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Study: Obesity, smoking and drug abuse on the rise among Czech adolescents

29-02-2012 17:12 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: European Commission Czech researchers from the University of Olomouc made a significant contribution to the latest Health Behavior of School-Aged Children Research Study. Sadly, its conclusions point to a worrying trend: Czech adolescents, and their counterparts across Europe, are living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. As a result, obesity, drug abuse and smoking among those aged 18 and under are on the rise. We spoke to one of the Czech researchers involved in the international study, Michal Kalman.  More

Leading economist on austerity package: public sector still squandering money

29-02-2012 17:12 | Daniela Lazarová

The Finance Minister’s austerity plan for 2013, which includes far-reaching measures to increase state revenues and cut public spending, has raised an outcry from the opposition benches with the leader of the opposition Social Democrats Bohuslav Sobotka saying his party would table a vote of no-confidence in the three-party centre-right coalition.  More

Analysis Results – new Krištof Kintera exhibit perplexes and provokes

28-02-2012 14:04 | Sarah Borufka

'Bad news' Krištof Kintera is one of the most respected contemporary Czech artists – he was recently given the title Artist of the Year – and his new exhibit offers an insight into his latest work. Provocative, whimsical and daring, the “Výsledky analýzy” show is one of the season’s most interesting exhibits. We take a look ahead of the opening.  More

Students continue protests over university reform proposals

28-02-2012 14:04 | Dominik Jůn

Photo: CTK The student protests that formed a key component of the 1989 Velvet Revolution serve as a stark reminder, even more than twenty years later, that the imagery of any Czech government upsetting its student population is going to create a major headache. Recent reforms proposed by the Czech Education Ministry under Josef Dobeš have achieved just that. Students are crying foul, with banners draped in universities across the country accusing the government of putting profits before education. This week, many Czech students have taken matters a step further with a self-titled “Week of protests” against the legislation. Tuesday sees students attending countless workshops and debates while protests marching on the offices of the Czech government are scheduled for Wednesday. Dominik Jůn spoke to Charles University student Matouš Turek, one of organizers of the protests, and began by asking Turek to explain the background behind the controversial legislation:  More

Finance minister tells Czechs to brace for succession of lean years

27-02-2012 16:38 | Daniela Lazarová

Miroslav Kalousek Although the Czech government has refused to sign up to the EU’s fiscal discipline pact, frugality has become the order of the day and the finance minister has warned the nation that, come what may, fiscal discipline will be observed in the interest of bringing the country’s public finances under control. On Monday the cabinet’s economic ministers are meeting to debate austerity measures for 2013 which far surpass those previously undertaken.   More

Cakes for freedom – tongue-in-cheek happening to support artist facing controversial prison sentence kicks off in Prague

24-02-2012 15:20 | Sarah Borufka

Roman Týc, photo: CTK Activists are holding a protest happening in front of Prague’s Pankrác prison, where Czech artist Roman Týc on Friday afternoon is starting a one-month prison sentence for a 2007 art project that involved defacing fifty traffic lights in Prague by changing the standard red and green figures to show them in situations such as drinking, urinating and hanging themselves. The artist says he chose prison time over paying a fine because otherwise he would be renouncing the project’s message. Titled “Bábovka pro Týce” or “A cake for Týc”, the happening is as tongue-in-cheek as the art project itself – as a sign of their solidarity, participants will bring cakes to the prison, an allusion to the well-known prison cliché of a cake with a file in it. Ahead of the start at 2 p.m., we spoke to co-organizer Magda Vídeňská about the unusual happening.  More

Change of guard at High State Attorney’s Office in Prague in drawn-out battle for control of decisive post

23-02-2012 15:30 | Daniela Lazarová

Vlastimil Rampula, photo: CTK The change of guard at the High State Attorney’s Office in Prague has sent reverberations across the political spectrum and has raised concerns regarding the independence of the Czech judiciary. Vlastimil Rampula, Prague Chief Prosecutor who was sacked last July on suspicion that he had been holding up key corruption investigations returned in triumph on Wednesday to reclaim his post after the Prague Municipal Court ruled that his dismissal was not sufficiently justified.  More

Scattered oversight: the gaping loopholes in Czech public servant conflict of interest laws

23-02-2012 15:30 | Dominik Jůn

A recent study by the pro-civic engagement charity Oživení found that of five hundred disclosure declarations lodged by Czech politicians – MPs, Senators and local officials - roughly a quarter had errors or issues worthy of further investigation. Critics suggest that the current system simply is not working and with an array of authorities across the Czech Republic tasked with examining conflict of interest declarations – some admit that they do not even have the resources to fully check what public servants have declared. In addition, there are numerous loopholes that appear to make the system highly ineffective. Dominik Jůn spoke with Vladan Brož, of Transparency International and began by asking whether he thought the current system was working.  More

Pundit: battle over control of High State Attorney’s Office in Prague decisive for country’s democratic development

23-02-2012 15:30 | Daniela Lazarová

Jiří Pehe The battle over who should head the High State Attorney’s Office in Prague and the implications of the return of the office’s old-new head Vlastimil Rampula are very much at the centre of media attention. Radio Prague asked commentator Jiří Pehe for his interpretation of the affair.  More

Czech MEP intervenes on Tymoshenko’s behalf

22-02-2012 15:50 | Jan Velinger

Yulia Tymoshenko, photo: European People's Party, CC 2.0 license Czech MEP Zuzana Roithová has confirmed that jailed former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has failed to receive adequate medical attention and is in serious condition. The MEP travelled to Kiev last Friday and was allowed to inspect medical records, which reportedly showed a decision should have been taken on surgery regarding the politician’s lumbar spine.  More

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