An 18-month-old infant died on Friday after being savaged by his family’s dog at their home in Prague’s Žižkov district. The news website novinky.cz reported that the dog was a pit bull. The child’s mother is receiving specialist care. Neighbours said the animal had been vicious and attacked other dogs. The Czech police register several cases of dogs attacking children every year.
Simona Baumrtová took bronze in the 100m backstroke at the World Swimming Championships in the Turkish capital Istanbul on Thursday, securing the Czech Republic’s first medal in the competition in nine years. The 21-year-old beat her own Czech record to come third in a time of 57:08 seconds. Last month she became the first Czech swimmer to bring home four medals from a single competition, the European Short Course Championship in France’s Chartres.
Prague councillors have rejected a call to end the sprinkling of salt on the capital’s pavements to keep them safe for pedestrians in freezing weather, saying it was the most cost-effective approach. However, they said salting the streets would only take place when conditions were particularly bad. A petition organised by the Green Party and an animal welfare group calling for the cessation of the practise was signed by over 1,000 people; they said it harmed dogs’ feet and destroyed building foundations and people’s shoes. Salting the streets was banned for many years but reintroduced at the start of 2012.
The nine candidates standing in the Czech Republic’s first direct presidential elections have received their ballot numbers, following a draw by the State Election Commission on Friday. The vote will be held on the second and third weekends of January, with the two candidates who receive the most votes in the first round facing each other in the second. An opinion poll released on Thursday by the PPF Faktum agency suggested the front runner was Miloš Zeman, a former prime minister.
The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on Thursday that the Interior Ministry should register Jana Bobošíková as a presidential candidate, after the ministry rejected her application earlier citing an inadequate number of verifiable signatures. The court rejected the appeals of Tomio Okamura and Vladimír Dlouhý whose applications for candidacy were also previously rejected. There are now nine candidates who will be vying for the presidential post in the January elections.
The Czech Republic took 17th place among EU member countries in terms of its GDP per capita for last year, according to figures released by Eurostat. It improved by one place from the previous year, moving ahead of Greece. The Czech Republic has lower GDP per capita than three of the 12 newest EU member states – Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia.
The Civic Democrats want to include a proposal to provide scholarships for Czech students to attend top universities abroad in the new coalition agreement. The Hospodařské noviny daily reported that according to the proposal the scholarships would be given to high achievers who will be interested in studying subjects that are useful for public administration. Experts estimate that the government could send up to five students a year to study abroad, which would cost around ten million crowns from the annual budget.
The central vehicle registry in Prague, as well as in Pardubice, Karvina, Kladno and Brno, has collapsed after the system was electronically connected to the government databases of people and property addresses. The vehicle registration system has had numerous functionality problems ever since it was launched this summer. The current outage means that the vehicle registration office is unable to complete most of the visitors’ requests. During this time of the year, 250 to 300 people go to the registration office daily. The former Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš was pressured to step down from his post due to problems with the central vehicle registry.
The newly appointed Defense Minister Karolína Peake (LIDEM) announced a number of personnel changes at the ministry on Thursday after officially taking up the post the day before. Ms Peake dismissed the first deputy defense minister, General Vlastimil Picek, the armaments director Pavel Bulant and an advisor. The new defense minister said that she has offered Mr Picek another position at the ministry, but added that she believes that top positions at the defense ministry should be occupied by civilians. Shadow Defense Minister Social Democrat Jan Hamáček criticized Peake for making major changes after announcing on Wednesday that she will not do so.
The Václav Lídl gallery in Prague’s Vinohrady opened an exhibit of photographs of Czech presidents, from Tomáš G. Masaryk to the current presidential race. The exhibit includes photographs by famous photographers and some taken by amateurs. In total, some 11 thousand pictures are on display at the gallery .
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