• 01/17/2022

    Director Michal Nohejl's film debut Occupation and the biopic Zátopek by director, co-producer and co-author of the screenplay David Ondříček have both received 13 nominations for the Czech Lion awards for 2021. Martin Šulík's fantastic comedy Man with Rabbit Ears received 11 nominations. Olma Omerzu's Bird Atlas received nine nominations. The romantic drama by director Jan Prušinovsky, Bugs, got one less. The Czech Lion awards gala ceremony will take place on March 5, 2022 at Prague’s Rudolfinum.

  • 01/17/2022

    The search for a brown bear on the loose in the vicinity of Brandýs nad Labem, north of Prague, continues and locals have been warned to be vigilant and not venture into the nearby forests alone.

    The bear was last sighted on Sunday, when a fisherman claimed to have seen it close to the town, saying it looked like a young animal.

    Police and hunters are now combing the area and a helicopter with thermal imaging is trying to locate the animal’s whereabouts.

    The bear is thought to have been roaming the forests near Brandýs nad Labem for weeks. Hunters say it may have woken from hibernation due to the warm weather and is now roaming in search of food.

  • 01/17/2022

    Snežka Mountain was hit by gale force winds reaching 126 km per hour on Monday, bringing to a halt cable cars on both the Czech and Polish slopes. The Czech mountain rescue service has warned tourists not to set out until the wind subsides. A high wind warning is in force across the Czech Republic until 6pm on Monday.

    Fresh snow is complicating traffic in the mountain regions and meteorologists predict that the coming days may bring up to 40 centimetres of fresh snow in the mountain regions. It will also get much colder with day temperatures dropping to – 10 degrees Celsius at the close of the week.

  • 01/17/2022

    According to an expert opinion the police was not responsible for the death of a Romany man who collapsed on the pavement shortly after police restrained him by kneeling on his neck and died in an ambulance shortly after. The conclusion is that the man died of a heavy overdose. The incident happened in the town of Pardubice in June of last year and evoked a storm of criticism in which the case was compared to that of George Floyd in the United States.

    However, Deputy Ombudsman Monika Šimůnková has criticized the investigation into the police intervention saying that the Regional Police Directorate did not pay sufficient attention to inconsistencies stemming from the testimonies of the officers involved in the incident and paramedics who arrived at the scene first.

  • 01/17/2022

    President Miloš Zeman has said he will not renew the traditional monthly consultations with the country’s top officials on foreign policy issues. In an interview for Frekvence 1 radio, Mr. Zeman said that in future he would discuss foreign policy issues solely with Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

    The head of state has reservations with regard to Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, who he says lacks experience for the post, and he likewise criticized the new speaker of the lower house, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, saying her remarks on Twitter indicated that she knew nothing about foreign policy. The traditional monthly consultations were set up to contribute to a more coherent Czech foreign policy.

  • 01/17/2022

    Czech President Miloš Zeman says he will be at Prague Castle for the first time since being released from hospital last year on February 26, when he will appoint university rectors and present a cheque to a children’s charity. Speaking on the radio station Frekvence 1 on Sunday evening the head of state, was in hospital for a total of almost two months toward the end of 2021, said his health was improving and that he had started to walk, with assistance.

    Mr. Zeman is now living at the Lány presidential residence near Prague.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/17/2022

    From Monday employers in the Czech Republic are obliged to provide two Covid-19 tests a week for their staff, including those who are vaccinated against the virus. The health minister previously said the system would be in place for three weeks at most as the authorities brace for a surge in cases on the back of the relatively contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

    Schools went back to testing of pupils and students once a week, after a doubling of testing efforts for a fortnight at the start of the new term.

    There were 16,000 newly confirmed Covid cases in the Czech Republic over Saturday and Sunday combined, two and a half times more than the previous weekend.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/16/2022

    The Czech minister of labour and social affairs, Marian Jurečka, says the recently installed five-party coalition government may increase taxes. Speaking on CNN Prima News on Sunday, Mr. Jurečka said consumer taxes on cigarettes and alcohol could be raised, adding that there was concensus on this in the cabinet.

    He also said that the government would introduce a special increase in the state old age pension in June in response to high inflation. The minister said the amount had not been calculated yet.

    Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government has pledged to cut spending in a bid to bring the public finances under control.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/16/2022

    The Czech government should in the coming week endorse the tradition of the struggle of Charter 77 for human rights and democracy. The move is intended to mark the 45th anniversary of the Charter, a document signed by dissidents calling on Czechoslovakia’s Communist government to adhere to its human rights commitments.

    The minister of the interior, Vít Rakušan, has proposed the step, which should be on the agenda of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

  • 01/16/2022

    Sunday is the 53rd anniversary of the self-immolation of Czech student Jan Palach on Prague’s Wenceslas Square in protest at apathy in the face of the Soviet occupation that had begun the previous August. Palach, who was 20, died on January 19, 1969 and tens of thousands of people later lined the streets of Prague for his funeral. His grave was moved from the city’s Olšansy cemetery after pressure from the Communists but was returned there after the restoration of democracy.

    On Sunday a delegation from the Czech Senate laid wreathes at a memorial to Palach in front of the National Museum.

    Author: Ian Willoughby

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