News Over 200 fire beacons take part in 5th edition of “Celtic Telegraph”
Over 200 fire beacons are taking party in the 5th edition of “Celtic Telegraph”, sending light signals across the Czech Republic. The event kicks off with the lighting of a beacon at Velká Javořina on the Czech-Slovak border; from there, the light signal will be handed over through several routes to other parts of the country as well as Slovakia. The event, held in homage to Celtic tribes which once inhabited Bohemia and Moravia, has however come under scrutiny by environmentalists and firefighters who warn no fire making in nature reserves will be tolerated.
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The political coalition governing the Czech Republic’s third biggest city, Ostrava has fallen apart. The Social Democrats have quit the hitherto coalition with the ANO party and Christian Democrats. Their place has been taken by the Ostravak movement. The move means the Social Democrats are out of power for the first time since 1990.
Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called for strengthened university ties between the Czech Republic and China. The number of Czechs studying in China and vice versa should increase, he said during his ongoing trip to China. The prime minister also warned that the lack of Czechs able to speak Chinese is threatening to become a brake on economic and other relations. Under a current agreement there are just 10 Czech students in China and the same number of Chinese in Czech universities.
In football, Czech international Petr Čech and his Arsenal team kept alive their hopes of progressing past the group stage in the European Champions League on Tuesday night. Arsenal won 3:0 against Dinamo Zagreb with Čech little tested between the posts. In the same group, Bayern Munich thrashed Olympiakos Pireus 4:0. That means that Arsenal can progress to the knock-out stage if they can convincingly beat the Greek team in the last game.
People with HIV often face discrimination both at the workplace and in the field of health care, according to a lawyer working for the Czech AIDS Help Society. Jakub Tomšej told the ctk news agency that employers frequently seek ways to get rid of employees with AIDS and there have allegedly been numerous cases of doctors refusing to treat them. The lawyer says only a fraction of AIDS sufferers who face discrimination fight for their rights in court.
The historic Prague House at the Golden Ring in Tyn street will come under the administration of the Museum of Prague, the Prague City council decided on Tuesday. It is currently administered by the Prague Gallery. The reason for the change in administration is that the building is to house a permanent exhibition devoted to the life and times of Charles IV which is to open next year on the 700th anniversary of his birth.
The head of the Block Against Islam Martin Konvička has been charged with inciting hatred toward a group of people based on their religious beliefs. According to his lawyer Klara Samkova, Konvička was charged on the grounds of statements made on Facebook in 2011 and 2014. The Block Against Islam claims the charges are politically motivated.
The Czech police are reported to have arrested four persons wanted for illegal migrant smuggling. They are believed to be part of an international organized gang wanted by the Belgian authorities. All four are Czech nationals who were tasked with finding lorry drivers willing to smuggle migrants across Europe. A Czech court is to rule on their extradition to Belgium.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Tuesday countered the president’s words about migrants and terrorism, stressing the need to distinguish between terrorists who present a global threat and refugees fleeing from war and terror. We need to keep in mind that the security threat comes from terrorists, not from migrants who need our help, Mr. Sobotka told journalists. In recent days the Czech head of government has been at pains to publicly counter some of the president’s views on the migrant issue and strongly criticized his speech to an anti-migrant gathering in Prague on November 17th.
Police are reported to have arrested a number of Prague taxi-drivers suspected of overcharging tourists. According to the news site ihned.cz the police had been monitoring them for some time and had collected enough proof against them to press charges. Although Prague taxi-drivers are notorious for ripping off foreign visitors, this is the first time that the police have taken action against them. The state attorney dealing with the case has confirmed the news, but refused to specify how many drivers may be charged.
Foreign nationals sentenced to more than three years in prison for a premeditated crime or serial offenders will lose their right to residence in the Czech Republic, according to an amendment to the asylum law signed into force by the president. The new law will make it easier for qualified workers to get a residence permit and will enable asylum seekers to find employment six months after filing their request.