A court in Costa Rico on Tuesday sentenced a British man to 25 years in prison for the murder of a 22-year-old Czech woman in the country in 2011. Alfred Saunders was found guilty of stabbing the woman to death in her tent on an eco-farm near the border between Costa Rico and Nicaragua. He had confessed to the killing prior to the trial.
The Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival is having financial problems and has had to apply for emergency funding, the news website Lidovky.cz reported on Wednesday. The festival has applied for grants of CZK 1 million from the Jihlava Region and the city of Jihlava, where it is one of the biggest cultural events of the year. If it does not receive the money, it will have to make cuts to its programme, festival director Marek Hovorka said.
A Sumatran tiger has been born at Prague Zoo, according to a statement issued by the zoo on Wednesday. The cub, which was born at the end of July, is doing well, officials said. Members of the public will be able to get their first glimpse of the rare animal when it is placed in a tiger run in November. Renovation work on the zoo’s big cats pavilion, which was damaged by flooding in June, was postponed because of the birth.
An exhibition focused on the Kralice Bible, the first complete Czech language translation of the book, has begun at the National Library’s Clementinum building in Prague. The show is timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the last publication of the Kralice Bible prior to the Battle of White Mountain. It includes earlier translations of the Bible in Czech and valuable documents that have not previously been displayed publicly.
The Czech director Jiří Menzel is preparing to present his latest movie, The Don Juans, on a tour of the United States. The picture will be shown for the first time in the US in Washington on Sunday, with another screening set for the Czech Center in New York next week. Mr. Menzel is also set to be honoured with a special evening in Los Angeles. The Don Juans, which got its international premiere at the Montreal IFF last month, enters distribution in the Czech Republic on September 26.
The captain of the Czech Republic, Tomáš Rosický, has said he will consider retiring from international soccer following the team’s failure to reach the 2014 World Cup. The midfielder, who is 32, was forced off with injury in the first half of a 2:1 defeat to Italy in Turin on Tuesday that made it impossible for the Czechs to take second place in their group and a possible berth in the playoffs for Brazil. Manager Michal Bílek stood down in the wake of the defeat.
The state of human rights in the Czech Republic deteriorated in 2012, the Czech Helsinki Committee said in its annual report released on Tuesday. The human rights group noted that unemployment, the negative effects of social reforms, lower accessibility of health care as well as rising anti-Roma sentiments were among the major trends registered last year. The group also warned that the situation of the Roma community was rapidly deteriorating as increasing numbers of the population see Romanies as scapegoats for various problems in the society. The Helsinki Committee criticized politicians for exploiting the situation, and accused some media of misleading coverage of anti-Romany riots.
Some 100,000 Czechs are threatened with homelessness, the Czech minister of labour and social affairs, František Koníček, told reporters on Tuesday. The current homeless population of 30,000 could rise dramatically, mainly in the most vulnerable groups such as young people leaving institutional care, handicapped people, single mothers and retired people, or those who lose their jobs shortly before retiring, Mr Koníček said. The minister also outlined a strategy to curb the rising numbers of homeless people: the state should provide social housing to those threatened with losing their homes; increase the scope of social services, and provide better health care to people living in the streets.
The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday heard a case of two Czech women who complain about restrictions on home births. Judges heard arguments from attorneys of the women as well as a representative of the Czech Republic. The women filed their complaints to the court in 2011 and 2012; they were planning to give birth at home but say the Czech authorities prevented them from doing so. Their lawyer said the court should acknowledge that women’s rights in the Czech Republic are breached by denying assistance to home births. The court is expected to deliver a verdict in the case in the coming months.
The number of suicides registered in the Czech Republic in recent years is growing, the news agency ČTK reported quoting official statistics. Last year, 1647 Czechs took their own lives which was nearly 300 more than in the previous year. However, demographers say that despite the increase, the numbers of suicides are lower than in the past. The highest number of people who killed themselves – over 4,000 – was recorded in 1934.
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