosecutor Vas dies innocent in eyes of law

Communist state prosecutor Karel Vas, a key player in some of
Czechoslovakia's notorious show trials of the 1950s, died at a Prague
nursing home at the weekend. He was 96. Vas, who remained unrepentant
to the last, escaped punishment for his crimes in the post-1989 period
- a source of regret to some historians and former political prisoners.


Vladimir Franz - The artist who would be president

It is impossible to miss Czech artist and composer Vladimir Franz in a
crowd: the professor, who teaches Music in Theatre Performance at DAMU
in Prague, is tattooed on all visible parts of his body, including his
face and hands. Now Mr Franz is also one of the country's most unusual
- and most unexpected - candidates for president.


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