News Press: US ambassador Eisen to leave Prague in August but replacement may be some time coming
The US ambassador to Prague, Norman Eisen, is set to leave the Czech Republic in August, Hospodářské noviny reported on Wednesday, quoting a diplomat at the city’s American embassy. Mr. Eisen has been in the post since January 2011 and will be replaced by Andrew Schapiro, a lawyer with Czech roots. President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Schapiro, whom he knew at Harvard, in March. However, he is one of over 30 ambassadorial nominees currently being blocked by Republican legislators; he may not be approved until next year, following elections to Congress in November.
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The management of public broadcaster Czech TV this week marked the third anniversary of its 'D' channel, which offers extensive programming for toddlers, older children and teens. On the occasion, the broadcaster confirmed that it had premiered more than 3,500 hours of original programmes for children since the end of August 2013. The head of the station, Petr Dvořák, said that the channel offered an environment where children felt safe. Czech TV is currently preparing new shows, including 39 episodes of the much-loved bumbling D-I-Y duo Pat and Mat.
Members of the government including Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka kicked off festivities at the national harvest festival Bread Basket in České Budějovice on Saturday. On the occasion, the prime minister said the government would continue to push for a 'green fuel' excise tax rebate, which has already been approved in a first reading in the lower house. Mr Sobotka estimated the amendment could save farmers 900 million crowns. This week, the country' agriculture minister said he would push for meat by Czech producers to take up a larger percentage of supermarket shelves.
Key players for football club Viktoria Plzeň Daniel Kolář and František Rajtoral, with the club since 2008 and 2009, have signed with Turkish side Gaziantepspor Kolář and Rajtoral, both 30, were part of a team which won four league titles and twice played in the first round of the Champions League.
Firefighters got a fire which destroyed film sets at at Prague's Barrandov film studio under control at last at around 7 am on Saturday. The blaze, which broke out on Friday afternoon on a back lot of the studio, is estimated as having caused damage of around 100 million crowns. Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire.
A sushi restaurant in Prague may get a fine of up to 50 million crowns after it emerged that its employees were catching fish on the banks of the Vltava River to be used in the restaurant’s kitchen, the internet site novinky.cz reported on Friday. Sanitary norms do not allow this practice. The Veterinary Authority was alerted to the practice by locals and its inspectors found evidence to confirm the suspicion. The matter is being investigated.
The Czech premiere of the Czech-British coproduction Anthropoid which recreates the daring assassination of Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak parachutists in 1942 has been scheduled for September 28th, on Czech Statehood Day, the ctk news agency reported. The movie, directed by Sean Ellis and starring Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy and Toby Jones had its world premiere at the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July of this year.
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is expected to pay an official visit to the Czech Republic on September 5-6, the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček announced on Friday. Following talks with President Zeman, the Bulgarian head of state is due to meet with Prime Minister Sobotka and the speakers of the lower and upper houses of Parliament. The main topics on the agenda will be European security and the migrant crisis. Ovčáček noted that in view of the fact that Bulgaria has a common border with Turkey the migrant crisis is a particularly sensitive issue in the country. Other topics on the agenda are mutual business and investment opportunities.
Civic Democratic Party Senator Veronika Vrecionová will file a complaint with the Constitutional Court over a law regulating the gaming business, which allows Finance Ministry employees to block web pages on suspicion that they are offering gaming online. The law was approved by the Senate in May of this year and signed by President Zeman in June. Senator Vrecionová, who has collected 21 signatures in the upper house in support of her complaint, says that rank-and-file ministry employees should not have the right to make such a decision and argues that the law opens the way to possible violations of freedom of speech.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a meeting of the Visegrad Four -the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia- in Warsaw on Friday. The government leaders discussed the future of Europe after Brexit, with security concerns at the forefront of attention. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban called for the establishment of a European Army suggesting that the matter could be debated at an upcoming EU summit in Bratislava in September. Chancellor Merkel, who is striving to open a broad debate on the future of the EU, said she did not expect any fundamental decisions at the Bratislava summit, saying the meeting should merely lay the ground for further negotiations.
The New Zealand authorities say they have found the body of a Czech man who was killed on a hiking track in a remote mountainous area on the country’s South Island. His partner Pavlina Pížová who was there with him managed to survive, spending two nights out in the open before finding shelter at a hut at Lake Mackenzie where she spent a month, stranded by bad weather, waiting to be rescued. The couple got lost in extreme winter weather conditions and had failed to inform anyone of their plans.