Sparta Prague on Wednesday handed a fine of 250,000 crowns, or more than 13,000 US dollars, to their Cameroonian midfield Martin Abena for missing sessions. The 25-year-old player, who has only appeared in one game this season, missed five sessions in March, club management said. Martin Abena’s lawyer said the fine was too big, and asked the club for further details.
The Czech Republic came first in the Global Vice Index, compiled by the news agency Bloomberg, which ranks 57 countries of the world according to alcohol and cigarette consumption, drug use and gambling losses. Based on data from the World Health Organization, the Czech Republic tops the list of alcohol consumption per capita while it ranks second in drug use, fifth in the consumption of cigarettes, and 12th in gambling losses. The survey focused on those aged between 15 and 64.
Former rector of Brno’s Masaryk University Petr Fiala was on Wednesday
appointed the new education minister. Mr Fiala, who has also served as
chief science and research advisor to PM Petr Nečas, assumed the post a
month after his predecessor stepped down over problems with securing EU
funds. The nomination of the former rector and political scientist, who is
unaffiliated with any political party, was agreed upon by both parties in
the ruling coalition.
Ahead of his appointment, Mr Fiala said he could not promise a miracle but would try to stabilize the education sector. The opposition has welcomed the appointment but predicted that as an independent expert, Mr Fiala will find it difficult to deal with his colleagues in the centre-right government.
A court in Ostrava, in the north-east of the country, on Wednesday sentenced a 55-year-old man to 18 months in prison for failing to pay over 200,000 crowns in fees for his hospital stays. According to the prosecution, the man spent most of the time between late 2007 and last November in hospitals; he owes money to some 70 Czech hospitals. He also often ordered above-standard services although he was not be able to pay for them. The man is believed to suffer from Munchausen syndrome, a disorder characterized by feigning diseases to attract attention and sympathy. Both the defendant and the prosecutor said they consider appealing the verdict.
A Prague court has returned a case of alleged support of terrorism to the prosecution for further investigation over procedural errors, a spokeswoman for the court said on Wednesday. Four foreigners– three men from Dagestan and one from Moldova – were arrested last year in the Czech Republic on charges of support of terrorism. They allegedly counterfeited identification documents for members of Jamaat Shariat, an Islamist militant group in Dagestan. If found guilty, the men could face up to ten years in prison.
For the second time since their introduction last year, the new state school-leaving exams began on Wednesday at Czech secondary schools with tests in the Czech language. Some 103,000 students are taking the exams this year. They are available in two versions; however only 4 percent of students chose the more difficult alternative. Besides Czech, the exams are held in either mathematics or a foreign language, with around 44 percent of students choosing maths. The oral part of the exams will be held later in May. The project of standardized school-leaving exams was criticized for excessive bureaucracy and high costs.
English actress Helen Mirren is set to receive a lifetime achievement reward at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the festival’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday. At the festival, Ms Mirren will present the film The Door by the Hungarian director István Szabó. During her visit, the actress will be accompanied by her husband, the director and producer Taylor Hackford who last year chaired the festival’s jury. The 47th Karlovy Vary International Festival will take place between June 29 and July 7.
The Czech government on Wednesday approved new rules for hiring staff that deals with the agenda of EU funds, deputy PM Karolína Peake said. The new rules are part of the government’s “action plan” aimed at improving the flow of finances from EU funds; in recent years, the Czech Republic had difficulties securing allocated EU money. The rules introduce new methods for hiring staff and advertising open positions, as well as sanctions for breaching the new measures.
The Czech Ice Hockey Association on Wednesday said Alois Hadamczik will coach the national team until June 2015. The 59-year-old coach worked with the team between 2005 and 2008 and again since 2010, won the bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino and silver medals at the world championships in 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the world championship will be hosted by the Czech Republic.
Czech Health Minister Leoš Heger on Wednesday met with Vatican officials to discuss the role of the Roman Catholic Church in providing health care. Mr Heger said both sides agreed that a great majority of the funds returned to the church as part of a property restitution deal should be used to pay for health care. The Czech heath minister on Wednesday also attended the general audience with Pope Benedict XVI whom he presented with sheet music by Czech composers.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech rock climber Adam Ondra knocked out of World Cup in Japan
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’