The international organisation Mental Disability Advocacy says violent methods continue to be used in psychiatric care in the Czech Republic. In the 10 years since the group’s last report little has changed, it said, with metal cages on beds in mental hospitals merely being replaced by nets. In addition, leather straps are used to subdue patients. The Czech League of Human Rights has called for an end to such practices. However, psychiatrists say the report has been taken out of context, the Czech News Agency reported.
Czech gross domestic product grew by 2.9 percent year on year and 0.8 percent quarter on quarter in the first three months of this year. The revised figures, released on Tuesday, are higher than a previous estimate published four weeks ago. The growth rate was the highest since the 2008 financial crisis. It has been attributed to rising domestic and foreign demand, particularly from Germany, and a very low base last year.
Czechs are a relatively feminist nation, suggests an international opinion poll by the Ipsos agency quoted by the Czech News Agency. Some 66 percent of Czech men surveyed said they definitely agreed or tended to agree with the statement “I am a feminist, i.e., somebody who defends and supports equal opportunities for women”. The figure for Czech women was 65 percent. Only the Italians ranked ahead of the Czech Republic in the survey, which was carried out in 15 states earlier this year.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from a man who set fire to his girlfriend. Ladislav Kovařík received a 10-year prison term for attempted murder after, in a state of inebriation, pouring slivovice over his girlfriend and putting a cigarette to her in a Brno lodging house in April this year. The woman spoke in Mr. Kovařík’s defence, saying it had been an accident, but the court accepted the testimony of other witnesses.
Art historian Jiří Fajt is to be appointed head of the National Gallery in Prague on Tuesday. The prestigious art institution has been under provisional management for over a year following the sacking of its former director Vladimir Rosel. Jiří Fajtl was handpicked for the post by then culture minister Alena Hanáková who was criticized for not holding an open competition for the position. His appointment was put off several times.
The police have called a six-month long firearms amnesty during which people can surrender unlicensed weapons without fear of reprisals. It is the fourth such amnesty since 1996 and each undertaking still nets a considerable amount of weapons. During the last amnesty in 2009 people surrendered over 7,000 illegally held firearms. The amnesty enables people to legalize their weapons after they have been inspected by experts. The amnesty is in force from July 1st until the end of the year.
Three Czech players excelled in the women’s singles at Wimbledon on Monday, all making it to the quarterfinals. Lucie Šafářová beat her compatriot Tereza Smitková 6:0, 6:2 securing a place in the quarterfinals for the first time in her sporting career, Petra Kvitová beat China’s Peng Shuai 6:3, 6:2, and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová defeated Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki 6:2, 7:5. The Czech winning streak means that the country is certain to have at least one semifinalist.
Chief-of-staff to the former prime minister Petr Nečas, Jana Nagyová, has been found guilty of abusing the country’s military intelligence. A Prague court handed her a 12 month suspended sentence and a four year ban on working in public service. Ms.Nagyová, who recently married the former prime minister, commissioned the intelligence service to spy on his wife in a scandal that brought down the centre-right government in June of last year. The state attorney on the case has said he will appeal the decision.
The Czech Republic and Saxony will intensify cooperation in fighting cross-border crime, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said at a press briefing on Monday following a meeting with his Saxony counterpart Markus Ulbig. The talks focused particularly on ways of curbing drug smuggling from the Czech Republic to Germany which has been a growing problem in recent years. There is a growing demand for the home-made drug crystal methamphetamine across the border; while in 2011 customs officials confiscated 3 kilos of the drug, in 2013 the amount rose to 14 kilograms. Drug law enforcement experts estimate that around six tons of the illegal drug is produced in home labs annually.
Police are investigating the appearance of a circle in a wheat field near the town of Boskovice, after local farmers reported extensive damage to their crop. The police say it must have taken several people to make the intricate formation – a circle with an embedded star - overnight. The circle formations in crop fields are a regular summer occurrence which draw sightseers and conspiracy lovers, but farmers are increasingly protesting at the damage done to private property.
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