Opponents and defenders of refugees held rival demonstrations in the centre of Prague on Saturday afternoon. Around a thousand anti-immigration protestors led by populist MP Tomio Okamura gathered in front of the National Museum, some waving Czech flags and carrying anti-Islamic signs. Around 400 anti-xenophobia demonstrators gathered a little lower on Wenceslas Square by the statute of Saint Wenceslas. Some of the latter whistled while Mr. Okamura was speaking and there were verbal clashes between the two groups.
The Prague-based NGO Helppes trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities. Established in 2001, it trains about 15 service dogs a year and is the only organization of its kind in the Czech Republic which has achieved the high standard required for membership in Assistant Dog Europe and Assistant Dog International. For this week’s Panorama I went to see one of its dog handlers, Zuzana Rajtrová, to find out more about how it works.
A group of meteorologists who arrived in the town of Krnov in Moravia have confirmed that a storm that swept through the municipality on Tuesday night was a tornado. The roofs on dozens of homes were blown off and eight people were injured; trees were also felled. The tornado struck practically without warning, causing the damage in the space of just three minutes. Emergency crews and 120 fire fighters were called to the site. A clean-up operation is now underway in the town.
The equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas on Prague’s main square is once again chained off to protect it from vandals. The chain was removed eight years ago after members of the Balbin Poetic party, a pseudo-party which regularly meets in a pub to criticize the shortcomings of Czech society and politicians, demanded its removal arguing that having a chain around the nation's patron saint did not bode well for the future and that to many people the chain symbolized the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops. Since its removal the statue has been an easy target for vandals and there have been incidents of drunks trying to climb it.
A tornado struck several communities in the region of Pardubice on Wednesday, damaging a number of roofs. No one was reported to have been injured. The greatest damages were in the village of Staré Čívice, where the tornado damaged about a dozen houses as well as the buildings of two companies, where 122 employees were forced to evacuate. Strong winds in the area also did damage to trees and roads, and brought down electrical power lines in one instance. Over all damages are estimated to be in the tens of millions of crowns.
A clean-up operation is underway in the Moravian town of Olešnice which was hit by a small tornado on Tuesday night. The tornado damaged twenty roofs –in one case lifting it and throwing it onto a neighbouring dwelling – and uprooted a number of trees. No one was injured. Tornados are fairly rare in this part of the world but they have been known to occur.
The philosopher, scientist and mystic, John Dee, was one of the great figures of Elizabethan England. He was a close confidante of the Queen and one of the founders of modern science, at a time of transition from the medieval to the modern age – a time when science and alchemy, magic and mathematics intertwined. In the 1580s John Dee came to Bohemia, along with family and his mysterious friend and assistant, the alchemist Edward Kelley – who supposedly possessed the gift of communicating with spirits. Between them, they left an indelible mark on
A Czech expedition sets of for the Gobi desert in Mongolia to find a dinosaur skeleton. There's a baby boom at the Czech senate - though nothing to do with the elderly senators. And, a very short ride on a tiger - but it got Mr. Joo into the Czech Book of Records! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.