Daily news summary

Prague City Hall councillors dismiss idea of facial recognition cameras in Prague

Prague City Hall councillors have indicated they will not allow the police to activate automatic facial recognition cameras in the city.

Prague police asked the municipality to approve the pilot project at six selected locations within measures to increase security in the capital.

Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib from the Pirate Party slammed the idea, tweeting that City Hall would not support the “Chinese-style Big Brother project” and Councillor Jiří Pospíšil from TOP 09 said such a move would be an invasion into people’s privacy for which there was currently no justification.

Interior Minister Jan Hamáček and the police said they had merely floated the idea to test the waters.

Poll:Václav Havel best president in modern Czech history

Václav Havel was the best president the country has had since the fall of communism in 1989, according to the results of a public survey conducted by the STEM agency.

Václav Havel was rated top by 55 percent of respondents, followed by Václav Klaus and then the incumbent president, Miloš Zeman.

In fact one in four people who voted for Miloš Zeman in the last presidential elections said Václav Havel was the best president in the country’s modern history. He was highly rated in how he had used his powers and his interest in citizens’ concerns.

Prague places 13th among 113 world cities in terms of economic and social inclusivity

Prague ranks 13th among the world’s top 113 cities in terms of economic and social inclusivity compiled by D&L Partners. The new Prosperity & Inclusion City Seal and Awards (PICSA) Index measures factors such as the affordability of housing and access to education and healthcare, besides GDP per capita. Zurich tops the ladder, followed by Vienna; London placed 33rd, while New York 38th.

Finance minister shocked by investigative report revealing abuse of seniors in old age home

Finance Minister Alena Schillerová has expressed deep shock over an investigative report published on Seznam.cz revealing abuse of elderly clients at an old age home in Ostrava.

A reporter infiltrated the home working undercover as a volunteer, bringing shocking testimony of physical and mental abuse of old people.

The minister, who visited the home two weeks ago within a two day trip to the region, said she was horrified by the revelations and called for a thorough investigation into the affair.

She said it might be worthwhile considering introducing strict psychological tests for employees in the future.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová described the revelations as “terrible” adding that she had sent an inspection team to the old age home immediately.

Government to make public long-term investment plan by Christmas

The government will present a long-term national investment plan by Christmas, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told journalists on Friday. He said the plan would outline 17,000 projected investments to the tune of 3.4 billion crowns to be made in the course of the next decade.

The investment plan was reportedly made on the grounds of individual demands from different regions and municipalities ands well as the government’s own priorities.

Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes hands out annual awards for contribution to freedom and democracy

The Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes on Thursday handed out its annual awards for contribution to freedom and democracy.

Among this year’s recipients were Russian journalist Vladimir Kara Murza who is a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, Romany activist Čeněk Růžička and a member of the anti-Nazi and anti-communist resistance František Wiendl.

The tradition of handing out commemorative medals to defenders of freedom and democracy was established in 2008.

Weather forecast

Saturday should be partly cloudy to overcast with day time highs reaching 9 degrees Celsius.