Daily news summary

Russia releases documents on Czechs and Slovaks interned in gulags during WWII

Historians from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes have gained access to several thousand documents from Russian archives relating to Czech and Slovak soldiers fighting in exile who were interned in Soviet gulags by the communist regime during WWII.

This is the first time that Moscow has released these sensitive documents for study outside Russian territory. They were acquired by Museum of the Slovak National Uprising which has given Czech historians access to them as well.

According to the head of the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising Stanislav Mičev close to 70,000 Czechs and Slovaks were interned in Russia between 1941 and 1945, among them two generals and 159 lieutenants. Over 4,000 of them never came home.

Prague court upholds verdict on Stohoven art group over boxer shorts incident

A Prague court has upheld a six months suspended sentence for the members of the art group Stohoven.

Three members of the art group were earlier found guilty of disorderly conduct, criminal damage and theft for illicitly removing the presidential flag above Prague Castle and replacing it with a giant pair of red shorts in protest at the policies of President Miloš Zeman.

The state attorney in the case appealed the lower instance court verdict on the grounds that it was too mild. Two of the group members were in court to hear the verdict, the third died in a car accident earlier this year.

Sixteen personalities receive medals of merit on eve of St. Wenceslas Day

The Senate has awarded 16 Czech personalities from the field of science, culture and sport with a medal of merit for making an outstanding contribution in their field of expertise and spreading the good name of the Czech Republic abroad. The awards were handed out on the eve of the Day of Czech Statehood, or St Wenceslas Day, September 28. Among those honoured were cross country skiing champion Květa Jeriová-Pecková, historian Petr Čornej, and oncologist Jitka Abrahámová

Chovanec tells Zeman he has no information on Stork’s Nest case

The minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, told President Miloš Zeman that he had no information regarding the Stork’s Nest affair in a meeting at Prague Castle on Tuesday evening. Mr. Chovanec said he told the president he had no way of knowing more about the case than Mr. Zeman himself already knew from the media.

The lower house voted to lift the immunity of ANO chief Andrej Babiš so he can face criminal charges of subsidy abuse in connection with Stork’s Nest, a farm and hotel complex. Mr. Babiš says the allegations are part of a campaign to harm him ahead of next month’s elections.

US conductor Davies to head Brno Philharmonic

The American conductor and pianist Dennis Russel Davies is to head the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra as of next year, the ctk news agency reported.

The seasoned musician has worked with leading European ensembles. He held permanent posts with the Baden-Württemberg State Opera House, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra among others.

The Brno Philharmonic has been without a permanent head for almost two years since the departure of Serbian Alexandar Markovic whose tenure ended in 2015.

Draught beer promotion event kicks off in Czech pubs

An annual event aimed at promoting the country’s brewing traditions has begun in pubs and restaurants around the Czech Republic. The Days of Czech Beer campaign, which runs until Sunday, offers drinkers the opportunity to sample beers from dozens of breweries, including one-off ones created for the event.

It also aims to support drinking draft beers in pubs and so prevent the demise of traditional Czech hostelries, an organiser said.

Weather forecast

Thursday should be sunny to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius.