Wednesday, May 8, 2013

News 5.8.2013

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

News Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

By: Jan Richter

* Czechs mark the 68th anniversary of the end of WWII on Wednesday, a
public holiday in the country.

* Swiss prosecution has appreciated a change in attitude by the Czech
authorities in investigating the sale of a Czech mining company.

* The legendary rock band Olympic has announced it will continue to
play despite the recent death of its drummer.

* The US film Consuming Spirits has won the main award at the Anifilm
International Festival of Animated Films in Trebon.

* In tennis, Tomas Berdych has advanced to the third round of the
Madrid Masters.

Czechs mark Liberation Day

Czechs commemorate the end of the Second World War on Wednesday, a
public holiday in the Czech Republic. Events marking Liberation Day are
held across the country; President Milos Zeman marked the anniversary
at Prague's Vitkov Hill where a military parade was held. The event was
attended by other Czech officials including Prime Minister Petr Necas,
the speaker of the lower house, Miroslava Nemcova, the defence
minister, the chief of the Czech Army's general staff, and the head of
the Catholic Church, Archbishop Dominik Duka. President Zeman will also
appoint new generals of the Czech Army on Wednesday. The Czech
Parliament as well as the country's Foreign Ministry hold an open day
on Wednesday, allowing visitors to view the interiors of the buildings.

President Milos Zeman appoints army generals

Czech President Milos Zeman appointed five new army generals on
Wednesday, on the occasion of Liberation Day. The new generals include
the head of the Czech army intelligence service, Karel Kovanda,
commander of the army's joint forces Jan Gurnik, commander of the
ground forces Ladislav Jung, the rector of the Defence University
Bohuslav Prikryl, and chief of the Military Police, Milan Schulc.

Foreign minister criticizes Israeli policies

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has criticized Israeli
airstrikes on Syria and the country's settlements plans in the West
Bank. In an interview for the news website Times of Israel released on
Tuesday night, Mr Schwarzenberg called plans to build settlements in
the controversial E1 area "obnoxious"; the Czech foreign minister also
said he would nit express support for Israeli airstrikes on weapon
convoys in Syria, and never sanction a potential Israeli strike against
Iran's nuclear facilities. Mr Schwarzenberg's remarks are the first
strong criticism of Israeli policies coming from a Czech government
minister as the country is considered one of Israel's major allies
within the EU.

Swiss prosecution appreciates Czechs' change in attitude in MUS case

Switzerland's Attorney General Michal Lauber has appreciated a change
in attitude by the Czech authorities in investigating alleged
corruption in the 1998 privatization of the mining company MUS. In an
interview for the daily Le Temps on Wednesday, Mr Lauber said that
following political changes in early 2012, his office registered a
genuine will of the Czech authorities to progress in the case. Until
the end of 2011, the Czech Republic did everything to make things more
difficult for Swiss prosecution, Mr Lauber said.

Swiss and Czech authorities raised charges of corruption against former
managers of the firm; they face accusations that they privatized the
firm using money earmarked for environmental projects. A trial against
the accused is set to begin in Switzerland on Monday.

T-Mobile posts 14.3-percent EBITDA drop in Q1

T-Mobile, the Czech Republic's largest mobile phone operator, on
Wednesday posted a 14.3-percent annual decrease in its earnings before
interest, tax, depreciating and amortization, or EBITDA, in the first
quarter of this year. The margin reached 2.65 billion crowns.
T-Mobile's revenues decreased by nearly ten percent while the number of
the firm's clients rose by around 4 percent, and reached 5.6 million.
In a statement, the firm said the results reflected trends registered
in the previous periods, such as further development of data services,
lower average spending by clients as well as higher consumption of
telecommunications services.

Rock band Olympic to continue despite drummer's death

Members of the legendary Czech rock band Olympic have announced the
band will continue to play despite the death of their drummer. In a
statement released on Facebook on Wednesday, Olympic said they would
continue with three members while the drummer will be filled by various
musicians. Olympic formed in the late 1960s, and has since released
nearly 20 albums. Drummer Milan Peroutka, who joined the band in 1986,
died on Sunday at the age of 49.

"Consuming Spirits" wins Czech animated films festival

The US film Consuming Spirits by Chris Sullivan has won the main award
at the Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films in Trebon. The
prize for best children's movie was awarded to the French-Belgian film
The Day of the Crows while the animated documentary Father received the
award for best short film. The Anifilm festival, which concludes in the
south Bohemian town Trebon on Wednesday, has been held for the third
time this year.

Tennis: Berdych through to Madrid Masters' third round

Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych defeated Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 6-7,
6-3, 6-2 at the Madrid Masters on Wednesday to reach the tournament's
third round. The sixth-seeded Czech had a difficult start to the match
but made few errors in the second and third set, claiming victory in
two hours and 15 minutes. Berdych will next play the winner of a rubber
between Kevin Anderson of South Africa and Juan Monaco of Argentina.


The next few days will be partially cloudy with occasional rain and
storms. Daytime highs should range between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Otto Pick - War years just start of peripatetic, colourful life

Professor Otto Pick was one of nearly 700 Jewish children who escaped
the Nazis on a transport to the UK organised by Nicholas Winton, a
British diplomat based in Prague. He says he only became aware
relatively recently that he was on the now famous "Winton train" and
does not know how his family managed to get him on board and save his

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