News Czech minister in talks over children removed from family by Norway social services

15-06-2014 19:21 | Jan Richter

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has met for talks with Norway’s State Secretary Bard Glad Pedersen over the situation of two Czech children removed from the family by Norwegian social services, the news agency ČTK reported. The children were taken away in 2011 over suspicions of sexual abuse; a year later, the children were place in foster families despite the fact that a police investigation found no evidence of abuse. Mr Zaorálek said he discussed the case with Secretary Pedersen, and recommended the family raise a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights, and file a petition for a revision of the case with Norwegian courts.

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Plzeň’s New Theatre gets official opening

03-09-2014 08:59 | Ian Willoughby

The Nové divadlo (New Theatre) was officially opened in the West Bohemian city of Plzeň on Tuesday night. The modern structure with a capacity of just over 450 was built at a cost of CZK 880 million. Among those in attendance on Tuesday was actor and theatre director Tomáš Töpfer, who said it was an amazing thing that the country had received its first purpose-built theatre in over 50 years. The first performance at the Nové divadlo was of Bedřich Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride. Plzeň will be a European Capital of Culture in 2015. 

Police rule out euthanasia in hospital killing case

03-09-2014 08:49 | Ian Willoughby

Police in Rumburk, North Bohemia have ruled out the possibility that a nurse illegally euthanized an elderly cancer patient, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. Investigators no longer believe that the patient wanted to die and are working on the assumption that the nurse acted out of antipathy towards patients, the newspaper said. Nurse “Věra M.” has herself denied that she was committing euthanasia when gave the patient an injection of potassium that caused her heart to stop. Detectives are looking into another 10 deaths at the hospital. 

Prague suspends partnership with Russian cities over aggression towards Ukraine

02-09-2014 18:51 | Ian Willoughby

The City of Prague has decided to suspend its twinning with the Russian cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Mayor Tomáš Hudeček wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday. The move comes in response to what the mayor described as the Putin regime’s arbitrary attack on Ukraine, which threatened not only Ukraine’s sovereignty but the security of the whole of Europe. Mr. Hudeček called on other Czech cities to follow Prague’s lead in this regard. The Czech capital is twinned with more than two dozen cities around the world. 

Zeman threatens to take civil service bill to Constitutional Court

02-09-2014 16:58 | Ian Willoughby

In an address to the lower house on Tuesday, President Miloš Zeman warned MPs he would take a civil service bill to the Constitutional Court if they push the legislation through despite his previously signaled veto. Mr. Zeman said the amendment would not achieve its stated aim of depoliticising the civil service but would rather make it more politicised. The government has won support for the bill by taking on board opposition demands, including dropping a provision to create a top civil servant whose office would control the entire system. Mr. Zeman is critical of a provision under which every minister would have at most two deputies who are political appointees. 

Czech PM will have “comments” on proposed EU sanctions on Russia

02-09-2014 14:21 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic will have some comments on proposed new European Union sanctions against Russia, the prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has said. Mr. Sobotka said on Tuesday that Prague would need to proceed in a manner that most took into account the interests of both the Czech Republic and the EU. He said he regarded escalating sanctions as highly risky. 

Prague proton centre says application to treat UK cancer boy Ashya lacked documentation

02-09-2014 13:53 | Ian Willoughby

The Proton Therapy Centre in Prague has issued a statement with regard to reports that it received an application to treat Ashya King, a five-year-old English boy with a brain tumour whose parents are being held in custody after removing him from a hospital in the UK. The Proton Therapy Centre said the application had unfortunately not included health documentation that would have allowed its doctors and specialists to assess the boy’s state. However, it said if the boy was suffering from a medulloblastoma, as his father had stated, proton beam treatment would be a good choice. The boy and his family were found in Spain following a Europe-wide search by police. 

Czech coach philosophical about star players’ lack of game time

02-09-2014 12:52 | Ian Willoughby

Speaking on the eve of a friendly against the USA in Prague, Czech football manager Pavel Vrba said he was curious how players who have not appeared for their clubs would look in training and during the match itself. Neither of the team’s leading players, Tomáš Rosický of Arsenal and Petr Čech of Chelsea, have performed so far this season. Vrba said they would on the other hand be rested for Wednesday’s game, which precedes a European Championship qualifier against the Netherlands next week. 

National Museum takes possession of materials from Museum of the Workers’ Movement

02-09-2014 12:06 | Ian Willoughby

The National Museum in Prague has taken possession of 700,000 documents and other items from the Museum of the Workers’ Movement. The materials map Czech and Czechoslovak political, social and cultural history in the second half of the last century. Among the acquisitions are the written capitulation of German forces in Prague on May 8 1945, the original manuscript of letters written by Communist journalist Julius Fučík shortly before his execution by the Nazis, a figure carved out of bread by Antonín Zápotocký when he was in prison and a bust of Lenin. Some of the items will go on display in the National Museum’s main building, which is undergoing renovations due to conclude in 2018. 

Police arrest man planning to kill himself and donate organs at Prague hospital

02-09-2014 11:34 | Ian Willoughby

Police in Prague have arrested a man who threatened people with a weapon at an emergency admissions building at the city’s Střešovice hospital on Tuesday morning. They subdued the man, who was reportedly intent on committing suicide and donating his organs, by using a taser electroshock weapon and took him away for questioning, police spokesperson Tomáš Hulan told the Czech News Agency. Nobody was injured during the incident. 

New documentary about Czech traveller Miroslav Zikmund screened

02-09-2014 11:02 | Ian Willoughby

A new feature-length documentary about the famous Czech traveller Miroslav Zikmund received a pre-premiere screening in his town of Zlín on Monday night. Petr Horký’s film Století Miroslava Zikmunda (Miroslav Zikmund’s Century) will enter cinema distribution on Thursday. Speaking at a sold-out Velké kino cinema, Mr. Zikmund, who is 95, recalled presenting the pair’s first full-length film on the same stage in the 1950s with his travelling partner Jiří Hanzelka, who died in 2003. The two visited more than 80 countries in a Tatra car between 1947 and 1950 and 1959 and 1964 before being barred from travelling or participating in public life after 1968. 



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