A fire broke out on an express train from Prague to České Budějovice on Wednesday morning completely destroying a carriage, but all passengers escaped unharmed. The fire broke out in the last carriage most likely due to a faulty electricity circuit. All twenty passengers disembarked safely and the carriage was disconnected from the rest of the train. Despite the fact that fire fighters arrived within minutes the carriage was completely gutted, causing damage estimated at half a million crowns.
The government on Wednesday approved a proposal to increase old age pensions by 371 crowns a month as of January 2010. The indexing is to make up for higher expenditures resulting from the government’s fiscal reforms. The average monthly pension in the Czech Republic is just over 10,000 crowns or 550 US dollars. At its regular Wednesday session the cabinet also approved a proposed amendment to the lottery law which should give municipalities the chance to regulate or even ban gambling in their region.
Taxi drivers say they are suffering losses from the extended weekend service of the Prague metro. Since the beginning of September the metro runs an extra hour past midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, giving people out on the town an opportunity to stay out longer without having to order a taxi home. The metro’s management has extended the service on a temporary basis and is to review the decision at the end of the year. If there is sufficient interest the extra hour of service will be retained.
Two Czech students, Miroslav Rapčák and David Pegřímek, have won the prestigious main prize in this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Lisbon. The students competed in the physics category and their work was based on a computer simulation of carbon dioxide molecule clusters. On a practical level, their conclusions could help in the process of storing carbon dioxide on the ocean-floor as a means of protecting the environment. Rapčák and Pegřímek, who are from a secondary school in Orlová, north Moravia, also won the Swedish Academy’s prize for best student work.
Galatasaray's injured striker Milan Baroš will not be fit in time to face
Scotland in the Czech Republic's Euro 2012 qualifier in Prague on October
8, Czech coach Michal Bílek said Wednesday. Baroš limped off the pitch
with a torn thigh muscle after scoring a hat trick against Buyuksehir in
the Turkish league game on Sunday. Doctors say he might be out for two or
Bílek, whose team lost 0:1 at home to Lithuania in the Group I opener, selected two newcomers: Sparta Prague's 18-year-old striker Vaclav Kadlec, and Milan Petržela, a midfielder with Czech top-flight leaders Viktoria Pilsen.
Czech Airlines has been forced to cancel three flights in connection with a general strike in Spain. A spokeswoman for Czech Airlines said day flights to Madrid and Barcelona had been cancelled, though two late evening flights to those destinations remain on schedule. She said delays could not be ruled out and asked passengers to seek fresh information ahead of scheduled flights. Two morning flights from Spain to Prague have had to be cancelled as well, leaving passengers to seek other means of transport.
A public opinion survey indicates a very low turnout in October’s local and senate elections. Only 35 percent of respondents said they fully intend to vote. Twenty-five percent said they were considering going to the polls and the remainder said they had little or no intention of participating. Local elections and elections to a third of the Senate are to take place on October 15-16.
A Prague court has ordered the Czech Interior Ministry to delete the name of Czech born opera singer Sona Červená from its list of communist secret police agents and collaborators. The world-renowned mezzo soprano sued the interior ministry over the matter, saying that while she had repeatedly been questioned and harassed by the communist secret police before escaping from the country in the 1960s she had never signed any document pledging collaboration or cooperated with them in any way. Mrs. Červená, who is 83, returned to her homeland soon after the fall of communism. She was recently made an honorary member of Prague's State Opera Theatre.
The Czech Republic have been beaten by Spain in the last 16 group stage of the women’s basketball world championships. As in previous matches in the tournament the Czechs flagged towards the end of Tuesday evening’s game in Brno, eventually losing 57:77. That result guarantees the Spaniards a place in the quarter-finals, though the hosts will have to beat Brazil on Wednesday to be sure of progressing.
Water levels have begun receding in the north of the country where a number of rivers broke their banks on Tuesday following days of heavy rain. Several dozen people who were evacuated from their homes are gradually returning to deal with the damage. Insurance companies say they are prepared to process new claims, despite the fact that it is less than two months since northern parts of the country were heavily flooded. Many towns and villages in the region remain on flood alert in view of more rain forecast in the coming days.
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