September 1 sees broad changes in public transit routes in the Czech capital come into effect. Czech daily Lidové noviny points out two-thirds of tram and bus routes have seen modification: some routes have been cancelled altogether, while some stops as well as intervals between trams or busses have changed. According to the newspaper, the ‘revolution’ in transit (as it describes it) could be chaotic for commuters, not least for seniors used to relying on long-term routes. The changes by the Prague Transit Authority were introduced to save more than 400 million crowns.
Police statistics have revealed that 140 people died in road accidents
over the summer. The number is the same as last year - the lowest number
road fatalities in the country since 1990, ČTK reported.
In related news, the final summer fatality was a 14-year-old school girl - tragically struck by a car at a crossing in Prague on Friday. The vehicle was impacted in a crash and sent flying, hitting the teenage pedestrian. She died at the scene.
Doctors registered 121 new cases of HIV infection in the Czech Republic in the first seven months of 2012; last year the number overall twelve months was 153. According to information from the National Reference Laboratory for AIDS a total of 728,700 thousand tests were conducted from January to the end of July this year. Nine HIV cases developed into AIDS; three patients died. Overall, the number of HIV infections in the country has consistently gone up: in 2002 the number of new cases was 50, compared to last year’s 153 or 2009’s 156. The rise this year suggests that the slight dip in 2011 and 2009 were aberrations in an otherwise upward trend.
Czechs spent just under 17 billion crowns in supplementary charges on medicines at pharmacists last year. The number represents a jump of two percent from 2010. Overall sales of drugs and medicines at pharmacies amounted to almost 64 billion. Pharmacies received a total of almost 74 million prescriptions.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has reached the US Open fourth round; Kvitová is the only female player in 2012 to reach at least the quarterfinal stage at three grand slam events. On Friday, the left-handed player defeated Frances’ Pauline Parmentier 6:4, 6:4. The former Wimbledon champion faces Marion Bartoli on Sunday.
Football’s Atletico de Madrid sent a barrage of shots against Chelsea and goalkeeper Petr Čech in the UEFA Super Cup, scoring four-times against the European Champions. Falcao notched a hat-trick in the first half and Atletico put the match beyond reach with a fourth goal in the second half; Chelsea’s Gary Cahill got a consolation goal for the London club in the 75th minute. This year’s Super Cup was played in Monaco.
In related news, the competition next year will by hosted by Prague. Legendary former football international Pavel Nedvěd, 2003’s European footballer of the year and a UEFA Super Cup winner with Lazio in 1999, said in an interview for UEFA that he was “extremely happy” over the choice, saying that the Czech capital had a lot to offer. The Super Cup pits the title holders of the Champions League against the reigning Europa League champions.
The Czech Air Force has officially taken over the NATO Baltic air-policing mission. The commander of the Czech contingent symbolically took over the mission from Poland at a ceremony at the Šiaulia airbase in Lithuania on Friday. The Gripen fighters of the Czech Air Force will start policing the Baltic airspace on Saturday. Their mission will last four months. This is the second time Czech pilots are guarding the airspace of the three Baltic countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – who lack their own air forces. Czechs were first deployed there in 2009.
Czech police have broken up a major international ring of document forgers
which was based in Prague and Brno but operated in several other European
countries, a spokesman for the organized crime unit of the Czech police
force said on Friday. Seventeen people including one Czech citizen were
arrested during police raids over the last week. The gang was headed by
five Albanian and Bulgarian men with permanent residency in the Czech
Republic. They forged Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Belgian, Dutch, Finnish
Danish passports, IDs and driving licences, as well as those of various
The police said the gang had gained control of the European black market for forged documents over the last decade as its counterfeits could not really be detected during ordinary checks. If convicted, gang members face up to 10 years in prison.
Deputy prime minister, and leader of the coalition LIDEM party, Karolína Peake, on Friday dropped her objections to the new head of Czech police. After meeting the new police boss, Martin Červíček, Ms Peake said she considered his appoinetment " a done deal". Earlier this week, Karolína Peake threatend to withdraw her groups's support for some key government bill in retaliation for the dismissal of Mr Červíček's predecessor in the post of the police cheif.