Daily news summary
Senators reject Zeman nominee Srp for Institute board
The Senate has rejected the nomination of Karel Srp as a member of the board of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. The vote followed a recommendation from the Senate’s electoral commission, which said that as a former member of the Communist Party he did not fulfill the conditions to serve on the board.
Mr. Srp, who was nominated by President Miloš Zeman, said last week that he could not recall whether he had been in the Communist Party in the Prague Spring period 50 years ago. In the 1980s he headed Jazz Section, a music-focused group permitted by the Communists that also supported underground activities.
The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes oversees Communist-era secret police files and conducts research into modern Czech history.
President Zeman to receive award from US Jewish fund
President Miloš Zeman will receive an award from the US-based Gershon Jacobson Jewish Continuity fund. The prize is awarded at the Jewish 100 Gala, organized by The Algemeiner Journal, a Jewish newspaper highlighting Jewish and Israeli issues across the globe.
The newspaper annually awards 100 people for positively influencing Jewish life. Zeman will receive the prize on September 18 in New York, a day before attending the UN general assembly.
Czech in Hong Kong sent to prison for 27 years over drug smuggling
A court in Hong Kong has sent a Czech man to prison for 27 years for drug smuggling, the news site iRadio.cz reported on Thursday. According to the website, the Czech will not appeal against the verdict, because it would slow down the extradition process. The man, who is 63, said at a court hearing in March that he was innocent and didn’t know about how the drugs came to be in his luggage.
Farmers to receive drought compensation
Farmers, who suffered losses due to this year’s drought, could receive compensation to the tune of 1.2 billion crowns, agriculture minister Marian Jurečka said on Wednesday. He added that the losses will be calculated within the next two or three weeks.
According to the Czech Statistical Office, the harvest of grain this year will be 13.2 percent lower than in the previous one. The quality of the grain is also expected to be lower due the dry weather.
Ammunition found at former factory site
Pyro-technicians have found more than 800 pieces of ammunition at the site of a former munition factory near Břeclav in south Moravia. The factory was destroyed by a blast shortly after the end of WWII. Clean up-work in the area, which covers approximately 500 hectares, has been underway since November 2015.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec visited the site on Thursday to oversee see the cleaning operations. Thousands of pieces of ammunition are expected to be still scattered around the forest-covered area, which is closed to the public due to safety reasons.
Lucerna Palace rooftop opens to public
The roof of the Lucerna Palace in the centre of Prague opens to the public on Thursday. The project has been initiated by café owner and civic activist Ondřej Kobza, who rents the terraces from the building’s owner Dagmar Havlová, sister-in-law of the late president Václav Havel. Kobza has been gradually reconstructing the space and plans to open a community garden there next year. The rooftops of Lucerna Palace will be open from Wednesday afternoon until August 23. Situated on Wenceslas Square, the Lucerna Palace was established in 1907 by the grandfather of the late president.
Friday is expected to be mostly cloudy with occasional rain showers. Daytime temperatures will range between 28 and 31 degrees Celsius.