News No injuries in Czech National Library fire
Fire officers were called out on Tuesday morning to put out a fire at the Czech National Library at Prague’s Clementinum. The small fire – which broke out in a kitchen in the administrative section of the library – did not cause any injuries. The damages are being assessed. A spokesperson for the Prague fire service said that the cause appeared to be an electrical fault. The National Library is currently undergoing renovations.
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Sales of new cars in the Czech Republic have soared by almost 21 percent in the first nine months of the year with the total reaching just over 171,000. The country’s biggest car maker, Škoda Auto, has seen its sales climb by 28 percent to just short of 55,000. It slice of the Czech market has risen to 32 percent. Volkswagen is second in the local sales league followed by Hyundai. The latest figures were published Monday by the Car Importers’ Association.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych has won his first tournament of the year. The top Czech men’s singles player beat Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in straight sets: 6:3, 7:6 at the Shenzen Open. He came back in the second set after trailing 0:3. The win puts 30-year-old Berdych on clear course to take part in the prestigious year end Masters tournament at the end of the year in London.
The US historian and writer, Timothy Snyder, has been selected for the 17th award of the VIZE 97 prize, founded by dissident playwright and former president Václav Havel and his second wife, Dagmar. Snyder is a distinguished professor at Yale University who specializes in the history of Central Europe. The awards ceremony will be held in Prague on Monday afternoon. Snyder’s book “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin” was published in 2010 to considerable acclaim.
Over 700 libraries around the country have prepared special events for readers within the annual Library Week. They include public readings and competitions for children and meetings with popular authors. Library Week is an international event aimed at encouraging more people to read and informing them about the wide range of services public libraries offer in the internet age. The Association of Public Libraries in the Czech Republic has also launched a competition among readers for Library of the Year.
Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová will attend a meeting of the government on Monday where she wants to talk about the need to improve care for the elderly. Šabatová has been particularly critical of the situation in unlicensed nursing homes where seniors often live in undignified conditions with inadequate medical care. The Ombudswoman says that with an aging population the country needs to focus more attention on geriatric services and a support network that would help the elderly remain in their home environment for as long as possible.
Over a hundred people joined the fourth Roma Pride march through the centre of Prague on Sunday afternoon. The event is an annual celebration of Romany culture and identity and aims to draw attention to the discrimination of Romanies in the Czech Republic, be it in the sphere of housing, education or on the job market. Similar Roma Pride marches took place in 13 European capitals. There are estimated to be around a quarter of a million Romanies living in the Czech Republic.
The ANO party of the ruling coalition led by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš would presently win general elections gaining 26 percent of the vote, according to the outcome of a poll conducted by TNS Aisa for Czech Television. The Social Democrats, who won the last general elections, would get 18 percent of the vote, the Communist Party would get 10 percent, while the Christina Democrats, the junior party in the ruling coalition would get 7 percent. The position centre-right Civic Democrats would get 9.5 while TOP 09 would get 8.5 percent.
A staggering 246 million rands (434 million crowns) had been made available to ensure the smooth escape of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejčíř from a South African prison before the plot was thwarted last week, the Sunday Independent reported. The paper said sources close to the investigation had confirmed that three prison warders were paid R 1.5m to help expedite the prison break. Some of the money was to pay for a helicopter to spirit Krejčíř away once he had escaped. The fugitive has since been transferred to an underground isolation cell. The Sunday Independent last week reported on a dramatic raid of Krejčíř’s cell after officials received a tip-off of the escape plot.
Czechs are increasingly investing in modern technology, according to the results of a survey conducted by the agency Nielsen Admosphere. The survey of technology in Czech households suggests that the number of smartphones has doubled in the past year to 39 percent. 48 percent of households have a laptop which is gradually replacing PCs now present in 39 percent of households. Ipads can be found in 17 percent of Czech households, up from 14 last year, and 11 percent of households now have a smart TV, up from 8 percent last year.
Chapman Taylor, a studio of international architects and designers, is to transform Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport with the aim of giving it a strong Czech identity, the news site idnes.cz reports. According to idnes, the plan is for the airport to be decorated with images that are related to Prague and the Czech Republic- well-known sights and faces from the country’s history, culture, music, sports and other areas. The airport’s owner allegedly wants a strong statement such as visitors can see at the international airports in Vancouver, Kuala Lumpur or Amsterdam.