Czech police breached human rights during the recent visit of the Chinese president in Prague, opposition right-wing deputies said on Thursday. TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats have called an extraordinary meeting of the lower house to debate the force’s handling of Xi Jinping’s visit. The police were criticised for several incidents, including the removal of Tibetan flags and preventing a demonstration by human rights activists on Hradčanské náměstí which had been approved by the City Hall. The deputies suggested that security measures taken by the police were politically-influenced.
The Czech Republic will send some four million crowns in extraordinary humanitarian aid to Syria, deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa said on Thursday after meeting with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad. Medical equipment and material should reach even the hard to access conflict zones. The aid should be sent in two deliveries in May and June and distributed in Syria by the Red Crescent Movement. According to Tlapa, the Czech Republic could send up to 200 million crowns in aid to Syria over the next four years, if the programme is approved by the government.
Moscow will not renew accreditation to two Czech journalists in Russia in retaliation against a similar move when Prague denied accreditation to two Russian journalists in the Czech Republic. The decision was announced on Thursday by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, the news agency RIA Novosti informed on its website. There are currently three Czech journalists accredited in Moscow; Miroslav Karas of Czech Television, Martin Dorazín of Czech Radio and Jiří Just of the news website Aktuálně.cz. It is not yet clear which of them will be denied accreditation.
President Miloš Zeman has changed the dates of regional and Senate elections later this year to October 7 and 8, the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček announced on his Twitter account on Thursday. The head of state officially declared on Wednesday that the elections to regional assemblies and one third of Senate seats will take place on October 14 and 15, but it turned out that the last possible date for the elections according to the law is October 7 and 8.
A court in Hradec Králové has ruled that the Renaissance-era castle in Opočno in East Bohemia belongs to the state. The court denied an appeal by Countess Kristina Colloredo-Mansfeld, a descendant of the original owners, confirming the verdict issued by a court in Rychnov nad Kněžnou last year. Opočno Castle was first seized by the Nazis and then nationalised by the Communists after the war. A legal battle over the ownership of the castle, a popular tourist attraction, has been going on since 1991.
The Czech Republic ranks 81 out of 145 states on the gender gap index, put together by the World Economic Forum. According to the report, Czech women only have equal chances in access to education. Of the four pillars used for assessment, the Czech Republic has ranked first for access to education and 42nd for health and survival but only 83rd for political engagement and 94th for economic participation. Over the last ten years, the Czech Republic has only approved its assessment by 1.6 points. The country with the narrowest gender gap is Iceland, followed by Scandinavian countries and Ireland.
Morning temperatures dropped below zero on Thursday morning is several parts of the Czech Republic. The lowest temperature, minus ten degrees Celsius, was recorder at the measuring station Kvilda-Perla in the Šumava mountains, in the south-west of the country. Freezing temperatures were also recorded in Jizerské hory. According to meteorologists, the coming days should see similar weather. Saturday could also bring snow to the mountain regions of the country.
Czech police have detained 26 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, near the town of Domažlice, Minister of Interior Milan Chovanec announced on Thursday. The refugees, of which 11 were children, were found in a van with a Bulgarian license plate. Police are now conducting a search for the driver and his companion, who managed to escape. Some 3,500 people have been detained by the police since last June, when tougher measures were introduced due to the migration crisis. According to the data of the Interior Ministry, there are currently 95 people in the country’s detention centres.
Florida Panthers’ forward Jaromír Jágr earned his 200th career playoff
point on Wednesday as the Panthers edged the New York Islanders 2:1. Their
first-round series in the Stanley Cup playoffs is now tied at two apiece.
On the play in the second period, a resilient Jágr took several whacks at
the puck in front of Islanders goalie Thomas Greisse, before going around
the net and feeding Teddy Purcell who put it away for the opening goal. The
Isles later tied but the Panthers got the go-ahead in the third and held on
for the win. The legendary Jágr now ranks fifth all-time in NHL postseason
In other playoff action, goalie Michal Neuwirth started for the Philadelphia Flyers and stopped 31 shots on the night to help his team avoid a series sweep. Philly won 2:1 against the Washington Capitals, keeping hopes of advancing to the next round alive.
The 1963 science fiction movie Ikarie XB 1 has become the first Czechoslovak film to be selected for the Classics section at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival next month. The head of the National Film Archive, Michal Bregant, said Ikarie XB 1 had been chosen not only because it was an extraordinary example of the genre and an inspiration to 2001: A Space Odyssey but also because of the high quality of its digital restoration. Jindřich Polák’s black and white picture – which is also known as Voyage to the End of the Universe in English – will get a Czech cinema release after Cannes.
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
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’