Saturday, December 1, 2012

News 12.1.2012

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

News Saturday, December 1st, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* Top Czech officials will not attend the awarding of the Nobel Peace
Prize to the EU.

* The Christian Democrats are debating strategies to gain higher voter
support at a one-day programme conference in Jihlava.

* Some 10,000 viewers witnessed a re-enactment of the Battle of
Austerlitz from 1805 near Slavkov in southern Moravia.

* A 28-metre-tall Christmas tree has been lit in Prague's Old Town
Square.

* Speedskater Martina Sablikova has claimed her first World Cup of the
season when she won a 5,000-metre event in Kazakhstan.



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Top Czech officials not to attend Nobel Peace Prize awarding to EU
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Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Petr Necas have
rejected an invitation to attend the awarding ceremony of the Nobel
Peace Prize to the European Union that will take place in Oslo on
December 10. A spokesman for the eurosceptic Czech president provided
no reasons behind Mr Klaus' decision, the government's spokesman said
Prime Minister Necas was too busy to attend the ceremony. For his part,
Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said he had not been invited. The
opposition Social Democrats have criticized Mr Necas' decision which
they said put the Czech government into isolation. The Czech Republic
will be one of six EU member states whose top officials will not attend
the ceremony, according to media reports.


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Christian Democrats hold strategy conference
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Christian Democrats are discussing strategies to gain higher voter
support at a one-day programme conference in Jihlava on Saturday. Party
chair Pavel Belobradek said the group should pursue the concept of
social market economy, and present itself as an alternative to the
policies of the current government. The conference is also expected to
alter the name of the party which now in full reads the
Christian-Democrat Union - the Czechoslovak People's Party. The group
failed to win seats in the lower house in the 2010 general elections
but most polls suggest it has a good chance of crossing the 5-percent
threshold to enter the house.


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VZP's new head assumes his post
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The new CEO of the largest Czech public health insurance company, VZP,
Civic Democrat Zdenek Kabatek, assumes his post on Saturday. Mr
Kabatek, who most recently worked at the Health Ministry, was chosen by
the company's board earlier this week. He replaces Pavel Horak who
stepped down over budget issues. The change is part of a broader
overhaul of the company's management initiated by the Health Ministry.
The new CEO said his first goal was to stabilize the company's finances.


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Thousands watch Battle of Austerlitz reenactment
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Some 10,000 people witnessed the re-enactment of the Battle of
Austerlitz near Slavkov, in southern Moravia on Saturday, 207 years
after Napoleon's army beat the Russian and Austrian troops there. 900
people from 11 countries with 60 horses and 15 cannons reenacted parts
of the battle on Saturday; this year, they focused on the closing
phases and the retreat of the Austrian and Russian armies from the
battlefield.


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Painter Vladimir Houdek wins Jindrich Chalupecky Award
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Painter Vladimir Houdek has won the 2012 Jindrich Chalupecky Award for
artists under the age of 35. The only painter among the six finalists
of the award, 28-year-old Houdek a graduate of Prague's Academy of Fine
Arts, explores in his works the ambiguous and problematic heritage of
modernism, the jury said. The winner also received funds to hold an
exhibition at the National Gallery in Prague and a six-week fellowship
in New York. The other finalists of the Jindrich Chalupecky award this
year included Adela Babanova, Richard Loskot, Jiri Thyn and the duo
David Bohm and Jiri Franta.


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Mayor lights Prague's Christmas tree
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Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda on Saturday lit a 28-metre-tall Christmas
tree in Prague's Old Town Square, and opened a Christmas market in the
square. The spruce, which is around 90-years-old, came from a forest
near Rokycany, in western Bohemia. Organizers said tightened security
measures were applied at the event which each year attracts thousands
of people.


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Prague marks 20 years since inclusion in UNESCO world heritage list
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Fifty historic palaces, towers, churches and other monuments in Prague
are open to the public free of charge this weekend as the city marks
the 20th anniversary of its inclusion of UNESCO's list of world
heritage. People can visit, among other sites, the Bethlehem Chapel,
the Pinkas Synagogue and the Old Town tower at Charles Bridge, the
National and the Estates Theatres, the Emauzy Convent. Some of the
sites however require visitors to make a reservation.


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Bad weather closes roads in northern Bohemia
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Several roads in the north of the country remain closed due to poor
weather conditions, the police said on Saturday. Most roads in the
region's mountainous areas are covered with snow and ice which is
expected to last for several days. Some roads have also been blocked by
fallen trees.


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Speedskating: Sablikova wins World Cup event in Kazakhstan
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Czech speedskater Martina Sablikova on Saturday claimed her first World
Cup title of the season when she won a 5,000-metre event in Kazakhstan.
The Olympic champion beat Germany's Claudia Pechstein in second place,
and Olga Graf of Russia, who finished third. The win in the season's
third event put Sablikova to the lead of the World Cup's standings in
her category.


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Weather
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Clear skies with occasional snow and rain in lower places are expected
over the weekend, with daytime highs ranging between +3 and -1 degrees
Celsius.




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/czech-history/the-social-agent-exposes-czech-writer-jiri-mucha-as-secret-police-agent.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/knihy/laurence_muchap.jpg
"The Social Agent" exposes Czech writer Jiri Mucha as secret police
agent
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British journalist Charles Laurence first came to Prague as a child in
the 1950s. His father, a diplomat, served at the UK embassy here, and
brought his family with him. In the spy-ridden communist country at the
height of the Cold War, he was soon targeted by the secret police.
Fifty years later, Charles Laurence revisited Prague in search of what
really happened. In his book The Social Agent: A True Intrigue of Sex,
Lies, and Heartbreak Behind the Iron Curtain, he exposes Czech writer,
and family friend Jiri Mucha as a man who spied on his father, and
whose actions had very tragic consequences for his whole family.

http://radio.cz/en/section/czech-history/the-social-agent-exposes-czech-writer-jiri-mucha-as-secret-police-agent






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