The government’s council for human rights has criticized the lack of a support network for socially challenged families, citing this as the main reason why the Czech Republic has proved unable to reduce the high number of children who are institutionalized each year. In 2016 the country had 6,500 children in institutional care. Half of them had behavioural problems, learning disabilities or speech defects that indicated long-term neglect. Many of them improved significantly after being put in foster families. The council says many children could be spared of the trauma of being taken away from their parents if their parents received timely and professional help in dealing with their problems.
In its annual human rights report for 2016 the US State Department says the Czech Republic needs to tackle discrimination against Romanies, stigmatization of HIV sufferers and corruption. It also points to the problem of overcrowded prisons and the long period of detention of migrants and asylum seekers. The report criticizes the lack of Romany representation in Parliament and public life, but concedes that elections in the Czech Republic are free and fair.
Central Europe could lose its representative at the head of the European Council as a result of Poland’s unwillingness to support Donald Tusk's bid for a second term as President of the European Council, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek told journalists in Brussels on Monday. Mr. Zaorálek said this would be a great pity since Donald Tusk has a good understanding of the problems and interests of the region. A vote on whether he should continue in office is due to take place on Thursday. The governing Law and Justice party in Poland has officially said the country will not support Donald Tusk for a second term, accusing him of acting against Polish interests, as well as supporting the Polish opposition. Tusk’s 30-month term as the President of the European Council is due to end on May 31.
Many Czech ski hills are reporting continuing good conditions despite recent milder weather, although the season at some resorts in slowly winding down. A number of sites in Moravia, for example, reported a drop in visitors at the weekend and conditions worsened on some cross-country trails. But Skiareál Špindlerův Mlýn in the Krkonoše Mountains, for example, said it had a strong showing of some 6,000 visitors at the weekend. The ski hill said there was a metre of snow. The Czech News Agency reported that Tanvaldský špičák in the Jizera Mountains was also doing well, saying that the ski hill had seen some 1,800 visitors over the weekend. This season is expected to surpass previous ones which had been considerably milder and seen less snowfall.
A rescue team was able to free a speleologist trapped in the Nová Drátenická cave in Moravský kras (Moravian Karst) on Sunday. The man’s legs were pinned in an apparent cave-in; a spokesman for the fire brigade confirmed his rescue as complex, as the man was located several hundred metres away from the cave opening. Once freed, the person was taken by helicopter to Brno’s Teaching Hospital. The injuries to his legs were described as serious.
Three children between the ages of 12 and 14 face Could face the charge of endangering public safety by piling rocks on a section of railway track in the region of Olomouc; these were hit by a fast-speed train on Saturday afternoon, traveling at 160 km/h. Sections of the track and all 24 wheels of the train were damaged. The financial cost has not yet been revealed.
Twenty-two of 30 measuring stations, operating for a period of 30 years and longer, registered unusually warm temperatures for Saturday, March 4, either matching of surpassing previous highs. Saturday saw temperatures on average ranging between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius; the highest was 20.4 degrees in the Znojmo area.
Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka has said the Christian Democrats will not support planned third and fourth waves of the EET or electronic cash registers system introduced last December to increase tax revenues and clamp down on the grey economy. Speaking on a Sunday TV debate programme, Minister Jurečka said his party was against the next waves and would not support them after the election later this year. Questioned over the matter, he also said he would not serve as minister in any government that did. The third and fourth waves are to affect craftspeople and food producers such as farmers' markets. Fellow guest on the programme former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek charged that if the Christian Democrats, the junior party in government, had voted against the EET in the first place, no such step would be necessary. The electronic cash registers system is the brainchild of current finance minister Andrej Babiš, the head of the ANO party.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech and football club Arsenal slipped to fifth spot in the Premier League on Saturday, losing decisively against Liverpool which went third. Liverpool got two unanswered goals in the first half; Danny Welbeck put the Gunners within one in the second before Liverpool added a third goal. The Mirror reported that shoddy defense and not Čech were to blame for the first half goals.
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