Masopust celebrations have been held in various parts of Prague. The annual
carnival in which many people dress up in masks and costumes was marked on
Saturday in districts including Letná and Karlín. Next week the Mardi
Gras-like celebrations will take place in Malá Strana, Žižkov and other
parts of the city.
Masopust has traditionally occurred between the Epiphany (January 6) and Ash Wednesday, when the pre-Easter Lenten period begins.
The Czech Republic’s prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, has
said early elections could take place if a second government he plans to
form fails to win the necessary vote of confidence in the Chamber of
Deputies. The ANO chief made the comment in an interview in Saturday’s
edition of the newspaper Právo.
Mr. Babiš says he aims to gain support for a second government by the end of this month. He had previously ruled out snap elections. However, he says his preferred option remains an ANO one-party minority government.
The PM said he would continue speaking to the Communist Party and Freedom and Direct Democracy about possible backing for such a government.
The Czech Football Association have called on the police’s organised
crime unit to investigate Czech third division club Mohelnice over
suspicions of match-fixing involving a betting mafia based in Asia, the
news website iDnes.cz reported.
A representative of the Moravia-based Mohelnice told Sport.cz that they had only heard about the move from the media but would cooperate with any investigation.
Suspicions centre on at least two games involving the club in the first half of this season. A Chinese company named Anping, which has faced similar accusations in Portugal and Ireland, entered the organisation last summer.
Prague police were called out to Prague’s National Theatre on Friday
evening following a suicide threat, the Czech News Agency reported. A woman
had phoned a helpline saying that she intended to kill herself during a
performance of the opera Carmen at the historic venue.
The woman later called again saying she was no longer planning to take her life. The opera was not cancelled but the presence of numerous uniformed police officers drew a great deal of attention from audience members. A police spokesperson described it as an “unusual and complicated situation”.
The Czech ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr will on Saturday make his first
appearance for Kladno since signing for his hometown club on Wednesday,
following his return from the NHL.
Despite knee problems, the 45-year-old will take to the ice in a second-flight clash with Benátky nad Jizerou. The game has been switched from the latter’s stadium to Liberec due to demand for tickets.
Lining up for Benátky nad Jizerou should be another veteran ice hockey star, Petr Nedvěd. Nedvěd, who played in the NHL for 15 seasons, is 46.
The police are investigating as possible slander a claim by a Brno
councillor that President Miloš Zeman had cancer, the newspaper Lidové
noviny reported on Saturday. Svatopluk Bartík of the group Žít Brno
wrote on his Facebook page in November that the head of state was suffering
from the disease and had only a few months to live, arguing that the public
had a right to know. The president’s doctors denied the claim.
Police in Brno have launched a criminal investigation into Mr. Bartík’s claims and will file charges if evidence is found, Lidové noviny said. The Office of the President previously filed a criminal complaint against the local politician, along with a demand for an apology and CZK 5 million in compensation.
The Czech Foreign Ministry is broadening its services to provide assistance
to Czechs visiting the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.
A consular department will be set up at the Czech House in Gangneung where Czech nationals can seek help in the event of unexpected problems such as theft of their documents, sickness or accidents.
The service will be available from February 7th to February 27th. A special helpline (+82 10 7445 6765) will be in operation around the clock.
The Czech Foreign Ministry further advises Czechs traveling to South Korea to register with the ministry’s travel data base DROZD which will facilitate assistance in the event of problems.
The outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has ordered an audit into the
state finances channelled into research programs and the country’s
leading research centres. The prime minister announced the decision
following a meeting of the government’s council for research, development
Mr. Babiš said that subsidies and grants were handed out from 15 different budgetary sources and that some of them overlapped.
The prime minister also wants to check out the financial management of the country’s research centres which received more than 44 billion crowns in recent years.
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