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15-08-2017

PM quizzed about police leaks

A parliamentary commission investigating the leaking of police information quizzed prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka about what steps the government has taken to deal with the problem and how the Security Information Service (BIS), the state security service, has been used. Olomouc chief prosecutor Ivo Ištvan has also been cleared to testify as well as Jakub Frydrych, the head of the police anti-drugs unit. The commission was called to investigate following the apparent leak of internal police information in taped conversations between a journalist and ANO leader Andrej Babiš. Sobotka said police and prosecutors should take the main responsibility for safeguarding information. He added that specific measures recommended by the commission will have to be taken by the next government.

Lukáš Krpálek could be sidelined from judo world championships due to injury

The sole Czech Olympic gold winner in the Rio games, judo competitor Lukáš Krpálek, is likely to miss the judo world championships in Budapest in just over two weeks. Krpálek has strained a tendon in his knee and is now doubtful for the competition. The championships take place between August 28 and September 3. Krpálek still holds out an outside hope he might be able to take part.

Bohuslav Sobotka to discuss public sector wage rises with union leader

Prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka will discuss with the head of the country’s grouping of trades, Josef Středula, unions how to raise public sector wages. The government in June agreed to target some raises already in November with wages for doctors and sisters to be increased in January. Discussions are still continuing about the increases that can be offered with a range between eight and 13 percent. The Social Democrats are pushing to use public sector wage increases and hikes in the minimum wage to push Czech wages higher so that they start to catch up with those in Western Europe.

Petition calls on Czech government to take refugees

A petition has been launched to encourage the Czech government to take more refugees. The petition says the country could easily take 1,500 refugees, primarily Syrian women and children. The petition points out that Czechs in the past took refugees, from White Russians in the 1920s to Namibian children in the more recent past, without any problems. Czechs should ignore the suffering of people living under dictatorships, it adds. So far, the Czech Republic has accepted 12 refugees and is facing European Commission disciplinary procedures for failing to live up to its pledge to take its quota of refugees now in Italy and Greece.

Czech Republic one of 17 countries joining new fb feature

The Czech Republic is one of 17 countries joining a new feature on Facebook called Marketplace, available this month. The service is meant to rival online auction sites by allowing the broader public to take part - not just friends or friends of friends on the social network. Buyers will be able to select the radius they want to shop in and the app will present items to users that Facebook algorithms guess they may be interested in.

Czech Medical Chamber highlights hospital reaction to staff shortages

The Czech Medical Chamber has warned that many regional hospitals are taking exceptional steps to cut services due to a combination of staff holidays and shortages of sisters and doctors. The chamber says around 500 sisters are lacking across the country with a shortage of doctors mainly in the Ústí and Plzeň regions. Beds have been closed in some hospitals and the hours of some services cut to a minimum, it added. The Ministry of Health reacted by saying there is no threat at the moment to patient safety. Sisters and doctors wages are due to go up in January but some locals have a persistent problem attracting doctors and sisters even after offering bonuses for working at some hospitals.

Segway ban extended out of centre of Prague

The city of Prague decided Tuesday to extend a ban on Segway vehicles to the Prague two district and parts of Prague 10. The earlier ban introduced in July just covered the historic centre of the city and adjoining areas. The Segways were banned because of complaints that they used pavements and were a hazard to pedestrians and normal traffic in the crowded city centre. Segway operators have tried to overturn the ban without success.

Church seeks return of historic 17th century garden

The Olomouc bishopric has lodged an appeal for the famous flower garden at the Kroměříz chateaux to be returned to the church. The garden, created in the 17th century and regarded as being almost unique in Europe, was not given back by the state to the church with the rest of the chateaux. The church argues that the whole complex should be seen a whole and be returned.

Weather

It’s likely to be overcast with rain in the centre of the country on Wednesday with sunny intervals more likely in the far west and east. Top temperatures will range between 22 and 30 degrees Celsius.

15-08-2017