In the News 1.6.09

Eggs hurled at ČSSD, swine flu in Prague, Bodies in Brno...

Aktuálně.cz CzechNews

MARTYR-LIKE FIGURES AND EGG WAR. One of the original ways to get people to the ballot is over. In the past couple of weeks the Social Democrats (ČSSD) became a popular target of egg throwers who had various reasons to sacrifice dozens of eggs at ČSSD pre-election campaign rallies.

Soon after a Facebook group was established, over 50,000 users joined the “egg resistance” movement, which sharply increased the numbers of  eggs hurled at ČSSD speakers.

President Václav Klaus condemned the attacks, calling on politicians as well as citizens to stop attacking the basic democratic principles, while the Civic Democratic Party leaders denied any involvement.

The Facebook group ended its activities a day after an egg throwing protest at a Prague rally got out of control with some acting somewhat violently.

In his farewell letter, the Facebook group founder expressed hope the egg protests will make people go to vote, which is the only tool to change things.

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SEEKING SALVATION WITH SVOBODA. The Christian Democratic Party elected a new party leader at a closely observed weekend congress. Cyril Svoboda, former foreign minister (2002-2006), replaced controversial Jiří Čunek who became infamous for evicting Roma families from the downtown of Vsetín as well as for his abundant anti-Roma remarks.

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The party happens to be at the lowest point of popularity at the moment with speculation going around that it will scarcely receive a 5 percent voters’ support to get a seat in the European parliament elections this week.

Electing left-leaning Svoboda who headed KDU-ČSL from 2001 to 2003 is interpreted by some as a sign of hope for the Social Democrats who could possibly desire a line-up with KDU-ČSL after the October elections.

ČSSD leader himself, Jiří Paroubek, sees Svoboda as a “guarantee that the Christian Democrats won’t look only like a branch of the right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) anymore”, reports ČTK press agency.

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BATTLE NOT OVER YET. A 2-year-old who almost burnt to death during an attack on her family in Vítkov five weeks ago is still struggling with injuries.

It seems like a miracle as burn injuries covering 80% of the body are in most cases fatal, especially when the victim is so young.

But Natálie has undergone a number of surgeries already, including being taken off life support for a short moment. She is under the permanent care of doctors from the anesthesiology and resuscitation unit of the Ostrava teaching hospital.

But the battle is not over yet, says the doctor but the treatement process has been going fine. Meanwhile, police keep searching for the perpetrator/s, having no clue yet who stands behind the attack on the Roma family.

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JAILED FOR GIVING NAZI SALUTES. A court in the north Bohemian town of Teplice found two young men guilty of giving Nazi salutes at a birthday party years ago and sent them to prison for 18 and 6 months, respectively.

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FIRST SWINE FLU CASE IN PRAGUE. The Czech Republic confirmed its first case of AH1N1 virus. Having returned from New York, the infected pilot of the Czech Airlines was in quarantine at home and has been reported healthy this week. None of his family members or colleagues were proved to have the virus.

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BODIES OF CHINESE CITIZENS IN BRNO. Admired by some, repudiated by others. A hotly debated exhibit of cadavers of human bodies is coming to Brno-Modřice despite the fact Czech lawmakers promised last summer such exhibitions will be banned in the country.

The highly publicized Bodies… The Exhibition produced by company Premier Exhibitions displays human remains of Chinese citizens, obtained from the Chinese Bureau of Police.

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Now the controversial part comes: the Chinese police may have received the bodies in prisons, which would mean the cadavers come from Chinese prisoners, who could have been executed by the Chinese communist regime.

The only institute that could decide whether to stage the exhibit or not is the local council of Modřice. Local health officials would have to rule that displaying human bodies infringe health rules.

“After all, these are not artistic items, as the organizers say, but they are human bodies,” says one of the vocal critics of the Bodies exhibit.


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