Daily news summary
First Czech open prison goes into operation
A pilot project of a so-called open prison is being launched in the Czech Republic on Monday. The minimum-security prison is located in Jiřice in the region of Nymburk and is inspired by a prison on Norway’s Bastoy Island.
The purpose of the facility, which resembles a small self-sustaining village, is to prepare detainees for life outside prison. Prisoners will be there without guards, only in the presence of educators or psychologists.
The open prison cost nearly 30 million crowns and can currently accommodate 32 people, Jakub Říman from the justice ministry told the Czech News Agency on Monday.
Municipal Court sends summons for lobbyist to begin jail sentence
Prague’s Municipal Court has sent a summons to lobbyist Marek Dalík, a former close aid to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek – to begin serving his prison sentence. In July, Mr Dalík was sentenced to five years in prison for soliciting a bribe over a military deal.
He also has to pay a four million crown fine or he would spend an additional two years behind bars. Mr Dalík could still file a complaint with the Supreme Court but the process would not delay the start of his sentence.
Bychkov signs contract to be next chief conductor of Czech Philharmonic
The director of the Czech Philharmonic David Mareček presented a contract to American conductor of Russian descent Semyon Bychkov on Monday, signing him as chief conductor of the philharmonic for five years. The signing was attended by Culture Minister Daniel Herman.
The contract will go into effect at the start of 2018. Bychkov takes over as chief conductor following the death of Jiří Bělohlávek in May.
Mass drumming session to mark first Jewish transports from Prague
A mass public drum session to remember the first Jewish transports from Prague on 16 October, 1941 is set to be held in the Czech capital on Monday.
The event, called Drumming for Bubny, will take place at the former Bubny railway station, from which around 50,000 people were sent to their deaths. The drumming session has been organised by the Memorial of Silence and DOX Centre for Contemporary Art since 2015.
Jan and Eliška most popular names for newborns in January, ČSÚ reveals
The most popular names given to newborns born in the Czech Republic in January this year were Jan for boys and Eliška for girls, the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) revealed on Monday. The bureau has been tracking most popular names given in Czech Republic since 1999.
The next most popular boy’s names, in order, were Jakub, Matyáš, Filip, and Adam. Tomáš, which had been third most popular since 1999, slipped in January 2017 to seventh spot.
Among girls, the next two most popular names on the list were Tereza and Anna.
Rare two-horned rhino Eliška dies from injuries in Tanzania
A rare two-horned rhino called Eliška transported last year to the Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania from Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, has died from injuries she suffered when attacked by a male rhino called Monduli.
The news was confirmed by the zoo’s Jan Stejskal, who heads the international project. Eliška was meant to have helped boost the rhino population there; as the injury was internal, its seriousness was not apparent until it was too late.
Mostly sunny weather is expected on Tuesday. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of about 19 degrees Celsius.