Daily news summary


Former dissidents protest against alleged attempts to re-write history

Around forty leading personalities linked to the 1989 freedom demonstrations have signed an open letter protesting against what they see as a manipulative campaign in the press aiming to rewrite 1989 events in a way that will suit some present-day politicians.

The signatories, who include Dagmar Havlova, former dissidents and student leaders, objected to two interviews pertaining to the events of November 1989 published in the daily MfDnes, which took a different slant on the events and attempted to play down the significance of the student protests. The said interviews were with gallery owner and former communist apparatchik Jiří Jaskmanický and documentary filmmaker Pavel Chalupa.

The paper’s editor-in-chief, Jaroslav Plesl, countered that in the interest of objective reporting the prepared interviews on the 1989 events included people from all walks of life and politicial allegiances.

Environment Ministry slams decision to allow use of highly toxic rat poison in agriculture

The Environment Ministry has attacked a decision by the Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture to allow farmers to use a certain type of rat poison in fields, orchards, meadows and vineyards.

The ministry says the Stutox II poison against rodents is highly toxic and presents a serious threat to birds and animals in the vicinity. The Environment Ministry says the application of the given substance violates the law on landscape protection.

The Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture falls under the Ministry of Agriculture which has not yet commented on the development.However the institute has confirmed that the said rat poison has not up to the present time been used on Czech territory.

Increase in foreign visitors to Prague

The second quarter has seen an increase in the number of foreign visitors to the Czech capital, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday.

The number of tourists in Prague in the second quarter reached 5.8 million, which in an increase by 4.9 percent on the previous year.

German tourists are the most frequent visitors from abroad, followed by tourists from the US, Great Britain, Russia, China and Italy. The number of Czechs who visited the capital city was slightly over 300, 000.

American Airlines to launch direct flights between Prague and Chicago

The world’s largest airline, American Airlines will launch direct flights between Prague and Chicago as of next year. The five-days-a week service will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and will be launched on May 8, 2020. Tickets will go on sale on August 12.

Chicago is one of the top five destinations in North America and the service will offer passengers a large number of connecting flights. It is expected to serve around 48,000 passengers a year. Passengers can also fly direct to New York, Philadelphia and Newark.

July unemployment level rises to 2.7 percent

Unemployment in the Czech Republic increased to 2.7 percent in July up from 2.6 percent in the previous month, the Labour Office announced on Thursday.

The number of jobless last month was 205,120, an increase of about 9,400 people compared to June. Nevertheless, it is still the lowest figure for the month of July since 1996, when the number of jobseekers stood at 158,252. The number of vacancies increased in July to 346,563.

Prague to replace New Year’s fireworks with video mapping

Prague’s traditional New Year’s fireworks display, held annually on the evening of January 1, will be replaced with video mapping, city councillors decided on Wednesday.

Prague city councillors consider it as a step towards accommodating residents’ who are sensitive to loud noise, but also to animals that are subjected to unnecessary stress.

Last year’s New Year’s Day fireworks show lasted around 10 minutes and cost some 1.7 million crowns. The venue of the planned video mapping lightshow has not yet been announced.

Weather forecast

Friday should be clear to partly cloudy with more clouds gathering in the afternoon hours and day time highs between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius.