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27-08-2019

Lubomír Zaorálek appointed arts minister

Lubomír Zaorálek has been named Czech minister of culture. His appointment brings to an end a political crisis surrounding the post that arose when President Miloš Zeman rejected the Social Democrats’ previous nominee for the post.

Mr. Zeman had also initially refused to accept the resignation of the previous arts minister, Antonín Staněk.

Mr. Zaorálek has said that his priorities will include dealing with leadership positions at key public institutions where his predecessor made changes.

The new minister is a veteran figure in the Social Democratic Party and headed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2014 to 2017.

Brno doctors deliver baby of woman in state of brain death for months

Doctors at University Hospital Brno have delivered the baby of a woman who was in a state of brain death for several months, after maintaining her vital functions. The birth took place by caesarean section in the middle of August and the baby girl, who weighed 2.1 kilogrammes, has been in her father’s care since Monday.

The mother suffered the complete loss of cerebral function due to a vascular malfunction that caused bleeding on the brain.

A hospital spokesperson said that the record length of time that the mother was kept alive artificially made the case unique.

Poll: ANO would win elections on 29.5 percent

The ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would have won elections earlier this month with 29.5 percent, suggests a freshly released poll by the Median agency. That is an increase in the party’s backing compared to a survey by the same organisation in July. The Pirate Party on 14.5 percent and the Civic Democrats on 13.5 percent also did better than in the previous Median monthly poll.

Some 8.5 percent of respondents said they would cast their ballots for Freedom and Direct Democracy, 8 percent would back the Communists and 6.5 percent would support the Social Democrats, the survey indicates.

Government to extend Sunday ban on trucks

The government is planning to ban trucks from Czech roads on Sundays from midnight until 10 pm. Such restrictions are in place in other European countries. Trucks that are already on the road at midnight will be permitted to complete journeys within the Czech Republic.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced the change on Tuesday after talks with the minister of interior, Jan Hamáček, the minister of transport, Vladimír Kremlík, and the head of the police, Jan Švejdar.

At present trucks are allowed to use the road system until 1 pm on Sundays. Road transport has been the focus of attention due to major problems with the main D1 motorway.

Almost all of Prague’s replica old cars for tourists fail tests

The vast majority of replica open-top old cars offering rides to tourists in Prague failed checks carried out by City Hall, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. Only three of 58 such vehicles tested were deemed to reach correct technical standards.

The others were found to lack vehicle identification numbers, spare tyres, compulsory equipment and seat belts. The deputy mayor for transport, Adam Scheinhher, said that some of the would-be vintage cars had been found to have broken lights, amateur welding and motorcycle rear-view mirrors.

There are around 120 such vehicles in the Czech capital.

Ex-NHL goalie Milan Hnilička named head of new Czech Sports Agency

The government has named Milan Hnilička (ANO), a former star ice hockey goalie elected to parliament in 2017, head of the newly created National Sports Agency.

Hnilička, who proposed creating the agency, has been serving as the government’s commissioner for sport. The body will gradually take over responsibility for distributing state subsidies now handled by the Ministry of Education.

The Czech Union of Sports, which backed the idea, argued a more transparent and less complex system for allocating subsidies was needed.

Most opposition parties voted against it, with the TOP 09 deputies’ club leader calling it an attempt to legalise corruption in sport. Hnilička argued the change was necessary due to what he called the critical state of sports infrastructure in the country.

Plíšková overcomes compatriot to reach round two at US Open

Third seed Karolína Plíšková has reached the second round of the US Open in New York. The Czech overcame her compatriot Tereza Martincová, a qualifier, 7-6 7-6 on Monday. Karolína Muchová also progressed at Flushing Meadows, beating Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 6-4 6-4.

In the men’s draw Tomáš Berdych exited the last Grand Slam of the season in round one. The one-time world number four, who has been beset by injury problems, lost to US player Jenson Brooksby 1-6 6-2 4-6 4-6.

Weather forecast

It should be quite bright with the chance of storms in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 29 degrees Celsius. The remainder of the week should be similarly warm.

27-08-2019