Police arrested a 56-year-old man who attacked his 45-year-old girlfriend with a hammer in the early hours of Sunday morning. The duo was traveling on a night tram when they got into a heated argument, witnesses said. When she exited, the suspect used the hammer to hit the woman twice in the head; she suffered serious injury. Witnesses called the police who arrested the suspect shortly afterwards; they are treating the case as attempted murder.
This weekend proved the deadliest so far on Czech roads this year, with nine people losing their lives in traffic accidents. On Saturday, three youths, around 20 years of age, were killed near Tábor after their vehicle skidded off the road and hit a tree. Two others, a 35-year-old driver and his seven-year-old daughter, died in a crash near Benešov, while a 20-year-old driver was killed in the Písek area when she hit a tree. Elsewhere, a 67-year-old man was killed at a crossing when he was hit by a truck.
The birth rate in all 14 regions in the Czech Republic fell in recent years while the mortality rate went up, the Czech Statistical Office reports, citing numbers from 2007 and 2011. The number of seniors across all 14 regions rose, as did the average age of residents (the average is now over the 40 mark). Fewer couples over the past few years joined in marriage but the number of marriages ending in divorce also went down, the office said.
Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright accompanied Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra on a visit to Terezín on Sunday, the site of a former Jewish ghetto and Gestapo-run prison during World War II, from which tens of thousands were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz and other extermination camps. The former secretary of state, who was born to Czech Jewish parents in Prague in 1937, laid flowers at the National Cemetery at the Terezín memorial - remembering those who died in the Holocaust including 24 members of her own family. During her visit she also had a print made of her hand for the local museum known as Krištálový dotek (Crystal Touch), where casts are made in crystal and displayed. Others whose hands were cast in the past include the late Václav Havel and Arnošt Lustig.
Around 130 ultra right-wing extremists took part in a procession in Svitavy on Saturday to express support for one of their own serving a prison sentence for the racially-motivated murder of a Romany man. Dozens of police officers, including a riot unit, monitored the march. Skinheads and other right-wing radicals have held the event for several years now.
An 18-year-old foreign national suffered fatal injuries in a parachute jump at an airfield in the Plzeň area on Saturday. The accident took place before noon; the young man died on route to the hospital. Witnesses said that during the jump the parachutist began spiraling out of control. He hit the ground near the control tower.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday that 11 new ambassadors will soon take up their posts. Martin Povejšil is to replace Milena Vicenová as ambassador to the EU, while Jiří Šedivý will take up Mr Povejšil’s post in NATO. The naming of both men was expected. Others named by the Foreign Ministry include Martin Košatka, who will serve in Croatia, and Milan Dufek who will head the Czech mission in Norway. Personnel changes at missions in South American countries were also announced. On Thursday, news site E15 reported that Petr Kolář would leave as ambassador to Russia this fall, before his mandate was up. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, however, would not confirm the move.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas again rejected any suggestion that former
justice minister Jiří Pospíšil was recalled from his post last month
because he had planned to name respected state prosecutor Lenka
Bradáčová to head Prague’s State Attorney’s Office. The prime
minister sent a written statement to the Czech news agency on Friday,
saying claims otherwise were unacceptable and speculative; on the same day
new Justice Minister Pavel Blažek, who succeeded Mr Pospíšil, revealed
he would not name Ms. Bradáčová even though she had received a
recommendation from the Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman. The new
minister is considering the option of a regular competition for the post.
Jiří Pospíšil, who concentrated on fighting alleged corruption at the State Attorney’s Office in Prague, was dismissed by the prime minister last month for managerial failures.
Czech-American economist Jan Švejnar has not taken a final decision yet on whether to run in next year’s presidential election, the first time Czech voters will choose their president directly. Mr Švejnar, considered a possible strong contender according to numerous opinion polls, will reportedly decide over the remainder of the summer. Originally, Mr Švejnar said he would announce his intentions after a procedural bill on the upcoming election was passed in Parliament; that took place earlier this week. Now the bill must be signed by President Václav Klaus who completes his final term in March 2013.
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’