Over 10,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Czech authorities not to award enhanced rights to the country’s Muslim community, the news website echo24.cz reported on Thursday. On September 17, the Muslim community will have been registered in the country for ten years; under Czech law, this would entitle the community to establish Islamic schools, teach Islam at public schools, and provide religious services in the army and in prisons. Muslim marriages would also be officially recognized. However, the Muslim community fails to meet some other conditions to be granted these rights, as only around 3.350 people declared themselves Muslims in the latest population census. The law meanwhile requires that 1 per-mille of the total population, or some 10,400 people, be members of a religious group to be received enhanced rights.
The Czech national football team lost 1:0 to the USA in Prague on Wednesday night, in a warm-up game ahead of next week’s Euro qualification against Holland. The only goal of the friendly came in the 39th minute from Alejandro Bedoya after a major error of the Czech defence. It was the Czech team’s fourth game under manager Pavel Vrba whose record now includes two draws and two losses.
Three wolf cubs were born in a forest near Ralsko, in north Bohemia, this summer, the first such occurrence after more than a century, the news website idnes.cz reported on Wednesday. One of the cubs was captured by a camera trap, another two were noticed by forest workers, according to the report. The return of wolfs to the Czech Republic after over a hundred years was confirmed by a photo of the animal taken in north Bohemia in April.
The Czech police have cracked down on an international child pornography ring, a police spokeswoman said. Three Czech and Ukrainian nationals have been arrested and charged with producing and selling child pornography; another four people have been detained in Spain, France, Sweden and Canada. The police say the men, operating from a house in Červený Kostelec, east Bohemia, abused at least 70 children and minors aged between seven and 18 under the guise of shooting commercials; they then sold the material to paid online sites and private clients abroad. The police have also tracked down transactions amounting to 15 million crowns. If convicted, three of the men face up to 12 years in jail while the main organizer, a 57-year-old Czech, could land a 15-year term.
The Czech government is sending two experts to the NATO Liaison Office in Kiev to advise the Ukrainian government on a reform of the security sector and on logistics, the news agency ČTK reported. The posting should last two years, the Czech defence and interior ministries said. An expert on information security from the Czech Interior Ministry is already operating in the Ukrainian capital.
Prague’s Proton Therapy Centre announced on Wednesday it had received the medical documentation of UK cancer patient Ashya King from a UK hospital, and was now ready to treat him. The five-year-old English boy, who suffers from a brain tumour, was last week removed from a hospital in Southampton by his parents and taken to Spain. His parents had earlier applied for him to receive treatment at the Prague clinic which however said they could not start treating him without the medical notes.
The Czech government on Wednesday authorized Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to voice objections to some of the planned new EU sanctions against Russia, Mr Sobotka told reporters. The government is planning to table reservations to the sanctions’ extension to goods with both civil and military applications in order to protect Czech machinery producers. Two members of the government for the Christian Democrat party abstained from the vote, the news agency ČTK reported, instead proposing an official declaration denouncing of what they described as Russian aggression.
Czech men’s tennis number one Tomáš Berdych defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round of the US Open on Tuesday night to advance to the tournament’s quarterfinals. The sixth seed Berdych, the last Czech remaining at US Open, will play the Croat Marin Čilič, seeded 14th, on Thursday for a spot in the semifinals.
A court in Prague sentenced a physician to 7.5 years in prison for having induced opiate addiction to one of his former patients. The court said the doctor between March 2008 and November 2010 sold doses of opioid analgesic to his patient who suffered from painful anal injury, making him heavily addicted to the drug. The patient sold his business and other property to be able to afford the drug, and eventually died in a car accident while driving under the influence of opiates. The court also banned the man from practicing medicine for ten years, and ordered him to pay a fine of seven million crowns.
Two Czech citizens have been killed while fighting in the ranks of pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, the website of a local Czech communist party organization in Frýdek-Místek reported quoting Russian sources. The reports says the men, whose names were given as Ivo Stejskal and Vojtěch Hlinka, were killed in combat on August 12 in the east of the country, and were buried on the spot. The Czech Foreign Ministry has said it has no knowledge of the Czech citizens’ deaths; the country’s intelligence services however believe around 30 Czechs have joined the ranks of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events