News Prague hospital reaches record settlement in birth brain injury case

16-07-2014 17:20 updated | Jan Richter

Prague’s Vinohrady hospital has reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of a boy who suffered a serious brain injury during birth at the hospital in 2009. The facility has agreed to pay some 20 million crowns, or around one million US dollars, to the family, the hospital’s director told the news agency ČTK. It is the highest amount ever paid in compensation by a Czech health facility. Doctors at the hospital faced accusations of malpractice after they ignored signs pointing to a complicated delivery. The boy was born blind and deaf and requires continuous care. In June, a court in Prague ordered the hospital to pay 30 million crowns in compensation in a ground-breaking verdict which the hospital said it would appeal.

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MPs postpone vote on controversial child care bill

24-10-2014 12:09 | Jan Richter

The lower house of the Czech Parliament has postponed a vote on controversial child care legislation. The bill would require all nurseries, kindergartens and informal babysitting groups to comply with strict hygiene rules which critics say would threaten their existence. It would also most likely lead to the closure of some 120 outdoor nurseries known as forest kindergartens. The bill, approved by MPs last month, returned to the lower house after a presidential veto and a new vote on the legislation was on Friday. But the coalition Christian Democrats said MPs should first determine whether the bill should be amended. 

Poll: Most Czechs consider Russia “future threat”

24-10-2014 11:56 | Jan Richter

Some 65 percent of Czechs consider Russia a threat for their country’s future, according to a poll by the STEM agency. Since last year’s poll that asked the same question, their number has risen by 29 percentage points. Around 46 percent of those polled also said that Russia posed a direct threat for the Czech democracy. A majority of Czechs, 80 percent, consider the crisis in Ukraine to be a threat for peace in Europe. However, 72 percent of people who took part in the survey said they did not believe that EU sanctions against Russia would help bring the conflict in Ukraine to an end. 

Czech Airlines flight attendants to go on a one-day strike in protest of massive lay-offs

24-10-2014 10:21 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Airlines flight attendants will go on a one-day strike on Thursday October 30th in protest of massive lay-offs announced by the management. ČSA is letting go a third of its staff, including 77 pilots and close to 200 flight attendants within a restructuring plan to consolidate the loss-making national carrier. The company has taken steps to prevent the strike action through a court order and says that even if it fails, it will secure replacements for the striking employees so that the airlines’ flights schedule is not disrupted. 

Václav Klaus to head National Council for Education

24-10-2014 10:00 | Daniela Lazarová

Ex-president Václav Klaus is to head the planned National Council for Education which is to be established in 2015, Education Minister Marcel Chládek told journalists on Friday. The 15-member council is expected to issue recommendations and draft a long-term strategy which would improve the quality of education across the country. Vaclav Klaus has in the past expressed serious reservations regarding the national curriculum, the quality of education provided at Czech schools and the manner in which the performance of different learning institutions is evaluated. 

Czech National Anti-Drugs Coordination head: We need to tackle all forms of addictions

23-10-2014 17:42 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic will step-up its efforts to fight all forms of addictions including drinking and smoking, National Anti-Drugs Coordination Centre head Jiří Vobořil told journalists on Thursday. Mr. Vobořil said that in the past the accent was on fighting drug additions with drinking, smoking and gambling getting significantly less attention. The authorities are particularly concerned about the number of young people who drink and smoke regularly ranking the country among the worst in Europe. 

Senate approves government’s foreign military missions plan

23-10-2014 16:48 | Daniela Lazarová

The Senate has approved the government’s foreign military missions plan for 2015 and 2016. According to the proposal Czech troops should continue to serve in international missions in Afghanistan, Mali and the Balkans. The lower house should vote on the bill next Wednesday. A decision on whether Czech soldiers should serve in the United Nations mission in the Golan Heights has been shelved for the time being. 

Kvitová keeps hopes alive of advancing at WTA Finals

23-10-2014 15:13 | Daniela Lazarová

Petra Kvitová beat world number two Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-2 in a 75 minute game at the WTA Finals in Singapore on Thursday, keeping alive her hopes of advancing in the tournament. Sharapova started well winning the opening two games, but Kvitová proved to be in top form and quickly turned the match around winning 11 of the next 12 games. Kvitová said she was feeling burnt out during her first-round loss to Agnieszka Radwanska, so decided not to practice ahead of Thursday’s game and spent the time relaxing instead. On Friday Kvitová will play against Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacka. 

Czech Airlines start handing out notices to staff

23-10-2014 13:53 | Daniela Lazarová

The national air carrier ČSA which earlier announced plans to lay-off a third of its staff started handing out notices on Thursday. The company is planning to let go 77 pilots and close to 200 flight attendants. Flight attendants’ trade unions are threatening strike action. 

Parties agree on division of posts in Prague City Council

23-10-2014 12:57 | Daniela Lazarová

The ANO party, along with the Social Democrats and the three-way coalition of the Greens, the Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents, who are holding talks on forming a coalition in Prague, have reached agreement on a division of seats in the City Council. The winning ANO, which will fill the post of mayor, is expected to hold the city’s finances, security, health and housing. The Social Democrats should get transport, social policy and European funds while the three-way grouping should take the environment, culture and infrastructure. ANO’s Adriana Krnáčová is expected to fill the post of mayor. The agreement on the division of posts has yet to be sealed by the parties’ leaderships. 

Korean Air commits to increasing capital in ČSA

23-10-2014 12:16 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Airlines has a received a commitment for financial support from its biggest shareholder Korean Air to boost its efforts to stabilize the loss-making company. Korean Air has conditioned the promised increase in capital on the full implementation of a restructuring plan unveiled in September. The plan involves selling assets and shrinking the company’s fleet and workforce. ČSA has announced plans to lay-off a third of its staff including 77 pilots and close to 200 flight attendants. Korean Air acquired a 44 percent stake in Czech Airlines in 2013 from the state after the government had made several attempts to sell the airline. The Czech state holds 54 percent shares and the insurance company Česká Pojistovna 2.2 percent. 



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