The 2012 international festival of artistic blacksmithing is taking place at Helfštýn Castle over the weekend. This year the event attracted over 400 blacksmiths from twenty countries including the US, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. The festival was established in 1982 and has gained considerable popularity over the years. It allows blacksmiths to present their craft to the public not just exhibiting pieces they are proud of but working on new ones in the castle courtyard to show off their skills to visitors. It has also become a popular meeting place for people in the blacksmiths trade. This year’s festival attracted close to 10,000 people.
American rock band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Prague’s Synot Tip Arena football stadium on Monday August 27th. The band which is promoting its latest album I’m With You will roll out a mix of old and new hits for fans including Ethiopia, Factory of Faith, Monarchy of Roses as well as the popular Dani California, Scar Tissue, Under the Bridge or Californication.
Petra Kvitová beat Maria Kirilenko 7-6 (9), 7-5 on Saturday to win the New Haven Open, the Czech star's second WTA tournament title in three weeks. The second-seeded Kvitová trailed 5-2 in the second set before reeling off five consecutive games for the victory that avenged a loss to the Russian in the Olympic quarterfinals.
Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová has filed a complaint against state attorney Petra Pavlanová for foot dragging on important cases and neglecting her duties. Bradáčová, a widely respected anti-corruption crusader who was named to the post in July, has refused to provide any details as to the cases involved. She said State Attorney Pavlanová had grossly neglected her duties for months. The state attorney in question has not issued a public statement with regard to the case.
Interpol has been asked to provide assistance in the ongoing investigation into IZIP, the controversial electronic health records project which was abandoned earlier this year for being ineffective and overpriced, the daily Lidové Noviny reported on Saturday. The Czech anti-corruption police who are investigating a number of suspect deals in public procurement reportedly asked Interpol for assistance in investigating a foreign link. The ambitious electronic health records project IZIP launched in 2002 cost taxpayers 1.8 billion crowns and was scrapped by the government in May of this year as ineffective and financially disadvantageous.
Standard & Poor’s on Friday affirmed the AA- sovereign rating assigned to the Czech Republic. The agency said the country’s financial, monetary, and economic institutions remained robust and stable, enabling the economy to adjust quickly to adverse shocks. It warned however that the country’s favourable credit rating could come under downward pressure should the state of public finances worsen or should the country reverse the fiscal policies pursued by the current government.
Seventy-five political parties and movements will compete in the autumn regional elections, the CTK news agency reports. The Civic Democrats, TOP09, the Social Democrats and Communists have fielded candidates in all 13 regions as have a number of smaller parties not represented in Parliament such as Milos Zeman’s Party of Civic Rights, the Green Party and the Pirates’ Party. Voters will thus have a broader choice of candidates than they did in the last elections when they could chose from 60 political groupings.
Two hundred and thirty-three candidates are running for office in the Senate elections in which 27 seats will be contested in October. The elections will decide whether the opposition Social Democrats will regain their majority in the upper chamber. Only the Civic Democrats, Social Democrats and Communists have fielded candidates in all 27 constituencies. The first round of Senate elections will be held on October 17th and 18th together with regional elections. The second round will take place two weeks later. Elections to a third of the Senate are held once in two years.
Two Czechs, a father and son, were killed on an Austrian highway shortly after midnight after getting out to change a flat tire and getting hit by a truck. According to the APA news agency the accident happened on the highway to Salzburg. Apparently the car was parked correctly and the men put out warning triangles behind their vehicle before getting to work on the tire. One truck reportedly gave them a wide berth but another following in its wake failed to see them and hit them at full speed. Both were killed on the spot. Two other people in the car were unhurt but had to be treated for shock.
Eight hundred and eighty one people were ordered out of their homes in connection with domestic violence in the first seven months of the year, according to the White Circle of Safety, an NGO assisting victims of domestic violence. Restraining orders were issued on average for a ten day period to give victims time to re-think their situation and take measures to protect themselves and their children. According to the NGO 12 percent of the perpetrators are repeat offenders. Domestic violence has been perceived as a crime in the Czech Republic since 2004 and the law enabling perpetrators to be ordered out of their homes was passed in 2007.