Iva Skochová has a travel column in the newspaper Lidové Noviny and is also preparing a book about crashing weddings in nearly two dozen countries around the world. But today she’s showing me around “Her Prague”. Our tour begins in the leafy Vinohrady, parts of which we have an incredible view of from the rooftop terrace of the office she shares at the very end of Americká St.
The population of the Czech Republic fell slightly in the first half of this year, according to official figures released on Wednesday. There were 10,512,900 people living in the country at the end of June, just over 3,000 fewer than at the end of 2012. The population of the capital Prague had also dropped marginally, to 1,246,176 at the end of the first half of the year.
Prague City Hall on Tuesday approved the city’s draft budget for 2014. The budget should be balanced with expenditures and revenues amounting to 44.2 billion crowns, or over 2.2 billion US dollars. Some 9.4 billion crowns have been earmarked for investments, a spokesperson for the city hall said. The budget is yet to be approved by the city council.
Around 1,000 people received a free lunch on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday in a campaign highlighting food waste. A group called Save Food handed out meals prepared from products that would otherwise have been discarded by supermarkets as they neared their expiry date. The ingredients were supplied by Makro and Tesco, the only supermarket chains cooperating with Czech food banks. The organizers said Czech legislation should allow retailers to hand out nearly expired foodstuffs to groups working with homeless and socially handicapped people.
On Monday, the NGO Auto*mat is unveiling a monument at the very spot where founding member Jan Bouchal was killed while cycling in Prague. And September will be busy for the group, with a project to turn an embankment into a pedestrian zone about to begin and an annual day of street festivals scheduled for later in the month. Tereza Vohryzková is one of the people behind Auto*mat. When we spoke, she said its main activities included encouraging alternatives to car transport in the city and changing attitudes to public space.
Have you ever noticed that half or more road construction or renovation projects always begin in September? The first week when everyone who still has holiday time returns from their summer vacation, their kids go back to school, and every man and his dog or soccer mom or dad seems to be travelling somewhere by car? Early September, just about every major artery in the city centre - from Prague's magistrála throughway to major streets like Evropská and Milada Horáková – are jammed with traffic, routed and re-routed around landfills, tunnels, tram
A newborn girl was placed in the baby box at the Prague 2 city hall on Thursday afternoon. This is the first baby that was placed here, and the first one at a baby box at a town hall building. There are only two such facilities, the rest of the more than 55 Baby Boxes around the country are located in hospitals. The newborn, who has been named Jana, is the 90th baby that was placed into a baby box in the Czech Republic since the first one was installed in 2005. Baby boxes were criticized last year by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for allegedly going against five articles of the international convention on children’s rights.
The Civic Democratic party launched its election campaign on Friday with posters saying “I vote for the right”. The slogan on the posters is shown as a twitter hashtag and the name of the party does not appear on them. The party also confirmed its candidate lists on Friday afternoon. Miroslava Němcová will be leading the key Prague ballot, the acting party chairman Martin Kuba will be the top candidate for his home region of South Bohemian, the vice-chairman Jiří Pospíšil is running in the Plzeň region, and, uncharacteristically, an independent candidate – the former Education Minister Petr Fiala – was selected for the South Moravian region .
A passerby found a box full of human skulls in a container on Prague’s Londýnská St. on Thursday. Detectives said the 15 skulls were numbered, indicating that they belonged to a collection. On Wednesday, a homeless man came across part of a skull in a rubbish bin on Jindřišská St. in the city centre. It too had a number and police are currently investigating whether there is a connection between the two finds, a spokesperson said.
The right-of-centre Civic Democrat’s Prague organisation has approved
former Chamber of Deputies chairwoman Miroslava Němcová as its leader
Prague branch head Bohuslav Svoboda as number two on its candidates list
the upcoming election. The party’s Prague branch elected Mrs Němcová
unanimously on Tuesday evening; however, the battle for the other leading
positions on the candidates’ list lasted several hours. The final
selections were confirmed only at around 3 AM. The Civic Democrats’
executive council will still have to approve the final line-up.
In Prague, Mrs Němcová will run against TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg, trade union leader Jaroslav Zavadil (running for the Social Democrats), Christian Democrat candidate Daniel Herman (the former director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes) Green Party chairman Ondřej Liška, and the Communist Party’s Marta Semelová. The election is set for October 25 and 26.
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