Prague's Evropská street connecting the centre of the city with Ruzyně international airport has been closed for traffic on Sunday after a large sinkhole appeared there on Sunday. The crater of around four metres across and five metres deep, and the police closed the street in both directions, warning that traffic jams could form in neighbouring streets. It's not clear what caused the road's surface to collapse.
Jiří Havel, a Member of European Parliament for the Czech Social Democrats, died in Vienna on Sunday after a long illness, the news agency ČTK reported. He was 55. Jiří Havel was elected MEP in 2009, three years after the served as deputy prime minister for economy in a Social Democratic government. An economist by profession, he was a former member of the totalitarian communist party before he joined the Social Democrats in 1997.
The Czech tennis pair Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká lost to Venus and Serena Williams 5:7, 4:6 in the doubles final in Wimbledon on Saturday. In the first set, the Czechs were able to keep up with the favourites and tied the set 5:5 but the Williams sisters eventually prevailed. Wimbledon was the second Grand Slam final for the Czechs who won last year’s doubles at the French Open.
The Crystal Globe for the best feature movie at the 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was awarded to the film The Almost Man by Norwegian director Martin Lund. The Italian movie Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy by Marco Tullio Giordana received the Special Jury Prize while prize for best director went to the Canadian filmmaker Rafaël Quellet. The Ukrainian movie House with a Turret by Eva Neymann won the winner of the festival’s East of the West section while actresses Helen Mirren and Susan Sarandon received awards for contribution to world cinema.
The police on Sunday discovered the body of a 54-year-old man in a pond in Prague, only hours after the body of his 4-year-old girl was found in the same reservoir. The police said they would not comment on the case but announced the man was the girl’s father. The circumstances of the case are under investigation.
The new Czech justice minister, Pavel Blažek said he was planning to streamline the country’s justice system. Speaking on Czech TV on Sunday, Mr Blažek said the existing four types of prison, depending on the level of security, should be reduced to two. That would save dozens of millions of crowns, Mr Blažek said. He also announced the ministry was going to hold a public tender for the supplier of bracelets for home arrests, an alternative type of sentences seldom used in the Czech Republic.
Prague authorities are planning to re-examine all taxi drivers in their knowledge of the capital next year, the ČTK news agency reported on Saturday quoting draft legislation. Cab drivers with valid licenses will also have to pass the tests as the validity of their certification will be cut short by the bill. The planed move has been criticized by the city’s taxi drivers association which says the new legislation will do nothing to limit the numbers of illegal drivers.
Meteorologists on Saturday warned against strong thunderstorms that will hit the north of the country later in the day. Up to 70 mm of precipitation is expected to fall in the region which could swell local rivers as the soil is already soaked by previous rain. Storms, heavy rain and strong winds have been causing problems in the Czech Republic over past several days. Fallen trees block roads and railway lines in many parts of the country and dozens of people were rescued from their flooded homes.
The 47th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival concludes on Saturday with an awards ceremony at the Thermal Hotel. The Crystal Globe awards will be handed to the creators of the winning film and the winners of individual categories. US actress Susan Sarandon is set to receive an award for her contribution to world cinema. More then 11,000 people attended the festival which offered over 200 movies, 23 of them in world premieres. The news agency ČTK reported on Saturday many critics and guests at the festival were disappointed with the main competition this year which included films with brutal and naturalist scenes better suited for an independent film event.
Several Czech Romany groups on Saturday called for a boycott of Monday’s official ceremony in commemoration of Romany victims of the Holocaust. Prime Minister Petr Nečas and other officials are to attend the event held at the site of a former concentration camp in Lety, in southern Bohemia; however, some Romany representatives said the government should first remove a large pig farm built on the site of the camp after the war. The farm’s existence has been a controversial issue in the Czech society for years; attempts by several Czech governments to remove failed due to high relocation costs demanded by the farm’s owners.
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