News iDnes: US ambassador prolonging stay to attend opening of 2014 Prague Pride

05-08-2014 13:18 | Ian Willoughby

The outgoing US ambassador to Prague, Norman Eisen, is prolonging his stay in the city in order to attend the opening of this year’s Prague Pride, the news site reported on Tuesday. Mr. Eisen has participated in the gay and lesbian festival for the previous three years. This year’s Pride will culminate with a parade starting at Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Saturday August 16. The festival’s patrons are Human Rights Minister Jiří Dientsbier, who wants to extend the rights of gays and lesbians in registered partnerships, and the mayor of Prague, Tomáš Hudeček.

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Electronic motorway payments to be phased in within three years: ministry

25-11-2015 14:02 | Chris Johnstone

The Ministry of Transport says that it will make the transition from paper to electronic motorway tolls within three years. A similar electronic system will already be up and running in Slovakia next year. The ministry says that the new system will allow it to clamp down on counterfeit motorway stickers, a problem that was particularly evident at the start of 2015. Prices for year long stickers will be the same next year as this at 1500 crowns. 

Former bankruptcy judge Jiří Berka sentenced at Tábor court

25-11-2015 14:01 | Chris Johnstone

A former judge at the centre of a series of fraudulent bankruptcy cases has been sentenced to 8 years and six months. The court in Tábor handed down the sentence to Jiří Berka. Berka was discovered in 2003 to be behind a series of cases in which 10 companies were declared bankrupt on false and fabricated evidence with the overall damage estimated at 264 million crowns. Once declared bankrupt, the assets of the companies could be picked up for a pittance. A further eight people involved in the cases were also sentenced Wednesday. The verdicts can still be appealed. 

Energy regulator says facing dismissal after meeting with president

25-11-2015 14:00 | Chris Johnstone

The head of the Czech energy regulator, Alena Vitasková, has accused mafia groups of seeking to get her removed from her job. Vitasková made the comments ahead of the meeting with head of state, Miloš Zeman, on Wednesday. She was due to speak with president about the current state of support for renewable energy, where her office is refusing to make payments for 2016 because they have not been approved by the European Commission. Zeman has the power to sack the head of the independent energy office. She afterwards declared that he had no intention of doing so and that a solution to the support standoff could be found. 

Ostrava coalition collapses, Social Democrats out of power

25-11-2015 11:05 | Chris Johnstone

The political coalition governing the Czech Republic’s third biggest city, Ostrava has fallen apart. The Social Democrats have quit the hitherto coalition with the ANO party and Christian Democrats. Their place has been taken by the Ostravak movement. The move means the Social Democrats are out of power for the first time since 1990. 

Czech PM calls for stepped up university cooperation with China

25-11-2015 11:04 | Chris Johnstone

Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called for strengthened university ties between the Czech Republic and China. The number of Czechs studying in China and vice versa should increase, he said during his ongoing trip to China. The prime minister also warned that the lack of Czechs able to speak Chinese is threatening to become a brake on economic and other relations. Under a current agreement there are just 10 Czech students in China and the same number of Chinese in Czech universities. 

Petr Čech and Arsenal keep slender Champions League progress hopes alive

25-11-2015 11:03 | Chris Johnstone

In football, Czech international Petr Čech and his Arsenal team kept alive their hopes of progressing past the group stage in the European Champions League on Tuesday night. Arsenal won 3:0 against Dinamo Zagreb with Čech little tested between the posts. In the same group, Bayern Munich thrashed Olympiakos Pireus 4:0. That means that Arsenal can progress to the knock-out stage if they can convincingly beat the Greek team in the last game. 

Czech lawyer says AIDS sufferers face discrimination

25-11-2015 09:31 | Daniela Lazarová

People with HIV often face discrimination both at the workplace and in the field of health care, according to a lawyer working for the Czech AIDS Help Society. Jakub Tomšej told the ctk news agency that employers frequently seek ways to get rid of employees with AIDS and there have allegedly been numerous cases of doctors refusing to treat them. The lawyer says only a fraction of AIDS sufferers who face discrimination fight for their rights in court. 

Museum of Prague to administer House at the Golden Ring

25-11-2015 09:19 | Daniela Lazarová

The historic Prague House at the Golden Ring in Tyn street will come under the administration of the Museum of Prague, the Prague City council decided on Tuesday. It is currently administered by the Prague Gallery. The reason for the change in administration is that the building is to house a permanent exhibition devoted to the life and times of Charles IV which is to open next year on the 700th anniversary of his birth. 

Block Against Islam leader charged with hate speech

24-11-2015 18:08 | Daniela Lazarová

The head of the Block Against Islam Martin Konvička has been charged with inciting hatred toward a group of people based on their religious beliefs. According to his lawyer Klara Samkova, Konvička was charged on the grounds of statements made on Facebook in 2011 and 2014. The Block Against Islam claims the charges are politically motivated. 

Czech police arrest migrant smugglers wanted in Belgium

24-11-2015 17:56 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech police are reported to have arrested four persons wanted for illegal migrant smuggling. They are believed to be part of an international organized gang wanted by the Belgian authorities. All four are Czech nationals who were tasked with finding lorry drivers willing to smuggle migrants across Europe. A Czech court is to rule on their extradition to Belgium. 


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