Wednesday, May 15, 2013

News 5.15.2013

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

News Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

By: Daniela Lazarova

* President Milos Zeman has selected three more nominees for
Constitutional Court judges to replace those whose term in office
expires later this year.

* The Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing on church
restitutions on May 29.

* The Czech economy is in record-long recession, having contracted for
the sixth quarter in a row.

* The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment to the road
law which should allow drivers to select the numbers on their license
plates as of 2015.

* Public readings from contemporary European literature are taking
place in 18 Prague venues on Wednesday night.



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President selects three more nominees for Constitutional Court judges
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President Milos Zeman has selected three more nominees for
Constitutional Court judges to replace those whose term in office
expires later this year. They are Supreme Administrative Court judge
Katerina Simackova, current Constitutional Court judge Miloslav Vyborny
who would be nominated for re-election and Supreme Court judge Ludvik
David. Mr. Zeman met with all three candidates on Tuesday and will now
propose their nominations to the Senate. The president appointed three
new judges to the Constitutional Court in early May and the 15-member
body is now complete, but the mandates of seven more judges are due to
expire this year.


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Constitutional Court to hold public hearing on church restitution law
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The Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing on church
restitutions on May 29. The court will debate a complaint against the
church restitution law filed by the opposition Public Affairs. The
legislation has also been attacked by the opposition Social Democrats
and the Communist Party on the grounds that it is overly generous and
gives churches more property than was actually confiscated by the
communist regime after 1948. Under the law Czech churches will get back
75 billion crowns worth of property and another 59 billion crowns in
compensation for that which cannot be returned to be paid out by the
state over a period of 30 years.


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Czech economy in record-low recession
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The Czech economy is in record-long recession, having contracted for
the sixth quarter in a row, according to figures posted by the Czech
Statistical Office on Wednesday. The economy shrank by 0.8 percent in
the first quarter due to a fall in foreign demand affecting mainly the
car sector. Lower investment activity also led to a further drop in
construction. According to the Czech Statistical Office the year on
year decline has deepened to 1.9 percent. The crown slumped to its
weakest level since November 2011 on the news.


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ISTR head presents list of candidates for new academic board
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The new head of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes
Pavla Foglarova has presented the supervisory board with a list of
candidates for the institutes' academic board after its former members
resigned en masse in protest over the sacking of the institute's former
head Daniel Herman. The new academic board should have 12 members and
the proposed candidates include the former politician and historian
Petr Pithart, historian Vilem Precan, the present director of the
Institute of Modern History Oldrich Tuma and number of foreign experts
including the French historian Muriel Blaive, who currently resides in
Vienna, and the Danish historian Peter Bugge, an expert on Bohemian
studies. The institute has recently undergone far-reaching personnel
changes and relations within remain tense.


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Prague moves to regulate busking in city centre
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Prague City Hall has taken steps to regulate busking in the city
centre. A new regulation which went into force on Wednesday May 15,
clearly stipulates which areas are off limits and where busking is
still allowed. The regulation does not apply to Charles Bridge where
special rules are in force. City Hall says the regulation was the
result of a compromise between Prague residents and street artists. The
new regulation also sets down a buskers' ethical codex, intended to
limit noise pollution in residential areas.


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Drivers may be able to select the numbers on their license plates
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The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment to the road law
which should allow drivers to select the numbers on their license
plates as of 2015. The special service will come at a price with one
license plate to cost 5,000 crowns. The cost per car will thus be
10,000 crowns. The proposed amendment should also simplify the process
of registering vehicles. The bill will now go to the Senate.


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European Literature Night in Prague
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Public readings from contemporary European literature are taking place
in 18 Prague venues tonight. The popular literary event, now in its 7th
year, is organized by the network of Czech Cultural Centres in
cooperation with European National Institutes for Culture EUNIC. The
aim is to provide a platform for contemporary European authors and to
present new European literary voices in a creative way. Among the
authors whose works will be presented this year at Prague galleries,
coffee houses and theatres are Elena Ferrante from Italy and Hungary's
Peter Esterhazy. European Literature Night is held on the eve of the
World Book Fair which opens on May 16th in the Czech capital.


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Flower Day against cancer in Prague
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The League Against Cancer held its annual Flower Day in the Czech
capital on Wednesday to help raise money for cancer research and raise
public awareness of the need for prevention. The money raised is used
to support the league's projects, which are focused on the prevention
of tumor-related illnesses, improving the quality of life of cancer
patients and acquiring new technology for treatment and research
departments.


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Main runway at Prague's Vaclav Havel Airport undergoing reconstruction
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Maintenance work has started on the main runway at Prague's Vaclav
Havel Airport. From mid-May until the end of September the airport will
have to rely on alternate runways. This is the second stage of a three
phase-reconstruction due to end in 2014. The airport says it has
carefully planned the use of the alternate runaways in order to protect
people living in the vicinity of the airport from excessive noise
pollution as much as possible. The matter is also being consulted with
experts on noise pollution.


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International media carrying footage of Czech president staggering at
ceremony
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A number of international media outlets are carrying video footage of
the Czech president staggering in public, with several headlines posing
the question of whether he may have been inebriated. The Huffington
Post and the websites of the Daily Mail, the Washington Post, USA Today
and other newspapers have posted the video, which at one point shows
the head of state propping himself up against a wall; it comes from a
ceremony last Thursday in which the Czech crown jewels were removed
from the vault where they are normally stored. Mr. Zeman had previously
been at an event at Prague's Russian Embassy but denies having been
under the influence. A spokesperson said he had contracted a virus.


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Weather
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The coming days should be bright and sunny with daytime highs reaching
25 degrees Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Planned university reform seeks to improve cooperation with industry
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Czech universities are set for the biggest change in years. After
several failed attempts in the past, the Education Ministry is
finalizing reform legislation that should help universities adapt to
the changing environment; the reform seeks, among other things, to
diversify the universities and change their financing. It should also
improve cooperation between universities and industry. But how does the
business sector see the ministry's efforts? In this edition of
Marketplace, I discuss these issues with Jan Louda, a university
relations coordinator at IBM for Czech Republic.

http://radio.cz/en/section/marketplace/planned-university-reform-seeks-to-improve-cooperation-with-industry


Report claims number of anti-Semitic internet posts is on the rise
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According to a report annually compiled by the Jewish community in
Prague, the number of anti-Semitic statements made on Czech internet in
2012 increased three-fold compared to the previous year. More direct
actions targeting Jews, however, did not see a significant rise around
the Czech Republic.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/report-claims-number-of-anti-semitic-internet-posts-is-on-the-rise


Czechs secure quarterfinal berth at Worlds
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On Tuesday, the Czech hockey team faced a key challenge at the Ice
Hockey World Championship: either defeat Norway or head home early.
Aided by talented reinforcements from the NHL, the Czechs did the
former: they won and they did so with style.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czechs-secure-quarterfinal-berth-at-worlds






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