News Doctor sentenced to 7.5 years for inducing opiate addiction

03-09-2014 11:52 | Jan Richter

A court in Prague sentenced a physician to 7.5 years in prison for having induced opiate addiction to one of his former patients. The court said the doctor between March 2008 and November 2010 sold doses of opioid analgesic to his patient who suffered from painful anal injury, making him heavily addicted to the drug. The patient sold his business and other property to be able to afford the drug, and eventually died in a car accident while driving under the influence of opiates. The court also banned the man from practicing medicine for ten years, and ordered him to pay a fine of seven million crowns.

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July by far worst month for Czech road deaths this year with 80

01-08-2015 10:42 | Ian Willoughby

Eighty people died on Czech roads in July, making it by far the worst month of the year in that respect. The highest number of deaths on one day in 2015, 10, occurred on July 23. The overall figure is five higher than for the same month last year. June has seen the second highest number of road casualties this year, with 52. 

NHL players set to meet new national team coach Vůjtek

01-08-2015 09:04 | Ian Willoughby

Close to two dozen ice hockey players from the NHL are due to attend informal meetings in Prague and Brno with the new Czech national team coach Vladimír Vůjtek and his assistants in the next two weeks. Vůjtek, who is 68, was appointed in June following the resignation of Vladimír Růžička, who has been accused of bribe taking. Among the NHL players set to meet his replacement in Prague on Monday is New Jersey’s Patrik Eliáš. 

Transport Ministry seeking ways to make rail crossings safer

31-07-2015 18:50 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Transport Ministry is discussing measures which would make rail crossings in the Czech Republic safer. In the wake of last week’s tragic Pendolino crash into a lorry which left three dead and a dozen injured, Transport Minister Dan Ťok said the ministry would commission an expert analysis on improved safety measures, including how many level crossings can be turned into grade-separated junctions and the possible installation of electronic chips which would alert a train to a large obstacle on the track. The minister is also in favour of introducing steep fines for those who break the rules on rail crossings. 

Cardinal Duka forbids parish to host two LGBT festival events

31-07-2015 16:53 | Daniela Lazarová

The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka has forbidden the parish of St. Salvatore to host two events within August’s Prague Pride LGBT festival. The parish, headed by priest and professor Tomáš Halík, had planned to host a discussion with a nun about harassment within the Church and screen a film about a gay priest. The involvement of the Czech Catholic Church in Prague Pride events caused controversy and Cardinal Duka used his right to ban them. The cardinal said that while he was not against an open debate on these matters he did not consider it appropriate for this to take place within the LGBT festival. Tomáš Halík said he fully respected the Cardinal’s decision. The events will be held elsewhere. 

Half of Czech firms would not employ a Romany

31-07-2015 16:18 | Daniela Lazarová

Half of Czech firms would not employ a Romany, according to the outcome of a poll conducted by the bank CSOB among several hundred companies. According to the outcome of the survey 48 percent of small and medium-sized businesses would not employ a Romany person. Fifteen percent of these companies said they would not employ a Romany under any circumstances, even if they were qualified for the job, while 33percent said they would “most likely” turn a Roma candidate away. Nine out of ten firms would turn away a former convict on principle. 68 percent of companies said they would be prepared to employ a foreigner from a former Eastern bloc state. The survey commissioned by Pravo was to test the measure of discrimination on the Czech labour market. 

Police quell revolt in asylum facility in Bělá

31-07-2015 16:09 | Daniela Lazarová

The police quelled a fresh revolt at the asylum facility in Běla, north Bohemia, on Friday after angry migrants started demolishing furniture and smashing windows in protest at beingáheld captive on the premises. The illegal immigrants housed there are due to be returned to Hungary and Austria and are under close supervision. On Thursday a group of them attempted to escape from the asylum centre damaging two security gates in the process, but they failed to break through the iron fence surrounding the facility. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec who met with the migrants on Friday rejected their demand to have their money and mobile phones returned and be allowed to travel to Germany. The minister ordered heightened security around the institution. The violence broke out shortly after his departure. 

Defense minister says army needs new recruits

31-07-2015 14:43 | Daniela Lazarová

Defense Minister Martin Stropnický says he wants to the expand army’s ranks by 6,000 new recruits over the next five years. Speaking at the Brno University of Defense on Friday, Mr. Stropnický said the Czech Armed Forces would be boosted by close to 2,000 new recruits this year and as many more in 2016. The minster has asked for an additional two billion crowns for the Defense Ministry budget next year to meet this goal. The Finance Ministry has so far promised an extra billion. Mr. Stropnický argues that the military was underfunded for several years and needs more money to meet its commitments within NATO. The army has 21,000 soldiers at present and the minister wants to expand their ranks to 27,000 in the next five years. 

Czech foreign minister says his trip to Lebanon is to help gain more information on case of missing Czechs

31-07-2015 13:22 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said on Friday that the purpose of his upcoming trip to Lebanon would be to exchange information with the local authorities on the five Czechs who went missing in the country earlier this month. Following a meeting of the crisis team set up to deal with the case, Mr. Zaorálek said that the Czech side was prepared to release the information it had on the case to the Lebanese authorities and hoped to glean new information from them. The minister dismissed speculation that he would hold negotiations other than with local politicians and investigators. The date of his trip has not yet been set, but according to previous unofficial information it should be sometime next week. The five Czechs disappeared in the Bekaa Valley, near the border with Syria, on July 18th and the Lebanese interior minister said last week that the case had a criminal background and was allegedly linked to drug and arms smuggling. 

Libor Sečka to be new Czech ambassador to Great Britain

31-07-2015 12:45 | Daniela Lazarová

Career diplomat Libor Sečka is to be the new Czech ambassador to Great Britain, the ctk news agency reported on Friday. He will replace the outgoing ambassador to London, Michael Žantovský, who is due to return to Prague in September and will head the Vaclav Havel library in the Czech capital. Mr. Sečka has previously served as ambassador in Spain, Mexico, Italy and Malta. He is currently winding up an ambassadorial term in China. 

Police detain Hungarian lorry carrying 76 illegal migrants

31-07-2015 11:14 | Daniela Lazarová

The police have detained a Hungarian lorry carrying 76 illegal migrants, 23 of them children, the ctk news agency reports citing police sources. The lorry was detained on the D5 highway in the Tachov region during a routine check on Friday morning. A police spokeswoman said the migrants had no IDs and were now being questioned via an interpreter. She said the driver of the lorry had been detained and would be charged with people-smuggling. 


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