Thursday, April 4, 2013

News 4.4.2013

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

News Thursday, April 4th, 2013

By: Jan Richter

* Czech President Milos Zeman is visiting Slovakia on his first foreign
trip since his inauguration.

* The Council of Europe's anti-corruption agency has criticized the
Czech Republic over the financing of political parties.

* The opposition Social Democrats would gain 68 seats in the 200-seat
lower house, according to a new poll.

* Five men are facing life sentences for the murder of a 72-year-old
businessman.

* Warmer weather with temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius is
expected to arrive next week.



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President Zeman visits Slovakia
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Czech President Milos Zeman on Thursday began a two-day visit to
Slovakia, his first foreign trip since his inauguration in March.
Slovakia is traditionally the first destination for Czech officials. On
Thursday, President Zeman met the Slovak head of state, Ivan
Gasparovic; the officials discussed the need for better transport
connections between the two countries as well as a plan for the joint
defence of the Czech and Slovak air space. Mr Zeman also met Slovakia's
prime minister, Robert Fico, later on Thursday.


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GRECO criticizes financing of Czech political parties
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The Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption, or GRECO,
has criticized the Czech Republic over the financing of political
parties. In its compliance report on the Czech Republic released on
Thursday, the anti-corruption agency said Czech authorities ignored its
recommendations issued two years ago, and failed to establish an
independent body to monitor parties' financing and campaigns. GRECO has
therefore asked the authorities to file a report on the progress in
implementing these recommendations by the end of September.


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Czech, German emergency medical services to broaden cooperation
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The Czech and German health ministers, Leos Heger and Daniel Bahr, on
Thursday signed an agreement on the cooperation of their countries'
emergency medical services. The agreement would allow the services to
provide acute care to patients on the other side of the Czech-German
border who would be reached later by their country's ambulance. The
agreement could come into effect by the end of the year.


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Poll: Social Democrats would win 68 seats in lower house
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The opposition Social Democrats would win 68 seats in the 200-seat
Czech lower house, according to the latest poll by the ppm factum
agency. The coalition TOP 09 group would gain 36 seats, followed by the
Communists with 34 seats. The senior coalition Civic Democrats would
win 33 seats. The poll also suggests that the Zemanites, a group formed
around now President Milos Zeman, would get 15 seats and the Christian
Democrats would make a comeback with 14 seats.


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Five men face life sentences for murder
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The organized crime unit of the Czech police on Thursday charged five
men with the murder of a 72-year-old businessman. The men are suspected
of having lured the victim to Nice, France, under the pretext of a real
estate deal, forced him to hand them access codes to his bank accounts,
and shot him dead in northern Italy. Before their arrest, the men were
looking for another victim, the head of the police unit said. The
suspects, all repeated offenders, face life sentences.


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Fifteen women charged with promoting neo-Nazism
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Prosecutors in the northern city of Decin on Thursday charged 15 women
with promoting neo-Nazism, a spokesman for the prosecution said. The
charges are linked to the women's activities in Resistance Women Unity,
a neo-Nazi group. Prosecutors say the women, aged between 22 and 33,
organized and promoted events held by the neo-Nazi group in Czech towns
between 2007 and 2009. If convicted, they face up to eight years in
jail.


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New service launched to ease on-line shopping
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A new service was launched in Prague on Thursday to improve deliveries
of parcels and goods purchased on-line. The project, entitled "The
Magic Cupboard", allows people to pick up their parcels in deposit
boxes located in 15 shopping malls in Prague. The service should be
faster and cheaper than the delivery provided by Czech Post, according
to the authors who said that around 100 pick-up locations would be
available around the country by the end of the year.


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Hockey: Plzen book berth in final
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Czech hockey club Plzen defeated Slavia Prague 4:2 in game 6 of the
playoffs' semifinal series on Wednesday night to reach the final for
the first time in 21 years. Playing on home ice, Plzen soon went ahead
but Slavia equalized before the end of the first period. The tie
continued in the second period when both team scored a goal but in the
final 20 minutes, Plzen prevailed and scored twice to win the match and
the best-of-seven series. Plzen will face either Zlin or Trinec in the
final.


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NHL: forward Martin Erat traded from Nashville to Washington
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In the NHL, Czech forward Martin Erat has been traded from the
Nashville Predators to the Washington Capitals. The 31-year-old Erat,
spent 11 seasons in Nashville and has never played for another NHL
club. He signed a seven-year contract with the club five years ago but
on Wednesday, he said it was time for a change, and was happy to have a
chance to win the Stanley Cup.


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Warm weather to arrive next week
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The unusually long winter could finally end next with when a spell of
warmer weather is expected, Czech meteorologists said. The end of March
and beginning of April has been extremely cold, with record-low
temperatures registered across the country. But next week could see
daytime temperatures reach 9 degrees Celsius and even 15 degrees
towards the end of the week, according to a forecast by the Czech
Hydrometeorological institute.


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Weather
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The end of the week will be slightly warmer, with overcast skies, rain
or snow in places and daytime highs ranging between 3 and 7 degrees
Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Carsharing is growing in popularity in Czech cities
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The Transport Ministry announced this week its plans to support
carsharing in hopes of alleviating traffic-clogged roads and the
quickly worsening parking situation in Czech cities. But it has
promised no financial backing for carsharing schemes that allow car
owners who do not use their vehicles daily to offer them for limited
use, and a relatively small fee, to others.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/carsharing-is-growing-in-popularity-in-czech-cities


Native speakers in school system way down on '90s numbers
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Young teachers from the West whose main qualification was often the
ability to speak English were common at Czech schools in the 1990s. But
those days are gone. A new report by the national schools inspection
agency says that, relative to the '90s, the percentage of native
speakers in the state education system is now extremely low.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/native-speakers-in-school-system-way-down-on-90s-numbers


Hated and admired, Brno's Orloj lays a claim to fame
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It was meant to be the pride of Brno - the town's own astronomical
clock to rival Prague's famous Orloj and attract tourists to the
Moravian metropolis. Located on the city's Freedom Square the shiny
black six-metre-tall, phallus-shaped clock has attracted praise and
insults in equal measure since its unveiling two years ago. As Brno
City Hall hoped, it has become the talk of the town but in a slightly
different way than expected.

http://radio.cz/en/section/panorama/hated-and-admired-brnos-orloj-lays-a-claim-to-fame-1






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