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21-10-2018

Pirates and ANO leaders clash over trip to Russia by latter’s Vondráček

Czech Pirate Party leader Ivan Bartoš and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO have clashed over a recent trip to Russia by ANO’s lower house speaker, Radek Vondráček. Speaking on a Czech Television discussion show on Sunday, Mr. Bartoš said information was lacking about the trip as no Czech journalists had been invited to take part.

For his part, Mr. Babiš said his party colleague had gained respect on the trip to Russia, where he had brought up the poisoning of the Skripals. Mr. Bartoš said speaking about Novichok was insufficient; only a Russian apology for its use would amount to genuine partnership, he said.

While in Moscow Mr. Vondráček met two local politicians who are on EU and US sanctions lists. The lower house speaker headed the first official visit to Russia by Czech MPs in a decade.

Host of events planned for next weekend’s centenary celebrations

Celebrations of the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia are due to culminate next weekend. Prague will see concerts, exhibitions, a military display, a parade and fireworks, while events are also planned for elsewhere in the country. The actual anniversary falls on Sunday.

The coordinator of celebrations in the capital, Robin Čumpelík, told Czech Television that there will zones with events taking place on both days at Prague’s Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Náměstí Republiky, Dejvice and Letná.

Video mapping will be projected onto the National Museum, which is being ceremonially reopened on Saturday after major renovations, and the National Theatre.

Number of teaching assistants up but more needed, say principals

The number of teaching assistants working with special needs pupils in the Czech schools system has doubled in the last three years, Czech Television reported on Sunday. However, principals say there are still not enough assistants to meet requirements.

The Ministry of Education intends to refine the conditions for appointing assistants. An amendment to a government edict on inclusion in education is now undergoing a comments procedure. Inclusive education was introduced in 2016.

Most teaching assistants receive only around CZK 14,000 a month, which makes it hard for schools to make hires, Czech Television reported.

Metro A line services interrupted due to water

Services were temporarily interrupted on the A (green) line of the Prague Metro system on Sunday morning after water seeped into the Bořislavka station. The section of the line between the stations Náměstí Míru and Petřiny was closed in both directions.

A spokesperson for the city’s transport authority said heavy equipment beneath the tunnel at Bořislavka had damaged it and caused the seepage.

Communists reject idea of special congress after poor electoral showing

The central committee of the Communist Party have refused to discuss holding an extraordinary congress in the wake of poor elections results, chairman Vojtěch Filip told reporters after a meeting on Saturday. The Communists’ next congress is due in spring 2020. The party’s leaders also expressed fundamental disagreement with a section of the party dubbed Restart that have criticised the present leadership.

Mr. Filip has said he is disappointed by the Communists’ election results but described calls for him to resign as irrelevant. He has been chairman since 2005.

Bear kills sheep in Zlín region

A bear known to have been in the Zlín region in Moravia since September killed two sheep in the Kroměříž area on Friday night, a representative of the Olomouc branch of Friends of the Earth told the Czech News Agency. The animal also destroyed a beehive near Kroměříž in recent days.

Rangers have placed a trap for the bear that includes a bag of apples covered in honey. Though the location has not been revealed, there are signs warning people of the trap.

Weather forecast

It should be rainy with some bright spells in the Czech Republic on Monday, with temperatures of up to 13 degrees. Daytime highs are due to hover around 10 degrees Celsius through the remainder of the week.

21-10-2018