The Czech coronation jewels will be on display at the Prague Castle again after five years, for the occasion of the election of the new president. The jewels will be displayed at the Vladislav hall at Prague Castle between May 10 and 19. The entrance will be free of charge. Among the jewels is the St. Wenceslas crown that was made and first worn by Charles IV in 1347. The other objects, such as the royal sceptre, the orb and the coronation vestment come in the 14th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Financial analysts at the Česká spořitelna bank have calculated that Czechs spend approximately 5% of their total expenses abroad, based on the fact that their spending outside of the Czech Republic by credit and debit cards amounted to 45.9 billion crowns last year. Analysts claim that the number of trans-border shopping trips is on the rise due, to a large extent, to the rise in the Value Added Tax and the weakening of the crown. What is interesting is that the Czech Statistical Office estimated the amount spent abroad to 2.3%, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Saturday. This may mean that the Czech households are not as badly off as it has seemed from official statistics, the report claims.
Holešovice Fashion Market is taking place on Friday and Saturday of this week for the fifth year in a row. The fashion market, held at Prague’s Holešovice market hall, offers clothes, accessories and other creations by Czech and Slovak independent designers. The market will be open on Saturday until 10 pm.
The second annual Arnošt Lustig Prize has been awarded to the radio and television announcer Kamila Moučková, who openly criticised the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and was a signatory of Charter 77. In August 1968, Ms Moučková said on live television that Czechoslovakia was occupied and was subsequently led out of the studio by Soviet soldiers. She was later fired and banned from working in her profession. Until 1989 Ms Moučková, who is now 85, worked as a cook, a cleaning lady and a factory worker, and was constantly questioned by the secreted police until the Velvet Revolution, when she was able to return to her previous occupation. The Arnošt Lustig Prize is awarded to people who have exhibited courage, perseverance and humanity throughout their life.
Ahead of a debate in the lower house of parliament over healthcare fees, the opposition Social Democrats said they want to revoke hospital-stay fees for children up to the age of 18. Currently all hospitalized patients, including children, pay 100 crowns per day. The Social Democrats released an official statement reiterating their earlier claims that if they win the 2014 elections they plan to revoke all healthcare fees that were introduced by Mirek Topolanek’s government.
The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting has launched an investigation over alleged violation of journalistic objectivity and balanced reporting of the presidential campaigns on Czech Television and the private TV Prima broadcaster. Two shows on Czech Television are being put in question over their objectivity, while Prima is being investigated over the choice of the candidate chosen for their televised presidential duels before the first round of elections, where nine candidates were in the running. The late night talk show of Jan Kraus has also been questioned over impartiality.
U.S. President Obama has awarded Czech-born Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun the Medal of Honour posthumously for his extraordinary heroism while serving with the 3d Battalion of the US army during combat operations in the Korean War. The Medal of Honour is the highest US military award. Speaking at Thursday’s ceremony President Obama said Chaplain Kapaun had walked bravely through enemy fire to provide comfort and medical aid to injured and dying soldiers. He died in a POW camp in 1953. Members of Chaplain Kapoun’s family and a number of Korean War veterans looked on as President Obama handed the Medal of Honour to the chaplain’s nephew.
Police this week arrested a six-member gang operating in the area of Domažlice, suspected of producing and selling the illegal drug pervetin (methamphetamine). The detained are two women and four men ranging between 20 and 37 years of age. Police suspect the gang began operation in the area last April. So far, there is evidence of the production and sale of 70 grams of the drug but the amount produced was much higher, the head of the Domažlice police Lubomír Martinec said. Members of the gang allegedly travelled to Poland as well as Germany to buy over-the-counter medicine used in the drug’s production.
The first public elementary school in the Czech Republic to introduce school uniforms has said, eight months on, the project has been a success. The principal of Zš Františky Plamínkové in Prague 7, Josef Koudela, expressed the conviction that the uniforms (worn by the first-years) had helped the children better identify with their school. A recent poll by SANEP suggests that 40 percent of Czech parents support the idea of school uniforms; some psychologists are opposed, however, questioning their usefulness. The Education Ministry has stayed on the sidelines on the issue, leaving the decision up to individual schools.
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