News Median poll suggests Social Democrats regaining strength

05-04-2014 17:02 | Daniela Lazarová

A poll conducted by the Median agency suggests that the Social Democrats would once again win general elections gaining 21 percent of the vote, trailed by ANO which would receive 19.5 percent. The Communist Party would come third with 15 percent support, followed by TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats with 11.5 and 8.5 percent respectively. The poll contradicts the findings of the CVVM, STEM and PPM factum agencies which in March all featured ANO as the strongest party on the Czech political scene today.

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Accident halts traffic on major Czech railway route

27-07-2014 19:26 | Jan Richter

An accident on the railway line between Prague and Kolín in central Bohemia has halted traffic on the route used by international express trains with destinations in Germany, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. The accident occurred when a train ran onto a wrong track and damaged a switch. Local trains have been cancelled and replaced with buses while international expresses have been diverted to an alternate route. The authorities expect traffic on the route to resume at 8 PM on Sunday. 

South Moravian communities commemorate soldiers killed in WWI

27-07-2014 19:18 | Jan Richter

Several towns and villages in South Moravia on Sunday commemorated their men who were killed on the battlefields of the First World War, the news agency ČTK reported. A plaque dedicated to their memory was unveiled in Hustopeče while in Valtice, a memorial cross was erected. In Olešnice and several other places, gatherings were held to remember the fallen soldiers on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the war’s outbreak. 

Light airplane crashes during take-off in western Bohemia

27-07-2014 16:43 | Jan Richter

A light airplane crashed during take-off at an airfield in Plasy, western Bohemia, on Sunday. The plane was carrying two people but no one suffered any injuries in the accident, a spokesman for the local fire brigade said. The news agency ČTK reported the plane’s engine lost power during take-off and the pilot ended the manoeuvre. The plane then crashed some 50 metres away from the runway. Causes of the accident are under investigation. 

PORG school most successful among eight-year secondary schools in exit exams

27-07-2014 15:19 | Jan Richter

The privately-owned PORG school was the most successful of all Czech secondary schools in this year’s state leaving exams, the news agency ČTK reported on Sunday quoting an analysis by the educational consultancy firm CERMAT. Students at PORG, which has branches in Prague and Ostrava, did best in the Czech and English languages, and scored second in math nationwide. The Czech Education Ministry does not officially release rankings of secondary schools based on their students’ performance in the leaving exams. 

Exhibition of drawings by UK director Peter Greenaway held at Czech film festival

27-07-2014 14:00 | Jan Richter

The British film director Peter Greenaway opened an exhibition of his drawings at the Summer Film School festival in Uherské Hradiště, eastern Czech Republic, on Sunday. The exhibit, entitled Eisenstein in Guanajuato, includes some 50 drawings the director made during work on a film of the same name dedicated to the Russian film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein that is to premiere next year. Peter Greenaway received an award at the festival whose 40th edition started on Friday. 

Health Ministry claims victory in Diag Human arbitration

27-07-2014 12:42 updated | Jan Richter

The Czech Republic has won an international arbitration against the firm Diag Human, Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček said. The company took the country to arbitration in 2008 over its allegedly thwarted blood plasma business int eh coutnry. The Czech Republic was originally ordered to pay eight billion crowns in compensation to the firm but the Czech government appealed the decision and the final ruling, delivered to both parties last week, awards victory to the Czech Republic, according to the Health Ministry. However, the firm disputes the minitry's claims, arguing the ruling in fact confirmed the original verdict. The Health Ministry said it would release details on the case next week. 

Report: Romany elite rising due to increasing numbers of university graduates

27-07-2014 12:36 | Jan Richter

The Czech Republic’s new Romany elite is rising due to increasing numbers of Romanies with university degrees, the news website idnes.cz reported on Sunday. While only around 100 of the country’s 250,000-strong Romany community are currently studying at Czech universities, the number of those receiving some type of scholarships has tripled over the last nine years, from 59 to 151, according to figures by Romea, an advocacy group. Romany leaders quoted in the report say the rising number of university students has a big impact both on the Romany community and the majority society but note their overall number is still very small. 

Storm alert for parts of Czech Republic

27-07-2014 12:13 | Jan Richter

Heavy storms are to hit the south and east of the Czech Republic on Sunday afternoon, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has warned. In some places, up to 30 millimetres of precipitation is expected. The warning is in place until 10 PM on Sunday but frequent storms are expected in the Czech Republic over the next several days. 

Tour de France: Czech Jan Bárta finishes 3rd in time trial

26-07-2014 18:13 | Jan Richter

Czech rider Jan Bárta finished third in Saturday’s time trial at the Tour de France, 1 minute and 39 seconds after the winner, Germany’s Tony Martin. Bárta’s colleague in the NetApp-Endura team, Leopold König, came in fifth on Saturday, and is ranked 7th overall; Jan Bárta is 71st. 

Czech mountaineer completes quest to climb world’s 14 highest mountains

26-07-2014 17:52 | Jan Richter

Czech mountaineer Radek Jaroš climbed the K2 peak in the Himalayas on Saturday, becoming the the first Czech and the 15th person in the world to climb all of the 14 highest mountains, Czech Radio reports. The 50-year-old Jaroš climbed his first peak over 8,000 metres, Mount Everest, in 1998. He has authored several books and film documentaries, and in 2009 received a fair play award from the Czech Olympic Committee for helping to save the lives of several of his colleagues. 

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