Minister of the Interior Milan Chovanec said on Sunday that he will introduce a backbencher’s bill to change existing laws so that legal gun owners can use their weapon if they are involved in a terrorist attack or other security situation. The minister said he had discussed the matter with the prime minister and other ministers and because of the charged legislative timetable had decided on this option to save time. He added in a tv debate that he wanted to table the proposal during this parliamentary session ahead of lower house elections due in October. Minister Chovanec says the law would be useful in such cases as the lorry attacks in Nice and Berlin where armed police might not be available. The proposal has been dismissed by some politicians as paving the way for a Wild West.
Laser attacks on aircraft pilots or crew occurred 35 times last year in the Czech Republic, half of the attacks occurred at the capital’s main airport, Václav Havel. The total is the highest since 2013. The attacks on aircraft or helicopters, using powerful lasers which can blind pilots temporarily, are regarded as a serious safety hazard and can be punished with prison. One Czech pilot of emergency rescue helicopters told Czech Radio he had experienced attacks three times and was able to recover full vision after about 30 seconds. Laser attacks started in the Czech Republic in 2009 and peaked a year later with 55 attacks in 2010.
In tennis, Czech women’s doubles pairing Lucie Hradecká and Kateřina Siniaková lost in the final of the Taipei tournament. The went down 4:6, 2:6 against local favourites Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan. The sisters were the number one seeds. The Czech pairing, who were seeded second, still have to win their first doubles title together.
In tennis, the Czech team finally lost in the Davis Cup to Australia 1:4. Jiří Vesely picked up the sole point for the visitors with a 3:6, 7:5, 6:3 win against doubles specialist Sam Groth. In the last match Jan Šátral lost 6:7, 2:6 against Jordan Thompson. The tie had already been decided after the doubles when the Czechs went 3:0 down. They will now face play-offs against other first round losers to remain in the top 16 World Group.
An association representing around 25 Segway operators in Prague says that it has launched legal proceedings challenging a ban on their use in the centre of Prague. The ban, covering most of Prague’s historic centre, was approved in July last year and backed up with a fine of 2000 crowns if broken. The law did not come into effect until December when around 600 signs drawing attention to the ban were erected around the city.
A team of researchers have after two years of efforts managed to extract DNA from the hair of 19th Czech writer Božena Němcová. The hair has been stored at the Česká Skalice museum dedicated to the author and compared with hair from her son, Hynek, which had also been kept there. The first step now opens the way to research about Němcová’s ancestry. She is credited as one of the founders of modern Czech literature and died in Prague in 1862. DNA samples from her hair can now be compared with the official family tree and other options. According to some versions she was born in Vienna and had noble origins.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech saw three goals go past him in the 3:1 away defeat against Chelsea. Čech was largely help responsible for a soft third goal against the visitors by his old club. Arsenal pulled back a goal in the last seconds. The match had been billed as a must win for Arsenal to get their league title chances back on track. Chelsea now head the league by 12 points with Tottenham still to play.
Czech Christian Democrats have decided to push ahead with a coalition with the STAN party of mayors and independents looking ahead to upcoming parliamentary elections. The move was cleared after delegates from across the country met in Brno to discuss partnership and even integration possibilities with other centre parties. Some party leaders have voiced concern about losing their identity. The discussions were focused on the mayors and independents party, STAN. It’s leadership earlier in the week approved the leadership to launch talks with the Christian Democrats with a view to the upcoming parliamentary elections due in October. STAN leader Petr Gazdik attended the Brno meeting and said that an integrated centre party could be a viable alternative to the biggest Czech political parties. STAN was previously in partnership with the centre-right TOP 09 party. The Christian Democrats are the junior coalition government party. They won just short of 7 percent support and 14 seats in the previous lower house elections after making a comeback after earlier being eliminated from the lower house in the 2010 elections.
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