Pavel Telička, the first Czech European commissioner, will run for the ANO movement of billionaire Andrej Babiš in the 2014 elections to the European Parliament and will assist the movement in campaigning before the early general election due at the end of October. Mr. Telička confirmed the news on Thursday saying he would be responsible for EU related issues with the perspective of leading ANOs list of candidates running in the European elections next year. He said he would not run in the forthcoming election to the lower house of Czech parliament because he would not be able to wind up his other activities by then. Pavel Telička is a consultant for European affairs and one of the owners of the BXL Consulting firm.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has adopted a reserved stance on a possible military intervention in Syria. A statement released by the ministry on Wednesday condemns the use of chemical weapons and says the UN inspection team should be given time and space to conclude its mission as thoroughly as possible. The Czech Republic is in favour of a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria, the statement says, urging the two sides to sign an agreement on a ceasefire and open talks on the country’s political transformation.
Prague will host its first Festival of Lights from October 17 -20th. The city’s famous landmarks, cultural monuments, historical buildings, streets and other locations will be highlighted by audio-visual projections and events presented by local and international lighting artists. Among the buildings and landmarks highlighted will be the Tower Clock on Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Kampa Museum, Petřín Tower and Prague’s Dancing House.
Material damages in a clash between right-wing extremists and police in Ostrava at the weekend and the clean-up cost the city some 70,000 crowns the city said, stressing that a substantially higher sum of more than 465,000 crowns would be the bill for employing riot police. The city’s mayor, Petr Kajnar, suggested that the cost was not unacceptable given the size of the overall budget; at the same time he suggested Ostrava would take legal action against those who damaged property. At the weekend, 300 police officers came out in force; 21 of them and a number of extremists were injured in clashes. Sixty-two people were detained and a number of them charged with disorderly conduct. Extremists have called another demonstration for late September.
The Constitutional Court has struck down a suspended prison sentence given to midwife Ivana Königsmarková in 2009 for criminal negligence in the birth of a child that died 20 months later. Originally, she received a two-year suspended sentence, a 2.7-million crown fine and was banned from working as a midwife. She has maintained her innocence and said that there was no evidence beforehand that the birth would be a complicated one. She also maintained that the trial was an attack on home births in general by the Czech medical establishment. Her sentence was reaffirmed by the appeals court and the Supreme Court last year.
Police have shelved their investigation into a tragic crash in last year’s Barum Rally which claimed one life and left one person injured. According to investigators, no crime was committed: no mistake was uncovered on the part of organisers, who had sections properly marked off. The tragedy happened during the race last September when a Subaru Impreza driven by the team of Václav Kopáček and Tomáš Singer flew off the road at 160 kilometres per hour. The man killed was 54-years-old. Police are continuing to investigate another rally race in November where four bystanders died.
The Czech Republic lacks enough readily-available psychiatric care for youngsters the country’s ombudsman, Pavel Varvařovský has charged, saying the situation led to needless hospitalisation. The country should have around 100 paediatric psychiatrists but has 30 fewer, he told journalists on Wednesday. The Ombudsman’s Office looked closely at the matter of psychiatric care for children in 2011 and 2012. The Czech Republic currently has three psychiatric centres for children: in Louny, Velká Biteš and Opařany. Problems treated include depression, anti-social behaviour, and eating disorders.
In a statement released on Wednesday, former president Václav Klaus made clear he was turning down a chance to make a political comeback, confirming he will not run in the upcoming election. In recent days there was increased speculation the ex-president would return to party politics; Mr Klaus, who had met with numerous supporters, said he had weighed the decision carefully. In Mr Klaus’ view, he could have founded a party which would have fared successfully, but he made clear that two months to Election Day was too short a period for it to fulfil all of his criteria. The head of the small extra-parliamentary Sovereignty party, Jana Bobošíková, as well as several members of the Civic Democrats strongly backed Mr Klaus’ return. The former president may support one of the existing parties in the coming weeks.
Star goalie Petr Čech has expressed the hope that playing in Prague will bring him good luck in Chelsea’s EUFA Super Cup against Bayern Munich on Friday. The match is being played on neutral ground: Prague’s Eden Stadium (home to Slavia Prague). The Super Cup is the single club competition trophy missing in the goalkeeper’s collection. Last year, Chelsea were defeated 4:1 by Atletico Madrid. The Super Cup pits the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League against each other.
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