News Amazon still interested in setting up distribution centre outside Brno: mayor
The US online retailer Amazon is still interested in setting up a distribution centre outside Brno, in eastern Czech Republic, the city’s mayor Roman Onderka said after meeting with the firm’s representatives in Luxembourg on Tuesday. Brno municipal assembly is set to vote on the project in two weeks’ time; plans to build a large distribution centre on the city’s southern outskirts have met with opposition from local inhabitants as well as Brno City Hall which required the firm to fund the construction of a highway exit to serve the facility. Another Amazon distribution centre should be built in Dobrovíz, outside Prague.
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Ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička has received a fine of CZK 400,000 after being found guilty of embezzling CZK 500,000 intended for his then club Slavia Prague. If Růžička, who denies any wrongdoing, fails to pay the fine he will face 16 months in prison. The verdict may be appealed. As a player Růžička was part of the Czech team that won gold in the Olympics while as a trainer he has led the national side and spent nearly 15 years at Slavia.
A case involving the hoisting of a giant pair of red boxer shorts over Prague Castle is set to return to the Prague 1 District Court, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. An appeals court upheld an action taken by the state attorney’s office against a previous ruling by the District Court dismissing the case. Three members of the art group Ztohoven are accused of disorderly conduct, criminal damage and theft for illicitly removing the presidential flag above Prague Castle and replacing it with the red shorts last September in protest at the policies of President Miloš Zeman.
A number of events are being planned to mark what would have been the 80th birthday of Václav Havel. On the actual anniversary of the late playwright and president’s birth on October 5 a gathering is set to take place on Prague’s Wenceslas Square, while 80 figures from public life and the arts world are set to appear on four stages at the city’s Lucerna Palace on October 15. Meanwhile the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation in the US will present Burmese writer Ma Thida with its first annual Disturbing the Peace Award at the Bohemian National Hall in New York on Wednesday.
Karel Schwarzenberg says it is highly likely he will stand for election to the Chamber of Deputies as the electoral leader of TOP 09 in Prague next year, iHned.cz reported. Mr. Schwarzenberg, who turns 80 next year, previously led the party and is its honorary chairman. He said he would not stand for president in elections in early 2018, saying he had lost once – to incumbent Miloš Zeman – and that was the end for him. TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek said the Schwarzenberg noble family had been serving the country for 700 years and his party colleague was continuing that tradition.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are holding a joint training session on their common border to test coordination and communication in the event of the need to renew border checks due to the migrant crisis. Over 300 police officers, 140 soldiers and 30 customs officers have been stationed along a 250km stretch of the border and are conducting random checks of vehicles and people. The operation, which affects 11 border crossings, is to last for 24 hours. Similar training sessions are due to take place on the country’s borders with Austria and Germany.
The Slav Epic cycle of paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha will be displayed in Tokyo as of March 2017 within events marking the Year of Czech Culture held in Japan on the 60th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In mid-2017 the collection of 20 paintings will move to China where it will be shown in three prominent museums in the course of the next twelve months. According to Prague Gallery director Magdalena Juříková the loan contracts should be signed within a few months. The Gallery must also acquire an export permit for cultural heritage items issued by the Czech Culture Ministry. Art experts have warned that the Asian tour presents a high risk the paintings could be damaged not just by transport and handling but due to the high temperatures and humidity in this part of the world.
The Anglo-American University in Prague has received accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States, a university representative told the ctk news agency on Monday. The accreditation is valid for a period of six years with a mid-cycle review due to take place in the spring of 2019. The accreditation is a guarantee of compatibility with US educational standards and simplifies the transferability of credits and recognition of AAU diplomas in the USA.
The Czech and Slovak prime ministers have stressed the need for the EU to show unity in the Brexit talks. Speaking in Bratislava following a joint session of the Czech and Slovak cabinets, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said it was potentially dangerous for Britain to negotiate Brexit conditions separately with selected EU members. He said Prague and Bratislava considered it unacceptable for Britain to be granted full access to the EU market while restricting movement of labour on its own territory. The Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, also stressed the importance of the EU holding a common line in talks with Britain.
Doctors in Czech hospitals put in twice as many overtime hours as norms allow, Czech television reported citing information released by hospitals in different parts of the country within a campaign aimed at attracting attention to the problem. According to existing regulations doctors may serve up to 416 hours overtime in the course of a year. In actual fact they served on average 700 to 900 overtime hours in the first eight months of this year alone, including in surgery. Hospitals say that if this were not the case health care in most of these institutions would collapse.
The Czech and Slovak governments on Monday held a joint working session in Bratislava with security issues, cooperation in defence and transport high on the agenda. The neighbour states are working to improve road and rail links and plan to sign an agreement on cooperation in defending their airspace. Ministers also debated plans for a joint celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. The two nations spent 73 years in a common state, parting ways in 1993, but have maintained exceptionally close ties.