Around 300 people protested against municipal regulation of opening hours for pubs, bars and other venues in Boskovice, southern Moravia, on Saturday. The protesters staged a march through the town at 3 AM on Saturday; they damaged several traffic signs and broke a shop window. The police detained three people. The new regulation, which came into force this week, requires bars to close at 2 AM to prevent public disorders. Some bars however received exceptions and are allowed to remain open until 4AM.
The Czech knife maker Mikov on Saturday opened a museum in Mikulášovice, in northern Bohemia, dedicated to the 218-year-long tradition of knife-making in the area. The museum features hundreds of historic knives made by the Mikov factory along with other tools such as scissors, hole-makers and aluminium cutlery, including the fish-shaped penknife that has become the symbol of the factory. The firm’s director said it had taken five years of work to get all the materials and exhibits together.
In the final round of the Czech top football division, Slovan Liberec play Viktoria Plzeň for the title. Liberec, in first place with 65 points host defending champions Plzeň, in second place, with 62 points. If Plzeň win, they will win the title due to a higher number of points won. Sparta Prague, which spent most of the season at the top of the table, lost any hope of winning the tile on Wednesday when they tied 1:1 against Dukla Prague, and are now ranked third with 61 points.
A court has handed down a life sentence to a woman who murdered her four children in an East Bohemian village last year. The 37-year-old has testified that she remembers only fragments of her life, but not her children or her attack on them. Experts told the court that she did not suffer from any mental illness and was only feigning a loss of memory. The ruling is only the third life sentence imposed on a woman since the fall of communism in 1989.
A new study suggests that air pollution in the Czech Republic is harming couples’ chances of conception. Experts from the Institute of Experimental Medicine studied the reproductive cells of police officers who spend most of their days on city streets and found that their fertility was considerably worsened in the winter months due to heating pollutants. The long-term study on reproductive health also found that the air quality in the badly polluted north of Bohemia has improved over the last 156 years, while other areas formerly considered clean have been badly damaged by people having switched to solid fuels due to rising energy prices.
A new governmental regulation from the Environment Ministry will allow communities introducing low-emission zones to ban high-emission vehicles. Such bans would require vehicles to have special certification, which would rule out most cars registered before 1997. According to the daily Mladá fronta Dnes, the spa town of Klimkovice has shown interest in enforcing a low-emission zone, while Prague has made a special workgroup to consider the idea.
The Czech Army will be making larger withdrawals from Afghanistan in the coming years. The number of Czech soldiers in the troubled Central Asian state will drop from 539 next year to at most 340 in 2014. The army’s current mandate allows for 640 soldiers on the mission. The decrease in troops on the ground is in line with NATO’s overall strategy, which involves handling the country’s security back to the government. The government is set to discuss a plan for the continuation of the Czech Army mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
An adolescent boy who was brutally beaten by three men, allegedly Roma, in Břeclav in April was selling marijuana, which might be the reason for the attack, according to the news website iDnes.cz. The site says that the boy has changed his testimony in this respect, originally saying that the three men had asked him for a cigarette. As he did not have any, they beat him up so brutally that he lost his kidney. Citing a source informed about the investigation, iDnes writes that boy was selling marijuana and his customers were not satisfied with the product and attacked him. Anti-Romany rallies, organised in part by the ultra-right extremist Workers' Party of Social Justice, have been held in the town because of the crime.
The government gives citizens poor and insufficient information about its reforms, according to a poll conducted by the STEM agency. On a scale from one to five, where one is the best, three out of five respondents assessed the government's information campaign with a four or five for open communication about the impact of reforms, the comprehensibility of the information and the interlinking of the planned steps. The poll says that ministers´ justifications for the necessity of reforms received a slightly better assessment, with 53% giving a rating of four or five. The average rating given to the government for its justification of the reforms was 3.64.