Under Czech law, public service broadcasters are obliged to devote programming time to minorities living in this country such as Slovaks and Roma. In this week's Talking Point, we look at the impact these broadcasts have on the image of minorities in Czech society and the challenges facing public broadcasters as they grapple with an ever-changing demography.
A homosexual rights group is hoping to persuade MPs to vote for
registered partnerships by means of a comic book, Tereza Kodickova of
the Gay and Lesbian League said on Friday. The comic features a cactus
and a bonsai tree living together, and is intended to promote gay
rights in a light-hearted way.
The lower house is due to vote on the issue later this month. Last year a bill on registered partnerships was defeated by just one vote.
The Czech state pension system is among the most generous in the European Union, and indeed the developed world -- at least for those retirees who were below-average earners during their working years. But according to a recent analysis of state pension systems, only in the United Kingdom do high-wage earners get back less in their golden years than do their Czech counterparts.
Vaclav Klaus spent three days in Israel this week, his first official visit to the country since becoming president. Mr Klaus held talks with senior Israeli officials and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and also pleased his hosts by saying the Czech Republic would help the EU to adopt what he called a balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Rob Cameron's guest in this week's One on One is the American photographer Chad Evans Wyatt, whose collection of portraits of middle-class Czech Roma is currently on display at Prague Castle. Chad, who grew up in New York and is now based in Washington, was driven by a desire to challenge traditional stereotypes of the country's large Roma minority, showing Romanies who have battled discrimination to become "regular" members of Czech society.
The Czech Republic's foremost expert on Romany culture and language, Milena Hubschmannova has died at the age of 72. She was involved in a car crash in South Africa in which one other person was killed and several were injured. As David Vaughan reports, her death is a huge loss, and not just to the Romany community to whom she devoted much of her life.
One of the founders of Roma studies in the Czech Republic, Milena Hubshmannova, was killed on Thursday in a car crash in South Africa. One other person, a South African man, also died and three others were seriously injured. Hubshmannova, a professor at Prague's Charles University, was born in 1933 and was one of the Czech Republic's foremost specialists in Roma culture. After the fall of communism in 1989 she helped found the department of Roma Studies at Charles University. Other projects included numerous translations from Romany to Czech. Milena Hubschmannova was 72.
In today's Czech Books we meet a writer who is a master of the short story. Andrej Gina, who won the Open Society Institute's Roma Literary Award in 2003, lives in the western Czech town of Rokycany. He writes in the Romany language spoken by generations of his ancestors from the rural Romany settlements of Eastern Slovakia. Andrej was still a small child when the family came to the Prague after the Second World War, leaving behind an ancient and rural world, where Roma life had changed little for centuries.
The Education Ministry has adopted a new plan that hopes to increase the number of Roma children from low-income families in secondary schools. Educational institutions have until the end of September to apply for up to 7,000 crowns (approx. 290 US dollars) to cover a Roma student's expenses for the period from September to December. These include tuition fees, and food and travel expenses. All applications will be processed by a special education ministry committee with representatives from regional offices, the ministries of interior and labour and social affairs, and the Government Council for Roma Affairs. The ministry has earmarked 10 million crowns (approx 420,000 US dollars) for this project.
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