Doctors from the Ostrava Teaching Hospital have ended the induced sleep of a two-year-old Romany girl, who was severely burned in an arson attack in April, hospital director Svatopluk Němeček told the Czech news agency, ČTK, on Friday. According to the hospital head, her condition has seen improvement but remains serious. The little girl had been in induced sleep for three months, during which she underwent a series of operations. In the attack in April she had suffered burns to 80 percent to her body. Social worker Kumar Vishwanathan has said the little girl had begun eating properly and said she had made an effort to touch a favourite toy. Police are continuing to search for the perpetrators.
The Brno regional court has ruled that a Czech family will receive 500,000 crowns in compensation for state repression the family suffered under Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime. In 1973, Karel Kořínek and his wife Jindřiška, were persecuted by the state for their religious and political beliefs. As a result they were sent to a psychiatric ward for a time. Although they were later released, the couple lost custody of their four children - three of whom grew up in orphanages (the fourth was raised by a relative). The four surviving family members will receive 125,000 crowns each and the country’s justice ministry has been ordered to apologise. The Kořínek family first filed their complaint in 1992 and had been asking for compensation of nine million crowns (the equivalent of around 500,000 US dollars). Judge Michal Ryška, who took over the case only recently, said it was “shameful” the family had had to wait 17 years for a verdict.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Czech international Tomáš Rosický, who only recently returned to soccer after an 18-month-long layoff due to a tendon injury, will now miss the next four to six weeks. The star midfielder, who has captained the Czech national squad, suffered a hamstring injury during practice. Wenger said he was confident both Rosický - and fellow footballer Eduardo - would play an important role with the team this season.
A Croatian daily has reported that Czech film director Jiří Menzel, along with others, was involved in a minor scuffle with a local man during filming in the town of Dubrovnik. The filmmaker and his cameraman exchanged words with an angry restaurant owner who showed his displeasure at the crew blocking a sign to his venue. Afterwards the director described the incident as “silly”. The Czech filmmaker, who holds an Academy Award for his film Closely Watched Trains, has been in Croatia directing two documentaries about the country for Croatian TV.
A woman from the eastern town of Ostrava could face up to eight years in jail for alleged severe abuse of a nine-year-old child. Police suspect the nine-year-old girl was tortured by her mother’s female partner for almost three years. The 27-year-old suspect allegedly used psychological and physical torture (the latter of which included beatings, burnings, and partial drowning). The abuse was first noticed this year by one of the child’s school teachers. The suspect is in custody, awaiting trial. The little girl, meanwhile, was taken from her mother, who allegedly knew of the abuse.
A new poll released by the Median agency has suggested that the Social
Democrats have moved ahead of their closest rivals, the Civic Democrats, in
voter preference – roughly two months ahead of early elections. The poll
put the party at 34.8 percent, almost three and half percent ahead of the
Civic Democrats. The leftist party had suffered a loss in voters since the
European elections, polls had indicated until now. According to the survey,
if the election were held today, the Communists would finish third behind
the Social and Civic Democrats, with almost 12 percent of the vote. The
Christian Democrats would gain 7.8, and the newest party TOP 09 would
receive 6.5 percent. The poll suggests no other party would gain enough
votes to make it into parliament.
By contrast, a separate poll on Friday by SANEP put the Civic Democrats in front with 32.1 percent, the Social Democrats second with 30.8, the Communists third with 13.3, Top 09 fourth with 9.2, and the Christian Democrats last with 5.9 percent.
Police have charged four men between the ages of 19 and 22, suspected of being behind an attack on Scottish football fans in the town of Olomouc. According to reports, the four belong to a gang of “ultra hooligans”; the attack saw a bar window smashed and tear gas canisters thrown in; inside, some 25 fans of AC Aberdeen were preparing for their club’s Europa League qualifying match against Sigma Olomouc. If found guilty of the attack, the four charged could face up to two years in jail.
A Brno hospital has filed charges against a doctor employed at the facility who admitted on tape she had accepted bribes from pharmaceutical companies. Dermatologist Eliška Jugová made the admission unaware she was being recorded by hidden camera. Earlier, public broadcaster Czech TV reported the doctor allegedly received as much as 10,000 crowns a month or “gifts” for favouring certain companies. The police are looking into the case. If it goes to court and the suspect is found guilty, she could face a ban to practice medicine - or up to three years in prison.
A 15th century statue of Jesus Christ, considered to be the most valuable woodcutting in the Czech Republic, has been found after 20 years, during which time it was thought to be definitively lost. The statue was found in an organ loft, upside down between some chairs, in the Old Royal Palace. After getting its first restoration in almost 40 years and being remounted to its cross, the statue will be returned to its original home in the Basilica of St George, above the tomb of Prince Boleslav II.
The railway company České dráhy is preparing for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in September by readying 10 additional trains to service the towns of Stará Boleslav and Brno, where the pope will be serving mass. Special timetables are also being made, all in an effort to cope with the 30,000 visitors expected in the Bohemian town of Stará Boleslav and up to 120,000 in the Moravian city of Brno. Transport has been one of the main concerns as officials prepare for the visit. Recently it was announced that a part of the country’s main east-west motorway would have to be closed for 24 hours to provide parking space for the 2000 buses anticipated. Pope Benedict’s stay in the Czech Republic will take place from September 26 to 28.
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