The number of hate crimes registered in the Czech Republic increased to 86 in 2014, the legal organisation In Iustitia, which is helping the crime victims, has reported. In 2011 the organisation registered 57 incidents. Most of the attacks happened in relation to nationality, ethnic origin or religion. Among the most frequent victims of hate attacks were Roma and Muslim men. In its report, In Iustitia also warned against growing Islamophobia in the Czech society.
Czech President Miloš Zeman and Polish President Andrzej Duda presented each other with their countries’ highest state distinctions on Tuesday at Prague Castle for their contribution to the development of Czech-Polish relations. Mr Zeman presented his counterpart with the Order of the White Lion first class, and received the Polish Order of the White Eagle. Mr Duda arrived in Prague on Monday for a two-day official visit. Among the topics he discussed with President Zeman were cooperation between the countries of the Visegrad Four, transport, and the migration crisis. Mr Duda is also scheduled to meet the country’s Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and lay a wreath at the grave of former Czech president Václav Havel.
Czech footballer Tomáš Rosický’s recovery from a recent muscle injury has been going better than initially expected, national team coach Pavel Vrba confirmed in Prague on Tuesday, discussing the line-up for upcoming friendlies against Scotland and Sweden. According to Vrba, Rosický (who plays for London football club Arsenal) has gotten off the exercise bike and begun running again. Vrba has been in regular contact with the player, he made clear; he expressed the hope that Rosický (who is national team captain) could still make a full recovery in time for Euro 2016 in France.
The government coalition is set to meet on Wednesday to agree on joint action regarding Finance Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš and his suspect drawing of EU funds for his Stork’s Nest farm and conference centre, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told the daily Blesk on Tuesday. The Prime Minister said it was logical to demand an explanation on Mr Babiš regarding the matter. The Czech authorities have allegedly found discrepancies in the drawing of funds for the Stork’s Nest farm of finance minister Andrej Babiš and his giant agro-chemical group Agrofert, with fines of six million crowns at one stage imposed. Mr Babiš said on Tuesday that he would provide an explanation at an extraordinary session of Parliament called by the opposition for next Wednesday.
The majority of Czech children don’t get enough physical activity and they spend too much time in front of computers or the television, according to an international survey carried out by the World Health Organisation. Some 80 percent of Czech children are threatened by excess bodyweight and obesity, Alena Štefková of the Czech branch of World Health Organisation said at a press conference in Olomouc on Tuesday. The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey was carried out in 42 countries in the world. It also suggests that Czech kids are above-average consumers of alcohol and marihuana in comparison to their peers from other countries.
The Czech Republic’s state debt last year increased by 9.3 billion crowns to 1.673 trillion crowns, the Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday, confirming the data released in February this year. The total debt breaks down into every Czech owing around 159,000 crowns each. Czech domestic debt rose by nearly 26 billion crowns to 1.389.4 trillion crowns while the country’s foreign debt dropped by 16.4 billion to over 283.6 billion crowns.
Russia has played a role in the ongoing migration crisis, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has maintained in an interview for financial daily Hospodářské noviny. After a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday, Mr Zaorálek said the Russians had been active in “supplying” migrants to the EU. With Europe trying to shut down corridors into the 28-member bloc, the foreign minister said migrants would look for new entry routes; the foreign minister suggested that migrants could travel through Russia and on to Scandinavia. Mr Zaorálek cited information that Russians were actively transporting migrants across their territory while the country itself largely refused them asylum.
Polish President Andrzej Duda arrived in Prague on Monday for an official two-day visit, during which he will meet with his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman, the country’s Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, and the heads of both houses of Parliament. Monday evening will see a special reception at the Polish Embassy in Prague; the official segment of the president’s visit begins at Prague Castle on Tuesday morning. Topics to be discussed by the heads of state include cooperation between the countries of the Visegrad Four, and the migration crisis, President Zeman's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček confirmed.
The documentary A Syrian Love Story by filmmaker Sean McAllister has been awarded the top prize at the One World festival of Human Rights documentaries. The film tells the story of a Syrian couple who met when jailed by the Assad regime, later forced to flee the country with their children. The award for best direction went to Zhao Liang for the film Behemoth, set in Chinese mines. The news was confirmed by the festival’s Tereza Hronová.
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