The band Kryštof won two prizes at this year's Anděl music awards. Judges awarded the Band of the Year and Album of the Year prizes to the band, which was founded twenty years ago, at the Saturday evening ceremony in Prague. Aneta Langerová, who won the first season of the TV show Czech SuperStar in 2004, was selected as the best female singer of 2012, and Vojtěch Dyk of Nightwork as the best male singer. The folk-rock band Zrní was awarded the Best Newcomer of the year prize.
Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, has requested to revoke the Czech state-owned energy company ČEZ's distribution license in the country, citing deplorable pricing tactics that were revealed during a month-long investigation into the firm. ČEZ denies the allegations and said it did not yet receive the findings. Investigations into Czech and Austrian energy distributors in Bulgaria were triggered by massive street protests over high energy prices in January.
After winning two races on two consecutive days - the sprint and the 10K pursuit - at the Biathlon World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, Gabriela Soukalová claimed her third victory in a row at the final Mass Start event. The 23-year-old's first victory of the season, and the first World Cup gold of her career, came this past December when she won the women’s sprint in Slovenia.
Police in Ostrava have arrested a three-member gang that was responsible for a series of car thefts in the region, costing a total of around two million crowns. The police had been working on apprehending the gang for nine months. One of the men, who was allegedly commissioned by the other suspect, stole the vehicles together with his female companion. He is suspected on 24 counts of theft, while the woman has been charged in 22 cases.
Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda said that he does not expect the Civic Democrat's partner in the city council, the TOP 09 party, to abandoned the coalition once the conciliation procedure ends on Monday. During the Sunday talk show Questions with Vaclav Moravec, the mayor said that problems surrounding one of the points of contention - the financing for the construction of a major tunnel called Blanka - should be resolved by the end of April, when the city will finish checking questionable invoices. Mr Svoboda said that if TOP 09 were to abandoned the coalition now, as it has threatened to do during the conciliation proceedings in the past two week, it would send a bad signal to voters.
Interior and furniture designers Lucie Koldová a Dan Yeffet were awarded the top prize at the Czech Grand Design ceremony on Saturday evening. The annually held Czech Grand Design competition was created seven years ago to draw attention to young up-and-coming Czech designers and photographers. This year's winners in eight categories received the awards in the form of silver and gold sticks with cotton candy on them.
The shadow finance minister, Jan Mládek, apologized for his statement made at the Social Democratic Party Congress on Saturday, in which he characterized self-employed owners of small businesses as parasites who exploit their employees and fail to contribute to the social security system. In a press release, Mr Mládek said that his statement was misinterpreted and that the government, not the entrepreneurs, is the parasite that is ineffective in collecting taxes. Earlier, the chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Bohuslav Sobotka, distanced himself from the statement of his colleague, following criticism from Prime Minister Petr Nečas.
The shadow finance minister Jan Mládek announced that if his party, the Social Democrats, will come to power after the parliamentary elections in 2014, they will introduce a progressive personal income tax with a highest rate of 38 percent of the gross salary. Speaking at the Social Democratic congress on Saturday, Mr Mládek said the Social Democrats will raises corporate taxes from 19 to 21 percent, and create a special 30-percent tax for large financial, energy and telecommunication companies.
The Social Democrats voted down a proposal to repeal a resolution that prohibits the party from creating a governing coalition with the Communist Party. Although the proposal received the support of only nine delegates at the party congress, the party’s chairman Bohuslav Sobotka has indicated in the past that he would consider forming a minority government with the support of the communists. The largest opposition party is currently expected to win the next parliamentary elections.
A plaque commemorating former Czechoslovak president and general Ludvík Svoboda was unveiled in his hometown of Hroznatín in the Vysočina region on Saturday. A few hundred people attended the ceremony to commemorate soldiers of the First Czechoslovak Army Corp, which Svoboda commanded and which fought alongside the Soviet Red Army on the Eastern Front during World War Two. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the battle of Sokolovo, during which Soviet and Czechoslovak troops were able to stop the German army’s advance into eastern Ukraine.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s