Topic Archive Society

Czech signature of ACTA agreement sparks controversy and demonstrations

06-02-2012 14:06 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK The signature of ACTA, short for Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, by 22 EU member states has sparked a heated controversy and widespread protests across Europe. In the Czech Republic, hundreds of internet users took to the streets in Prague and other cities, while hackers associated with the group Anonymous have attacked websites of the government, political parties and copyrights holders associations. In neighboring Poland, the ratification of the agreement was even put on ice after widespread protests and attacks on government websites. The controversial agreement aims to protect intellectual property on the internet, but many fear it will lead to online surveillance and internet censorship. New media and technology journalist Petr Kočí speaks about ACTA and how it is perceived in the Czech Republic.  More

An Englishwoman who has lived in Prague for over six decades – ‘war bride’ Ivy Kovandová

04-02-2012 02:01 | Sarah Borufka

Ivy Kovandová Ivy Kovandová is one of the few remaining so-called war brides in the Czech Republic. ‘War brides’ are Englishwomen who married Czechoslovak pilots or soldiers stationed in the UK during WWII – an estimated 10,000 soldiers and about 2,500 pilots from Czechoslovakia fought alongside the allies, and many of them married local women. Some of those women accompanied their husbands back to their native land after the war. But most left Czechoslovakia due to the strain that the arrival of the communist regime placed on their lives, or simply because they felt lost and homesick. Ivy Kovandová, however, still lives in her cozy apartment in Prague’s Vršovice neighborhood and says she has never even considered leaving. Just a few weeks ago, she celebrated her 90th birthday. I recently visited Ivy at her home, where she told me all about her adventurous life over cake and coffee.  More

Mailbox

04-02-2012 02:01 | Pavla Horáková

This month in Mailbox we read from your letters of condolence on the death in December of the former president Václav Havel, we read from your feedback regarding Radio Prague's programmes and we quote from your answers to January's mystery Czech quiz question. Listeners/readers: Michael Fanderys, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Stephen Hrebenach, Steve Olear, Hans Verner Lollike, Mary Lou Krenek, Jaroslaw Jedrzejczak, Charles Konecny, Vladimir Gudzenko, Colin Law.  More

MPs complete legislation aimed at legalizing cannabis for medical purposes

03-02-2012 14:43 | Jan Velinger

A group of Czech MPs from all of the parties in the Chamber of Deputies has completed legislation which could legalise the use of cannabis in the Czech Republic for medical purposes. Currently, thousands of sufferers from debilitating diseases such as Parkinson’s, Lyme borreliosis and multiple sclerosis, have been forced to break the law to obtain marijuana to help ease their pain, a situation which could soon change if the bill passes in the lower house. According to reports, the medical use of cannabis in the Czech Republic could be legal within the year.  More

Therapist: parental failure behind increasingly aggressive kids

02-02-2012 16:33 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: Alexander Popelier, stock.XCHNG Aggressive behavior in young children and adolescents is on the rise and there are indications that parents are increasingly unable to deal with it. Schoolteachers are ringing alarm bells and therapists are warning of the dire consequences of failing to deal with the problem in time.   More

Wenceslas square’s notorious sausage stands to be removed by end of year

02-02-2012 16:33 | Sarah Borufka

For years, Prague councilors have been announcing the end of the sausage stands on Wenceslas Square, which for some have become an institution, albeit a greasy and noisy one. Now, City Hall officials are set to serve eviction notices to all of the fast-food stands on the city’s main thoroughfare, ahead of a major makeover next year. In the future, Wenceslas Square may be sausage-free – but not if Prague 1 mayor Oldřich Lomecký has his say.  More

Scandal-plagued Plzeň law faculty will have to close its doors

02-02-2012 16:33 | Daniela Lazarová

The law faculty at Plzeň university The scandal-plagued Plzeň faculty of law appears to have come to the end of the road. On Wednesday the Czech Accreditation Commission announced that the West-Bohemian law faculty’s undergraduate programme had failed to pass muster and its accreditation would not be extended past this autumn. On Thursday some 300 of the faculty’s 2,000 students gathered outside their school to protest against the decision and have appealed to Education Minister Josef Dobeš to intervene. However their chances of success are meager, since under Czech law the minister is not in a position to question the verdict of the accreditation commission. We spoke to its chairwoman prof. Vladimíra Dvořáková to find out what was behind the commission’s decision.  More

Icy temperatures pose threat to Prague homeless, Czech capital opens tent shelter

01-02-2012 16:31 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK With temperatures in Prague expected to drop as low as minus 20 degrees in the coming days, the Czech capital’s homeless are at high risk. Due to the harsh weather, homeless shelters are already close to operating at full capacity. To help battle deaths from exposure city hall officials have arranged for a large heated tent to be put up for those with no roof over their heads.  More

Internet brings major advantages for the blind and visually impaired

31-01-2012 15:57 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: European Commission Internet banking, online shopping, google searches – the internet has made our life much more convenient. And despite the fact that it is a highly visual medium, blind people, too, are increasingly taking advantage of the internet. But how do they perceive it and what are some of the difficulties of mastering the World Wide Web for those without eyesight?  More

Prague court delivers landmark ruling in home births advocates’ battle with the state

27-01-2012 15:56 | Jan Richter

A ruling on Thursday by a Prague court might lead to a breakthrough in the ongoing Czech debate about home births. While state officials and health care providers have consistently opposed the practice over safety concerns, the court decided that mothers indeed have the right to choose the place of their child’s delivery, and the state has to provide all necessary assistance.  More

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