Police in Olomouc have arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of dropping logs of wood from a bridge over the country’s most important motorway, the D1. The logs, which weighed up to 20 kilogrammes, were launched from a bridge on the border of Hranice in the Přerov district and the Moravia Silesia Region last Thursday. Twenty-eight cars were damaged and one person was injured. The police have not ruled out charging the man with attempted murder.
The Czech film director Jan Svěrák is working on a new English-language film based on an Irish book, the project’s producer Eric Abraham told the Czech News Agency. He did not reveal the book’s title. Mr. Svěrák is at present writing a screenplay but said he believed there was only a 20 percent chance the movie would actually get made. His most recent film, the fairy tale Three Brothers, was a box-office success in the Czech Republic, selling over 600,000 tickets last year. The director, whose Kolya took the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1996, turns 50 later this week.
The Czech Republic continues to have the highest incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in Europe, although the number of cases decreased last year to a total of 406. Similar decreases, however, were reported all over the continent, Rastislav Madar, a member of the European working group for TBE, told the Czech News Agency. Only 23 percent of inhabitants of the Czech Republic are vaccinated against TBE, low compared to other EU countries. Neighbouring Germany and Poland, both with significantly higher populations than the Czech Republic, reported TBE decreases to 277 cases and 195 cases, respectively, in 2014. Austria, where almost 90 percent of inhabitants are vaccinated, registered only 80 cases last year.
The Czech Republic is facing the start of a broad flu epidemic across all 14 of its regions including the capital, Prague, Chief Hygiene Officer Vladimír Valenta told Czech TV on Monday. According to the official, the number of those infected is expected to jump significantly over the next two weeks. In the first week of 2015, the number of flu cases rose by almost 95 percent and those with acute respiratory illnesses by 23 percent, according to the National Referential Laboratory. It is still possible to get a flu shot for the time being, although no longer ideal, the chief hygiene officer said.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said on Monday in his view there is no bigger task before the EU than helping to find a peaceful resolution to the continuing conflict in Ukraine. He made the comment following a meeting in Solenice with Ukrainian children of Czech ethnicity from the province of Volyn. Some 30 children, the first group of three, will spend two weeks in the Czech Republic learning the language and other activities. According to the foreign minister, arms for Kiev suggested by some EU members would only threaten to escalate the conflict. He made clear the Czech Republic has from the start backed diplomatic steps to try and resolve the crisis.
Police in Olomouc announced on Monday they were searching for a 33-year-old colleague last seen last week. No word had been heard since Thursday and the police have asked the public for help, the Czech News Agency reports. The missing policeman, named Martin Mészáros, is of medium build, 1m 68cm in height. He has grey eyes and a shaved head. Anyone with information potentially related to the case has been asked to contact the police.
A tripartite meeting of union leaders, government officials and employers failed to reach a consensus on Monday on any variant of relaxing brown coal mining limits. Representatives first want an evaluation of the potential social, economic, and safety impact before they return to the table. That could be by the end of June. The news was confirmed in the afternoon by Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek. Unions and employer representatives are calling for an easing of limits but it has not received backing from all within the government; most notably, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš is against.
Social Democrat senator Zdeněk Škromach says he is giving serious consideration to running for president of the Czech Republic in three years’ time. In the past, the long-time politician joked about running but on Monday he confirmed he was ready to do so if he received broad support from within his party. He told reporters in Brno, however, he was by no means launching an early pre-election campaign, recalling the bid by former interim prime minister Jan Fischer who he had said had run out of steam at the finish line. Mr Škromach has long ties to the current head-of-state Miloš Zeman: he was one of several party members who met secretly with the president after the last elections, a wing which allegedly tried to side-line current Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. As a result, he resigned as deputy leader.
Organisers have revealed details ahead of this year’s 22nd Febiofest international film festival to be held in Prague in March. Guests this year will include John Madden, the director of the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love, actor Jeroen Krabbé (known for roles in The Fugitive and Kafka), and Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher. American actress of Czech descent Kim Novak, 81, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller classic Vertigo and many other films, will receive the Kristián for her lifelong contribution to world cinematography. Her attendance this year was announced in January.
The Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic released statistics for 2014 on Monday, showing that 114 people died as the result of fires in the country last year – three more than in 2013. Of those, 52 people died in fires in their homes. Related damage was estimated at roughly 2.2 billion crowns. The head of the rescue service, Drahoslav Ryba, confirmed that in 2014 firefighters responded in more than 100,000 instances; a little less than 17,000 cases where they responded were fires. The most common causes of fires were technical failure, negligence and arson.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home