The founder of paediatric oncology in then Czechoslovakia, Professor Josef Koutecký, received on Wednesday the Purkyně Award from the Czech Medical Association of J.E. Purkyně in recognition of his life-time work. Professor Koutecký founded that branch of medicine in 1964; in 1978, he established the department of paediatric oncology at Prague’s Motol hospital, the first of its kind in the country, which played a crucial role in raising survival rates of children cancer patients to the current 80 percent. At Wednesday’s ceremony, Professor Koutecký said he was humbled to be awarded the prize, handed out since 1962.
Czech doctors last year registered 424 cases of invasive pneumococcal infections, the highest number in three years, according to figures by the National Institute of Public Health released on Wednesday. 69 people died of the infection last year. Experts say the rise has been caused by low immunization levels; in Prague, immunization levels in children have fallen below 50 percent. The sharpest increase has been registered with the 19A serotype which was last year contracted by 27 people, including four babies of up to 11 months of age.
Both the top Czech male and female tennis players, Tomáš Berdych and Petra Kvitová, have been seeded sixth at the Wimbledon championships which begin on June 23. Lucie Šafářová, meanwhile, will be seeded 23rd and Klára Koukalová 31st at the Grand Slam tournament. In the Wimbledon doubles, Czech Republic’s Radek Štěpánek and India’s Leander Paes will be fifth seed while Czech Květa Pescheková along with Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik third.
The lower house of the Czech Parliament on Wednesday approved a bill introducing new guidelines for countering cybernetic attacks. The bill, first of its kind to be passed by the lower house, should streamline cooperation between the public and private sectors, and establish a coordinating agency to ensure a fast response to such attacks. The legislation will also require telecommunication providers to report security incidents that occur in their networks, and allow the country’s National Security Authority to declare a state of cyber emergency. The bill is yet to be debated in the Senate.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says that the minister of justice Helena Válková has one last chance to prove she is capable of doing her job. The Social Democrat PM made the comment on Tuesday evening after Ms. Válková, appointed by ANO, dismissed the deputy justice minister for prisons, Pavel Štern, a Social Democrats’ appointee, over his handling of a contract to buy electronic tags. Mr. Sobotka said if the minister’s performance did not improve she would have to go. Ms. Válková’s disputes with subordinates have been in the news since Hana Marvanová quit as first deputy justice minister in early June.
Czech athlete Vítězslav Veselý came first in the javelin at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava on Tuesday evening. Veselý’s throw of 87.38m was the second longest in the world this year. US sprinter Justin Gatlin – the best known name this year at the Czech Republic’s biggest meeting – won the 100m in a time of 9.86 seconds. Olympic champion Barbora Špotáková has been forced to pull out of the women’s javelin due to health problems.
A monument to Czech airmen who fought in Britain’s RAF in World War II has been unveiled at Klarov in Prague. The statue in the shape of a winged lion was donated by the city’s British community. It was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon by Nicholas Soames, the grandson of UK wartime leader Winston Churchill. However the monument has been criticised by local preservationists, who say the grassy area it stands on – which already hosts another statue – is inappropriate.
Disputes between the minister of justice, Helena Válková, and her subordinates are causing negative publicity for the government, Prime Minister Bohoslav Sobotka said on Tuesday. The Social Democrat premiere said neither Ms. Válková nor her ANO party chief Andrej Babiš had delivered on recent pledges to calm the situation at the Ministry of Justice. Hana Marvanová quit as first deputy justice minister in early June after a dispute with the minister, while on Tuesday (after Mr. Sobotka’s comments) Ms. Válková dismissed the deputy minister for prisons, Pavel Štern, a Social Democrats’ appointee, over his handling of a contract to buy electronic tags.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, says the country disagrees with any linking of violence and religion. Mr. Zaorálek made the comments to diplomats from Arab states in Prague on Tuesday. The move followed angry reactions after the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, told an audience in Israel that there was a link between violent attacks by Islamic radicals and “Islamic ideology”. The foreign minister said the Czech Republic supported religious tolerance and aspired to have good relations with the Arab world.
Councillors in Brno have voted to ban prostitutes from soliciting anywhere in the Moravian capital. A previous ban applied only to certain areas of the city. Those caught offering sex for money will be fined 1,000 CZK on the spot or a fine of up 30,000 CZK at the local authority. A Town Hall spokesperson said the move was aimed at protecting young people and public morals.
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