Friday, March 1, 2013

News 3.1.2013

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

News Friday, March 1st, 2013

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The Prague State Attorney's Office has asked the police to
investigate accusations of corruption against Prime Minister Petr Necas.

* Russian and Georgian representatives met in Prague on Friday for
talks aimed at normalizing bilateral ties.

* A police chase on the D1 highway resulted in a mass collision.

* The police have proposed pressing corruption charges against MP David
Rath.

* Doctors around the Czech Republic held a symbolic protest on Friday
against what they perceive as a threat to healthcare funding.



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Police to investigate corruption allegations against PM
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The Prague State Attorney's Office has asked the police to investigate
accusations of corruption against Prime Minister Petr Necas stemming
from a criminal complaint filed by defence lawyer Vaclav Laska. Laska's
complaint alleges that the prime minister promised three Civic Democrat
deputies lucrative posts in state-owned companies if they gave up their
seats in the lower house to allow the government's controversial tax
package to win approval. A criminal complaint has also been filed
against the three now former deputies, Marek Snajdr, Petr Tluchor and
Ivan Fuksa. Marek Snajdr later got a seat on the supervisory board of
the company Cepro, while Ivan Fuksa was named managing director of
Czech Aeroholding. According to media reports Petr Tluchor is allegedly
being considered for a post in the power giant CEZ.


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Russian and Georgian envoys meet for talks in Prague
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Russian and Georgian representatives met in Prague on Friday for talks
aimed at normalizing bilateral ties in areas of trade, transport and
culture, but avoiding the sensitive issue of Georgia's breakaway
republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This is the second meeting
between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and the
Georgian Prime Minister's special envoy on Russian issues, Zurab
Abashidze, since Tbilisi announced last November it was ready to renew
talks with Moscow. Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia
after the two nations fought a brief war over Abkhazia and South
Ossetia in August 2008.


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Police chase ends in mass collision
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A police chase on the D1 highway resulted in a mass collision involving
at least 8 vehicles on Friday. Police were chasing a driver who had
refused to stop. The Audi eventually crashed into a road block set up
by the police and burst into flames. The 17-year-old driver died on the
spot. At least seven other cars got involved in the accident. At least
two people were injured, one of them seriously. The incident is being
investigated.


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Police propose pressing corruption charges against MP Rath
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The police have proposed pressing corruption charges against MP David
Rath and ten of his alleged accomplices. The evidence collected
pertains to six manipulated public tenders. If convicted of the charges
the former governor of central Bohemia could face up to 12 years in
prison. Mr. Rath was arrested in May of last year with 7 million crowns
in cash in his possession. He has been in detention since for fear he
might influence witnesses.


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Czech doctors hold symbolic protest over fears of funding cuts
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Doctors around the Czech Republic held a symbolic protest on Friday
against what they perceive as a threat to funding for clinics and
hospitals this year. For the most part patients were not affected by
the protest; they received flyers outlining the medics' concerns and
were asked to sign a petition entitled Let's Save our Health System.
The Ministry of Health says the protest was uncalled for and insists
the healthcare system will receive more money this year than in 2012.


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President Klaus to give his Slovak counterpart highest state distinction
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Outgoing President Vaclav Klaus is to award his Slovak counterpart
President Ivan Gasparovic the highest Czech state distinction, the
Order of the White Lion, in appreciation of his contribution to the two
countries exceptionally good relations. It is not clear if President
Klaus will be awarded Slovakia's highest state decoration before
leaving office on March 7.


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State budget surplus down to 5.6 billion
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The state budget surplus in February dropped to 5.6 billion crowns from
January's 42.4 billion, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. Even so it
is the best result since 2000. In February 2012 the budget showed a
16.6 billion crown deficit. This year's state budget was approved with
a projected 100 billion crown deficit.


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IKEA stores in Czech Republic halt sale of all minced meat products
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IKEA stores in the Czech Republic have halted the sale of all minced
meat products after inspectors found horsemeat in their meatballs and
traces of horsemeat in sausages used for hot-dogs. A company spokesman
said IKEA planned to test all its meat products both from local and
international suppliers before resuming sales.


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Doctors report a severe shortage of tetanus vaccines
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Doctors report a severe shortage of tetanus vaccines. Vaccination of
healthy patients has stopped altogether and doctors are keeping the
small amount they have left for urgent cases. The Health Ministry said
on Friday it was working to resolve the problem and expects new batches
of the vaccine to be delivered within a week's time.


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Winner of most absurd bank fee announced
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The winner of the eighths annual poll for the most absurd Czech bank
fee has been announced. According to the anti-fee watchdog website
bankovnipoplatky.com, which conducted the poll, the most absurd fee is
the fee for using an ATM machine to find out one's balance which
received 36 percent of votes. In some cases this fee was actually
higher than that for taking out money from an ATM machine of one's own
bank. Second place went to the fee banks charge for managing a mortgage
account, which received 22 percent of votes and third place went to the
fee banks charge for sending you an electronic bank statement.


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Weather
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The coming days should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered
showers and daytime highs reaching 6 degrees Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Alcohol testing uncovers lethal levels of methanol in purchased spirits
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Free tests of alcohol by the Health Ministry at the end of last year
revealed that every eighth bottle of spirits out of more than 7,000
checked brought in by households contained dangerous substances - 40 of
them lethal amounts of methyl alcohol. The results were announced by
the chief hygiene officer on Thursday, roughly half a year since a
major poisoning outbreak in the Czech Republic.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/alcohol-testing-uncovers-lethal-levels-of-methanol-in-purchased-spirits


James Stafford - Author of The Sorrowful Putto of Prague
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In this week's Arts, my guest is Welsh writer James Stafford, the
author of a wonderfully irreverent webcomic The Sorrowful Putto of
Prague. The comic tells the story of a 400-year-old putto (or cherub)
named Xavier living in the city and it has captured the attention of
both Czech and English-language readers. After looking up the site
myself, I was curious to learn more about Xavier and his world. James
Stafford - who is not usually based in Prague - came to the studio to
discuss the project.

http://radio.cz/en/section/arts/james-stafford-author-of-the-sorrowful-putto-of-prague-1


Business News 1.3.2013
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In business news this week: monthly Czech household debt has fallen for
the first time in 11 years, while consumer confidence went up;
Telefonica released lower earning figures for last year than was
expected; food produced Hame wants to expand to Africa and the Middle
East; plan for the Czech-Austrian Mozart pipeline has been revived;
produced of esophagus stents wins Czech innovation prize; year-on-year
profits for Czech pension funds went up last year.

http://radio.cz/en/section/economic/business-news-2013-03-01






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