News Ukrainians hold anti-Yanukovych gathering in Prague
Hundreds of Ukrainians living in the Czech Republic held a mass for the victims of the recent killings in their country at the top of Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Sunday. The crowd carried signs reading Stop Yanukovych and heard speeches condemning the actions of his now ousted government. Also on Sunday a concert in support of Ukraine was held on the Prague’s Náměstí Republiky; the event was free but attendees could send financial support by SMS to the NGO People in Need, which is organising aid for the strife-torn state.
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The Christian Democratic Party is ready to accept refugees running from ISIS, the party’s head Pavel Bělobrádek said at a press conference on Tuesday. Mr Bělobrádek made the announcement in reaction to Saturday’s call of the Czech Bishop’s Conference on parishes to accept families of Christian refuges. Mr Bělobrádek said the party is ready to provide aid to migrants in cooperation with churches and non-profit organisations. At the same time, he pointed out the need to distinguish between economic migrants and refugee whose life is at threat. The government is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to debate the number of migrants the Czech Republic would be able to take in over the next two years.
Several dozen Greenpeace activists gathered in the centre of Český Krumlov in south Bohemia to protest against oil drilling in the Arctic. The event was sparked by the controversial plan by the Anglo-Dutch group Shell to restart drilling for oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska. The campaigners have placed a model of an oil platform by the Vltava River in the centre of the town, blocking access by boats. Head of the Czech Greenpeace Arctic campaign Petr Kucka said that the plan to drill oil in one of the last pristine places in the world is as absurd as placing an oil platform in the middle of a UNESCO cultural heritage site.
Hundreds of taxi-drivers protested in Prague against a plan proposed by Prague mayor Adriana Krnáčová to tighten up the rules for giving licences to taxi drivers and to re-assess those who already have licenses. The drivers will be required to undergo topographic and psychological tests. Hundreds of taxi drivers met at Prague’s Strahov stadium and drove to Prague Town Hall, where they handed a petition to the mayor. There are currently around 4,000 taxi drivers registered in the Czech capital.
The trial of four people charged with production and distribution of child pornography began at a court in Hradec Králové on Tuesday morning. The group allegedly abused over a hundred children, taking their photos and making video recordings in a studio in Červený Kostelec, in east Bohemia, and then selling them abroad. They earned up to five million crowns. One of the accused is a mother of two of the abused children. Police had been monitoring the group since 2013 and detained them in March last year. If convicted, they would face up to fifteen years in prison.
Price regulation of medical devices, drafted by the Czech Health Ministry, should bring the health sector savings of up to six billion crowns, Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček said on Tuesday. The ministry is also planning to adopt measures against re-exporting cheaper medicines abroad. Mr Němeček said the ministry was forced to impose a temporary ban on the export of certain drugs in recent months due to their sudden absence on the market. The Health Ministry along with the State Institute for Drug Control is currently drafting a list of drugs that could not be reexported in the future. The prices of drugs in the Czech Republic are lower than in many other European countries. As a result, some drugs imported to the country are sometimes re-exported for higher prices.
Forecasters are warning of heavy storms across the Czech Republic on Tuesday, predicting torrential rain, strong wind and hail in places. The heat storms are expected to hit western parts of the country on Tuesday afternoon, when temperatures should reach up to 37 degrees Celsius. The belt of rain will move eastward overnight, reaching Moravia and Silesia on Wednesday morning. The heatwave should break with the coming rain but above average temperatures are predicted to last for the entire month of July.
Over 82,000 tickets have been sold so far at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival which is underway in the West Bohemian spa town. According to the film festival’s press department, nearly 11,000 people accredited for the event and more than 200 screenings have already taken place. The audience poll is headed by Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, followed by Czech film Domácí péče or Home Care by debuting screenwriter and director Slávek Horák. The festival runs until Saturday.
All Czech tennis players were knocked out of the Wimbledon singles competitions after the last two Czech hopes, Lucie Šafářová and Tomáš Berdych, lost their fourth-round matches on Sunday. The French Open runner up Lucie Šafářová was beaten by unseeded American Coco Wandeweghe 6:7, 6:7 and Tomáš Berdych lost to Gilles Simon of France 3:6, 3:6, 2:6. Šafářová remains at Wimbledon competing in doubles with US partner Bethanie Mattek-Sand, after easing past the British duo of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith 6:3, 6:0.
Medical expert in Kramný case says daughter died as a result of heart failure brought on by an electric shock
A medical expert called to give testimony in the case Petr Kramný, who is accused of killing his wife and ten-year-old daughter while their were holidaying in Egypt in 2013, told the court on Tuesday that he was convinced that Kramný’s daughter died as a result of sudden heart failure brought on by an electric shock. Marek Dokoupil who performed an autopsy on the child’s body after it was brought back to the Czech Republic said all his findings supported the theory that ten-year-old Klára died after getting a strong electric charge. The state attorney has accused Kramný of killing his wife and daughter by means of an electric shock. Klára is thought to have died after grabbing hold of her mother. Kramný denies the accusations and is sticking to his original story that all three of them suffered food poisoning and he alone recovered.
Supreme Audit Office finds serious irregularities in work of State Fund for Transport Infrastructure
An inspection by the Supreme Audit Office has revealed serious irregularities in the work of the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, the ctk news agency reported. According to inspectors the fund spent 3.5 million crowns on outsourcing for work which was meant to have been done by its own staff. Moreover the work was commissioned without tenders. The fund has not yet responded to the accusations.