News Anti-corruption team to be created at defense ministry

19-06-2014 15:25 | Chris Johnstone

In related news, defense minister Stropnický says that a special anti-corruption team will be created which will be directly answerable to him. The minister said the three-member team was being created because of the many dubious contracts signed in recent years. He added that a series of significant tenders, such as for information technology will probably be staged again because of suspicions about them. The new team should be up and running from the start of July.

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Labour ministry wants early retirement for more miners

27-03-2015 16:28 | Daniela Lazarová

The Labour Ministry is working on a proposed legislation which should enable up to 4,000 miners to go into early retirement – by up to five years earlier than the present pension law allows. The present criteria for early retirement allow miners who have worked below ground since 1993 and who undertook 3,300 work shifts by 2008 to ask for retirement 5 years earlier. Labour Minister Michaela Marksova said on Friday she wanted to all miners who have undertaken the said number of work shifts without specification by what date to have the same advantage. The measure is being undertaken to ease the social impact of the planned mine closures. 

Lodging house owner fined for running old people’s home in atrocious conditions

27-03-2015 14:46 | Daniela Lazarová

The owner of a lodging facility in Přerov, which illegally served as an old peoples home has received a half a million crown fine, the ctk news agency reports. The case came to light when Czech Senator Jitka Seitlová publicized the fact that there were several dozen helpless, old people living in the house in atrocious conditions. After the case made national headlines the people were quickly removed, with some ending up in emergency wards holding their documents with no idea of where they were or what had happened to them. By failing to register his lodging house as a social and health facility the owner by-passed strict health norms and avoided regular inspections to check up on the wellbeing of the home’s inhabitants. 

Police find internationally banned anti-personnel land mines at Vrbětice depot

27-03-2015 13:50 | Daniela Lazarová

The police have confirmed finding internationally banned anti-personnel land mines in storage at the Vrbětice munitions depot, which was seriously damages in a series of blasts last year, Czech Television reported. The anti-personnel landmines have been banned since 1997 by the Ottawa Convention. Five people have been charged with violating the law on arms licensing and holding illegal weapons. They are employees of Excalibur Army and Real Trade, two weapons trading companies which stored ammunition at the munitions depot in Vrbětice. 

Air Bank posts 313 million crown profit

27-03-2015 12:26 | Daniela Lazarová

Air bank which was established in 2011 has consolidated its position on the Czech banking scene, posting a 313 million crown profit in 2014, the ctk news agency reports. The preceding year the bank suffered 80 million crown losses. The main reason behind the turnaround is a 49 percent increase in clients in 2014 to 318,000. Originally the bank did not expect to show a profit until 2015. 

Education minister presents Best Teacher Awards

27-03-2015 11:51 | Daniela Lazarová

Education Minister Marcel Chládek has presented 42 teachers with Best Teacher Award for a creative and inspiring approach in the classroom. The event, celebrating the country’s best teachers is held annually on the occasion of Teachers Day on March 28th. On Saturday there is to be a Teacher’s Ball in Prague at which the organizers will announce the name of the most popular teacher in the Czech Republic. The winner is elected by students with each school putting forward its own nominee for the Amos Prize commemorating Jan Amos Comenius, known as the Teacher of Nations. 

Thousands of children to take part in Night with Andersen

27-03-2015 11:36 | Daniela Lazarová

A month-long series of events in support of reading will culminate on Friday with the traditional Night with Andersen held in libraries across the Czech Republic. The annual fairy-tale night for children is to promote reading among the youngest generation with thousands of children spending the night at their local library where they read, chat and listen to a public reading of fairytales by the famous Danish children’s writer Hans Christian Andersen. The event has a fifteen year tradition and this year 90,000 children have registered to take part in libraries around the country. 

240 million crowns in cultural funding awarded by city

27-03-2015 09:54 | Jan Velinger

Prague councillors on Thursday passed a proposal for the division of 240 million crowns in culture funds, awarding 57.5 million to one-year projects and the rest for four-year projects beginning in 2016. The city’s grant commission evaluated almost 650 different projects. Prague’s Archa Theatre and the arts space Meet Factory received the most in funding; some venues including Divadlo Komedie or festivals such as Febiofest were turned down. 

NHL action: Pavelec on a roll

27-03-2015 09:43 | Jan Velinger

Czech hockey goalie Ondřej Pavelec has been in excellent form and won his sixth game in a row on Thursday for the Winnipeg Jets. The goaltender stopped 39 shots as his team, the Winnipeg Jets, defeated opponents the Montreal Canadiens handily 5:2. Players Frolík and Tlustý got assists. The Jets are 14th in the NHL at the moment while the Canadiens topped the table earlier this week but have currently slipped to fourth spot. The Habs are on 100 points; the New York Rangers are first, with 101. 

Football: Lafata will have to explain dive in key match

26-03-2015 19:33 | Jan Velinger

Sparta Prague striker David Lafata will have to answer to the Czech FA's disciplinary committee after admitting he dived in a match against opponents Teplice at the weekend, resulting in a converted penalty. Sparta won the match 1:0. Lafata admitted to diving in the press, saying he was not proud of his actions but that they were partly the result of having a legitimate goal earlier in the match disallowed after he was mistakenly ruled offside. The player could potentially be fined or could receive a short ban. 

Culture Ministry confirms fine for placement of winged lion memorial

26-03-2015 16:18 | Jan Velinger

The Culture Ministry has confirmed that the district of Prague 1 faces a 150,000 crown fine for the installation last year, at Klárov Park, of a bronze winged lion – a memorial to Czechoslovak airmen who fought with the RAF in World War II. The local administration failed to obtain the necessary permission from heritage conservationists, ČTK said. The winged lion was unveiled last June. Opponents had charged the memorial clashed with another already sited at the park. The National Heritage Institute later decreed the memorial could stay. The fine issued is on the lower end of the scale (which goes up to two million), the spokeswoman for the Culture Ministry said. The decision can be appealed. 



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