News Office of Education Ombudsman to open in September
The Czech Ministry of Education will set up an office of Education Ombudsman, the news site Deník reports. The new post is to be filled by former education minister Eduard Zeman in mid-September. The Education Ombudsman’s role will be to help parents, students and teachers with problems they encounter in schools and to serve as a mediator between the ministry and schools. The Ministry of Education set up the office in response to an increasing number of complaints.
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Prague’s Strahov tunnel, which links the Prague 5 and 6 districts, is due to close to traffic at 8 am on Saturday for a ten day period. During that time road workers will link the tunnel to the newly built Blanka complex which is due to open to traffic in mid-September. Drivers have been warned to expect heavier traffic and complications with detours during the closure. The tunnel is due to reopen on July 14th at 5 am.
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and his Czech counterpart Lubomír Zaorálek on Friday signed a declaration on Czech-German strategic dialogue in Berlin. The agreement entails broadening cooperation in nine spheres, among them foreign policy, research, education, energy, culture and the fight against drug abuse. In the area of foreign policy the Czech Republic said it wanted to acquire know-how from German on how to combine economic diplomacy and defence of human rights.
The 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off on Friday night in the west Bohemian spa town. The festival which is screening over 220 movies, will open with the 2014 American drama Time out of Mind, starring Richard Gere who will present the film alongside director Oren Moverman and co-star Jena Malone. Richard Gere is to receive the highest honour of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. Among this year’s other VIP guests are the American actor Harvey Keitel and Irish actor Jamie Dornan. The festival will end on July 11th with a gala award ceremony.
The second case of suspected MERS has been reported in the Czech Republic, the country’s health minister, Svatopluk Němeček, told Czech Television on Friday morning. The patient, a man from Ostrava who recently travelled to South Korea, is being examined for the potentially fatal respiratory infection at Prague’s Na Bulovce hospital. The results of the tests should be known in the afternoon. Some 30 people who have been in contact with the man have been placed in quarantine. Since an outbreak of MERS in South Korea last month at least 180 people have contracted the disease and 33 have died.
Three Czech tennis players advanced to the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday. Defending champion Petra Kvitová eased past Japan’s Kurumi Nara with a straight-sets win of 6:2, 6:0. In the men’s singles, Tomáš Berdych overwhelmed French Nicolas Mahut 6:1, 6:4, 6:4 in just over an hour and a half. The third Czech who made it through to the third round was Kristýna Plíšková, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 3:6, 6:3, 6:4. Three other Czechs, Lukáš Rosol, Jiří Veselý a Denisa Allertová, failed to get past the second round at Wimbledon.
Czech businessman A court in London has ruled in favour of extraditing the runaway Czech businessman František Savov, who has sought refuge in the British capital. Savov, who has been sought since March in connection with suspected tax evasion totalling billions of crowns, is the owner of a series of the Mladá Fronta publishing house and a series of publications including the business paper E15 and magazine Euro. Savov has denied the accusations and said he would appeal against the court’s decision. He said he didn’t want to return to the Czech Republic because he wouldn’t receive a fair trial.
Czech international goalkeeper Petr Čech, who has just completed his transfer to London club Arsenal, officially opened his annual football summer school for children in Prague on Thursday. The training at Sparta Prague’s youth training centre at the Strahov stadium was also attended by Pavel Vrba, the coach of the Czech national football team. The two-day summer football school, which is now in its tenth year, is intended for young football players between seven and fifteen years of age.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has criticised the police for not intervening in Wednesday’s anti-immigration rally on Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Around 500 people attended the demonstration, some of them erecting fake gallows for ‘traitors’ and calling for the Czech Republic to be reserved for Czechs, for the closure of borders, and departure from the EU. Mr Chovance wrote on his Twitter account on Friday that there is ‘no place for gallows in democracy’ and that the police should be aware of the fact, adding that he would demand an explanation.
American actor Richard Gere has arrived in Karlovy Vary. Mr Gere will attend the opening ceremony of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday at the Thermal hotel, where he will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography. The 65-year-old Hollywood actor will present the opening film, Time Out of Mind, along with actress Jena Malone and director Oren Moverman. Mr Gere will also attend Saturday’s screening of the legendary romantic comedy Pretty Woman and Sunday’s screening of the film Franny.
US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Shapiro has paid tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton, the Briton who helped save the lives of 669 children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. Sir Nicolas passed away at the age of 106 on Wednesday. The US ambassador said the story of Mr Winton showed that that a man with courage and imagination is able to achieve extraordinary things. Mr Shapiro’s mother, who was born into a Jewish family in Prague, was also forced to flee Czechoslovakia in 1939 in order to save her life. Mr Shapiro said he was grateful that there were people like Nicholas Winton and added that the world would miss him greatly.