Romani residents of the northern Bohemian town of Krupka have come to an agreement with the city council over the recent city ordinance and announced they will cancel the protest planned for 5 September. The ordinance that came into effect on 10 July, prohibits sitting atop of walls, and using chairs, grills and cookers on public property in some parts of the city – specifically in the Horní Maršov neighborhood that is inhabited by mostly socially excluded residents. The city council promised to place benches in the neighborhood, while residents agreed to respect the ordinance, town hall spokesman said on Tuesday.
A cloud of nitrogen gas escaped from the Synthesia chemical plant in the eastern Bohemian city of Pardubice on Tuesday. The leak resulted from an explosion of a nitrogen fuel tank that took place at night. Firefighters were at the scene immediately and are advising local residents to close their windows.
Over the last several days, unknown perpetrators in Karlovy Vary vandalised several signs at the town’s Russian Orthodox Church of Peter and Paul, expressing support for imprisoned members of the female group Pussy Riot. The story was reported on Tuesday by Czech news site idnes. At least one slogan scribbled on the signs called for the group to be freed. The group – which has gotten public support from international pop stars like Madonna and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers – was sentenced in Russia last week to two years in prison for an anti-Putin protest staged in March in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Aside from a number of signs at the Karlovy Vary church being vandalised, the church’s Father Nikolaj received a threatening text message, idnes said. The police were contacted over the incident.
A roughly two-week-old newborn was left in a babybox in Plzeň on Tuesday morning, the first child left at the Plzeň facility. The babybox system founder Ludvík Hess revealed the child was in good health and had been given the name Norbert by staff. Babyboxes were conceived as a safe any anonymous way for a parent to hand over a child they are unwilling or unable to care for; the system, launched in 2005, has since saved 76 infants. The Plzeň babybox was only installed in March of last year, after several years of negotiations. Some paediatricians as well as the former regional governor, Milada Emmerová, had opposed the idea.
Activists from the Occupy Czech movement threw paper airplanes into the gardens behind Straková academy, the seat of the Czech government, on Tuesday. The airplanes were made from anti-government leaflets and contained messages to the members of the cabinet calling for some or all of them to resign.
On Tuesday, more record high temperature was recorded in the Czech Republic. In the north Bohemian town of Doksany, a 23-year-old record was broken with a measurement of 34 degrees Celsius during the day. The Czech Republic has experienced the second day of intense heat, after temperatures spiked to over 40 degrees Ceslsius in some parts of the country on Monday.
A Prague district court has set bail for former Central Bohemian governor and MP David Rath (arrested in May on corruption charges) at 14 million crowns (the equivalent of almost 700,000 US dollars). The spokesman for the court Jiří Wažik stressed that the court on Monday decided only on the amount – not whether Mr Rath would indeed be freed from prison, where he has been under stricter confinement awaiting trial for fear he might try and influence witnesses. The court, the spokesman made clear, would take its decision in September if the bail amount was met. The former regional governor, David Rath, was arrested in May of this year – caught with a suspected bribe of seven million crowns on his person. On Monday, the MP’s wife Eva, his father Ratmír as well as Mr Rath himself were present in the courtroom as the bail was set.
Justice Minister Pavel Blažek has named Adam Bašný deputy to Lenka Bradáčová – the head of the high state attorney’s office in Prague. In the past, Mr Bašný was the head of the Liberec branch of the regional state attorney’s office in Ústí nad Labem; in 2009 he was recalled from his post at least in part for commenting on a corruption case involving then-deputy prime minister Jiří Čunek. Since last July Adam Bašný served on the EU’s civilian mission in Kosovo. The spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry, Petra Hrubá, said on Monday that that the new deputy prosecutor was a specialist in corruption cases and economic crime; his naming has been backed by Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman.
The Social Democratic Party, says news website idnes, will send potential
voters in this autumn’s regional and Senate elections mock postal orders
starting Tuesday to draw attention to the government’s church property
restitution deal worth an estimated 135 billion crowns. The mock orders
part of a broader election campaign by the Social Democrats to draw
attention to the deal’s scope – will “charge” Czechs almost 13,000
crowns per head to be “sent” to Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek.
Social Democrats recently made clear they would make church restitution a
key election issue in the upcoming regional elections; a similar campaign
covering state debt was used in the past by right-of-centre party TOP 09.
The government proposal on church property restitution was rejected by the Senate last week but is likely to pass when it comes up again in the lower house where government MPs have the majority.
Renovation of the B wing at Prague’s Motol Hospital will resume on Tuesday, hospital officials have revealed, less than a week after work was halted over structural concerns about the building. It had been discovered that the wing, which is empty, had moved ten centimetres over two weeks, leading to fears that more than 200 children in a neighbouring ward could be at risk. Structural engineers, who examined the building last week, however, reported that the evacuation of the patients from the neighbouring site would not be necessary; there is reportedly no danger that the B wing or neighbouring structures could collapse.