Sunday, April 14, 2013

News 4.14.2013

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

News Sunday, April 14th, 2013

By: Masha Volynsky

* Prime Minister Petr Necas has visited Afghanistan and met with
President Hamid Karzai as well as Czech troops in Logar and Vardak

* Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzeberg is set to meet with President
Milos Zeman to discuss their dispute over ambassadorial nominations.

* New Defense Minister Vlastimil Picek has announced his intention to
purchase two more transport airplanes for the army.

* The prime minister has asked the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry to
make public the information about expenses linked with the social
welfare S-Card.

* The Prague 1 Town Hall will begin reconstructing a number of
landmarks in the Kampa park.

Czech premier visits Afghanistan

Prime Minister Petr Necas paid an unexpected visit to Czech troops in
Afghanistan over the weekend. According to the information released to
the media on Sunday, the prime minister met with Afghanistan's
president Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Saturday and visited the Czech army
bases in the Logar and Vardak provinces the following day. According to
Mr Necas, the two leaders spoke about Afghanistan's interest in the
Czech-made L-159 light combat aircraft, as well as cooperation in
industrial development, transportation and education.

The Czech prime minister assured his host that Czech troops are willing
to continue training Afghan soldiers even after 2014, when the
International Security Assistance Force mission will end. The Czech
side is hoping to secure business contracts in Afghanistan, for example
in the area of transportation infrastructure. The Afghan president
welcomed these plans and expressed his hope to begin working on
specific projects in the near future, according to the Czech News

Schwarzenberg to meet Zeman over ambassador row

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told the Czech News Agency on
Sunday that the dispute over new Czech ambassadors is actually at the
core of who will control Czech foreign policy. The minister is set to
meet President Milos Zeman on Tuesday to discuss their disagreement
over the naming of new ambassadors to Slovakia and Russia. A few weeks
ago, President Zeman nominated his predecessor's wife Livia Klausova to
the post in Bratislava, and the MEP for the Communist Party Vladimir
Remek to the one in Moscow. Mr Schwarzenberg disagreed with both
choices and emphasized that it is in the competencies of the foreign
minister to nominated ambassadors, while the president traditionally
only signs the subsequent approval of the government.

Picek will ask for two more planes

Defense Minister Vlastimil Picek said that he will recommend for
governmental approval a plan to purchase two more transportation
aircrafts for the army. During the Sunday talk show Partie on the Prima
Family channel Mr Picek said he will present the government with a
detailed document concerning the transportation and helicopter air
force in the second half of the year. The minister wants to acquire
more airplanes, saying that the four CASA planes that were purchased in
a highly disputed deal in 2009 do not fulfill all the needs of the
Czech army.

Necas wants S-Card expenses made public

Prime Minister Petr Necas released a public statement calling on the
Labor and Social Affairs Ministry to make public information about all
the production and related expenses of the embattled social welfare
S-Card. The Premier has distanced himself from the S-Card project in
the past week and has asked the Labor Minister Ludmila Mullerova to
discontinue the new system. Ms Mullerova and the coalition partner TOP
09 are defending the project.

Prague 1 to begin revitalisation of Kampa park

The Prague 1 town hall has announced that it is ready to start the
re-vitalisation of the Kampa island park, which will begin with the
renovation of the so-called gas house from the 17th century. The
renovation should last approximately three months, after which the town
hall plans to make the house available for public use. Afterwards it
plans to work on the baroque wall surrounding the building of the Sova
mills, which now houses a museum of modern art.

Some ski centers remain open despite warm weather

This weekend marked the last days of the skiing seasons for many, but
not all, Czech ski centers. Many ski resorts in the south Bohemian
Sumava, northern Bohemian Krkonose mountains and in the Vysocina region
finished off an unusually long season. Some mountain resortss like
Klinovec in northwestern Bohemia or the Bila ski center in the eastern
Beskydy mountains will remain open next week.

Women's handball team from Most advance to finals

The women's handball team from Most will be the first Czech team to
take part in the final of the European Handball Championship after they
claimed a 31:21 victory over Uskudarem Istanbul on their home turf on
Saturday. The Most team will take on the Croatian team Fantasyland
Samobor in the two finals matches in May.


It will be mostly sunny with cloudy patches in the upcoming days.
Daytime highs should be between 14 and 21 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Famous Czech jazz flutist Jiri Stivin

This week's Sunday Music Show is devoted to one of the country's most
prominent jazz artists -flutist Jiri Stivin. The 68-year-old musician,
who is reputed to be able to play on a blade of grass, says the feel
for jazz is something you are born with and some of the best renditions
come from children who are as yet unspoiled by the constraints of a
music education.

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