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06-07-2014 17:33 | Chris Johnstone

Karlovy Vary: Lech Walesa to be present at director’s cut of Andrzej Wajda biopic

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues on its second day with the spotlight perhaps on the world premiere screening of the director’s cut of Andrzej Wajda’s film ‘Walesa: Man of Hope’. The version of the film will be screened in the presence of former Polish dissident and leader of the Gdansk shipyard strikes that helped to topple the Communist regime, Lech Walesa. As well as the former Polish president the lead actors of the film will also be present. Later on Sunday, French actor and director Fanny Ardent will present her latest film ‘Obsessive Rhythms.’

Lech Walesa attacks lack of global solidarity

In an interview on Czech Television Sunday, Lech Walesa repeated warnings about the lack of solidarity in dealing with worldwide and European problems. The situation in Belarus and willingness to tackle ecological and climate problems, were examples, he said. Walesa also attacked the level of democracy in his own country saying that a democratic framework was in place but apathy reigned and the supplementary steps to make the democratic system work well were lacking. Former Czechoslovak prime minister and leader of the Czech Senate Petr Pithart echoed some of the criticisms, highlighting for example the Ukraine crisis and France’s willingness to sell large warships to Russia and Germany’s former approval for gas pipelines from Russia that would bypass Poland.

Jan Hus commemorated on anniversary of execution

Commemorations are taking place on the 599th anniversary of the execution of Bohemian church reformer Jan Hus in Constance, Germany, in 1415. July 6 is a national holiday in the Czech Republic. A sermon will be read in the Bethlehem chapel in central Prague, where Hus preached, with events taking place at his birthplace, Husinec, and at Constance. Hus was tried and burnt at the stake for alleged heresy against the Catholic Church, where a new exhibition about him has been prepared. The main target of Hus’ attacks were the sale of indulgences and corruption in the Catholic Church. Religious wars followed the execution as Hus’ followers attempted to safeguard their religious beliefs.

Fish stocks threatened by low water levels

Czech fish farms and anglers’ associations say hot weather and insufficient rain are devastating stock. Some fish have had to be transferred to other pons in the south of the country because they are suffocating where they are, the news server Novinky.cz reported on Sunday. The low levels of ponds and rivers are also leaving fish easy prey to cormorants. Low water levels have also resulted in the fast spread of a parasitic infection of fish which causes dark spots on their skin and leaves them open to other infections.

Prime Minister to embark on ministry tour

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is to launch a summer tour of ministries starting with the Ministry of Culture on Tuesday. The series of visits is expected to check on how they are performing and fulfilling the coalition programme around half a year after he was sworn into office and the government was formed. The visit to the Ministry of Culture will be followed by inspections at the education and transport ministries. In spite of rumours that Minister of Justice Helena Válková might be for the chop if further problems occur at her ministry, the prime minister is not believed to be preparing any changes in his Cabinet team for the moment.

Traditional Race of Kings takes place in Hluk

The traditional Ride of the Kings took place Sunday in the south-eastern town of Hluk. The ride takes place every year and is part of traditional folklore in the region where a young by dressed in traditional costume and his retinue enter the town. The tradition has been included in UNESCO’s list of cultural events. Hluk, like most similar towns, holds the event every three years with the town of Vlčnov the only one to hold it annually. The tradition is sometimes said to date back to the flight of a Hungarian king in the 15th century disguised in women’s clothes after losing a battle.

Weather office warns of high temperatures, storms

The Czech weather office has warned of high temperatures and the possibility of violent storms across the country on Monday. Temperatures could rise to up to 33 degrees Celsius, the office said. The heat wave will be broken by violent storms coming in from the west with the likelihood of hail and possibility of flash floods. Winds could reach speeds of up to 75 kilometres an hour.

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