News Police charge man in connection with killing of regional political figure
The police have charged a man in connection with the murder of Roman Houska, an influential figure in the Social Democrats in Ústí nad Labem, north Bohemia. The suspect was arrested on Wednesday, the state attorney said. Mr. Houska was gunned down in front of his home in Chomutov in November in what appeared to be a contract killing. Media reports at the time described the businessman, who reportedly claimed to have compromising materials on opponents, as an eminence grise in politics in the region.
For the daily news summary, available after 8pm CET, click here.
Around two hundred people attended a protest march in the centre of Prague on Friday evening against alleged police repression of the Czech far-left scene. The participants went from Jungmann square to Bartolomějská street, which was notorius as the base of the Communist secret police, and ended on Wenceslas square. The organizers were questioning the police raid on the Cibulka squat in Prague in May this year, as well as the operation Fenix in April, which resulted in the arrest of over thirty people. Several of them were later charged with allegedly taking part in the preparation of a terrorist attack on a train.
A Dutch parachutist, aged 49, died at an airfield near Klatovy in West Bohemia on Friday evening, after his parachute failed to open during a jump from the altitutde of 500 metres. The case is being investigated by the police and the Air Accidents Investigation Institute. The airport in Klatovy, which is mainly popular due to an extreme discipline called swooping, based on a high-speed landing with a parachute, has seen a number of fatal accidents in the past few years. The most recent one involved a world-famous Danish skydiver Mads Jensen, who died at the airport during a training jump in May this year.
Thousands of people gathered in the streets of Pilsen on Friday night to watch a procession of giant puppets of the Spanish theatre company Carros de Foc, which marked the opening of the Skupa's Pilsen Festival organised as part of the European Capital of Culture 2015. The huge marionettes, including a 20-metre-long dragon and a huge flying bird, are part of a site-specific show La Niña transforming the historical centre of Pilsen into a theatre stage, along with dozens of acrobats, dancers and musicians. The event will be repeated on Saturday and Sunday night. The Skupa Pilsen festival of puppetry and alternative theatre was established in 1967 and takes place every two years.
More than 80 castles and chateaus across the Czech Republic join the annual Night of Castles on Saturday, opening their door to visitors with special programmes, including evening tours, concerts, theatre performances and more. The main programme of the festival's sixth edition will take place at the Kratochvíle state chateau in South Bohemia. In Prague, people will have a chance to visit the Senate's Wallenstein palace at Malá Strana and the gardens at Prague Castle. Four famous villas in Brno, including the Tugenhadt villa, will be also open on Saturday night.
Petra Kvitová and Lucie Šafářová will face each other in an all-Czech final at the Connecticut Open, after winning their semi-final matches of the WTA tournament in New Haven in straight sets. Petra Kvitová secured a 7-5, 6-1 win over Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, while the fourth seeded Šafářová beat Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-2, 7-6. Czech number one Petra Kvitová has a 6-0 career record against her compatriot Lucie Šafářová.
Czech Gripen fighter pilots have completed their mission guarding Icelandic airspace, returning with the planes to the Czech Republic on Friday. The journey took three-and-a-half hours and the jets refuelled during flight. Czechs have now guarded Icelandic airspace twice. The Czech military also served in similar missions in the Baltic states as a member of NATO.
The Czech Statistical Office has confirmed strong 4.4 percent annual growth of the economy in Q2 in its revised estimate made public on Friday, while improving its preliminary estimate of a quarter/quarter rise from 0.9 to 1 percent. The Czech Republic is currently showing the most significant growth in all of Europe that, analysts confirmed. The surge is tied to positive developments in the economy, namely boosts in domestic consumption as well as investment.
The electronic registration of sales will most likely be launched by mid-2016 following the coalition’s approval of the Finance Ministry's proposal to extend the period between the promulgation of the relevant law and the time the law takes legal effect from 3 to 7 months, the Finance Ministry said on its website. The bill on the introduction of the electronic registration of sales is currently being discussed in the Chamber of Deputies. Opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats have come out against the bill. The government is hoping the system will help limit grey economy and improve tax collection.
The Education Ministry will spend half a billion crowns in the new school year in promoting sport activities for schoolchildren and youths, while 170 schools will take part in a new project encouraging sports after class. In the Czech Republic it is common for elementary school children to remain in monitored classrooms before being picked up by parents. The Education Minister, Kateřina Vlachová, made clear, the project aimed to encourage greater physical activity. Team sports such as football or volleyball are to be encouraged. Phys. Ed. teachers who work with children after school, stand to make an additional 250 crowns per hour, the minister said.
Interior minister says country has not registered alleged wave of migrants travelling from Southeastern Europe
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Friday that the country has no information about a wave of illegal migrants bound for the Czech Republic from Macedonia or Serbia. He made a statement after a meeting of the security forces; he added that if such a situation did materialize, additional centres with a capacity for 300 people would be set up in the region of South Moravia. The minister added that the level of security currently in place, regarding migrants, was sufficient.