Saturday, February 2, 2013

News 2.2.2013

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

News Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

By: Jan Velinger

* The president-elect met with the current head of the president's
office on Friday to discuss the upcoming transition.

* The sister stations Metropol and Petka have run out of money and will
be airing reruns, sources report.

* Cases of acute respiratory illness and flu in the country have
continued to rise.

* The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority seized 320 litres
of spirits at an illegal warehouse in Karlovy Vary.

* Nominations for the 20th Czech Lion national film awards will be
announced on Saturday night.

President-elect meets with Weigl, Velisek in preparation for transition

President-elect Milos Zeman met with the current head of the
president's office, Jiri Weigl, as well as Prague Castle administrative
director Ivo Velisek on Friday to discuss transition steps. Mr Zeman
will be inaugurated as the Czech Republic's third president in March.
The president-elect said he aimed to meet with Prague Castle employees
to find out who would be staying on following the departure of the
current head-of-state Vaclav Klaus. Mr Zeman revealed he had already
chosen future aides at the Castle, one of whom is his secretary
Jaroslav Hlinovksy, in the past employed by Mr Zeman's controversial
former aide Miroslav Slouf, the Czech news agency reported.

CTK: Zeman to meet with president, PM, on Tuesday

In related news, Milos Zeman will meet with the outgoing president,
Vaclav Klaus, on Tuesday afternoon and with Prime Minister Petr Necas
on Tuesday evening, the Czech news agency reports citing unofficial
sources. Mr Zeman's first, CTK writes, is expected to be amicable.
Alleged political differences aside, Mr Klaus and other members of his
family, made clear ahead of the election they favored Mr Zeman as the
next president. Mr Klaus steps down after two terms on March 7.

The president-elect's meeting with the prime minister, by contrast, is
expected to be more formal in nature; the day he was elected, Mr Zeman
questioned the legitimacy of the centre-right coalition, saying it
would be better if the country saw early elections.

Petka & Metropol out of money, opt for reruns

The sister TV stations Petka and Metropol have stopped production of
new programming and has opted to air re-runs news website
says. According to the site, the stations have been out of money for
two months. Earlier reports said that Metropol Productions, the firm
behind both stations, had lost funding from businessman Lubos Mekota,
whose holdings have been frozen by the police. Empressa Media is
reportedly interested in the sister stations. Financial website IHNED,
meanwhile, writes that the staff and management will learn more in
mid-February; employees are already owed two months in unpaid wages, a
station official confirmed.

Flu epidemic continues

A flu epidemic in the Czech Republic has shown few signs of abating: on
the contrary, the number of reported cases of acute respiratory illness
this week rose by 9.6 percent and flu across all age groups by 33
percent. There are currently 264 serious cases in the country, Chief
Hygiene Officer Vladimir Valenta revealed; the flu this season has
claimed 51 lives in the Czech Republic. The southwest of the country,
by comparison, has seen a stagnation or slight decrease in the number
of reported cases.

Authority seizes more than 300 litres of spirits

The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority secured 320 litres
of spirits lacking proper documentation at an illegal warehouse in
Karlovy Vary, blocking distribution to retailers. Police and customs
officials helped in the operation. According to an official, the lack
of documentation as well as packs of unused labels (belonging to
producer Likerka Drak), suggest illegal alcohol production. Samples of
the spirits uncovered are being tested: the results will be known next
week. Forty people in the Czech Republic died from methanol poisoning
over the last six months after consuming bootleg liquor.

Patrons suffer monoxide poisoning in bar

Seven people at a bar on the outskirts of Olomouc suffered carbon
monoxide poisoning in the early hours of Saturday. At around 1 am
customers began complaining they were feeling ill and two fell
unconscious; all seven were transferred to a nearby hospital for
treatment. The accident was likely caused by chimney or flue blockage
and is now under investigation. Fire fighters aired out the venue but
have ordered the proprietor not to use the gas furnace until the
problem is resolved.

Film award nominees to be announced on Saturday night

Nominations for the 20th inception of Cesky lev, the Czech Lion
national film awards, will be announced at Prague's Lucerna cinema on
Saturday night. The event, which will be shown live on public
broadcaster Czech Television, precedes the actual awards ceremony,
which takes place in exactly a month's time. Members of the Czech
Academy of Film and Television chose from among 30 feature films and 15
documentaries that premiered in 2012.


Possible rain, turning to snow in places, is expected in the coming
days. Daytime temperatures on Saturday should reach around 4 degrees
Celsius, dropping to just 2 on Sunday.

Articles posted on today

Jitka Sloupova and the return of political theatre to the Czech stage

For some years after the fall of communism, Czech audiences avoided any
kind of theatre that might have been perceived as political. After
decades of putting up with politics at every level of life, they had
simply had enough. But today political drama is back with a vengeance.
With a mixture of masochism and schadenfreude, Czech audiences are
relishing new plays and productions that comment on contemporary
political life with biting satire. David Vaughan reports.

Magazine 2.2.2013

In this edition of Magazine: the new president 'flips the bird'; some
voters opt for cartoon character the Little Mole; Vaclav Klaus falls
for a prank call; and Katka forgets the pickle.

The long shadow of Dr Benes

The first ever direct presidential election brought renewed focus on a
trauma that continues to haunt Czech society even sixty years after it
occurred. The forced deportations of some three million Germans from
Czechoslovakia after the end of WWII still divide Czech society, as
does the historical role of Czechoslovak president Edvard Benes, who
sanctioned the move.

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