News Interior ministry preparing legislative proposals to meet potential Prague blackout

07-08-2014 13:33 | Dominik Jůn

The Czech Ministry of the Interior is preparing legislative proposals to improve readiness in case of a blackout in the capital city Prague. Presently, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has appointed a working group to examine how Prague could deal with a major power cut and also a disruption of its water supplies. Back in February, a training exercise for just such a scenario was conducted by the emergency services. This resulted in 32 proposals for how to improve readiness - something that the ministry is now in the midst of processing. The proposed measures will be finalised in September.

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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. 

Prague districts to receive 400 million crowns from City Hall

26-03-2015 14:17 | Jan Velinger

Prague districts will receive 400 million crowns from City Hall, Prague City councilors agreed in a vote on Thursday. Most of the funds, 358 million, are slotted for the education sector. Schools are most likely to use the funding to renovate rooms, complete additional classrooms or improve the capacity of school cafeterias. Earlier, City Hall wanted to draw 300 million in reserve funds. 

Three former prison guards sentenced to 2.5 to four years in jail

26-03-2015 14:03 | Jan Velinger

Three former prison guards at a facility in Ostrava have been sentenced to 2.5 to four years in jail for stealing copper from a workshop within the prison. The copper is estimated as being worth 500,000 crowns. Three others involved in the theft were given suspended sentences. In all eleven people, including scrap metal yard owners, faced charges. Five were cleared of wrongdoing. 

Czech National Bank leaves interest rates, low crown target unchanged

26-03-2015 13:49 | Jan Velinger

The Czech National Bank (ČNB) kept two of its main economic instruments unchanged on Thursday. The main interest rate, the two-week repo rate was maintained at 0.05%. The central bank also said that it would be keeping to its 27 crowns or lower exchange rate target against the single currency euro. That means that the bank is committed to intervening on the currency markets if the crown strengthens beyond that target. The controversial target has been in place since November 2013. Inflation would have to rise to near 2.0 percent and interest rates rise before the bank could realistically quit the low crown policy. 

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