News

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DNA tests to determine dynastic history of the Premyslids

DNA tests on the remains of 19 bodies thought to belong to the noble family of Premyslids will be used to determine who is who. The Premyslids founded the Bohemian Kingdom and ruled the country for 400 years. The first historical record of the Premyslids dates back to 872. The DNA project involves a 15-strong multi-disciplinary team of scientists and archeologists and is expected to take three to four years to complete. Nothing similar has ever been attempted in the world to date.

Sexual abuse of children -statistics

One in four Czech girls and one in seven boys have experienced either sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse in their childhood, according to the head of the Child Crisis Centre Zora Duskova. Mrs. Duskova appealed for better child protection and a more sensitive approach to child victims, saying that the police often disbelieve children who claim to have been sexually abused. In actual fact, she said, only five percent of children who allege to have been abused have made it up. According to statistics in 61 percent of cases the abuser is a family member or relative, in 25 percent of cases the abuser is a friend of the family or someone whom the child knows. Only in 14 percent of cases are children abused by a stranger.

Mehdi Ben Barka was most likely paid agent of communist secret police

Mehdi Ben Barka, Morocco's best known opposition leader who disappeared in 1965 in Paris, was probably a paid agent of Czechoslovakia's communist secret police in the early 1960s, the French news agency AFP reported on Wednesday, citing the weekly L'Express. According to a secret file gained by a Czech journalist whose extracts are to be published by L'Express, a Czechoslovak secret police officer established contact with Ben Barka in April 1960. Ben Barka allegedly repeatedly visited Prague where he also underwent special training in spying five months before he was abducted in Paris during a joint operation of the Moroccan and French secret services. His body has never been found.

Justice Ministry to reduce number of judges

The Czech Justice Ministry wants to reduce the number of judges by about two hundred, according to the CTK news agency. The ministry said it had considerably softened recommendations made by a company that recently conducted an audit at Czech courts and suggested lowering the number of judges by five to six hundred. Since judges are irrevocable under Czech law, the ministry plans to limit or halt the appointment of new judges and wait for elderly judges to retire. The Czech Republic, a country of over 10 million inhabitants, currently has some 3,000 judges.

Czech cabinet to specify EU presidency priorities later

The Czech cabinet originally planned to further specify the political priorities of the Czech EU presidency by the end of June, but has put off the debate indefinitely as it wants to see how the current Portuguese presidency will develop, Ondrej Karas of the Office of Government said on Wednesday. Mr. Karas told the CTK news agency that the cabinet also wants to wait for the autumn negotiations with France and Sweden, Prague's predecessor and successor at the EU helm, respectively. The three countries are planning to create a joint programme for a period of 18 months.

The main motto of the Czech presidency is to be Europe Without Barriers. Prague also wants to focus on the EU s competitiveness and deregulation, and to emphasize the freedom of movement of people, services, capital and goods within a liberal trade policy.

Fugitive businessman Tomas Pitr may be in Germany

The convicted fugitive businessman Tomas Pitr who disappeared over a month ago is likely to be in Germany, Czech public radio said on Wednesday. Pitr, who was found guilty of tax machinations, disappeared just before he was due to start serving his prison sentence. Before going missing Pitr announced that he was hiding from the police because he feared for his life. Pitr's lawyer said he believed his client had serious health problems and would be undergoing surgery either here or abroad. He insisted that he had no knowledge of his whereabouts.

Police say abused child was being "disciplined" by mother

The abuse of seven year old Ondra by his mother had nothing to do with organized crime, but was merely his mother's perverse way of disciplining him a police spokesperson told the internet paper Aktualne.cz. The police who are still investigating this shocking case of child abuse initially suspected a possible link to a child porn ring. Little Ondra was found locked up in a broom cupboard where he spent many days and nights, bound, naked and forced to eat his own vomit. It later emerged that his mother belonged to a religious sect.

Two year old run over by a train

The police are investigating the death of a two year old boy who was run over by a train while playing on the rail tracks near his home in Svitavsko, the eastern part of the Czech Republic. It appears that the child crawled through a hole in the fence to get there. The train driver said he glimpsed him at the last moment and had no time to prevent the tragedy. The police are investigating a possible case of negligence.

Senkerik to join Slavia Prague

Czech striker Zdenek Senkerik will join Slavia Prague from Turkish club Malatyaspor, the Czech club announced on Wednesday.The 27-year-old has signed a two year contract with an option for a further year. The clubs did not disclose financial details. "We are delighted that we have been able to aquire an experienced attacker in whom we have been interested since the winter," the club's general manager Petr Dolezal said. Senkerik joined the Turkish league club in 2006.

Weather:

The next few days are expected to bring overcast skies and rain with temperatures well below twenty degrees Celsius.