Thursday, February 28, 2013

News 2.28.2013

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

News Thursday, February 28th, 2013

By: Ian Willoughby

* Free checks carried out on almost 7,000 bottles of spirits found that
40 contained potentially lethal amounts of methanol.

* Household debt in the Czech Republic fell month-on-month in January
for the first time since September 2001.

* A Senate vote on a motion to file a complaint of treason against the
president will take place on Monday.

* The police have charged a former director of the Prague transport
authority with corruption.

* A Prague court handed a 22-year jail term to an alleged member of a
Russian criminal group over a botched contract killing.



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Free checks uncover poisonous spirits
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Free checks carried out on almost 7,000 bottles of spirits found that
40 contained potentially lethal amounts of methanol, the Czech
Republic's chief hygiene officer, Vladimir Valenta, said on Thursday.
Mr. Valenta said the tests, which were carried out by officials from
his agency, could have saved the lives of the owners of the spirits.
Last year 42 people died in the Czech Republic from drinking poisonous
bootleg booze and the sale of all spirits was banned for a fortnight.


========================================================================
Czech household debt falls for first time in over 11 years
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Household debt in the Czech Republic fell month-on-month in January for
the first time since September 2001, according to data just released.
Last month Czechs owed CZK 1.164 trillion to banks and other financial
institutions, twice the figure recorded 11 years ago. The Czech
Republic is currently going through its longest recession on record and
the decline in household debt suggests that Czechs are worried about
spending, preferring to save than owe money.


========================================================================
Committee recommends senators vote for Klaus treason motion on Monday
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Senate's organisational committee has recommended that senators
approve a motion calling for the filing of a charge of treason against
President Vaclav Klaus at the Constitutional Court. The upper house is
set to vote on the matter on Monday. The motion has been put forward by
a cross-party group of senators. They say Mr. Klaus acted
unconstitutionally by declaring a controversial amnesty in January, as
well as in connection with other decisions. The president, who steps
down next Thursday, has dismissed the vote as a political game. For his
part, Prime Minister Petr Necas said it was the sorriest move he had
seen in two decades in politics.


========================================================================
Police charge former Prague transport authority head over charges of
overpriced contract
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The police have charged a former director of the Prague transport
authority, Martin Dvorak, with corruption. The charge relates to the
awarding of a contract to the company Cross Point, which allegedly
earned four times more from selling tickets at metro stations than the
firm which previously provided that service. The transport authority
abrogated its contract with Cross Point last year. For his part, Mr.
Dvorak rejects any accusation of wrongdoing; he says he is himself
preparing to file a complaint against the charges.


========================================================================
Court sentences alleged member of Russian criminal group to 22 years
over botched contract killing
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Prague Municipal Court on Thursday handed a 22-year jail term to
Andranik Soghoyan, an alleged member of the Russian criminal group
known as Vory v Zakone. Mr. Soghoyan, who was tried in absentia was
found guilty of ordering a contract killing on an Armenian businessman;
the court heard, however, that the hired assassin had murdered the
wrong man and stabbed another man. Mr. Soghoyan has twice been
acquitted by a lower court; in both cases an appeals court ruled
against him. Two of his accomplices received terms of 12 and 18 years.


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Cuban dissident: persecution as bad as in days of Fidel
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Speaking on a week-long visit to Prague, the well-known Cuban blogger
and dissident Yoani Sanchez said the changes implemented by President
Raul Castro did not go far enough and should not hoodwink the world.
She said persecution of the opposition was just as intensive as it had
been under the previous leader, Fidel Castro, and that there had been
no decline in the number of political prisoners or let-up in
censorship. Ms. Sanchez, who is on an extensive tour of Western states,
has been able to travel thanks to an ease in restrictions introduced by
Havana last month.


========================================================================
Details of Zeman inauguration revealed
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Details have emerged of plans for the inauguration of Milos Zeman as
president next Friday. After being sworn in a ceremony at the Vladislav
Hall at Prague Castle at 10:00 AM, Mr. Zeman will inspect a military
parade before laying flowers at the remains of Saint Vaclav, the Czech
patron saint, and a wreath at a statue of the first president of
Czechoslovakia, T.G. Masaryk. He will then have lunch with senior
constitutional officials.


========================================================================
Oscar-winning art director Karel Cerny to receive lifetime achievement
Czech Lion
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The Oscar-winning art director and production designer Karel Cerny is
to receive a Czech Lion award for extraordinary contribution to Czech
cinematography. Mr. Cerny, who is 90, won the Academy Award for his
work on the 1984 Milos Forman movie Amadeus, much of which was shot in
Prague. The presentation will take place during the Czech Lions, the
country's annual film awards, on Saturday night.


========================================================================
UEFA says Czech FA cannot leave corruption allegations to police
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The governing body of European soccer, UEFA, has reacted to a decision
by the Czech Football Association to leave all investigations of
alleged corruption to the Czech police. In a letter the Czech FA is
reported to have received a week ago, UEFA said football disciplinary
proceedings cannot be dependent on results produced by bodies active in
criminal proceedings. However, the chairman of the Czech FA, Miroslav
Pelta, said on Thursday that his organisation and UEFA were in accord
on the matter, which had already been dealt with.


========================================================================
Weather
------------------------------------------------------------------------

There should be sunny spells in the coming days, with temperatures
reaching a maximum of 6 degrees Celsius.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
------------------------------------------------------------------------



Council of Europe urges Czech Republic to improve the lot of people
with mental disabilities
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The Council of Europe last week released a report criticizing the Czech
Republic for the way it treats people with mental disabilities. The
criticism targeting the living conditions and rights of this most
vulnerable segment of the population is not the first of its kind. The
Czech authorities have previously come under fire for using caged beds
in mental institutions. On a fact-finding visit to the Czech Republic,
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks went
further, arguing that many of the patients in mental institutions could
be living a more dignified life outside of these walls.

http://radio.cz/en/section/panorama/council-of-europe-urges-czech-republic-to-improve-the-lot-of-people-with-mental-disabilities


Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez urges Czechs to keep up pressure on
Cuban government
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Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez arrived in the Czech Republic this week
on what is her first trip abroad since Cuba's communist authorities
partially lifted restrictions on travelling. Ms Sanchez, best known for
her acclaimed blog Generation Y, is attending the One World festival of
human rights documentaries in the Czech capital.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/dissident-blogger-yoani-sanchez-urges-czechs-to-keep-up-pressure-on-cuban-government


Third time lucky for legalisation of prostitution?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A group of MPs in the lower house are drafting a new bill on legalising
prostitution - the third such attempt in recent years. Prostitution in
the Czech Republic exists in a sort of legal grey area; prostitution
itself is not illegal, but most of the infrastructure surrounding it -
brothels, pimping and so on - is.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/third-time-lucky-for-legalisation-of-prostitution






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Radio Prague Today 2.28.2013

Articles posted today

Council of Europe urges Czech Republic to improve the lot of people with mental disabilities

The Council of Europe last week released a report criticizing the Czech Republic for the way it treats people with mental disabilities. The criticism targeting the living conditions and rights of this most vulnerable segment of the population is not the first of its kind. The Czech authorities have previously come under fire for using caged beds in mental institutions. On a fact-finding visit to the Czech Republic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks went further, arguing that many of the patients in mental institutions could be living a more dignified life outside of these walls.

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez urges Czechs to keep up pressure on Cuban government

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez arrived in the Czech Republic this week on what is her first trip abroad since Cuba's communist authorities partially lifted restrictions on travelling. Ms Sanchez, best known for her acclaimed blog Generation Y, is attending the One World festival of human rights documentaries in the Czech capital.

Third time lucky for legalisation of prostitution?

A group of MPs in the lower house are drafting a new bill on legalising prostitution – the third such attempt in recent years. Prostitution in the Czech Republic exists in a sort of legal grey area; prostitution itself is not illegal, but most of the infrastructure surrounding it - brothels, pimping and so on – is.

RCI Cybermagazine

Interviews and reports | Read the news | Weather | News | Multimedia
Episode date 27 February 2013
Interviews and reports
Fish fraud scandal
(Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)
With the spreading scandal of horse meat being substituted in meat products being sold as beef or pork, comes a new scandal.

That expensive filet of fish you buy at the supermarket, or purchase in a restaurant and the sushi bar, may very well not be the fish you are paying for.

In fact, there’s a fairly good chance you’re getting a cheaper, less desirable, species of fish.

Chris Weland is a forensic DNA specialist, a hi-tech detective of sorts, at the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding based in the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph.

The Barcode Of Life Database, or BOLD,  is a Canadian innovation and is used to easily discover the true identity of species, whether meat or fish for example.

Recently studies conducted at the Institute have found widespread mislabelling or substitution of species, almost always a “cheaper” species being substituted for a more desirable and expensive one.
New Employment Insurance rules causing anger in eastern Canada
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party government has introduced new Employment Insurance regulations that are causing consternation and anger across Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Why the Maple Syrup Crop may be Smaller this Year
Maple syrup for sale at the Old Port market in Quebec City
Minus eight degrees celsius at night, plus eight by day; these are the ideal conditions for producing maple syrup.  And temperatures in that range can generally be expected in March in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the four Canadian provinces that produce maple syrup.

Last year, however, the weather in eastern Canada played havoc with maple trees.  From wild swings in temperature to the drought during the summer, it was a hard year on the trees.

Ray Bonenberg, President of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producer’s Association, says even the wind will have an effect.  He says the trees have a memory and they are affected by severe conditions.  That’s why he’s advising members to “tap light” this year.
Read the news
Jan 27 Anniversary of a spectacular collapse
It was on Jan 27, 1938, that an event occurred which had been anticipated for several days. [...]
Black History Month. RCAF Maj Walter Peters.
(Canada Aviation and Space Museum)
Walter Peters was a pioneer. He was this country's first Canadian-born black jet fighter pilot, and helped to establish the premier aerial aerobatic performance team, the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds. He was a flight instructor and also flew with the Snowbirds. [...]
Too Much Information
Photo courtesy of CBC/Reuters
Younger Canadians, accustomed to sharing information on social media, also share a great deal of financial information in a similar fashion. [...]
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RCI

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

News 2.27.2013

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

News Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

By: Jan Velinger

* Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said he will not accept
diplomatic posts being given as perks.

* The government has decided not to delay the introduction of the
country's new civil code.

* Czech Radio has unveiled its new logo aimed at unifying the
broadcaster's corporate identity.

* Outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus has received an award from the
Slovak Entrepreneur's Association.

* A Czech mountaineer was killed in an avalanche in Slovakia's High
Tatra Mountains.



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Foreign minister says Fischer lacks experience for diplomatic post
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said he is not prepared
to appoint former prime minister and unsuccessful presidential
candidate Jan Fischer to any ambassadorial post. The foreign minister,
who has been discussing candidates for several ambassadorial posts with
president-elect Milos Zeman, said in an interview for Wednesday's
Lidove noviny that Mr. Fischer had no experience in diplomatic service
and advised him to stick to his field of expertise. The statement comes
amid speculation that the president-elect may have promised Mr. Fischer
a post in diplomatic service as a show of gratitude for supporting him
in the presidential election.


========================================================================
Ministers decide not to postpone introduction of civil code
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The government on Wednesday decided not to postpone the introduction of
the country's new Civil Code, set to come into effect next January. The
code, once implemented, will unify private law covered in the Labour
Code, the Commercial Code and other legislation. Some politicians had
raised concerns that not all sectors will be ready for the changes. The
Justice Ministry, by contrast, saw no reason for any delay.


========================================================================
Czech Radio unveils new logo
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Radio has unveiled its new logo, a stylised capital 'R', which
will be used by the broadcaster's various stations, from the flagship
Radiozurnal to Vltava, Radio Wave and others. The change of logo is the
first for Czech Radio in 17 years. The author of the logo, Pavel
Zelenka, told journalists during the unveiling on Wednesday at the
Czech Radio building in Prague, that Radiozurnal - as the broadcaster's
main news station - had been given the sharper background of red, while
the other stations will have the white stylised 'R' framed by different
colours. The new logo is aimed at unifying Czech Radio's corporate
identity, the head of Czech Radio, Peter Duhan, said. The logo will
come into official use on March 1 and will be introduced gradually at
the different stations.


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Klaus awarded in Bratislava
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus received an award from the Slovak
Entrepreneur's Association on Wednesday, the second day of his visit to
Bratislava. The association praised Mr Klaus's role in the economic
transformation of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic from a
central economy to a free market economy after 1989. Mr Klaus served as
finance minister in Czechoslovakia and then prime minister in the Czech
Republic, overseeing wide-ranging but often criticised reforms in the
1990s. In Bratislava, the president - who leaves office next week -
discussed the EU and slammed the union as no longer being a symbol of
prosperity. An outspoken EU critic, he also downplayed the negative
impact of a member state leaving the euro zone, citing the Czech
Republic's and Slovakia's own split and successful separation of
currency.


========================================================================
Prime minister slams actions taken by senators against president
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prime Minister Petr Necas has strongly criticised steps taken by a
group of 27 Czech senators who signed a petition calling for President
Vaclav Klaus to be charged with high treason over a controversial
amnesty declared at the beginning of the year, as well as other actions
taken, such as having delayed to sign the Lisbon Treaty or failing to
appoint new judges. The prime minister said that in his 20 years in
politics he had never seen such a base example of personal and
political "wretchedness". The signature of 27 senators was a
prerequisite to having the proposal discussed. Pushing it through would
require gaining majority support in the upper chamber. The petition has
likewise been signed by over 73,000 members of the public.


========================================================================
PM not satisfied with Sweden's approach over Gripens
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech government will seek direct talks with the government of
Sweden over the continued lease of Jas-39 Gripen fighter jets, Prime
Minister Petr Necas said after Wednesday's cabinet meeting. The Czech
Republic, he made clear, was not satisfied by the current approach by
Sweden which he suggested could be more accommodating. The Czech
government has postponed further negotiations on the Gripens.


========================================================================
More than 80 percent of Czechs say direct presidential election was
good step
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roughly four-fifths of Czechs consider the country's introduction of
direct presidential elections this year a good step, a new poll by the
STEM agency suggests. Some 80 percent of Czechs supported the idea
since the end of the 1990s. In the past the Czech head-of-state was
elected by a joint-session of both houses in Parliament. According to
the survey, the number in favour of direct elections has since grown to
83 percent. Czechs in the second round chose between two final
candidates, Milos Zeman and Karel Schwarzenberg; Mr Zeman won by some
500,000 votes - his inauguration is in nine days. Two-thirds of those
queried agreed the election process had been dignified. The poll was
conducted at the beginning of February.


========================================================================
Association: Pension funds saw profits rise by 6 percent year-on-year
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pension funds in the Czech Republic saw profits rise by 6 percent
year-on-year to 4.83 billion crowns in 2012, the Association of Pension
Funds has told the Czech news agency. Pension funds registered a record
number of 5.15 million clients, over half a million more than at the
end of 2011. Savings made up by clients' deposits, employers'
contributions, state subsidies and appreciation reached 247.7 billion
crowns, which was an annual rise of 6 percent. In Q4 of last year
alone, the number of private pension scheme clients increased by more
than 474,000. The rise of interest in these kinds of savings was
connected with a statutory period that restricted the possibility of
signing such contracts until the end of November, APF president Karel
Svoboda said.


========================================================================
Mountain climber dies in avalanche in High Tatras
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Czech mountaineer was killed in a slab avalanche on Tuesday in
Slovakia's High Tatra Mountains, the Mountain Rescue Service has
confirmed. According to the service, the 65-year-old climber was buried
after he mistakenly set off the avalanche as he was descending part of
the mountain. The climber was not equipped with an anti-avalanche
device or with a transceiver. His body was found by rescue workers
aided by a sniffer dog. The search ended at around 10 pm on Tuesday.


========================================================================
Court reduces sentence for antifreeze poisoner
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Prague High Court has reduced a 20-year prison sentence to 17 for a
Czech mother who poisoned her child with antifreeze but had second
thoughts and called for an ambulance. In January the sentence was
changed from 25 to 20 years. The reason for the more lenient sentence
is that the child, five years old, was saved by doctors and was able to
recover fully. Had she died, the chairman of the appeals committee Jiri
Lnenicka indicated, the extraordinary sentence would have been upheld.
The little girl now lives with her father and has had no contact with
her mother. The would-be murderer has expressed regret over her deed.


========================================================================
Weather
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The coming days should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with rain
in places and day temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
------------------------------------------------------------------------



Czech banks face class actions over loan and mortgage fees
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech banks are facing a major confrontation with dozens of thousands
of their clients that could cost them hundreds of millions of crowns.
Over 40,000 people have now signed up to class actions to reclaim the
fees banks charge for loan and mortgage accounts. The clients say the
practice is illegal, and want their money back. The banks, meanwhile,
remain defiant, saying all their charges are in line with the law.

http://radio.cz/en/section/marketplace/czech-banks-face-class-actions-over-loan-and-mortgage-fees


Motion calling for treason charges against Klaus to be discussed by
Senate
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A complaint to the Constitutional Court against outgoing president
Vaclav Klaus is set to be discussed by the Czech Senate. The charge,
which accuses Mr. Klaus of treason over a controversial amnesty he
declared at the start of the year, made the agenda of the upper house
when the requisite support was acquired on Tuesday. Its backers say a
ruling would help define the president's powers in the future.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/motion-calling-for-treason-charges-against-klaus-to-be-discussed-by-senate


Smartphone app helps fare dodgers avoid inspectors
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A new smart phone application called FareBandit can help you avoid
ticket inspectors in public transportation in Czech cities. The app won
the top prize this week at the annual AppParade in Prague.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/smartphone-app-helps-fare-dodgers-avoid-inspectors






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Interviews and reports | Read the news | Weather | News | Multimedia
Episode date 26 February 2013
Interviews and reports
Montreal Expertise in Grace Kelly Exhibit
CP photo/AP/Bill Ingraham
The Kelly Bag will be here, so will her Oscar.  'From Philadelphia to Monaco:  Grace Kelly - Beyond the Icon' is the show that will present over 100 elements of the different chapters of Grace Kelly's life.  The woman who continues to fascinate many, long after her untimely death in 1982, will be the centre of a show this summer at Montreal's McCord Museum.

The McCord, which celebrated its 90th anniversary two years ago, specializes in social history.  It has the largest collection of Canadian fashion, costume and textile pieces.  It is this expertise that Paris-based Exposium was counting on to co-produce the show.

McCord Museum Chief Curator, Cynthia Cooper, was in Monaco recently to research and select the objects that will take the public behind the facade into the private life of Princess Grace.  Over 40 dresses and accessories, from different periods in her life will be on display.  The show will feature personal letters she wrote and received, and even family movies she made of her children when they were little.

South Africa will investigate Zimbabwe rapes
(courtesy AIDS-Free World)
Victims allege President Robert Mugabe’s political party ran a campaign of mass rape during Zimbabwe’s election campaign in 2008. South African prosecutors have made a groundbreaking decision to investigate the allegations as possible crimes against humanity. They decided to do so in response to request from AIDS-Free World.

This advocacy group has documented interviews with 84 victims and provided reports from witnesses, doctors as well as Zimbabwean and international non-governmental agencies. This was done with the help of law firms in Canada and the United States which made several visits to Botswana and South Africa where victims sought refuge with the help of AIDS-Free World.
Testing theories of evolution
(Rocky Mt lab/NIAD/NIH)
A recent experiment at the University of British Columbia may change at least some of the thinking behind the theory of evolution.

One of the questions asked in evolution is that if the  process was replayed, would the results be the same?  The general theory is that they likely would not.

Professor Micheal Doebeli, mathematician and evolutionary biologist, and researcher Matthew Herron were testing evolution of E-Coli bacteria.  The results seem to say that evolution is a more predetermined and predictable process, and less likely driven by random chance
Brain Bee Competition
Some of the students and teachers taking part in Montreal's Brain Bee on Feb. 21st
32 students from several Montreal-area high schools got together last week at the Montreal Neurological Institute, for the 6th annual Brain Bee. 

Like a Spelling Bee, they were gathered to put their knowledge to the test, but unlike a spelling bee, there was a lot more than words involved.  There were questions, 300 of them, about synapses, and anatomy and regions and functions and disorders. The winner of this event goes on to compete with the 11 or 12 other winners from across Canada in early June, and the winner of that event goes on to the International Brain Bee in either Vienna or Hawaii.  The location has yet to be confirmed. 

Read the news
Saturday a Nuit Blanche in Montreal
Photo courtesy of Nuit Blanche Montreal
Catch up on your sleep, this weekend the festivities continue overnight in the 10th annual 'Nuit Blanche'. [...]
Merry Christmas debate continues
CBC
A man in the city of Saskatoon, in the western province of Saskatchewan, has vowed to continue his fight against local city council and the transit commission. [...]
Small Town Connection to Hollywood Best Picture
Photo courtesy of CBC
On the north shore of Lake Superior, there's a moving connection to Argo, this year's Oscar winner for Best Picture. The movie is the subject of renewed debate and discussion following its Academy Award in Hollywood on Sunday. [...]
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

News 2.26.2013

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

News Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The Senate will debate a proposal to press charges of high treason
against President Vaclav Klaus.

* The opposition Public Affairs party is suing the government for
tolerating excessive gambling on video-lottery terminals.

* Police have raided the Mirov jailhouse in search of evidence that the
guards were smuggling anabolics to prisoners.

* Customs officials have seized a record shipment of cocaine at Vaclav
Havel Airport.

* The batch of meatballs containing horsemeat detected at Czech IKEA
stores reportedly went on sale in several European countries.



========================================================================
Senators to debate possible treason charges against Czech president
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A group of 27 senators have signed a petition calling for President
Vaclav Klaus to be charged with high treason over the controversial
amnesty he declared at the beginning of the year. The proposal to lodge
a constitutional complaint against the president was initiated by
senators Eliska Wagnerova and Miroslav Antl who claim Vaclav Klaus
overstepped his mandate in declaring an amnesty that will, among
others, halt the prosecution of all cases older than eight years. Many
of these cases pertain to serious economic crime. The signature of 27
senators is a prerequisite to have the proposal discussed. Pushing it
though would require gaining majority support in the upper chamber. The
petition has likewise been signed by over 73,000 members of the public.


========================================================================
Public Affairs sues government over tolerating excessive gambling
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The opposition Public Affairs party is suing the government for
tolerating excessive gambling on video-lottery terminals. Party leader
Vit Barta said the government had received a warning from the Ombudsman
regarding the need to fill a hole in the gambling law by setting a
ceiling on bets and losses on video-lottery terminals and approved a
resolution to that effect which it later quietly cancelled at the
request of the finance minister. The law sets a limit on gambling but
has no cap on bets and losses on video-lottery terminals.


========================================================================
Police raid on Mirov jailhouse
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Police have raided the Mirov jailhouse in search of evidence that the
guards were smuggling anabolics to prisoners. The four-day operation
ended on Tuesday with the arrest of several people. Two guards, two
prisoners and two civilians have so far been charged. A police
spokesman said officers on the case gained a significant amount of
evidence, including bank statements. One of the guards remains in
detention for fear of influencing witnesses, the others were charged
and released.


========================================================================
Dutch nationals caught smuggling cocaine
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Police are questioning three Dutch nationals who were detained at
Vaclav Havel Airport on Tuesday morning after customs officials found
31 kg of cocaine in their luggage. The group -two men and a woman
-arrived from the Dominican Republic. It is not yet clear if the drugs
were intended for the Czech market or were to have been smuggled to
another destination. The street value of the drugs in their possession
is estimated at 60 million crowns.


========================================================================
Possible out-of-court-settlement on case of police brutality
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interior Minister Jan Kubice will try to reach an out-of-court
settlement with the relatives of a Vietnamese man who died as a result
of police brutality. The victim's mother is suing the state for her
son's death and has demanded 50 million crowns in compensation. On
Tuesday the court postponed further hearings until April at her request
to give the two sides time to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Minister Kubice said he thought the mother wanted moral satisfaction
first and foremost and would be willing to settle for a significantly
lower sum if she received a proper apology from the state.

The incident took place in Brno in 2005. A woman called the police
because she thought she had found drugs in her apartment which she
shared with 43-year-old Vietnamese man. The man was brutally assaulted
by the police and later died of internal injuries in hospital. The
officer responsible was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.


========================================================================
President Klaus in Slovakia
------------------------------------------------------------------------

President Vaclav Klaus is on a two-day visit to neighbouring Slovakia,
his last foreign visit before his term in office expires in March. The
president is meeting with the country's top officials and leading
members of the Slovak business community. He will also attend a number
of social events, including the opening of an exhibition on 20 years of
Czech and Slovak independence. Mr. Klaus is accompanied by his wife
Livia, who herself is Slovak. Ever since the break-up of Czechoslovakia
in 1993 the two countries' presidents have made it a tradition to pay
their first and last foreign visits in office to the former
sister-state as a mark of above-standard relations.


========================================================================
Znojmo town hall official found guilty of corruption
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A regional court has served former Znojmo town hall official Vladimir
Krejcir a one year prison sentence and a 100,000 crown fine for
corruption and abuse of office. Krejcir was found guilty of soliciting
bribes to influence tenders which he had no say over and channeling
sponsors' gifts to his personal account. Two businessmen who paid him
bribe money were given suspended sentences.


========================================================================
Cerny ordered to pay for insult
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Prague court of appeals has ordered artist David Cerny to pay the
former head of the National Gallery Milan Knizak 100,000 crowns for
insulting him in a Czech TV documentary. Czech Public Television has
been ordered to pay the same amount for airing the program. Both the
artist and Czech Television have already apologized for the incident.
Relations between the two artists have been strained for years.


========================================================================
IKEA says horse meatballs went on sale in several European countries
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A batch of meatballs pulled from shelves at IKEA's stores after Czech
inspectors discovered they contained horsemeat had been on sale in
several European countries, the company's Czech spokesman said on
Monday. Petr Chadraba, spokesman for the Swedish furniture chain's
Czech branch, said the batch of meatballs had been on sale in countries
including Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium.


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Czechs increasingly cautious about taking loans
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Czechs are increasingly unwilling to burden their family budgets with
loans, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM agency. Inflation and
uncertainty on the job market have made Czech notably more cautions
with respect to loans for vacations and consumer goods. According to
the poll results 88 percent of respondents said they were no longer
willing to take loans on vacations or consumer goods, though 85 percent
of them said would do so to finance their housing or start a business.
According to statistics 17 percent of Czechs have serious problems
repaying their loans.


========================================================================
Weather
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The coming days should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with rain
in places and day temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Berg Orchestra experiments with form and setting of contemporary music
------------------------------------------------------------------------

For many lovers of classical music, the Czech Republic is the land of
Dvorak and Smetana. Fans of more modern music may know Leos Janacek or
Bohuslav Martinu. It may seem, though, that for the past fifty or so
years, creation of and even interest in orchestral music has all but
died out in this country.

http://radio.cz/en/section/in-focus/berg-orchestra-experiments-with-form-and-setting-of-contemporary-music


Civic Democrat chairman on regional tour to drum up support from local
leaders
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The prime minister has begun to take aim at his party's flagging
fortunes which have been on a marked downturn since last year's
regional and senate elections. Prime minister and Civic Democrat leader
Petr Necas was in Pardubice on Monday, one stop on his regional tour
aimed at boosting support among local leaders.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/civic-democrat-chairman-on-regional-tour-to-drum-up-support-from-local-leaders


15th One World to deliver over 100 documentaries on huge range of topics
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 2013 One World festival of human rights documentaries kicks off in
Prague on Monday. Over a week and a half, this year's festival, the
15th, will present more than 100 films on subjects ranging from the
international hackers group Anonymous to acid attacks on women in
Pakistan to a homeless New Yorker who's become friends with top film
stars. The theme of this year's One World is tolerance and intolerance;
festival director Hana Kulhankova told me why.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/15th-one-world-to-deliver-over-100-documentaries-on-huge-range-of-topics






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Radio Prague Today 2.26.2013

Articles posted today

Berg Orchestra experiments with form and setting of contemporary music

For many lovers of classical music, the Czech Republic is the land of Dvořák and Smetana. Fans of more modern music may know Leoš Janáček or Bohuslav Martinů. It may seem, though, that for the past fifty or so years, creation of and even interest in orchestral music has all but died out in this country.

Civic Democrat chairman on regional tour to drum up support from local leaders

The prime minister has begun to take aim at his party's flagging fortunes which have been on a marked downturn since last year's regional and senate elections. Prime minister and Civic Democrat leader Petr Nečas was in Pardubice on Monday, one stop on his regional tour aimed at boosting support among local leaders.

15th One World to deliver over 100 documentaries on huge range of topics

The 2013 One World festival of human rights documentaries kicks off in Prague on Monday. Over a week and a half, this year's festival, the 15th, will present more than 100 films on subjects ranging from the international hackers group Anonymous to acid attacks on women in Pakistan to a homeless New Yorker who's become friends with top film stars. The theme of this year's One World is tolerance and intolerance; festival director Hana Kulhánková told me why.