The Russian Foreign Ministry has effectively banned People in Need by
placing it on its list of undesirable organisations. The Czech humanitarian
NGO has since reacted by saying that, while it is ceasing its activities in
Russia, this does not mean its work in the country is over.
With three books published just last year, Marek Toman is currently one of
the most prolific Czech authors. He last spoke to Radio Prague almost three
years ago after he published a novel narrated by a building – Černín
Palace, seat of the Czech Foreign Ministry. Since then, he has written two
other novels closely connected to historical Prague.
In Magazine: Prague among top 20 most visited cities in the world; police
officers complain their bulletproof vests aren’t bulletproof; a minor
takes two buses on a joyride; a Czech bug enthusiast boasts a 10cm
cockroach and the most bizarre things Czechs leave behind in taxis.
Hello and welcome to a fresh edition of SoundCzech, Radio Prague’s Czech
language course in which you can learn Czech idioms with the help of song
lyrics. Today’s song, sung by Markéta Konvičková, is called Z ráje
jsem utekla – I ran away from heaven. The words to listen out for are
ráj and peklo.
Spotlight this week comes from Uherské Hradiště, a charming picturesque
town in south-east Moravia. Like so many places in this part of the world,
Uherské Hradiště has a rich and complex history. As tour guide Lenka
Kornelová explains, the town was established nearly eight centuries ago in
reaction to the turbulent events of that time and the city actually gets
its name - meaning "Hungarian Fortress" - from this period.
Pavel Kohout is an economist who seems seldom out of the media. He recently
created a stir when he announced he was leaving the government’s advisory
committee, NERV, and criticised government willingness to tackle
multi-billion crown corruption in public tenders. That furore appears to
have blown over and Mr. Kohout seems on course to give further advice to
the government and the new political party, Public Affairs.
The Czech Foreign Minister has announced a wide ranging review of foreign
policy to take account both of changes in the Czech Republic and those in
the wider world. The review comes with the jury still out on whether a more
streamlined EU foreign policy can deliver, the outcome of Afghanistan still
unclear and questions still up in the air about relations with Russia.
The launch of the new electronic toll system on Czech highways at the
beginning of December can cause major traffic disruptions, the toll
operator Czech Toll/Sky Toll has warned. Traffic jams of up to 40
kilometres are expected in some parts of the country, especially at border
crossings, when the new toll system goes into operation.
In a remarkable work of oral history, four students with the help of former
dissident and award winning author Aleš Palán have produced a 270 page
history of the events that took place in Prague on November 17, 1989. One
of them is Alžběta Ambrožová, a 26 year old graduate of English and
American Studies. She says that around 300 testimonies were collected
through a mix of interviews and online questionnaires.
[11-11-2019 15:01 UTC]
The magazine GEO has ranked Brno’s Observatory and Planetarium among the
10 best institutions of its kind in Europe. The facility’s new building
was opened to the public in autumn 2011 following extensive renovations.
Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution was sparked by a student demonstration
on November 17, 1989 that was brutally quelled by riot police. Among those
on the front line of those clashes was writer Magdaléna Platzová. The
daughter of dissident Eda Kriseová, at 17 years old she had already taken
part in a number of demonstrations. But, she says, nothing prepared her for
the violence that surrounded her on Prague’s Národní St. on that now
At the turn of the millennium, the group ‘minus123minut’ was among the
most innovative and important of Czech bands, known for their live shows
and heady mix of rock, jazz, blues and funk. The band was named Discovery
of the Year in 1999, cut a few LPs, toured Europe, and then broke up in
2009 after the release of their album ‘Dream’. A few years ago,
original singer-guitarist Zdeněk Bína and lyricist-bassist Fredrik
Janáček reformed the band, along with Slovak drummer and vibraphone
player Dano Šoltis. Today’s show features their newly released comeback
album, ‘Les’ (Forest).
The Czech Radio archives give us a rich and nuanced picture of the months
leading up to the Munich Agreement of September 1938 that resulted in Nazi
Germany annexing huge areas of Czechoslovakia. So many recordings survive
that we can reconstruct the events leading up to Munich almost day by day.
They include insights from many different angles, not least the perspective
of the German-speakers of Czechoslovakia, those who supported, but also
those who opposed Hitler. The archives offer a sober warning of how easily
a democratic state can be shattered through rumour, lies and propaganda.
There are new warnings about a possible outbreak of measles in European
countries including Czechia. Despite repeated warnings by the World Health
Organization and national authorities, some Czech parents still refuse to
have their children vaccinated.
One of the highlights of this year’s Jihlava festival of documentary
films was the Czech premiere of Kings of Šumava, which combines real
interviews with animation to tell the gripping story of Josef Hasil. A
native of the mountain range, Hasil was a border guard turned cross-border
agent whose derring-do in smuggling defectors across the Iron Curtain led
Czechoslovakia’s secret police to list him as the “king of Šumava”
in their files.