Wednesday, December 5, 2012

News 12.5.2012

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

News Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The Israeli prime minister has personally thanked his Czech
counterpart for the Czech Republic's vote against the upgrading of the
Palestinians' status at the United Nations.

* Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake has confirmed that she is
prepared to take over the defence ministry in a planned cabinet
reshuffle.

* The deputy to the supreme state attorney, Stanislav Mecl, has been
dismissed from his post.

* Korean Air and Qatar Airlines have expressed interest in purchasing
shares in the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines.

* Petr Poncar, the head of social security administration, has resigned
in connection with a dubious tender.



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Netanyahu thanks Czechs for vote against Palestinian status upgrade at
UN
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The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu made a brief stop-over
in Prague on Wednesday to personally thank his Czech counterpart, Petr
Necas, for the Czech Republic's vote at the UN General Assembly last
week against the upgrading of the Palestinians' status at the United
Nations. The Czech Republic was one of only nine countries to vote
against the Palestinians becoming an observer state - and the only
European Union country to do so. At a press briefing in Prague the
Israeli prime minister said the Czech Republic had taken a brave, if
not popular, stance. He reiterated that he remained committed to a
two-state solution with the Palestinians, but stressed that Israel
would not reverse its course in the construction of new settlements nor
would it sacrifice its vital interests for the sake of obtaining the
world's applause.

Analysts note that Mr. Netanyahu's second visit to Prague this year
reflects the two countries' above-standard relations. From Prague the
Israeli prime minister will travel to Berlin for talks with Chancellor
Angela Merkel.


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Peake ready to take over defence ministry in planned cabinet reshuffle
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Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake has confirmed that she is prepared
to take over the defence ministry in a planned cabinet reshuffle. At a
press briefing in Prague on Wednesday the deputy prime minister said
that her party LIDEM was ready to swap ministerial posts with the Civic
Democrats. The arrangement being debated is a merger of the transport
ministry with that of industry and trade which would be header by the
current trade minister Martin Kuba. In return for the loss of the
transport ministry the smallest party in government would get the top
post at the defence ministry which is about to be vacated by Civic
Democrat Alexander Vondra.


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Deputy to the state attorney dismissed for loss of trust
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The deputy to the supreme state attorney, Stanislav Mecl, has been
dismissed from his post. He was removed from office by Justice Minister
Pavel Blazek at the request of the Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman.
Mr. Zeman's spokesperson Helena Markusova said that due to several
incidents in the recent past the supreme state attorney no longer
trusted his deputy. No details were provided and neither Mr. Mecl nor
Mr. Zeman have been available for comment.


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Korean Air and Qatar Airlines express interest in Czech Airlines
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Korean Air and Qatar Airlines have expressed interest in purchasing
shares in the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines, or CSA, Finance
Minister Miroslav Kalousek said at a press briefing in Prague on
Wednesday. 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.
Although it approached 50 airlines with the offer only Korean Air and
Qatar Airlines have responded. The Czech government is expected to
decide on the sale in March of next year. A previous attempt to sell
off CSA in 2009 was not successful.


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Social security administration head resigns over dubious tender
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Petr Poncar, the head of social security administration, has resigned
in connection with a dubious tender. The news was confirmed on
Wednesday by the new labour and social affairs minister, Ludmila
Mullerova, who said the suspect tender concerned a planned purchase of
printers worth 200 million crowns. The daily Lidove noviny notes that
Petr Poncar, a former pension fund director at Allianz, had been
handpicked for the post by the former deputy labour minister Vladimir
Siska who is now charged with corruption.


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Czech Republic inches up TI's corruption perception index
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According to Transparency International's 2012 corruption perception
index the Czech Republic's corruption rating has improved slightly
moving it from 57th to 54th place on the ladder, alongside Latvia,
Malaysia and Turkey. The Czech branch of TI says that despite the
government's proclaimed anti-corruption drive significant progress will
not be made unless more people and more money are involved and the
respective anti-corruption laws are in place. TI has repeatedly
criticized the absence of a law on civil service, the financing of
political parties and the fact that politicians are appointed to the
boards of state-run companies.


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Supreme Court upholds 16-year-sentence for murder
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The Supreme Court has upheld a 16-year-prison sentence for an American
citizen who was found guilty of murdering a man on a night tram in
Prague last February. The two men reportedly had an argument in a bar
after which the victim departed. The American followed him onto a
Prague tram shooting him in cold blood after it had emptied out. The
43-year-old man was later found dead by the tram driver.


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Supreme Court upholds punishment for road pirate
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a two-year suspended sentence and
a seven year ban on driving for the notorious road pirate Ales
Trpisovsky. Trpisovsky was accused of presenting a threat to public
safety by his reckless and aggressive driving on the country's D1
highway. According to eyewitnesses he repeatedly hit the brakes in
front of slower vehicles as punishment for slowing him down. In one
case the car behind him crashed as a result. Trpisovsky's case has
become notorious in the Czech Republic, where aggressive driving is a
serious problem.


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Christmas ice-skating rink open
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A Christmas outdoor ice-skating rink opened on Prague's Ovocny trh, in
the city centre on Wednesday. The rink is open from 10 am till 10 pm
daily for free and people can rent skates on the spot. The ice-rink has
an eleven-year-tradition and is used by around 20,000 people every
Christmas. It will remain open until January 6th.


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Czech Republic face tough tie at World Floorball Championship after
loss to Latvia
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The Czech Republic were beaten 5:4 by Latvia in their final group game
at the World Floorball Championship in Switzerland on Tuesday night. At
one stage the Czechs were leading 4:2, but their opponents made a
spirited comeback to win the game and top their group. That result is
potentially damaging to the Czech Republic's chances of progress, as it
means they will face current champions Finland in the quarterfinals.


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Weather
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The coming days should be overcast with scattered snow showers and day
temperatures between 2 and - 2 degrees Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/controversial-un-vote-prompts-netanyahu-visit.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/ctk1212/netanjahup.jpg
Controversial UN vote prompts Netanyahu visit
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The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Prime Minister
Petr Necas on Wednesday as part of a brief visit before heading to
Germany. The aim was to thank his Czech counterpart for supporting
Israel's stance against the Palestinian Authority gaining a non-member
observer status at the UN. The Czech Republic was one of only nine
nations that voted against the resolution at last Thursday's meeting of
the General Assembly - a decision that drew criticism from many sides.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/controversial-un-vote-prompts-netanyahu-visit

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/czech-children-and-adults-eagerly-await-mikulas.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/ctk1212/mikulasp.jpg
Czech children (and adults) eagerly await Mikulas
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Wednesday evening - Mikulas - the eve before Saint Nicholas' Day - is
being eagerly awaited by children around the country. Each year on
December 5, Saint Nicholas accompanied by an angel and a devil, visits
Czech families to see if the children have been good. Kids who were
well-behaved receive sweets, chocolate, fruit or a present, while those
who were naughty (at least in theory) receive a potato or a lump of
coal.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czech-children-and-adults-eagerly-await-mikulas






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