American actor Richard Gere has arrived in Karlovy Vary. Mr Gere will attend the opening ceremony of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday at the Thermal hotel, where he will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography. The 65-year-old Hollywood actor will present the opening film, Time Out of Mind, along with actress Jena Malone and director Oren Moverman. Mr Gere will also attend Saturday’s screening of the legendary romantic comedy Pretty Woman and Sunday’s screening of the film Franny.
US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Shapiro has paid tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton, the Briton who helped save the lives of 669 children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. Sir Nicolas passed away at the age of 106 on Wednesday. The US ambassador said the story of Mr Winton showed that that a man with courage and imagination is able to achieve extraordinary things. Mr Shapiro’s mother, who was born into a Jewish family in Prague, was also forced to flee Czechoslovakia in 1939 in order to save her life. Mr Shapiro said he was grateful that there were people like Nicholas Winton and added that the world would miss him greatly.
joining NATO The Czech Republic will support Montenegro’s ambition to join NATO this year, the Czech Prime Minsietr Bohuslav Sobotka said after meeting with his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Dukanovic on Thursday. The Czech Prime Minister said Montenegro should be the first new country to join NATO. Economic cooperation was also among the topics on the agenda. Mr Dukanovic said Montenegro is ready to sign a deal worth 350 million euros with the Czech engineering company Škoda Praha for supplying a coal-fired power plant in Pljevlje. Škoda Praha won the tender along with nine other companies earlier this year
Minister of Finance and founder and owner of the Agrofert agro-chemical group, Andrej Babiš, earned just under 201 million crowns from the company after tax last year and acquired bonds worth 230 million crowns. The details were made public from his assets declaration which was made available from July 2 on the register of the lower house of parliament. The ANO leader also earned around 76 million crowns from existing Agrofert bonds and 8.2 million was repaid from a personal loan, the details of which were not made public. Babiš also earned around 115,000 crowns from his position with Germany biggest ammonia producer, SKW Piesteritz, and around 350,000 from rental income.
The public has been warned to brace for a severe heat wave in the coming days. Currents of hot air moving from Africa, which have driven up temperatures in Spain, Portugal, France and parts of Great Britain, has hit the Czech Republic on Thursday. Meteorologists have forecast temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius over the next few days and people have been warned to increase their intake of liquids. Children, chronically ill people and the elderly have been warned to stay out of the sun. The authorities have also issued a high fire danger warning.
Hundreds of films fans have been queuing up for tickets to the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival, which is due to kick off on Friday. The festival will open with a screening of Time Out of Mind, which will be personally presented by the films lead actor Richard Gere. The American actor will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography. Among other guests of the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival will be Harvey Keitel and Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, who will present the new co-production film Anthropoid which begins filming in Czech Republic in mid-July.
Police detained six people at an anti-immigration rally on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Wednesday night. Around 500 people attended the demonstration with a handful of opponents of the action also in place but kept apart by the police. Speeches were delivered by Tomio Okamura, the former leader of the Dawn Party elected to the lower house at the last elections, and right-wing journalist Adam Bartoš. Some opponents pelted Okamura with eggs but their aim was awry. Calls were made for the Czech Republic to be reserved for Czechs, for the closure of borders, and departure from the EU. Fake gallows were erected for ‘traitors’and calls made for the country to be saved from ‘hordes of horny blacks.’
Czech interest in booking holidays in Tunisia has collapsed to almost zero following the latest terrorist attack in the country, the daily Lidové Noviny reported. Czech tour operators said that bookings had fallen by between 80-95 percent compared with the levels before last Friday’s attack. Greece was one of the alternative destinations now favoured in spite of the economic turbulence there, it added. A gunman killed 39 people, mostly British, when he opened fire at a beach at the resort of Sousse last Friday. Czechs witnessed the attack but none were injured.
Tributes quickly poured out for Sir Nicholas Winton on news of his death. Czech president Miloš Zeman said he had always admired Sir Nicholas’ 'personal bravery.' Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka described him as ‘a symbol of courage and deep humanity.’ The Czech ambassador to Britain, Michael Žantovský described him as ‘a positive man who radiated good.’ British prime minister David Cameron said ‘the world had lost a great man.’ Many British papers described Sir Nicholas as ‘the British Schindler’, a reference to Oscar Schindler, although Nicholas Winton himself rejected the comparison and said they had nothing in common.
Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek has said he would support the creation of camps in North Africa where the European Union could process asylum applications. Zaorálek said that siting such camps in Libya would be the most logical solution but that the EU does not have a real partner to negotiate with there. Libya is currently in the midst of a power battle with different factions having control over different parts of the country. The Czech foreign minister said that other African countries showed little interest in such camps either. The idea of such camps is backed by Czech prime minster Bohuslav Sobotka and finance minister Andrej Babiš.
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