The number of drug overdoses has been rising steadily along with the use of
opioids, according to the latest annual report by the National Monitoring
Centre for Drugs and Addiction. Last year, 42 people died from drug
overdoses, up from 32 the year before, it says.
Meanwhile, large-scale production of a form of crystal meth known locally as pervitin has moved from the Czech Republic to Poland, but also to Germany and the Netherlands, according to the annual drug report.
The centre also notes a rise in addiction to opioids prescribed for relieving chronic pain. It estimates there are now 35,000 pervitin addicts and 13,000 people addicted to opioids, or about 1,000 more addicts in total.
A Charles University vice-rector is being investigated for plagiarism
following a complaint by several graduate students, the investigative
weekly Respekt reports.
The students charge that Prof. Martin Kovář, who heads the Institute of World History at the university’s philosophical faculty, drew heavily on the work of the late British historian Barry Coward without proper citation.
Specifically, they say that Kovář’s book on the history of Stuart England copies the thematic structure of Coward’s book on the subject, uses passages from it and cites many of the same original sources yet is passed off as stemming from original research.
The doctoral students point to similar problems in two other books by Kovář, who rejects the charges.
This year two government ministers were forced to resign over accusations of plagiarism: Taťána Malá (ANO), who briefly served as Minister of Justice, and Petr Krčál (Social Democrats), who served as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
Recently elected Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera of the opposition
centre-right Civic Democrats has expressed his support for President Miloš
Zeman’s plan to move the Czech embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Mr Kubera’s comments came on Thursday evening following his first meeting with the Czech head of state, held at Prague Castle. He told reporters they had agreed to continue to discuss foreign policy issues together and to continue to promote economic diplomacy.
But the Senate chairman said economic diplomacy should not be limited to China and Russia, countries which President Zeman supports. He said they agreed on increasing the country’s military spending in line with NATO targets.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, says an annual report by the Czech
Republic’s counterintelligence service, BIS, does not contain any
evidence on concrete Russian or Chinese spies in the country. Speaking on
TV Barrandov on Thursday evening, Mr. Zeman described the BIS report as
The counterintelligence service’s study for 2017 said Russian and Chinese spies were spreading disinformation with a view to influnecing public opinion and engaging in economic espionage. It also highlighted the relatively high number of staff at Prague’s Russian Embassy.
The president also said BIS had failed to uncover any Islamic terrorists on Czech territory even though the police’s national organised crime unit and others had asserted their existence.
The Czech Republic have reached the semi-finals of the Floorball World
Championships after easily overcoming Denmark 10:1. The turnout for
Thursday night’s quarter-final at Prague’s O2 Arena was 5,073 and
brought the overall attendance for the current edition of the sport’s
World Championships to a new record high of almost 107,000 with more games
The Czechs will face either Germany or Finland in a semi-final on Saturday, with either of those countries regarded as favourites to defeat the hosts.
The European Parliament will debate possible conflict of interest on the
part of the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, next Wednesday. The motion
was submitted by the European Greens with the support of the European
MEPs are expected to hear the positions of the European Commission and the Council of the EU on the matter. However, they will not pass a resolution on it.
A leaked European Commission report found that the Czech PM was in conflict of interest over moneys handed out to his Agrofert conglomerate.
Critics say that although Mr. Babiš placed Agrofert in a trust fund, he remains the beneficial owner, in breach of Czech and EU law. He denies any wrongdoing.
The minister for regional development, ANO appointee Klára Dostálová, is
a key suspect in a police investigation into the state agency CzechTourism,
Czech Television reported. It said a court order for a search of Ms.
Dostálová’s home indicates that she is suspected of handing out
contracts without following due procedure while she was a deputy regional
Ms. Dostálová denies any wrongdoing and has received the backing of ANO chief Andrej Babiš. Opposition politicians have called for her to resign.
Last month police raided the Ministry of Regional Development, CzechTourism and other venues in connection with the case.
The two coalition parties are in favour of free lunches at elementary
schools and kindergartens but have different conceptions of which children
should receive them, Právo reported on Thursday. Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš of ANO wants to bring in free lunches for all elementary school
pupils and final-year kindergarteners. However, the Social Democrats’
former education minister Kateřina Valachová has put forward a bill
promising to feed all kindergarten children and elementary school first
Právo said that whichever version is adopted free lunches look set to come in the year after next. Critics say taxpayers will foot the bill in any case and that it is a populist gesture.
A group of students has criticised that fact that Jiří Ovčáček, the
spokesperson of President Miloš Zeman, was invited to give a lecture at a
university. The head of a faculty at Prague’s University of Economics
invited Mr. Ovčáček to speak about fake news and introduced him as
“the most educated” presidential spokesperson ever.
However, the student Facebook group Club of Young Political Scientists said that inviting Mr. Ovčáček to discuss fake news was deliberate provocation. He frequently speaks to the pro-Russian Parlamentní listy website, which has long been monitored by the Ministry of the Interior, the students said.
Lidice – the tragic fate of a village that became a powerful symbol
Embattled Czech PM launches counter-offensive to win over public in Agrofert dispute
“Let’s not hide the good places – let’s turn the bad places into good ones”: The Honest Guide guys discuss their new book and lots more
Preservationists slam Jiřičná design for new Prague high rise development
PwC report: Prague increasingly attractive for real estate investors