In the News 28.4.08

In the News 28.4.08

Written by Naďa Straková
Aktuálně.cz CzechNews

 



KOSOVO DRUG DEALERS IN CZ? While the youngest country in the world Kosovo has been recognized by 38 countries across the globe so far, including 18 from the EU, the Czech communists decided to go the opposite way.

It is the drugs that the communists fear most. They claim there are links between Kosovo political representatives and drug trafficking. And naturally, the drug dealers will want to enter the territory of the Czech Republic using diplomatic passports issued by Kosovo authorities.

Therefore they presented a draft bill that would prevent PM Mirek Topolánek’s Government from recognizing Kosovo independence.

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OUTRAGED CAMPERS. Camping is undisputably one of the most common activity among Czech holiday-makers, allegedly dating back to the 1960s. Now, one of the most important discovery sites of prehistoric relics and Protected Landscape Zone, the Kokořínsko region has been allegedly damaged by campers, popularly known in Czech as “tramps”, claim local archeologists. The campers themselves strongly refuse the accusation (see the debate under the article, part of which is in English) and instead, blame the archeologists of selfishly trying to keep the zone for themselves.

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GLOBAL WARMING IN THE US. President Klaus is not the only Czech politician being invited to the United States to talk about global warming any longer. Greens´ leader Martin Bursík has recently visited the „home of the brave” too to do exactly the sameNo need to add, with a different standpoint, of course.

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WE HAVE TOO MANY MINISTRIES, believes the eState civic association that proposes to cut down on the number of ministries but PM Topolánek says his government is too weak to curb public service bureaucracy. He spoke a bit different shortly before the last parliamentary election in 2006 but that is the nature of politics, isn´t it?

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A Swedish citizen of Lebanese origin, Oussam Kassir suspected of terrorism activities, will not be re-opened by Czech courts. The Czech Supreme court judges denied Mr. Kassir’s complaint about his deportation to the United States where he faces a life imprisonment for alleged planning a training camp for jihad fighters in Oregon. He could face a life imprisonment in the US.

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TWICE INNOCENT, now found guilty of all accusations. Choirmaster Bohumil Kulínský received five years probation for sexually abusing 49 girls, some of whom were underage. Kulínský rejected the accusations saying he had affairs only with the adults choir members, while his defence lawyer kept arguing touching a girl´s breast over a T-shirt cannot be considered sexual abuse.

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WIRETAPPING LIMITED. It is the fight with terrorism that forces the Czech government to amend a law on wiretapping. And if approved, the new bill proposed by Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek will enable security service to monitor financial flows and collect data about bank account holders.

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NEVERENDING STORY? Art group Ztohoven has again grabbed the media headlines last week, courtesy of their project titled Media Reality. The state prosecutor appealed a court´s verdict that acquitted the guerilla art groupt in mid-March. One of the Ztohoven members spoke to Akltuálně.cz in an exclusive interview about the verdict, media reality and the costs of their lawyers.

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ANTI-CHINA PROTEST IN PRAGUE. While human right activists were urging the Czech Olympic Committee and Czech athletes to speak out against the HRs abuse in Tibet (see the photo-gallery from the happening) in the form of a protest and later on a concert, the same day saw PM Topolánek voicing the human rights issue as the reason why he will skip the opening ceremonies in the Summer Olympics this summer. He is the only one out of the four Czech lawmakers who refuse to attend the ceremonies.

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CORRUPTION IN FOOTBALL. Professional football is not a private activity where bribes could be tolerated. That’s the latest message of the Supreme Court towards corruption in football. One would expect such a verdict much earlier, especially when the Great Czech football premier league corruption scandal erupted a few years ago and not now in a relatively minor case when the accused was suspected to be bribed with a bottle of wine. But then, better later, then never, isn´t it?

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With football we stay for a while; 3 men accused of alleged corruption linked to a football match between Liberec and Zlín in 2004, were acquitted, as the wiretapped transcripts of their conversations that were to serve as evidence were ruled as illegal by a regional court in Liberec. Coincidentally, the law on wiretapping is going to be much stricter to prevent wiretapping abuse, as president Klaus believes is happening.



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