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21-07-2019

Czech PM backs creation of National Security Advisor position

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has backed the idea of creating a National Security Advisor position, put forward by the intelligence services.

They argue the work of all security forces, including the police, should be coordinated at the cabinet level, Czech Television reports.

A National Security Advisor should ensure, for example, closer cooperation between the Police and the counter intelligence service (BIS) to detect and thwart criminal and security threats.

BIS director Michal Koudelka, and the heads of the military and civilian intelligence branches, Jan Beroun and Marek Šimandl, have all publicly back the idea.

Michálek: Pirates ‘not interested’ in joining proposed liberal pre-election bloc

Pirate Party caucus chairman Jakub Michálek has said the opposition party sees no reason to join a pre-election bloc proposed by Party of Mayors and Independents (STAN) chairman Vít Rakušan.

Michálek told the ČTK news agency the Pirates have gained steadily in the polls since forming and want to go their own way, rather than enter some grand coalition ahead of the next parliamentary elections.

STAN and the Civic Democrats (ODS) are exploring forming a liberal bloc in hopes of defeating the ruling ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

Michálek said that doing so would actually please Babiš, as it feeds into his narrative of a general conspiracy to force him from office.

ÚSTR unionists: Senate should reject ex-interior minister’s council candidacy

Union leaders at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) have called on Senators to reject the election of former interior minister František Bublan to the institute’s council.

ÚSTR's Miroslav Vodrážka and Petr Blažek argue that the former minister tried to dissolve the institute and therefore is not suited to join it. Bublan has denied that assertion.

Senators have the authority to appoint ÚSTR’s seven council members. Four candidates are proposed by civic initiatives, two by the Lower House of Parliament and one by the Czech President.

MPs have proposed Bublan and the historian Eduard Stehlík. The Senate is due to choose the councilors this coming week.

Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition in Prague for first time

The Operalia World Opera Competition, founded by Plácido Domingo to discover and honor the best young opera singers of today, is being held in Prague for the first time.

The current edition of Operalia runs from July 21 through July 26 at the Czech National Theater and is open to the public.

Among the 40 competitors is Czech soprano Zdislava Bočková. Past winners include José Cura, Rolando Villazón, Olga Pereťatko and Sonya Yoncheva.

Czech Scouts to highlight danger of totalitarianism at World Jamboree

Some 500 Czech Scouts and Guides are heading to the United States for the movement’s World Jamboree, which runs from July 22 to August 2.

They will rally under the motto "Unbreakable". The aim is to both highlight the suppression of the Czech movement under totalitarianism – by the Nazis and later by the Communists – and to celebrate its revival 30 years ago in their newly democratic country.

Today there are some 65,000 Scouts and Guides in the Czech Republic.

Prague Lions win American football Czech championship for 5th time

The Prague Lions have won the Czech championships in American football for a fifth time, defeating the Ostrava Steelers 29-23 at home on Saturday evening at the 26th Czech Bowl.

The Lions’ win ended the six-year reign of the Prague Black Panthers, who compete as members of the Austrian Football League (AFL).

Weather outlook

Monday should be partly to mostly cloudy throughout the country. Average daytime highs should range from 24 to 30 degrees Celsius, with the Liberec region experiencing the coolest weather and the Pilsen region the hottest.

21-07-2019