Thursday, January 24, 2013

News 1.24.2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Thursday, January 24th, 2013

By: Masha Volynsky

* Czechs abroad have begun voting in the second round of the
presidential elections.

* The second request of the French company Areva to suspend the
lucrative Temelin expansion tender has been turned down by the Czech
Office for the Protection of Competition.

* A half-year joint operation by Czech and Bavarian police has brought
in over one kilogram of methamphetamine that was being trafficked
across the border.

* The Communist regional councilwoman from South Bohemia Vitezslava
Baborova is set to quit her post.

* Meteorologists have warned that smog and air pollution will continue
around the country until Sunday.

Czechs abroad head to the polls

Czech citizens staying in Brazil and on the west coast of the United
States were the first of Czechs abroad to begin voting in the second
round of the presidential elections on Thursday afternoon. The polls
will open in the Czech Republic at 2pm, but on Friday. Polling stations
in the country and abroad will close at 2pm on Saturday. There is still
one more debate left between the two candidates Karel Schwarzenberg and
Milos Zeman, which will be broadcast live on Thursday night on Czech
television, starting at 8 pm.

Franz will vote for Zeman

One of the nine first-round presidential candidates, Vladimir Franz,
has announced that he will vote for Milos Zeman in the second round of
the election this weekend. Though he did tell his voters that he will
not recommend which candidate they should vote for. He also said that
his choice is not an explicit endorsement of the candidate. He told the
website that Mr Zeman seems "more readable" to him than his
opponent Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. Mr Franz, who is a
composer and a university professor, finished fifth in the first round
with less than seven percent of the votes. The third-place candidate
Jan Fischer had indirectly supported Milos Zeman as well on Monday.

Areva gets turned down again

The French company Areva that was excluded from a public tender for the
expansion of the nuclear power plant Temelin has again received a
negative response from the Office for the Protection of Competition to
their request to suspend the tender. Areva was excluded last October by
the state-owned energy company CEZ from the tender competition because
the company allegedly failed to meet the criteria. Areva has denied the
claims and has twice requested for the tender to be suspended and
re-evaluated. CEZ is currently choosing between the Japanese-American
Westinghouse and the Czecho-Russian Consortium MIR.1200.

Czech and German police seize more than a kilo of meth

In a joint half-year-long operation, the Czech and Bavarian police and
customs officers have seized more than a kilogram of methamphetamine.
The operation that focused on the trafficking of the drug across the
border between the Czech Republic and Germany took place between July
and December of last year. The drugs seized by the special cross-border
taskforce could have served some 40,000 users. Bavaria and Saxony have
been experience an increase in meth trafficking from the Czech Republic
in the past three years. Some Bavarian politicians have criticized the
Czechs for the country's allegedly lenient drug policies.

South Bohemian Communist councilwoman to quit post

The South Bohemian regional councilwoman for education and culture
Vitezslava Baborova, who is a member of the Communist Party, will most
likely step down from her post. The main reason for her resignation has
not yet been clarified. The media cite health problems as being one of
them, but other sources speculate that Ms Baborova is stepping down as
a result of the of continuing protests. Students, teachers and others
have held street protests and hunger strikes for the past two months to
protests against the Communist Party being part of the regional
coalition government, and especially having the education post on the
council. The regional Communist Party leadership has announced that if
Ms Baborova does resign, the party will name another one of its members
to the post.

Air quality will remain poor till Sunday

Smog will continue to cause worsening air quality around the Czech
Republic until Sunday, meteorologist have warned. The situation has
been getting worse since Monday of this week. Two regions have issued
smog warnings, and the average daily concentration of dust particles in
the air are two or three times the permitted limit in many places. It
should begin to snow heavily on Sunday, which is combination with
colder temperatures should help to improve air quality by early next

Flu death toll up to 33

Two more people have died as a result of the flu on Wednesday in
southern Bohemia, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths this
season in the Czech Republic to 33. Around 170 have been hospitalized
this season with severe flu symptoms. The last two victims were men who
had been treated for chronic illnesses. The Chief Hygiene Officer
Vladimir Valenta had said that 60 percent of people how have fallen ill
with the flu this season are extremely overweight. Hospitals are giving
sever patients antiviral medication.

Retrospective of Czech modernist painters opens in Seoul

A showcase of 107 paintings from the collection of the National Gallery
in Prague has opened at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in
Seoul, South Korea on Thursday. The exhibit entitled 'Memory of
Landscape I have never seen' presents works by 28 Czech artists from
the period of 1895 to 1943. This is one of the largest presentations of
Czech modernist paintings abroad. The ministers of culture and
directors of the Czech and Korean museums were present at the opening

Football coach Janu dies in Indonesia

A Czech football coach Miroslav Janu has died of a heart attack on
Thursday in Surabaya, Indonesia. Janu, who was 53 years old, was a
former player and coach for Prague's Slavia team, but had spent most of
his coaching career in Indonesia. He had also played for Bohemians
Praha, and had coached in Most. In Indonesia he was the coach for the
teams Persigo and PSM, which he to second place in the local league.

Annual Dusek celebration of Chinese New Year has begun

The annual celebration of the beginning of the Chinese lunar New Year
with the Czech actor Jaroslav Dusek and the Chinese singer Feng-yun
Song has begun on Thursday afternoon at Prague's Palac Akropolis music
venue. The Chinese New Year is celebrated this year on February 10-11.
An exhibition of traditional martial arts and ethnic dances as well as
a musical performance were planned for the day. The organizers will
hold the show in four other Czech cities in the next few days.


It should be mostly overcast with light snow in the upcoming days.
Daytime highs will dip to between -8 and -4 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Campaigns focus on last-minute interviews, debates, in run up to

Only hours remain before Czechs go to the polls to elect either Milos
Zeman or Karel Schwarzenberg as the next Czech president. Both are no
longer touring the country and began preparing instead for a final
series of media interviews and debates. Wednesday saw the candidates
face off on Czech Radio and commercial broadcaster TV Nova; on Thursday
viewers will have a last chance to see the two in a final debate on
Czech TV.
Colts instead of rifles: NGO to introduce wild horses at former army

In the future visitors to the Czech countryside could come across a
species not seen in this part of the world for a great many years: wild
horses. A local wildlife organisation is at present preparing to import
a small group of Exmoor ponies, with a view to eventually introducing
the hardy British breed to former army training areas and unforested
land in other remote parts of the country.
ProtiMysl - a blog dedicated to the latest trends in the Czech Republic

When Barbora Jaresova, the head of marketing at a Prague global real
estate services firm, started blogging about cool places, hip design
and trendy restaurants in the Czech Republic, it was mostly for her own
pleasure and to inform close friends of what's happening in Prague and
other Czech cities. On her website, ProtiMysl, readers can see gorgeous
photographs of little-known and unique locations - and to many
foreigners, it comes as quite a surprise that there is more to Prague
than dumplings, beer and art nouveau buildings. Barbora talkedabout
what she would like to change about the country's reputation, what
reactions to the blog have been like so far and about her time spent

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