Will Canada Reintroduce the Visa Requirements for Czechs? (Zavede znovu Kanada vízové povinnosti pro Čechy?)

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According to Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, the chances that Canada would re-impose visa restrictions on Czechs are getting slimmer. The visa reinstatement came to mind after the massive refugee claims submissions in the past six months. The Czech Republic was the second highest country contributing about 1700 claims submitted between January and June 2009, right after Mexico with about 5500 claims during the same time period. The Roma, also known as Gypsies, complain about living conditions and racism, however, others believe that they only seek asylum in Canada for its generous welfare system and due to the lenient immigration laws. Continue reading

Goodbye Europe and See Ya in 14 years! (Sbohem Evropo a uvidíme se za 14 let!)

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Today the official act of passing the EU glass relay pin to the next country, Sweden, ended the EU presidency by the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic presided over the European Union for an entire six months. This special task was very challenging for the country taking into consideration the worldwide economic situation, the dissolution of the government and other activities associated with this task. We should not forget about the infamous Entropa display in Brussels that made our presidency less forgettable than the colorful logo and its slogan “Europe in Sweet Harmony.” Continue reading

The First Memorial of Political Prisoners Revealed (První památník politických vězňů odhalen)

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The first memorial of political prisoners and victims of communism available to the public was revealed yesterday in Valdice in the Czech Republic. The Valdice prison is an appropriate place for this statue because most of the prisoners were sentenced there for political reasons. The author of the statue, Jiri Sozansky, wanted to contribute by acknowledging the harm to political prisoners; mostly those that are still alive.

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Entropa Moved to the Czech Republic (Entropa se přestěhovala do České republiky)

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The controversial artwork Entropa created by Czech artist David Cerny will be on display in Holesovice Center for Contemporary Arts DOX from the 12th of June until the 4th of January 2010. This art project was created on the occasion of the Czech Presidency over the European Union and was placed at the European Commission building in Brussels. Entropa received enormous publicity around the world, but was not actually displayed in Cerny’s home country. That is why he decided to display it in DOX center to give Czech citizens and others an opportunity to make their own opinions about his creation. Continue reading

Who Throws an Egg? Honestly! (Kdo háže vajíčka? Upřímně!)

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Easter is far behind us but egg mania in the Czech Republic just started; especially, in the politic arena. The Social Democrats’ (CSSD) rallies ahead of the EP (European Parliament) elections are accompanied with egg attacks. Egg assaults became a heated subject in conversations between CSSD and ODS (Civic Democrats) representatives. Who is behind these “organized” attacks? CSSD blames ODS, even though the party denied such behavior or any other efforts to harm the party. Moreover, they called their supporters to stop such assaults. They, however, still continue and gain more popularity each day.

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You Can’t Hide from Czech Courts Anymore (Před českými soudy se již neschováte)

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Beginning the 1st of July, 2009, the Czech courts will gain more power and control over Czech citizens than ever before. On this day a new amendment of the Judicial Code will become valid. It will prevent avoidance of judicial mail. It will, however, assume that all correspondence sent by courts will be received by their recipients, even though they won’t be required to sign for it. What does this mean for all of you living abroad? Even if you don’t sign for a registered letter directed to you, ten days after the registered envelope delivery you will be assumed to have received it. The change is meant to thwart the typical behavior of people that received such letters in the past. Usually, if they found out the letter was from a court, they would refuse to sign for it and the post office would have to mail it back to the sender 10 days after contacting the sender or his/her family. Now, such correspondence will be deposited in the recipients’ mailboxes without the need for signatures.

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Slovak President Re-Elected! (Znovuzvolení Slovenského Prezidenta!)

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Finally, the “election fever” in Slovakia is over and the country can welcome its re-elected incumbent Ivan Gasparovic. As you may already know, Gasparovic was running for the Slovakian President post against Iveta Radicova. The first round of the election ended up with 46.71 percent of votes for Gasparovic and 38.05 percent for Radicova. The second election round resulted in the majority of the votes (55.53 percent) for the current president and 44.47 percent for his opponent.

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The Prediction of Princess Libuse is Fulfilling I (Věštba Knežny Libuše se Naplňuje I.)

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Today you can read a great story by Jan Drocár, published today in Pozitivni Noviny. The editors-in-chief kindly asked us to provide English translation of this story to give more people the opportunity to read about the history of the Czech Republic and its significant “players” throughout the history of the country. The article was created in honor of the new U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the Czech Republic.

In the article below, you will learn about famous royal ancestors of today’s eminent and important members of our society. Did you know that the first American President, George Washington, and the British Queen Elizabeth II were descendants of the Přemyslid Dynasty? Surprisingly, even Tom Cruise is related to Czech royal families. Find out more in the article below or read its Czech version HERE.

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Politicians, Scandals, and Charities (Politici, Skandály a Charita)

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You would never think that politicians and scandals would be found in the same sentence as charity but actually that very thing occurred in the following event. It all started three years ago when Miroslav Macek slapped David Rath’s head from behind at a Dentists’ Chamber conference. The fact that the whole act was caught on cameras makes it quite embarrassing; especially, since it happened just two weeks before parliamentary elections. The whole incident was resolved in court and a penalty for the act raised a large amount of money that actually aided several children from a local foster home.

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Vaclav Klaus – A Troublemaker? (Václav Klaus – Buřič?)

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Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic is well known for his disapproval of the Czech Republic joining the European Union. He is also known for his disbelief of global warming. Recently, he visited the United States to speak about global warming and climate change. He was supposed to meet with Al Gore, the chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, but while Gore spoke at The Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara, California, Klaus was on the plane to the USA. Was it on purpose to avoid them clashing with each other?

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Alles Gute Is Back! Are You Watching It? (Alles Gute Je Zpátky! Díváte Se?)

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About fifteen years ago, a new show called Alles Gute emerged with Milan Steindler and David Vavra. It was a parody of formal German courses from the 90s that lasted on television screens for four years. The show was a part of the television program called Ceska soda that was cancelled for its politically incorrect humor. Now it is back but on the Internet and will be aired every two weeks. The first part of the series (12 of them total) has already been aired on Stream.cz and another one will be available this Sunday. You can watch it at the end of this article. How do you like their comeback?

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Democracy in the Czech Republic Improved but Worsened in Slovakia (Demokracie v České Republice se Zlepšila ale na Slovensku se Zhoršila)

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How would you rate democracy in the Czech Republic and Slovakia on a scale from 1 to 10? The question is not that easy and it requires consideration of many variables and a large pool of data. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has completed such study and according to their results, the Czech Republic showed a slight improvement in the EIU Index of Democracy in 2008. On the other hand, Slovakia’s index declined, compared to last year’s study results. The study was done in 167 countries and focused on the electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on the total ranking numbers from all five categories, the Czech Republic fell in the full democracy range, whereas Slovakia fitted into the flawed democracies range.

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