Acclaimed Czech film director Jiří Menzel is in critical condition in
hospital in Prague's Střešovice according to commercial broadcaster
TV Nova. According to the weekly Týden, the 79-year-old underwent an
emergency brain operation lasting six hours and is now in an induced coma.
His family has not commented on his condition.
Mr Menzel is one of the best-known directors to come out of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s. He won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1968 for Closely Watched Trains.
English actor Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to help a group of Czech
tourists who were arrested last week in the Kazakh capital of Astana last
week for disorderly conduct. The group of six changed into black wigs and
neon-green thong swimsuits, similar to those worn by the actor in the film
Borat, attempting to take a picture in front of a panel saying ‘I love
They were released after paying a fine of 22,500 tenge (approximately 60 euros). The comedian, on facebook, offered to pay the fine if the Czechs got back to him with details.
The head of ANO Andrej Babiš has expressed surprise over the speed and
stubbornness with which the police have requested the lower house of
Parliament to him and ANO deputy chair Jaroslav Faltýnek to be stripped of
their parliamentary immunity. The move would open the door to criminal
prosecution for alleged subsidy fraud.
Mr Babiš said the speed with which the police were acting was further evidence the “corrupt system was scared”. MPs from the Civic Democrats, Social Democrats, Pirates, Christian Democrats and TOP 09 are in favour of their immunity to be cancelled. The Freedom and Direct Democracy Party says it wants to read the case file first.
President Miloš Zeman met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Sochi,
beginning the official program of his five-day visit. The two met at Mr
Putin’s personal residence, Bocharov Ruchei, often the site of top
meetings during state visits.
According to the Czech News Agency, Mr Putin expressed appreciation for Mr Zeman’s interest in deepening economic cooperation between Russia and the Czech Republic, despite differences. On his trip, the Czech president is being accompanied by a business delegation representing more than 130 firms, looking for new opportunities for trade.
President Zeman expressed regret that it had not been possible for “technical, not ideological reasons” to transfer the reliquary bust for the skull of Saint Ludmila to go on display for two days in Russia; St Ludmila is revered in the Russian Orthodox Church.
Josef Toman, disqualified from the presidential race for providing too few
signatures (from a minimum 50,000 needed) by the November 7 deadline, says
he will take legal action over the matter. The candidate said he had
gathered almost 75,000 signatures which he had sent to the Interior
Ministry by mail.
On the day he filed, the candidate had just 11 signatures from members of the public; the Interior Ministry said it had not received more. Of the 20 people who filed to run, only nine candidates’ registrations were accepted.
Last year Czechs spent a total of 7.8 billion crowns including VAT on
books, the equivalent of around 305 million euros – a rise of four
percent year-on-year. The estimate was confirmed by the Czech Association
of Booksellers and Publishers in its annual report.
The sales numbers include that of audiobooks and e-books which grew at a faster rate last year than regular books; the sale of audiobooks alone jumped by 37 percent year-on-year.
The Transgas building in Prague, described by some historians as an
exceptional example of Brutalist architecture, will not be added to the
list of cultural heritage sites, the dailies Hospodářské noviny and
Právo report, citing information from the Culture Ministry, which
allegedly stopped a preliminary evaluation over the matter.
The news has not officially been confirmed by the ministry as not all relevant parties have been informed in writing; until then, the ministry has declined to comment. Without heritage status, the site can be cleared for demolition to make room for new flats.
Police have closed an investigation into the death of actor Jan Tříska
after concluding that his fall from Charles Bridge several weeks ago was
most likely a tragic accident. The popular Czech actor was in Prague to
film a new movie when the tragic accident occurred.
Tříska emigrated to Canada in 1977 after being banned by the communist regime and later moved to the United States where he appeared in 44 Hollywood movies. In the Czech Republic he was best known for the role of a schoolteacher in the Oscar nominated film Elementary School and for his stage performances in Shakespeare’s plays.
Police have requested the lower house of Parliament to strip ANO leader
Andrej Babiš and ANO deputy chair Jaroslav Faltýnek of their
parliamentary immunity opening the way for criminal prosecution. The two
politicians were earlier charged with EU subsidy fraud but their
prosecution was halted when their regained their immunity in October’s
The police request comes less than 24 hours after the newly elected chamber of deputies assembled for its constituting session. It will now be up to the Mandate and Immunity Committee to consider the request and make a recommendation to the assembly which will take a final vote on the matter.
This will inevitably complicate talks on forming a new government. As the winner of the elections Babiš was to have been named prime minister and has been working to put together a minority government.
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