News Interior ministry preparing legislative proposals to meet potential Prague blackout
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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A team led by Dr. Eva Skyová, who is a senator for the Social Democrats, took payments from patients undergoing treatment for ALS at a Prague hospital even though it should have been free, according to a Czech Television report. The head of the Academy of Sciences has called for Dr. Skyová to be removed as head of the Academy’s Institute of Experimental Medicine. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek says she should also be dismissed from the government’s Section for Science, Research and Innovation in connection with the payments.
A court in Brno has begun hearing testimony in the case of Kevin Dahlgren, who was extradited from his native US to face charges of murdering four relatives of his in the Moravian capital. Witnesses told the court on Tuesday that they were unaware of any conflict between Dahlgren and the family, whom he was visiting at the time. The state prosecutor said the American had stabbed his aunt, her husband and their two sons due to emotional instability, narcissism and heightened aggression. Immediately after the alleged killings in 2013 Dahlgren fled to the US.
The Czech Republic has the highest percentage of young cannabis users in Europe, according to the latest annual report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Dependency. Its survey found that over a fifth of Czechs aged 15 to 34 had used marijuana or hashish at least once in the previous year. Forty-two percent of Czechs aged 15 and 16 had some experience of those drugs, the survey found.
US singer-songwriter Paul Simon is set to perform at Prague’s O2 Arena on November 17, the concert’s organisers announced on Tuesday. The 1960s star will present his new LP Stranger to Stranger at the show, which will open a European tour and will be represent his first appearance in the Czech capital since 1991.
The final film by director Jan Němec, who died in March at the age of 79, is to take part in the main competition at the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, organisers announced on Tuesday. Němec, who first made his name as part of the Czech New Wave, partly shot The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street (Vlk z Královských Vinohrad) at last year’s festival. There will be two locally-directed contenders for the top prize at Karlovy Vary this year, with Jan Hřebejk’s The Teacher also in the running.
Prague councillors have unanimously agreed to ban Segways from the historic centre of the city. Once a final vote has been taken on the matter the two-wheeled electric vehicles should disappear from the area’s pavements, cycle paths and pedestrian zones, where they have become a common sight in recent years. Councillors on Tuesday did not set a date for when the Segway ban will come into effect.
Czech forward Tomáš Hertl scored one of two San Jose Shark goals on Monday in the opening game of the Stanley Cup final but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens outshot the Sharks 41:26 and got the game-winning goal from Nick Bonino late in the third period. The goal came with 2:33 remaining. The final score was 3:2.
Two Jas-39 Gripen fighter jets were scrambled last Friday to identify an aircraft, the Defence Ministry revealed. The move was taken after a Spanish civilian airbus failed to reply to ground control even over the emergency frequency. The Gripen fighter jet pilots made visual contact with the pilots of the passenger jet and escorted the aircraft up to the German border. The spokesman for the Defence Ministry called similar incidents, where the pilots failed to communicate, rare.
A Kurdish brigadier general who fled persecution under the regime of late dictator Saddam Hussein, who held a Czech passport and had studied in Olomouc, was killed on Sunday in Iraq, the news website iDnes reports. The general, who was not named, was killed near Mosul where forces have launched an offensive to push out fighters for Daesh. According to the report, the general was shot by a terrorist fighter who had remained behind, who then detonated an explosive device, killing himself. iDnes cited details from a Kurdish news report.
Canadian writer Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has ranked the Czech Republic’s national hockey team eighth out of eight squads to compete in the prestigious World Cup of Hockey this September. The power rankings were released after the rosters for the competition were finalised; a disclaimer in the article reminds readers not to take the rankings as predictions; rather they can be interpreted as a summary of teams’ overall strengths and weaknesses. Campbell expressed the opinion that Czechs were weakest when it came to defense but had several “serviceable” NHL forwards. He praised as “good” the goalies Michal Neuwirth and Petr Mrázek. On the list, the Czech squad boasts the second-fewest Stanley Cup rings (although a San Jose Sharks win this year would add two). Czech coach Josef Jandač, meanwhile, told idnes.cz that the team saw the situation neither bleakly nor with rose-coloured glasses, saying they knew they could only surprise.