Some two hundred people joined an anti-migrant protest at Vyšehrad in Prague organized by the non-Parliamentary National Democracy party. According to the internet news site idnes.cz protesters called for all migrants to be driven out of the country and for the Czech Republic to leave the EU. According to idnes there was a skirmish with several opponents of the protest which was cut short by the police. The protesters then marched to the headquarters of Czech public television which they accuse of biased and manipulative reporting.
President Miloš Zeman has met with the army chief-of-staff Josef Bečvář to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis and the possibility of using the army to secure the country’s borders against the growing number of illegal migrants. The army chief-of staff assured the president that the military was ready to react flexibly to the needs of the country should the government request such assistance. He said the army was prepared to deploy up to 2,500 men in the border areas. Earlier this week President Zeman and the heads of both houses of Parliament, Jan Hamáček and Milan Štěch, stressed the need for the EU to strengthen its external borders. They agreed that if that is not done in the foreseeable future then the Czech Republic should strengthen its own borders against the growing influx of illegal migrants.
The fifth Prague Pride festival of LGBT culture culminated with a parade through the city centre on Saturday. The 10,000-strong parade, led by Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová and a number of Czech celebrities, set off from Wenceslas Square, passed across Čechův bridge and ended at Letná. This year’s LGBT festival, held under the motto “We all have a rainbow inside us” offered over 120 events, including debates, film screenings and exhibitions. Some 160 foreign visitors took part, including Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst and the London Gay Men’s Chorus.
Clean-up work is underway at the Unipetrol chemical plant near Litvínov which was ravaged by a massive fire on Thursday. It took fire crews 48 hours to put out the blaze and cool the facility. Experts have repeatedly been taking ground samples and testing the air for pollutants. So far no toxic substances have been uncovered, confirming Unipetrol’s earlier claim that no toxic substances were released into the environment during the explosion that set off the blaze. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
The Prague Pride festival has divided the Christian Democratic Party of the Czech ruling coalition, with some members slamming Culture Minister Daniel Herman for supporting the LGBT festival. However a march in support of the “traditional family” model organized by Christian Democrat opponents of Prague Pride attracted only a handful off supporters. Jan Wolf, a Christian Democrat and Prague councillor said he was disappointed by the low turnout. Jan Gregor, deputy chair of the Young Christian Democrats called the Prague Pride parade “obscene”.
Traffic police have reported an exceptionally high number of deaths on Czech roads in the past three days. Fifteen people are reported to have been killed in road accidents since Thursday. The police put the increase down to the exceptionally hot weather which they say may have a similar effect on drivers as alcohol. Traffic police have issued repeated warnings for drivers to exercise greater caution.
The Assay Office has warned the public against shopping for gold, silver and precious stones on e-shops that are not registered with the office. It says moreover that apart from possible financial losses there is a possible health risk, since jewelry from Asia has been found to contain toxic metals such as cadmium. The Assay Office said that in 2014 it had issued 300 fines to the tune of 2.5 million crowns.
A Czech court has ordered a 51-year-old man, suspected of having broken into more than 80 graves in northern Bohemia, to be remanded in custody awaiting trial. The suspect, a previous offender for a similar offence, broke into graves and coffins with the aim of stealing gold fillings, prying them from the skeletal remains of their owners. It is unknown how much gold he accumulated. He is believed to have conducted the crimes over roughly three-quarters of a year. The suspect purposely chose more expensive or richly-decorated graves to open in the hopes of finding gold; if found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.
More than 4,500 participants from eight nations, including the Czech Republic, are taking part in the military exercise Allied Spirit II at Hohenfels military training area in neighbouring Germany. For the first time in a NATO combined exercise, sources revealed, the Czech Army’s 7th Mechanized Brigade, under Colonel Josef Kopecký, is commanding the brigade headquarters. The script for the exercise, Colonel Josef Kopecký said, presented a modern military conflict, including hybrid elements, where an imagined European state was invaded by a regular army. The Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces General Josef Bečvář has expressed satisfaction with the Czech troops so far. Allied Spirit II began on August 4 and will continue until the 24th.
Police monitoring the situation on Czech roads on Friday registered an increase of traffic on the D1 highway in the direction of Brno and the D2 from Bratislava and a major road to Vienna generated by visitors travelling to Brno to see the Czech Grand Prix in motorcycling. Friday morning, despite the greater congestion on roads, there were no major complications, the Czech News Agency said. The start of the weekend in recent weeks has seen heavy traffic congestion from Prague not only on the D1 but also on other principal routes.
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