Daily news summary


Thousands of Czechs to join in Earth Hour campaign

Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm local time in a symbolic show of support for the Earth Hour campaign against climate change.

Earth Hour will dim some of Prague’s best known landmarks including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square or the Žižkov TV tower.

Prague and other cities around the Czech Republic first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Thirteen cities and eighty towns and villages are expected to join the campaign this year.

Officers who posed with man convicted of serial murder under investigation

The Ostrava internal police is investigating a case of suspected breach of ethics on the part of three officers who posed for a picture with Jiří Kajínek, who was convicted of serial contract murder and released on a presidential pardon last year, after serving 23 years of his life sentence.

The officers were on duty and wearing uniforms at the time. The photo appeared on social networks where it caused considerable controversy. Interior Minister Lubomír Metnar denounced the officers‘ behaviour saying it was in very bad taste.

Kajinek became something of a celebrity after escaping from the country’s maximum security prison several years ago.

Communist Party says it expects to be consulted on big foreign policy decisions

Communist Party leader Vojtěch Filip has indicated that his party, which has agreed to back a future ANO-led government, would expect to be consulted on matters such as the possible expulsion of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a double agent in Britain.

The outgoing prime minister, Andrej Babiš, who is in the process of forming a new government, said on Friday that the Czech Republic would seriously consider expelling a number of Russian diplomats over the incident.

The Communists say such a move would be premature. On the other hand centre-right parties would fully back such a decision. A decision is expected next week.

WWII war veteran Josef Holy dies at 99

War veteran Colonel Josef Holy has died at the age of 99. Holy fought in the Eastern front in WWII and was later taken into German captivity.

After being released he joined a resistance group composed of Volhynian Czechs and volunteered for the newly formed 1st Czechoslovak army corps. He fought in the battle for the Dukla pass, where he was hit in the head by a shrapnel.

After the war he was a member of the anti-communist resistance for which he was sentenced to 18 months in jail and later only allowed to do menial labour. Holy was rehabilitated after 1989 and received the Memory of the Nation Award.

Shift to daylight saving time on Sunday

The annual shift to summertime or daylight saving time is due to take place at 2am on Sunday, when clocks will be moved forward by an hour.

In the Czech Republic the shift to summertime, introduced for economic reasons, has been implemented, with a number of breaks, for 39 years.

Until 1995 summertime in the Czech Republic lasted for six months of the year, after that the country brought it in line with EU norms and it now lasts for seven months- i.e. until the end of October.

Close to half of Czechs happy with state of the economy

Forty-five percent of Czechs see the country’s economic situation in a positive light according to the outcome of a poll conducted by the CVVM agency. Six percent of those see it as very positive.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they were not happy with the situation. More than half of Czechs said they were happy with their own living standard.

In recent years the Czech Republic has seen steady economic growth and record-low unemployment.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be clear and sunny in the western parts of the country, partly cloudy in the eastern part, with day temperatures between 7 and 11 degrees Celsius.