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21-04-2017 14:20 | Chris Johnstone

Czech foreign minister: European Court of Human Rights best hope to reopen case of Czech killed in London

Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek has said that an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is the only way to reopen the case of a Czech killed in London whose attacker was found not guilty of manslaughter and murder. Zaorálek said a petition to the court by the dead man’s sister with the support of the Czech Republic is the only way to get the verdict reviewed. The defendant was found not guilty of killing Czech Zdeněk Makar by a jury at the start of April. Since then Czech officials have been reviewing the case with British officials but the English justice system leaves few options for reopening jury cases unless there is compelling new evidence. Zaorálek discussed the case with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjörn Jagland in Prague on Friday.

President Zeman to start collecting signatures to run for his second term as head of state

President Miloš Zeman will start collecting signatures in support of his bid for his second, five-year term in office as head of state on Monday. In an interview for the private TV Barrandov on Thursday evening, Mr Zeman said his election team will be headed by his wife Ivana, adding that she will be the first to sign the petition. As an independent presidential candidate, Mr Zeman has to collect at least 50,000 valid signatures to support his bid.

Karel Gott return concert announced for Prague

Legendary Czech pop singer Karel Gott is to make a return to the stage after illness with a first concert on May 31 at Prague’s Hybernia theatre. The concert will be billed ‘Karel Gott Still aLive,’ according to his manager. Seventy-seven year-old Gott was described as having recovered from the serious cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the start of last year after being diagnosed in late 2015. He has not made any concert appearances since. The return concert will feature Gott’s greatest hits as well as guest appearances from music and show business personalities.

South Moravian farmers start to count cost of severe frost

Fruit and grape producers in South Moravia are starting to try and put a cost on the possible damage from severe frosts which occurred on Thursday night. Temperatures fell to minus three degrees Celsius in some parts of the region though growers said there were many local differences in the severity of the possible damage. Growers made last minute attempts to curb the expected damage with protective coverings and fires. Initial estimates say the damage to the fruit crop could come to hundreds of millions of crowns but it could take a week or 10 days for a more precise figure to be arrived at.

Czech public finance surplus revised down to 27.6 billion crowns for 2016

Czech public finances in 2016 recorded a surplus of 27.6 billion crowns or 0.58 percent of GDP, according to the latest revised figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday. The overall figure for the surplus is 1.7 billion down on an earlier figure released by the office. Public finances recorded a deficit of almost 29 billion crowns or around 0.64 percent of GDP in 2015 according to the latest revision.

Prague university presents recycled plastic bricks

The Czech Technical University in Prague on Friday presented recycled plastic bricks, made out of PET plastic, which have developed by a team at the faculty of architecture. The empty plastic bricks can be filled with other materials, such as sand or left empty, to create a number of a light constructions such as tables, bars, or chairs. Alternatively, they can filled by a light for special effects. A patent for the bricks was gained in 2016 with opportunities now being explored for how to market them.

South Bohemia regional top posts divided between coalition

The top administrative posts in the newly re-created South Bohemian regional government have been shared out between the four parties and movements making up the new coalition. The post of governor, or hejtman, will stay with the Social Democrats with the role filled by Ivan Stráská. The dossiers of schools and social affairs have been handed to the Christian Democrats. The South Bohemia movement has been handed the transport and development dossiers and the South Bohemian 2012 will deal with the countryside, culture, and the environment. The Social Democrats have been tasked to take the finance and health dossiers. The coalition makeover followed the resignation of former governor Jiří Zimola.

Weather

The weather on Saturday will be cloudy with rain expected across most of the country with the exception of southern regions. Top daytime temperatures will range between seven and 11 degrees Celsius.