News Lobbyist Martin Dědic released on bail
Lobbyist Martin Dědic who faces corruption charges has been released on bail. According to the state attorney the bail was set at 4 million crowns. Dědic is suspected of accepting bribes, money laundering and involvement in manipulation of public tenders at a hospital and transport company in Ostrava. If convicted he would face up to 12 years in jail. Eight other people have been charged in connection with the case.
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Renovation work has begun on the dilapidated Art Nouveau Hotel Evropa on Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The overhaul of the once famous hotel should be completed in a year and a half. Alongside the renovation of the listed building an entirely new construction is set to go up in the courtyard it shares with a number of other buildings. Opened in 1872, the hotel was renamed Grand Hotel Evropa after being nationalised soon after the communist takeover.
The Czech police’s organised crime unit has been carrying out a series of raids around the country targeting suspected extremists. Explosives were uncovered in an operation in the Brno district of Královo Pole on Tuesday morning, necessitating the intervention of pyrotechnics specialists. A police spokesperson told the news website iDnes.cz that more details would not be released at present as the operation was still going on.
The respected film and stage actress Iva Janžurová is set to receive an award for contribution to Czech cinema at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the organisers said on Tuesday. Other guests at the jubilee edition of the festival have not yet been announced, but Mel Gibson, who last year received Karlovy Vary’s Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, will appear in this year’s trailer, following in the footsteps of Jude Law and other recipients of the award.
The Czech authorities have as yet been unable to reach 10 Czechs who were in Nepal at the time of Saturday’s devastating earthquake in the country, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. A total of 255 Czechs were in the area of Nepal most affected by the disaster and dozens have so far managed to leave the South Asian state. The Czech ambassador to India, Miloslav Stašek, said the unaccounted for Czechs had been in mountainous areas where there was never a mobile telephone signal. A plane from the Czech Republic carrying a 36-member rescue team and aid to Nepal is due to take off later on Tuesday.
The number of fatal work-related accidents in the Czech Republic has dropped by half over the last 13 years, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions announced Monday, citing statistics by the Czech Office of Labour Inspection. While in 2002 there were 206 fatal accidents in the workplace, the number last year was 105. Over the entire period, there were 1,952 work-related deaths in the country. The highest number of deaths occur in construction, forestry, in factory jobs, transportation and storage and warehouse work. April 28th is International Workers’ Memorial Day remembering those who lost their lives in work-related accidents.
Czech rookie Petr Mrázek has been a major asset in goal for the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs but wasn’t able to stop the Tampa Bay Lightning from notching up a 5:2 win against his club on Monday to force a deciding Game 7. Mrázek stopped 23 shots on the night and robbed Brian Boyle with a phenomenal stick save that made all the highlight reels, keeping the Red Wings in the game temporarily but Detroit were unable to capitalise. Mrázek, 23, hails from Ostrava and has gotten the nod ahead of veteran goalie Jimmy Howard, earning two shutouts in the series. The winner of Game 7 will face the Montreal Canadiens in the next round.
The results of a new poll released by the CVVM agency suggest that ANO’s Andrej Babiš remains the most-trusted of leaders of political parties in the lower house, followed by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who heads the Social Democrats. Both results, however, were worse than in January. According to CVVM, 54 percent of respondents said they trusted Mr Babiš – down from an earlier 59 percent, while in Mr Sobotka’s case the number was 46, down from the earlier 53. By-and-large the public is currently most critical of the right-of-centre opposition party leaders, the poll suggests. Embattled Dawn Party leader Tomio Okamura saw his numbers fall from an earlier 34 percent to 24.
Power utility ČEZ should launch a new tender for the construction of further nuclear units next year at the latest, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech Radio on Monday. In the interview, he described 2016 as the "ultimate" deadline, pointing out one new reactor block each were needed at Dukovany and at Temelín. But, according to ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš, neither the date nor the location of further nuclear units has been decided yet. ČEZ will tailor further activities depending on the state energy policy draft which is yet to be approved by the government. The policy is to define, among other things, when and where new nuclear units should be built. In April of last year, ČEZ cancelled a tender to build two new units at the Temeíin nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia. The main reason was the government's decision not to provide state guarantees. According to Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek, the most feasible option is to build new units under the leadership of a new subsidiary of ČEZ.
The Czech government is aiming to kick start discussion on the adoption of the single European currency. The aim is to confirm a date before 2020 for the switch from the crown to the euro. Recently, Czech President Miloš Zeman suggested the country could make the actual switch by 2018, which many analysts consider overly optimistic. The debate on the euro agreed by the government is part of its policy framework for the country within the EU. The State Secretary for European Affairs, Tomáš Prouza, said that the country needed to have a precise idea about euro adoption over the next five years.
Montreal Canadiens’ Tomáš Plekanec got an assist on the game-winning goal against Ottawa on Sunday - a puck which Brendan Gallagher batted out of mid-air and slotted past Ottawa’s Craig Anderson in the first period. The Ottawa Senators were trying to force a Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs after winning two games in a row. But Montreal’s Carey Price stopped 43 shots and the team held on for the 2:0 win to advance to the next round. The Habs will face the winner of Detroit-Tampa Bay, next. Detroit, with Czech goalie Petr Mrázek, have the upper-hand in that contest, leading their respective series 3:2.