Preliminary police statistics suggest that 63 people lost their lives on Czech roads since the beginning of the month, making June the deadliest month of the year. Not including the final weekend, the month has already surpassed the same period last year, when 61 people were killed. The first summer month is generally a high-accident period. The current statistic, while high, still comes nowhere near the record from June, 2003, when 147 died on the road.
The energy company ČEZ has released the names of some of the winners of some of its tenders since 2006, after being criticised for not having done so. The daily Hospodářské noviny accused the power giant of paying out 5.54 billion crowns in closed tenders and ignoring a court ruling that said the state-owned company must provide such information. Hospodářské noviny says ČEZ awarded suppliers directly in 82% of 337 tenders. The anti-corruption organisation Pink Panther also accuses ČEZ of giving more than 300 million crowns in sponsor gifts over the last three years while refusing to say where the money went.
Online pirating in the Czech Republic has caused damages of 2.6 billion crowns, according to representatives of the audio-visual industry taking part in a discussion on the issue at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival on Saturday. According to the industry, the estimated damages that distributors, producers and artists in the Czech Republic incurred last year amounted to 610 million crowns, while servers offering a repository for illegal access to audio-visual materials earned 140 million. American director Taylor Hackford said online piracy was nothing more than theft and hurt primarily filmmakers starting out.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Civic Democratic Party have released a statement in support of Prime Minister Nečas’s decision to sack the justice minister. A majority of the party’s leading members signed the statement, which said the prime minister’s confidence in his ministers was key to the government’s ability to act, and that he is fully entitled to dismiss someone on the basis of lack of trust. Referring to Mr Pospíšil’s popularity and the protests that followed his sacking, the members said that no politician’s media popularity was a mark of his managerial ability. The document was not signed by the party’s presidential candidate, Přemysl Sobotka, who said he could not express “full support” when he did not yet know the background information.
The Armenian national air carrier is accusing the company Czech Airlines Technics, which handles public aircraft maintenance, of holding one of its planes unlawfully. The Armenian media is said to have reported that an Airbus A320 was being held for unpaid bills, while carrier Armavia told the local media that the plane was damaged in a hangar fire and the Czech side was demanding 800 thousand dollars, which it refused to pay. Czech Airlines Technics however says the plane is in perfect order, as Armavia saw for itself, but could not provide further details, adding only that they were not in any breach of contract.
The last injured passengers from last weekend’s tragic bus accident in Croatia returned to the Czech Republic on Saturday. A special army plane was sent to Zadar for one hospitalised woman and then to Zagreb for two twin sisters, one of whom suffered the worst injuries of the group. The rest of the survivors were brought home last week; three of them remain in hospital. The Czech tour bus hit a column on a highway in central Croatia last Saturday before flipping over. Of the 51 people on board eight were killed. It is believed that the driver, who also died, fell asleep at the wheel
Leading TOP 09 member Petr Gazdík says the coalition will face a major problem if Lenka Bradáčová is not named Prague State Prosecutor. The comment comes amid serious tensions over the prime minister’s sudden dismissal of Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil last week. Prime Minister Nečas cited financial mismanagement as the reason for the sacking; pundits and much of the public however believe the move was meant to block the imminent appointment of Bradáčová, a highly respected prosecutor and anti-corruption crusader. Speaking to the news site iDnes, Mr Gazdík also cast doubt on the prime minister’s rationale for the dismissal but said he did not believe the Civic Democratic Party, of which the PM is chairman, would let the situation become intolerable for the coalition by impeding Bradáčová’s appointment.
The public has been warned to brace for a record-breaking heat wave in the coming days. Meteorologists have forecast temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius over the weekend, the hottest weather in recent memory at the start of the summer holidays. The hottest weather on record on July 1st was registered in 1905 when monitoring devices in Klementinum showed just under 35 degrees Celsius. People have been warned to increase their intake of liquids and stay out of the sun as much as possible.
The 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off on Friday evening with a gala ceremony at the spa town's Hotel Thermal. At the ceremony, British actress Helen Mirren, the star of such films as The Queen or the British TV crime series Prime Suspect, will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award. Mrs Mirren’s latest film, The Door, directed by Hungarian director Istvan Szabo (Mephisto, Oberst Redl), will be screened at the festival on July 1. Over the course of nine days some 200 feature films will be screened, 22 of which will be world premieres.
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
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