The minister of health, Leoš Heger, says his officials will carry out free tests of water in wells in areas that have been affected by flooding. Mr. Heger told Czech Radio that the Ministry of Health was earmarking millions of crowns for analyses of water quality. People have been told to pump out all remaining water and remove mud before having their wells tested. Almost 3,000 wells were inundated during the recent flooding.
The creator of the country’s annual film industry awards ceremony, Petr Vachler, says he will not hand the rights to the Czech Lions to the Czech Film and Television Academy. Mr. Vachler said the CZK 10 million that the Academy had offered to pay him for the rights over a period of a decade was insufficient. He said he was not fixated on retaining control of the brand and was chiefly concerned with the Czech Lions continuing, adding that he hoped to reach a compromise on the matter.
The prime minister, Petr Nečas, has announced that he is getting divorced from his wife Radka. In a statement, he said that he and his wife had applied to a court to have their marriage dissolved. Mr. Nečas revealed in January that he and his wife, with whom he has four children, were no longer living together.
The state-owned power utility CEZ is to waive three monthly bills for households hit by over half a metre of flooding, its director, Daniel Beneš, said on Tuesday. Homes where flood waters were less than half a metre will not be charged for one month’s power, he said. The prime minister, Petr Nečas, described the gesture as a sign of social responsibility and called on other power suppliers to make a similar gesture.
Author Marie Kubátová has died at the age of 90. The writer, famous for the Krkonošské Fairytales animated children’s series, passed away last week, the news website iDnes.cz reported. Born in Prague, Kubátová – who was a pharmacist by profession – collected stories from the Krkonošské Mountains with her mother, who was also a writer.
The minister of justice, Pavel Blažek, has described some criminal proceedings carried out by the police’s anti-corruption unit as “theatrical”. In a letter to the head of the force, Martin Červíček, quoted by the Czech News Agency, the minister also criticised what he called the “personal media promotion” of senior police officials. The letter was sent in April during a dispute between the Prague supreme state attorney, Lenka Bradáčová, and the then head of the anti-corruption unit, Tomáš Martinec; she had requested that Colonel Červíček evaluate the work of the unit. The police president has refused to comment on the letter.
President Miloš Zeman named 58 new professors at a ceremony at Prague’s Carolinum on Tuesday. However, seven academics due to receive the title did not attend. The issue of the president’s right to name professors hit the news last month when he said he would not confer the title on Martin C. Putna, a move which caused outrage in the academic community. Mr. Zeman said the literary historian had acted inappropriately by carrying a provocative banner in a gay pride parade. Mr. Putna is to receive his title from the minister of education later this month. The president says the right to appoint professors should be removed from the head of state, in line with practice in other countries.
As water recedes in most places that were flooded during the past week, volunteers are beginning to help with the clean-up efforts. A number of humanitarian NGOs are coordinating hundreds of volunteers who are helping clean up homes and public spaces that were damaged by water. People are also making donations to special emergency drives that the organizations have set up to aid with the relief efforts and help those affected. Charities and NGOs have so far collected at least 25 million crowns.
President Miloš Zeman met with the chairwoman of the European Trade Union Confederation Bernadette Ségol on Monday and voiced his support for the confederation’s proposal for a single EU-wide corporate tax of 25 percent. Prime Minister Petr Nečas strongly disagreed with the president’s position and said that his government is against the harmonization of direct taxation. President Zeman also agreed with the trade union confederation on progressive taxation, and the need to increase investment that could create jobs as well as the introduction of a guaranteed minimum wage across the European Union countries.
The police on Monday confirmed an 11th flood victim. A 50-year-old man fell into the river Otava near a campsite in the town of Sušice in southwest Bohemia on Sunday night. Rescue services found his body in the morning eight kilometers downstream near the town Rabí na Klatovksu. Four people are still missing as a result of last week’s flooding, mostly as a result of boating accidents. On Monday, the Central Crisis Committee introduced a ban on boating on any body of water where high flood alerts have been issued, under threat of up to a 20,000-crown fine.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
Ron Perlman: Cinema is a much bigger art-form than superhero movies represent
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague