A crew began shooting a new film about Jan Palach on Saturday, directed by Robert Sedláček, and due to be released next year on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Jan Palach was a student who took his own life in protest of the invasion. He was the subject of a successful HBO mini-series called Burning Bush in 2013. The film crew on Saturday began filming a first scene in front of Prague's Rudolfinium concert hall and gallery.
The City of Prague is going ahead with planned changes which will see the introduction of two new tram routes. Plans for the project are to be drawn up after the proposal was passed by councillors this week. Changes to the tram lines will affect routes from Jižní Město to Žižkov and form Podolí to Michle. Both routes are part of long-term plans by the city's Dopravní podnik (public transport authority).
Thunderstorms and strong winds uprooted hundreds of trees in the Šumava area on Friday night and several thousand homes in the region of South Bohemia were left without power. According to reports, transport along several railway lines was disrupted. Fire fighters in the Plzeň region were called to help in some 40 incidents - usually fallen trees. No injuries or major damage were reported.
Discussions on the future of the European Union and closer economic and social integration will be topics discussed next Wednesday in a meeting in Salzburg, Austria, between European leaders including Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. In Salzburg, Mr Sobotka will meet with Austrian chancellor Christian Kern and also Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and French President Emanuel Macron, the Czech News Agency reported. At the meeting, Mr Sobotka is expected to address the problem of wage dumping and will reportedly call on French and Austrian firms in the Czech Republic to markedly raise wages for employees.
Prague's Petřín Tower was lit up in the colours of Spain's national flag on Friday in a sign of defiance against terror and to honour the many people who were killed or injured in terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. On Thursday, perpetrators purposely drove a van into pedestrians on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas boulevard, killing at least 14, while additional members of the suspected terrorist cell killed one person in Cambrils and seriously injured three others. Terrorist group Islamic State later claimed responsibility. Prague councilor Petr Wolf joined other Czech officials in condemning the attack, saying it was necessary to defend democratic values. The decision to light Petřín Tower in Spain's national colours was a sign of solidarity, he said.
In football, illness has hit former Czech captain and Sparta Prague midfielder Tomáš Rosický. The 36-year-old was expected for the first time to be in Sparta’s starting line-up in the evening match against Slovácko on Friday night but was struck down by angina. Rosický was sidelined for nearly all of last season with an Achilles tendon problem.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at midday Friday that it had no news of any Czech victims among the dead and injured from the attack at Barcelona and nearby. The ministry cautioned though that although victims came from 34 countries, it had not been possible to specify where they all came from. Fourteen people were killed and over 100 injured when a van ploughed into pedestrians on one of Barcelona’s most famous and crowded streets. The ministry cautioned Czechs in Spain to be extra cautious and vigilant.
French president Emmanual Macron is seeking to re-start a neglected dialogue with leaders in Central and Eastern Europe and attempt to show that he is not conducting diplomacy solely with Berlin, the European weekly Politico writes. Macron is due to meet with Austria’s chancellor Kern as well as Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovak prime minister Robert Fico on August 23 in Vienna. The weekly says Macron wants to explain his plans for European reform but also wants to raise the issue of so-called posted workers which Paris regards as a form of social dumping.
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