- The Karviná mine is investigating a case of mass food poisoning which has now affected over three hundred miners.
- The opposition Social Democratic party is holding a weekend conference on party policy.
- A special mass was celebrated in St. Vitus’ Cathedral on Saturday in honour of St. Agnes of Bohemia on the 22nd anniversary of her canonization by the Roman Catholic Church.
- Police evacuated Prague’s Palladium shopping mall around midday on Saturday after receiving a hoax bomb threat.
- The Czech national football team on Friday defeated Montenegro 2:0 in the first-leg of their playoff for Euro 2012.
Mass food poisoning at Karviná coal mine
The Karviná black coal mine is investigating a case of mass food poisoning which has now affected over three hundred miners. The health problems started three days ago with new cases reported every hour. They have reportedly affected both miners and above ground employees such as clerks and operators. Hygiene workers are on site taking samples and special measures are in place regarding food and drink. All canteen employees are undergoing tests. The mine has over 5,000 employees and the fall out has so far not effected excavation work.
Social Democrats debate party policy
The opposition Social Democratic party is holding a weekend conference on party policy. Its leader Bohuslav Sobotka on Saturday accused the present government of having failed morally and policy-wise and warned that the growing social divide, corruption and gloomy economic prospects could lead to growing public support for populist and authoritarian politicians. He said the Social Democrats were ready to offer the public a welfare state which could be achieved without increasing public debt. The Social Democrats have proposed the introduction of progressive taxation, abolishing the private pension scheme in the government’s pension reform, and leveling a 76 percent tax on anyone who could not explain the source of their wealth.
Papal envoy serves mass in honour of St Agnes of Bohemia
The Pope’s special envoy Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, served a special mass in St Vitus’ Cathedral on Saturday in honour of St. Agnes of Bohemia on the 22nd anniversary of her canonization by the Roman Catholic Church in 1989. The mass is part of a series of events this year marking the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Agnes of Bohemia, one of the country’s most revered saints. In a letter to Czech believers, written in Latin, the Pope speaks of the outstanding character of St. Agnes and the strength of her legacy.
Row over left-wing party merger
The Czech National Socialist Party 2005 on Saturday officially approved a planned merger with the National Socialist Party – Left Wing of the 21st Century -a new political entity set up by former Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek. The party’s conference started with a conflict between its former leader Karel Janko and its temporary leadership headed by Stanislav Palsa. Mr. Janko was recently ousted from the party’s helm over his point blank refusal for the party to merge with Mr. Paroubek’s new political grouping. Mr. Janko attempted to address the conference in a last-ditch-attempt to dissuade the party leadership from its decision. He was not allowed to finish and after getting into a scuffle with another party member was led away by the police.
Jiří Paroubek, who headed the Social Democrats between 2006 and 2010 and resigned following a poor showing in the last general elections, was at odds with his successor and needed a new platform for his political ambitions.
Palladium shopping mall evacuated over hoax bomb threat
Police evacuated Prague’s Palladium shopping mall around midday on Saturday after receiving a hoax bomb threat. The mall remained closed for over an hour as explosives experts conducted a thorough search of the building. Police are searching for the hoax caller, who could face up to two years in jail.
Father to be compensated for bad decision of Czech court
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered the Czech Republic to pay 10.000 euros i.e. around a quarter of a million crowns in compensation to a father who was barred from seeing his son following his divorce, the daily Lidové Noviny wrote on Saturday. The father was prevented from seeing his son for almost ten years – first on the whim of his former wife and later on the grounds of a ruling by a Czech court which argued that the relationship between the divorcees was irreparably bad and seeing both his parents would have an adverse affect on the child. The man took his case to a European court and won.
Euro 2012 playoffs: Czech Republic downs Montenegro in first match
The Czech national football team played its best match to date under coach Michal Bílek on Friday defeating Montenegro 2:0 in the first-leg of their playoff for Euro 2012. The match, played at Sparta’s stadium on Letná plain, was scoreless after the first 45 minutes, but early in the 2nd half Czech goalie Petr Čech – playing with a partial facemask after breaking his nose – quashed a major chance that could have been a game-changer.
The second half saw goals from Pilář and Sivok as well as tireless play from team captain and key playmaker Tomáš Rosický. The 2:0 win leaves the Czech Republic in good shape ahead of the rematch in Montenegro on November 15. The team that triumphs in the playoff will head to the European Championships to be held in Ukraine and Poland next year.
The coming days should be clear to partly cloudy with daytime temperatures between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius.