Respected American actor Richard Gere, 65, and fellow actor Harvey Keitel, 76, will be two of the main guests to attend the upcoming 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The announcement was made by the festival’s director, Jiří Bartoška, on Monday. Mr Keitel attended the festival previously in 2004 where he received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography; Richard Gere will be given the honour this year. The 50th inception of the Czech Republic’s most prestigious film festival will open with a screening of Time Out of Mind, in which Gere stars with Jen Malone. In the past, Gere starred in such films as Days of Heaven, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Pretty Woman. The festival begins on July 3 and finishes on July 11.
Czech zookeepers providing assistance and expertise at the city zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilisi after it was devastated by recent flash floods, say they have helped find and remove the carcasses of some one hundred animals that were buried in the mud. Czech experts have been in the capital now for a week. Petr Velenský of Prague Zoo described the situation on the ground. The team of experts - five from Prague Zoo and one each from the zoos in Ústí nad Labem and Zlín - opted to help, not least because of experience with floods the Czech Republic suffered in 2002 and 2013.
The trial of Věra Marešová, a former nurse charged with killing six patients in her care at a hospital in Rumburk, began on Monday. The case was initially reported as a possible mercy killing of an elderly woman before additional suspicious deaths emerged. According to the prosecution,cited by the Czech News Agency, the nurse injected six patients with potassium in the years 2010 to 2014, leading to their deaths. Her alleged victims were five women and one man, between the ages of 35 to 85. The suspect has maintained she is innocent; if found guilty, she could be given a life sentence.
More than 2,200 children of around 4,000 eligible in Prague 6 have received a shot of Hepatitis A vaccine. The vaccination took place in recent weeks after following a serious incident of water contamination in the district. Children between 12 months and 15 years of age were believed to be at risk after drinking contaminated tap water in the area at the end of May. The contamination occurred when sewage water seeped into a pipe carrying water for public consumption. The first shot of the vaccine cost the state an estimated 2 million crowns.
The country’s finance minister, Andrej Babiš, has suggested that the Foreign Ministry should review Czech embassies and diplomatic missions to see which are truly needed. Mr Babiš made the statement on Monday at an annual meeting of economic diplomats. He also expressed the opinion that the activities of representative bureaux like CzechInvest, Czech Centres or CzechTourism could be streamlined. It was reported at the weekend by Novinky.cz that the Czech Foreign Ministry is facing serious financing shortfall for this year which in the worst case scenario could result in the closure of 45 embassies or general consulates abroad and loss of 270 staff. The financial shortfall this year is expected to be around 400 million crowns and is set to rise to 900 million crowns next year. Causes are the weakness of the Czech crown and extra expenses from opening up representative offices in foreign countries in recent years.
The country’s Foreigners' Police over the last week or so detained
twice the usual number of illegal migrants after controls were increased.
Before now, the police on average detained around 30 illegal migrants
weekly; since police checks went up, 52 foreign nationals (mainly from
Afghanistan and Syria) were stopped. The news was confirmed on Monday by
police spokeswoman Kateřina Rendlová. Almost all of those detained were
caught on trains from Austria, many in the Břeclav area but also in Prague
Last Thursday, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec ordered a tightening of security along train routes and some motorways. The European Union is facing a massive increase in the number of refugees, largely through Italy and Greece. The European Commission has recommended quotas per member state. But the Czech government remains opposed to mandatory quotas, offering to help refugees in their own regions or refugee camps instead.
Czech tennis player Karolína Plišková lost to German Angelique Kerber in the final of the Birmingham Open on Sunday. Plišková lost 7:6, 3:6,6:7 in just over 2 hours and 15 minutes. The Czech survived four set points against her in the first set before taking it to a tie-break and winning the set. Plišková took an early break in the second set but then lost her own serve twice allowing Kerber to tie the match at one set all. Kerber had a chance to serve for the match at 5:4 in the third but Plišková broke back and the match went to a second tie-break. The loss robs the Czech of a chance to enter the women’s top 10 for the first time.
Police found 12 illegal immigrants from Syria, Afghanistan, and Gambia, during a search of a night trains when they stopped at Břeclav, Moravia, on Saturday night. Another Afghan was discovered on a bus from Austria. Among the immigrants was a pregnant woman and two children. Police are trying to find out if they applied for asylum before reaching the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is usually a transit for illegal immigrants. Last week the minister of interior, Milan Chovanec, said that checks on trains and buses would be stepped up during the current wave of immigration into Europe.
A commemoration was held Sunday for the victims of Ležáky, a village which was picked out for retribution after the assassination of leading Nazi Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in May 1942. All 41 adults from the village, men and women, were executed and 11 out of 13 children sent to the gas chambers. Two sisters survived because they were placed with German families. The village, like Lidice, was razed to the ground. Speaker of the lower house, Jan Hamáček said at the commemoration that current Jihadi movements were similar to Nazism in that they used pseudo-religious arguments to justify war and world domination.
Slovak Minister of the Interior Robert Kaliňák said Sunday that around 60 Czechs were detained after violence broke out in Bratislava on Saturday night following a demonstration against immigrants and Islamism. Paving stones were thrown and cars damaged during a series of incidents across the Slovak capital. Slovak and Czech football hooligans are believed to have played a major role in the violence. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had information that 21 Czechs were still detained and another 21 released after being taken into custody by police. Police detained around 160 people after the incidents.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
Study: Demand for new flats in Prague set to keep outstripping supply
“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
‘The fat lady sings’: Prague’s State Opera marks restoration to former glory with gala concert