Daily news summary


IKEM specialists perform heart surgery without opening rib cage

Surgeons from the Prague-based Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in cooperation with German experts are reported to have been the first in the world to perform heart surgery without opening the rib cage. According to an IKEM spokeswoman the team implanted a HeartMate III ventricular assist device to a 70-year-old woman suffering from an advanced stage of heart failure, using only a small incision between the ribs. The operation was performed in May and the patient has been able to return to a normal life. IKEM specialists also helped develop these heart assist devices in cooperation with a technological centre in the United States. Within this programme, they have implanted a long-term heart pump to more than 270 patients.

Clinic specializing in traditional Chinese medicine to open in Hradec Králove

A clinic specializing in traditional Chinese medicine will open to patients in September within the Hradec Králove Teaching Hospital complex. The clinic will be staffed by Chinese doctors who helped set up the Czech-Chinese Centre for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine at the hospital in June of this year. They are currently studying the effects of traditional Chinese medicine on oncological patients and patients with multiple sclerosis. The centre is a pilot project and the first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe.

Czech soldiers take part in Allied Spirit II

More than 4,500 participants from eight nations, including the Czech Republic, are taking part in the military exercise Allied Spirit II at Hohenfels military training area in neighbouring Germany. For the first time in a NATO combined exercise, sources revealed, the Czech Army’s 7th Mechanized Brigade, under Colonel Josef Kopecký, is commanding the brigade headquarters. The script for the exercise, Colonel Josef Kopecký said, presented a modern military conflict, including hybrid elements, where an imagined European state was invaded by a regular army. The Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces General Josef Bečvář has expressed satisfaction with the Czech troops so far. Allied Spirit II began on August 4 and will continue until the 24th.

Spitfire replica unveiled marking 70th anniversary of return of Czechoslovak WWII airmen

A full-size replica of a Spitfire, the legendary fighter plane and symbol of the Battle of Britain in WWII was unveiled at Hradčanské náměstí by Prague Castle on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the return of Czechoslovak airmen. The unveiling ceremony was attended by Prague Cardinal Dominik Duka, veterans and others. Pilots who served in the RAF returned to Prague not immediately in May of 1945 but in August. When the communists came to power in 1948 the airmen were portrayed as enemies of the state, jailed and persecuted. Some 2,500 had served in the RAF.

Real estate agent ordered to apologise to Czech Romany

Real estate agent Eliška Nosková has been ordered by the district court in Litoměřice to apologise for discriminating against Czech Romany Lenka Balogová; the court, however, rejected the 100,000 crowns in damages sought. In the incident, the plaintiff was not allowed to rent an apartment she wanted because of her ethnicity. The case had its roots in a plan in 2013, in which the ombudsperson’s office sought to uncover discrimination by real estate agencies.

Increased traffic on Friday as visitors travel to Moto GP

Police monitoring the situation on Czech roads on Friday registered an increase of traffic on the D1 highway in the direction of Brno and the D2 from Bratislava and a major road to Vienna generated by visitors travelling to Brno to see the Czech Grand Prix in motorcycling. Friday morning, despite the greater congestion on roads, there were no major complications, the Czech News Agency said. The start of the weekend in recent weeks has seen heavy traffic congestion from Prague not only on the D1 but also on other principal routes.

Fifty-four year old drowns in Otrokovice

A 54-year-old man drowned after jumping into a reservoir in Otrokovice on Thursday, the police said. Prior to the jump, the man had been drinking heavily, witnesses said. When he did not resurface, the emergency services were alerted. Police spokeswoman Monika Kozumplíková confirmed that medics tried but were unable to resuscitate the man. Earlier this summer, a foreign national drowned at the same reservoir; the incident gained national attention after the police failed to clear the area and allowed families to continue swimming nearby, after covering the floating corpse with a tarp.

Man suspected of having stolen 40,000 crowns from father which he then replaced with counterfeit bills

A 27-year-old man in Ostrava faces up to eight years in prison for theft, local police have confirmed. The suspect allegedly stole the equivalent of around 2,000 US dollars which he replaced with counterfeit bills produced on a home printer. He then allegedly spent all the money. The father, police said, recognized that the bills were fake.

Suspected grave robber remanded in custody

A Czech court has ordered a 51-year-old man, suspected of having broken into more than 80 graves in northern Bohemia, to be remanded in custody awaiting trial. The suspect, a previous offender for a similar offence, broke into graves and coffins with the aim of stealing gold fillings, prying them from the skeletal remains of their owners. It is unknown how much gold he accumulated. He is believed to have conducted the crimes over roughly three-quarters of a year. The suspect purposely chose more expensive or richly-decorated graves to open in the hopes of finding gold; if found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

Nickelback cancel Prague and other European dates

Canadian rock group Nickelback have cancelled their Prague October date and other stops on their European tour as the band’s singer recovers from throat surgery. Frontman Chad Kroeger was diagnosed and operated for a cyst in his voice box earlier. The singer will reportedly have to rest his voice for up to nine months. Nickelback had planned to tour to promote their eighth studio album. Fans who bought tickets will get refunds, organisers confirmed.