The American film I Origins will open the upcoming 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival organisers have announced. Top guests will include actor Michael Pitt, actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey, and director Mike Cahill. The science fiction film, awarded at Sundance this year, tells the story of a molecular biologist who makes a significant and unexpected discovery. Actor Michael Pitt returns to Karlovy Vary after nine years: he also attended back in 2005 when the Gus Van Sant film Last Days, inspired in part by the life and death of rock star Kurt Cobain, was screened.
Ten people were injured on Wednesday in a bus crash shortly before noon in the area of Nový Jičín. A police spokesman confirmed that not far from a local recreation site the bus went off the road and flipped over. One of the injured was trapped inside and had to be freed by an emergency crew. A helicopter was also sent to the scene.
The Regional Veterinary Authority in Ostrava found no evidence on Tuesday of negligence on the part of the Princ circus in the death of a sea lion it was transporting. The animal died en route during a major heat wave this week. A second specimen survived but had to be cooled with water. Both animals were being transferred in dry tanks. There are indications that the animal that died had a heart problem. Although there are no “maximum limits” regarding daytime temperatures the veterinary authority said he personally would have postponed the transport of the animals until the heat wave had passed. Temperatures in the Czech Republic in recent days have soared well over 30 degrees Celsius.
Austrian and Czech police are searching for a 38-year-old Plzeň resident and his two sons aged six and ten. The man faces several criminal charges, including kidnapping. The father of two chose to ignore an Austrian court ruling granting custody of the children to their mother. She has not seen her sons since last June while an Austrian official saw them in mid-February. The police have issued information such as license plate numbers of the suspect's vehicles, a Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat, asking the public for help in trying to pinpoint his location. Police suspect the man remains in the Plzeň area.
The chairman of the Czech Football Association, Miroslav Pelta, says the country’s failure to reach the World Cup in Brazil has cost Czech soccer at least CZK 300 million. Speaking in Wednesday’s edition of Mladá fronta Dnes, Mr. Pelta said a third of that sum would have been spent on participation in the competition, but the rest would have gone to the Czech FA. He said the team, then managed by Michal Bílek, had failed to qualify from a relatively easy group because they had lost points in home games.
The Czech rock band Lucie played to an audience of 16,000 at Prague’s O2 Arena on Tuesday night in the first of three consecutive concerts at the venue. Tickets for the opening show sold out within hours. Lucie, who were one of the biggest Czech groups in the 1990s and ceased activities in 2004, are in the middle of a comeback tour that is expected to see them perform to more than 100,000 people.
Museums in Prague are gearing up for the annual Museums Night, which takes place on Saturday. Some 69 buildings run by close to 40 institutions are taking part in the event, which gets underway at 19:00 and offers visitors a rare chance to view the venues by night. Special lectures, concerts, theatre and dance performances, film screenings and workshops are also being put on, organisers said on Tuesday. All the institutions will be offering free admission during the Museums Night, which this year is being held for the 11th time.
President Miloš Zeman has refused to apologise for statements he made linking “Islamic ideology” and violence, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday, quoting his spokesman. The international Organisation of Islamic Cooperation had called on the Czech head of state to retract a statement he made in Israel at the end of last month, when, speaking about an attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels, he said Islamic ideology had motivated similar acts of violence. Mr. Zeman said apologising for quoting from Islamic texts would constitute “blasphemy”.
The Chamber of Deputies has voted not to strip Social Democrat MP Zuzana Kailová of her parliamentary immunity. The police had wished to charge her with breach of trust and abuse of office in connection with a previous function in local politics in Ústí nad Labem. Forty-two of 173 MPs present in the Chamber of Deputies voted to lift her immunity in a vote on Tuesday, while 81 voted against. The police will be able to charge Ms. Kailová once her mandate expires.
Prague councillors have cancelled a controversial decision to demolish a building on the corner of Wenceslas Square and Opletalová St. City Hall has returned the matter to the Prague 1 construction authority, which it said was responsible for shortcomings in its original decision to tear down the building. In recent months there had been protests against a plan to demolish the building and replace it with a modern office block.
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