Public health officials in Prague have filed criminal complaints against 30 men who knew they had the HIV virus but continued to have unprotected sex, Mladá fronta Dnes reported. The men could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of grievous bodily harm and spreading an infectious disease. The head of the AIDS Centre at the capital’s Na Bulovce hospital said those concerned were homosexual men. The public health officials have filed the complaints on the basis of epidemiologists’ reports. Police are investigating the matter.
Czech-based computer anti-virus giant Avast opened up new offices in Prague on Thursday night. The company, which employs around 700, mostly in the Czech capital, has moved into five floors of offices in the Pankrác district covering 15,000 square metres. The offices are inspired by Silicon Valley with a free restaurant for employees, gym, and even cinema. Avast software protects around 20 percent of all computers worldwide outside China.
Officials at the Ministry of Culture say they are preparing for one of Prague’s bridges, Libeň, to be declared a cultural monument. The move comes in the face of proposals from Prague City Hall for a massive restoration of the bridge. Conservationists say the planned works amount to its demolition. The bridge was designed by Pavel Janák and opened in 1928. It has been described as the sole Cubist-style bridge in the world. A previous attempt to give the bridge heritage status in 2004 failed.
The court case involving an ex aide to former Czech prime minister Mirek Topolánek and a former US ambassador reopens in Prague on Friday. The case focuses on the alleged claims for a bribe by Marek Dalík, the former right hand man of the centre-right premier. Dalík is accused of demanding bribes in connection with a contract for Pandur armoured personnel carriers being supplied by the Austrian manufacturer Steyr. The star witness Friday will be former US ambassador Richard Graber via a video conference link with the courtroom.
Prague’s High Court has overturned an earlier court verdict resulting in seven and six year sentences on two former deputy ministers. Former deputy labour and social affairs minister Vladimír Šiška was previously awarded a seven year jail sentence and the minister dealing with informatics, Milan Hojer sentenced to six years. The two were alleged to have promised to arrange a new contract for the software company OKsystem after it lost out on a lucrative long running deal with the ministry. The offer followed the company threats to complain about the loss of the first contract. Prague’s municipal court has been ordered to take up the case again.
Prague 6 will rent an apartment to one of the Syrian families, who were granted asylum in the Czech Republic in October last year, spokesman for the municipal authority Martin Churavý told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. The Kurdish family comes from Afrin, near the town of Aleppo, and is currently staying in an asylum house in Ústí nad Labem. The Czech government has pledged to accept 1,500 migrants by the year 2017. Some 1,100 of them should come from Italy and Greece, which are facing the biggest influx of refugees. The remaining 400 will come from refugee camps in the Middle East.
Former ANO deputy head Radmila Kleslová is to stand down as mayor of Prague 10. She told the Czech News Agency that three other ANO councillors would also quit as the district’s coalition was non-functioning. Formerly highly influential, Ms. Kleslová last year stood down as deputy chair of ANO after media reports that she had been receiving hefty payments from Prague energy providers. Other companies, including CEZ, had previously discontinued their cooperation with the politician.
President Miloš Zeman and Archbishop Dominik Duka finalized some aspects of the settlement between church and state over the return of confiscated property on Wednesday. After the meeting it emerged that an agreement settling a conflict over which buildings belonged to who at Prague Castle could be signed within the next weeks. Prague Castle is both the traditional seat of the head of state but also the historic site of St Vitus’ Cathedral and the site where the church developed.
A new firefighting unit, capable of reacting to biological, chemical or even radiological threats, has begun its mission at Prague Castle. The unit comes under the direct command of the head of the Fire Rescue Service. Until now, the Prague Castle complex was the responsibility of the city’s fire brigade.
Rescue workers in Prague are to wear special protective gear on New Year’s Eve, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. They will be given cut- and fire-resistant gloves and helmets with visors while some will also receive bullet-proof vests. The city’s rescue services will have around 120 staff on duty for the last shift of the year, including dispatchers. Ambulance teams in the Czech Republic have encountered increased levels of aggression on the part of members of the public in recent years and there have been calls to change their status to public officials, which would mean tougher sentences for attacking them.
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