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Government renames airport after Havel, but botches translation

22-03-2012 15:15 | Christian Falvey

Photo: CTK After three months of waiting and some sideline debates, the government has agreed to rename Prague’s international airport after the late president Václav Havel. While the Havel family and the tens of thousands who asked for the change are pleased there has finally been some progress, a new problem has arisen with the English translation of the airport’s name. Christian Falvey has this report.  More

Education Minister Josef Dobeš resigns “over budget cuts”

22-03-2012 15:15 | Jan Richter

Josef Dobeš The embattled Czech education minister, Josef Dobeš, has announced he will step down. Mr Dobeš, who has come under severe pressure over a number of issues including EU funds and his planned university reform, cited further austerity measures as the reason. But observers point out that the minister just seized the opportunity to resign before he would be forced out of office.  More

Concert, screening at Prague’s Lucerna to mark day against racism

21-03-2012 16:52 | Jan Velinger, Magdalena Hrozínková

March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and to mark the occasion organisers from Opona, a non-profit NGO, have helped put together an exhibition, screening and concert to take place on Wednesday afternoon and evening at Prague’s Lucerna. Several notable Czech artists, including Ester Kočičková Xindl X, and the Tap Tap are taking part.  More

End of an era for Czech Constitutional Court?

21-03-2012 16:52 | Jan Richter

Eliška Wagnerová, photo: CTK The vice-president of the Czech Constitutional Court, and one of its most distinct judges, Eliška Wagnerová retired on Tuesday as her ten-year term expired. Dubbed the Queen of Dissent, Justice Wagnerová left a deep mark on the top Czech court. She was behind some of the court’s crucial rulings, including that on the EU’s Lisbon treaty, and unwaveringly stood up to political pressure. Radio Prague asked Prof. Jiří Přibáň from Cardiff Law School whether her departure marks the end of an era for the highest court in the land.  More

Eggs in short supply following new EU directive on laying hen welfare

20-03-2012 14:39 | Sarah Borufka

In the Czech Republic, egg prices have increased sharply in recent weeks as a result of a new EU directive that strives to improve conditions in laying hen farms. Since many farmers have failed to implement the new regulations in time, eggs are now in short supply in some countries. Some Czech consumers have even started buying large quantities in neighboring Germany. How will the situation develop ahead of Easter?  More

Police warn investigations will suffer if next year’s budget cuts go through

20-03-2012 14:39 | Christian Falvey

The police have warned of tremendous impacts if the government’s wide-ranging budget cuts go ahead. The current plan calls for a cutting a four billion crown slice from the police budget in 2013 and an additional two and a half billion the year after that. According to an internal police risk assessment reported on this week by the daily Právo, those cuts in practical terms will mean closing a quarter of the country’s police stations and laying off a corresponding amount of the force, some 10,000 police officers. The report warns that that would leave the police unable to properly fulfil one of their main tasks – investigations.  More

Pundit: Citizens’ initiative calling for resignation of government indicates a new level of public frustration

19-03-2012 14:26 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK Thousands of people gathered for anti-government protests following a call from the heterogeneous protest group Holešovská výzva, or Holešovská appeal. Among their main demands is the resignation of the current government – as well a new law that would introduce automatic referenda. Analysts say that the demonstrations, which last week were held not only in Prague, but also in cities across the country, could herald a new era of escalating public frustration with the government’s policies and harsh austerity measures. Political pundit Jiří Pehe speaks about the aims of the new protest movement and its significance.  More

New slat armour to be used on additional Czech military vehicles in Afghanistan

16-03-2012 15:33 | Jan Velinger

Photo: Czech Television Additional transport vehicles used by the Czech military in Afghanistan are to receive added protection developed by defence firm VOP-026 Šternberk: cage (or slat) armour capable of defending against rocket-propelled grenades or shape-charged warheads. Lightweight and made of superior alloy steel, the slat armour can consistently save lives in attacks that otherwise almost certainly prove fatal.  More

Recording of Nico’s 1985 illegal Brno concert comes out on vinyl

15-03-2012 16:52 | Jan Richter

Nico Czechoslovakia’s communist authorities kept a tight control of all aspects of life, including the arts, and of course, rock music. Only officially sanctioned artists were allowed to perform publicly or record albums. But some people had the courage to defy the system and organize illegal concerts. In 1985, a group of rock fans in Brno staged an illegal concert by the legendary singer Nico whose recording, only now, is about to be released on vinyl.  More

Olympic House in London to highlight Czech arts, culture & sport

15-03-2012 16:52 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Olympic House (visualisation), photo: CTK Organisers have unveiled plans for the Czech Olympic House in the area of Islington in London which will serve as a hub for thousands of visitors including, of course, sports fans during the upcoming summer Olympics. But the aim of the venue will not only be to meet Czech and other competitors (for example Usain Bolt) but also to present the Czech Republic in a modern light. The overall design was inspired by a famous abstract work by painter František Kupka, and the space itself will show works by contemporary Czech artists including David Černý, Michael Rittstein and others.  More

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