The Czech upper house, the Senate, has abolished a wide range of exemptions from what is seen as a key anti-corruption proposal. Many backers of the proposal, which forces state and other companies to declare contracts they have signed, said the measure would be almost meaningless with the wide raft of exemptions proposed in the previous version agreed by the lower house. Senators on Wednesday voted that exemptions should only apply to the state brewery company, Budějovický Budvar, and some healthcare centres. That version, which also calls on agreements of the parliament, president’s office, and Constitutional Court amongst others to be made public, will now return to the lower house.
The number of passengers passing through Prague’s Václav Havel Airport increased by around 19 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, the airport announced in a press release on Thursday. Among the main factors behind the increase are new routes introduced this year as well as increased capacity on the existing lines. In total, the airport handled 2.7 passengers in the quarter between January and March of 2017.
Over 50 musicians from different genres are set to perform in Prague’s metro stations on Thursday. The sixth edition of the event, organised by the Prague Public Transport Company in cooperation with the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory, will take place at six metro stations, including the Muzeum and Můstek stations in the city centre. The performances last all day until 9 pm in the evening.
The latest album of Martinů’s compositions by one of the Czech Republic’s leading chamber ensembles, the Smetana Trio, has won a prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award. The album, featuring the complete piano trios by Bohuslav Martinů, was already been chosen as the magazine’s Disc of the Month in June 2016. The ensemble’s pianist Jitka Čechová received the prize on Wednesday evening at London’s King’s Place. The Smetana Trio already received the Music Magazine Award in 2007 for their recording of Dvořák trios.
In ice hockey, Brno have clinched the Czech top league Extraliga title. They beat last year’s champions, Liberec, 5:2 to take their lead in the series to 4:0. In the run up to the finals, Kometa Brno only lost two games, both in the semi-finals against Hradec Králové. The title is the first for Brno in 51 years. The last was in 1966 when the club, which has gone through a series of name changes, won a series of 11 league titles in 12 seasons.
Fresh snow and strong winds are complicating traffic in many parts of the Czech Republic. Several roads, especially in north Moravia, had to be closed to traffic due to snow drifts. The situation is worst in the region of Bruntál, which reported up to one metre of fresh snow. A snow alert issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute remains in place until Thursday afternoon.
Friday will be mostly sunny with daytime temperatures ranging between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius. Rain showers are expected towards the evening
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