The National Theatre in Prague is preparing to exhibit valuable items from its musical archive as part of the ongoing Year of Czech Music. The handwritten manuscripts of two operas by Bohuslav Martinů, and the original scores of works by Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček that received their world premieres at the theatre are among the treasures that will be on display on the balcony on the first floor of the historic building from Monday until September, a representative told journalists on Thursday.
More than two million people smoke cigarettes in the Czech Republic, according to Jarmila Greplová, a representative of Život bez cigaret, a group that helps smokers quit. The country’s population is 10.5 million. Speaking to the Czech News Agency ahead of Saturday’s World No Tobacco Day, Ms. Greplová said one in eight Czech smokers was under 18. An estimated 18,000 people die of smoking related illnesses in the Czech Republic every year.
Although floods are in the news, preparations are being made at the Ministry of Environment to cushion the effects of a disastrous drought caused by climate change. A large swathe of the Czech Republic including some of the most fertile agricultural land across the centre of the country could be threatened according to a report which will go to the government, the daily Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Thursday. It pointed out that the costs of a drought in Western Europe last year was almost as high as the bill for floods in Central Europe in 2002. Proposals for dealing with a Czech drought include a tenfold increase in water charges for those who exceed consumption limits.
River levels eased overnight across most of the Czech Republic with the highest, level three, flood warnings no longer in effect on the Klabava river near Plzeň. Rainfall is forecast again on Thursday though the Czech weather office believes this will not cause river levels in West Bohemia to significantly rise. Flash floods occurred overnight on streams and rivers in the Jeseník area in the north-east of the country with one rail link already cut there after being undermined by water and a large pond threatening to breaks its banks.
Two Germans were sentenced on Wednesday for the murder of a 39-year-old Prague taxi driver in front of a Prague cemetery in June last year. The younger of the two was given a 10 year sentence with the co-defendant given a life sentence at the Tübingen court in Southern Germany. The prosecution said both men had come to Prague to kill and had professed interest in Satanism and Vampirism. The taxi driver was killed by blows from a wrench and hatchet.
State incentives have been cleared for the Danish firm Lego to invest 1.73 billion crowns in the extension of its plant at Kladno on the outskirts of Prague. The government aid totals 46 million, around 5.0 percent of the total spending on the project to add production, warehouse, and administrative space to the current site. Around 600 extra jobs should be created by the time the work is completed in 2017.
Wages of state employees including teachers should rise by 3.5 percent next year according to an agreement reached at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. According to a report by the news server iDnes, minister of interior Milan Chovanec said that talks about the level of pay rises for police and firemen will continue with. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš had been looking to keep the wage raise lower. Christian Democrats have already achieved one of their goals on Tuesday with an agreement for more generous tax breaks for families with children.
Around 1.5 million Czechs are faced with poverty or material deprivation according to survey results released Wednesday by the Czech Statistical Office. The actual proportion of the population threatened with poverty actually fell last year to 8.6 percent from 9.6 percent, the office said. That total includes around 45 percent of those without jobs. The office said that although average household incomes rose in absolute terms last year they fell in real terms once higher costs were taken into account. The total facing material deprivation, defined as lacking basic household equipment, came to around 679,000.
Heavy rain and flooding results in almost 400 call-outs for firemen across the country on Tuesday. The most calls for help came from the Prague, the Moravia-Silesia, Central Bohemia and the Ústí regions with frequent demands to pump out flooded cellars. Sixteen people were evacuated at the eastern town of Rychnov nad Kněžnou as the river level rose. River levels were at level three danger level around the Western town of Rokycany on Wednesday.
In ice hockey, Czech forward Tomáš Plekanec has helped keep alive the Stanley Cup hopes of the Montreal Canadiens. Plekanec scored in the 7:4 victory over the New York Rangers bringing the series to 2:3 in the best of seven semi-final confrontation. The sixth match in the series takes place in New York on Thursday.
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