Several thousand Czech children fail at least one subject at the end of each school year and have to resit their exams in the summer, the Institute for Information on Education said on Monday. Those who fail again, have to repeat the whole year. There are around one percent of such children at primary schools every year, the institute said. Those children most often repeat the first, sixth and seventh grades. The system is opposed by some experts who say it is outdated and discouraging for children with learning difficulties.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the extension of custody of Bohumil Kulinsky, the leader of the world-famous Bambini di Praga children's choir was in breech of the Czech Constitution. Mr Kulinsky was charged with sexual abuse of underage girls last autumn and he has been in custody since November 25. A Prague district court ordered an extension of Mr Kulinsky's custody in February to prevent him from influencing witnesses. The court pointed to his attempt to contact certain girls before the charges were announced. According to the Constitutional Court Mr Kulinsky will probably be able to seek compensation for his detention as of February.
A Czech lorry driver has been arrested in Hungary on suspicion of drug trafficking after Hungarian customs officers uncovered heroin worth about 7.5 million US dollars in his lorry. The drugs were reportedly being transported from Turkey to the Czech Republic. Almost a hundred kilograms of heroin was found in packets hidden in a shipment of clothes, a spokesman for the Hungarian customs authority said. The officers uncovered the drugs using an X-ray scanner at a Romanian-Hungarian border crossing, 240 km south-west of Budapest.
The Spanish telecoms company Telefonica which took over the Czech dominant landline operator Cesky Telecom this month says it will focus on data services and introducing new services and products to boost growth at Cesky Telecom. The company's new CEO Jaime Smith said after his appointment was announced on Thursday that his aim was to increase the growth and vitality of this group and to become more customer-oriented, introduce innovation and improve efficiency. Telefonica says it wants to speed up the integration of Cesky Telecom into the Spanish group. The outgoing CEO of Cesky Telecom, Gabriel Berdar admitted last week that there was more still to be done on the customer care side.
The bankrupt aircraft producer Letecke zavody Kunovice will be acquired by Czech company Aircraft Industries, creditors of Letecke decided on Monday. Aircraft Industries was the sole bidder which advanced to the second round of a tender for Letecke zavody. The receiver did not disclose the price. In its bid, Aircraft Industries said its ambition was to secure long-term dominant position for Letecke in the production, repair, modernisation and provision of comprehensive logistics services for the aircraft L 410/L 420 and gliders, as well as for further promising programmes of the Czech aircraft industry.
A poll released by the STEM agency has suggested that around 73 percent
of Czechs consider President Vaclav Klaus to be the most trustworthy
among Czech politicians. He is followed by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek
at 48 percent. Mr Klaus' numbers have been mostly stable since a
previous poll, but Mr Paroubek's rise has been noteworthy: not long ago
- on April 25th - he took over as prime minister - as a relative
unknown. His numbers have risen steadily since.
Trust in two other constitutional officials - the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Lubomir Zaoralek, and the chairman of the Senate, Premysl Sobotka, was expressed by 43 percent of those surveyed.
Jockey Jiri Palik and the three-year old mare 'Ready for Life' have won the 85th annual Czech derby, at Prague's Chuchle racetrack. In the 2,400 metre race for three-year-olds, 'Ready for Life' finished ahead of 'Arrina', and the German racehorse known as 'Do It'. The filly 'Ready for Life' is the charge of legendary Czech jockey Josef Vana.
A well-known patriarch of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Jan Shwarz, stepped down from his post following a conflict on Saturday over who should administer a special mass at the meeting of the church diet. Delegates voted in favour of fellow patriarch Josef Spak. Differences between church members are apparent: Jan Shwarz has been the centre of controversy in the Hussite Church in recent weeks, apparently at odds with bishops over questions of financing, property, and an alleged lack of democracy in the church's organisation.
Czech actor Jiri Kodet has died following prolonged illness. The much-loved stage and film actor, who came from a family famous for its theatre background, was known for dozens of roles throughout his career. Most recently he appeared in films like Jan Hrebejk's Pelisky and Petr Zelenka's cult hit Knoflikari (The Buttoners), for which Mr Kodet received the prestigious Czech Lion award in 1998. Jiri Kodet was 67.
A member of the ruling Social Democratic Party's executive committee, the
former health minister Ivan David, recommended on Saturday at the
committee's meeting that the chairman of the Social Democrats, Stanislav
Gross, step down from his post. Mr Gross, however, has flatly refused.
Others, including the chairman of the party's deputies club, Michal Kraus,
as well the head of the Chamber of Deputies, Lubomir Zaoralek, backed Mr
Gross, indicating that choosing a new leader so shortly after the party's
congress was not the order of the day.
Mr Gross stayed on as the Social Democrats' chairman despite being forced out of the prime minister's office earlier this year, following a personal financial scandal. No Social Democrat leaders suggested on Saturday that the party should hold an extraordinary congress in the aim of having someone else fill the post.
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