News National Museum takes possession of materials from Museum of the Workers’ Movement

02-09-2014 12:06 | Ian Willoughby

The National Museum in Prague has taken possession of 700,000 documents and other items from the Museum of the Workers’ Movement. The materials map Czech and Czechoslovak political, social and cultural history in the second half of the last century. Among the acquisitions are the written capitulation of German forces in Prague on May 8 1945, the original manuscript of letters written by Communist journalist Julius Fučík shortly before his execution by the Nazis, a figure carved out of bread by Antonín Zápotocký when he was in prison and a bust of Lenin. Some of the items will go on display in the National Museum’s main building, which is undergoing renovations due to conclude in 2018.

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Zeman’s comments on Islam stupid and populist, says Halík

23-09-2014 12:02 | Ian Willoughby

Priest and theologian Tomáš Halík has described statements about Islam made by President Miloš Zeman as stupid and populist. Speaking on Rádio Impuls on Monday, he said the two gravest threats today were Russian aggression and Islamic State militants. He said the latter had been condemned by Islamic authorities, which was something Mr. Zeman had failed to take into consideration. The president has been criticised in the past for his statements about Muslims, including saying that “Islamic ideology” was behind an attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels. The recipient of last year’s Templeton Prize, Tomáš Halík has himself been spoken about as a possible future candidate for head of state. 

National Gallery’s only Rembrandt back on show after restoration

23-09-2014 11:37 | Ian Willoughby

An oil painting by the Dutch master Rembrandt has gone on show at the Czech National Gallery after a one-year restoration job. The painting, entitled A Scholar in His Study, dates from 1634 and is among the most valuable pieces in the institution’s collections. The only Rembrandt painting owned by the National Gallery, it is on display at its Sternberg Palace location at Prague Castle. 

Planned government legislation to curb gambling

23-09-2014 10:23 | Jan Richter

The Czech Finance Ministry is drafting legislation to curb gambling, the daily Hospodářské noviny reports. The bill should introduce the limit of one gambling bar per 1,000 inhabitants, and will only allow casinos in towns of 40,000 or more inhabitants. The legislation will also ban gambling bars near schools, public offices, playgrounds and hospitals, and in historic urban reserves, and will require staff at gambling bars to check whether their clients are not welfare recipients. The draft legislation should be discussed by the government until the end of the year, and enter into force in January 2016. 

Football: former Czech international Baroš set for Ostrava comeback

23-09-2014 09:51 | Jan Richter

Former Czech international Milan Baroš is close to signing a deal with his former club Baník Ostrava, the daily Sport reported on Tuesday. The 32-year-old striker, who most recently appeared for Turkish side Antalyaspor last December, was in the summer looking to join the newly formed Indian Super League but the plan was scrapped due to his knee injury. In the past, Baroš played for Liverpool, Aston Villa, Galatasaray and other clubs. 

Czech Olympic Committee clears Kreuziger of doping charges

22-09-2014 16:37 | Jan Richter

The Czech Olympic Committee has ruled that rider Roman Kreuziger did not breach anti-doping rules. In August, the Tinkoff-Saso rider was suspended by the International Cycling Union over irregularities in his biological passport registered in 2011 and 2012. However, the arbitration panel of the Czech Olympic Committee said on Monday that the anomalies did not exceed any limits. Monday’s verdict can be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. 

New road connection between Brno and Vienna to open by 2018

22-09-2014 16:17 | Jan Richter

A new road connection the south Moravian city of Brno with the Austrian capital Vienna should be completed by 2018, Czech Transport Minister Antonín Prachař said after meeting the Lower Austrian governor, Erwin Pröll. Mr Prachař said the existing two-lane road between Brno and Mikulov was sufficient, and a bypass of the border town of Mikulov will be added to channel through traffic out of the town. In Austria, a motorway will be completed by 2017 that will end some 15 km south of the Czech-Austrian border. 

Stricter rules for Czech food importers

22-09-2014 14:17 | Jan Richter

The government on Monday approved stricter rules for Czech food importers. Companies importing animal food products and selected vegetable foodstuffs will have to notify the authorities two days before the arrival of the goods, and inform them of the planned retail price of the products. The government believes the rules will help prevent the Czech food market from being flooded with foreign products sold at dumping prices as a consequence of sanctions between the EU and Russia. 

Another shipment of ammunition sent to Kurdish forces

22-09-2014 14:16 | Jan Richter

A third shipment of military aid for the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq was dispatched from the Pardubice airport on Monday, the news agency ČTK reported. Transport aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force with some two million machine gun rounds on board left shortly before 1 PM for the Kurdish regional capital Irbil. Last month, the Czech government approved military aid to the Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State terrorists in Iraq worth 41 million crowns, consisting mainly of ammunition and grenades. The final shipment is scheduled for September 24. 

Romany, Russian consumers face discrimination, trade authority finds

22-09-2014 13:34 | Jan Richter

The Czech Trade Inspection Authority found 19 cases of Romany and Russian consumers being discriminated against in the first six months of the year, the agency said in a press released on Monday. On two occasions, Russian clients were denied accommodation in Czech hotels over the situation in Ukraine, the authority said. In four cases, real estate agents discriminated against their Romany customers by setting restrictive conditions for them, and in one case, Romany clients were not granted entry into an unspecified establishment. The authority also found that foreign customers are often charged higher prices compared to locals. 

Public employees set for pay raise in November

22-09-2014 12:54 | Jan Richter

The government has approved a 3.5 percent increase in the salaries of public employees, effective of November. Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksová said the government had saved up around one billion crowns in this year’s budget which was enough to pay for the increase in November and December. The government was originally planning to raise the salaries in January. The wages of some 930,000 public sector employees such as teachers, health care workers, police officers, and others, will increase by an average 730 crowns a month. 



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