Deputy environment minister Tomáš Podivínský is set to become the environment minister in the Czech caretaker government, designated Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok told reporters on Friday. Mr Podivínský, a former career diplomat, has been at the ministry since October 2012. All but one post in the new government, to be appointed next week, has been filled; Mr Rusnok is yet to find the new finance minister. The designated prime minister said he would announced his candidates for the post on Monday.
The world premiere of a new feature film called Revival by the Czech director Alice Nelis is scheduled at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday. The movie, billed as a tragicomedy, follows former members of a fictional hard rock band Smoke and their efforts to come back. The film, which features several leading Czech film actors including Boleslav Polívka, Miroslav Krobot and Karel Heřmánek, will enter cinemas on July 11.
The Czech Republic marks the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of
Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius in Great Moravia on Friday, a
public holiday. Thousands of people attended a Catholic mass at Velehrad,
the capitol of the erstwhile Moravian empire. The mass, celebrated by Czech
and foreign Catholic dignitaries, was also attended by Czech President
Miloš Zeman. In a message marking the occasion, Pope Francis asked Czechs
to appreciate their Christian roots and build a society of tolerance and
Around 750 city and town halls in Moravia hoisted the Moravian flag on Friday to mark the anniversary. On Thursday, the celebrations started with a charity concert in Velehrad by the Zlín philharmonic orchestra and a number of other performers.
Czech hockey forward Patrik Eliáš has signed a three-year contract with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL, the club where he spent the last 17 seasons. Eliáš said in a statement he was excited to be back with New Jersey, and felt special to be a member of one organization his entire career. He is set to earn 16.5 million US dollars over the next three years; his previous, seven-year contract with the Devils expired earlier this year. The 37-year-old Czech has appeared in 1090 games for the New Jersey Devils, winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 and 2003.
Two sections of the country’s major D1 motorway between Prague and Brno is set to close for traffic for 14 hours on Friday night due to reconstruction works. Six bridges over the road will be demolished, part of major renovation the motorway will undergo over the next four years. The sections to close until Saturday morning are located near Brno and in Central Bohemia; traffic will be diverted onto local roads for the duration of the works.
Some 25,000 children are set to go on summer camps organized by the Czech Scouts and Guides this summer, the group said on Friday. The number of their camps has grown to over 1,000, despite the economic crunch felt by many families. The camps last some 15 days on average, and cost between 800 and 1,000 crowns per child and week. Last year, around 170,000 children went to summer camps organized by schools and various groups.
Prime minister designate Jiří Rusnok has filled three more ministerial posts in the emerging caretaker cabinet. Outgoing defense minister Vlastimil Picek, who has received an offer to continue in office, has agreed to do so. Jiří Cienciala, the rector of the Ostrava School for Entrepreneurs, is to head the Industry and Trade Ministry while the former chief inspector of Czech Railways Zdeněk Žák will lead the Transport Ministry. Mr. Rusnok has not yet filled the post of finance minister and there has been speculation he may be considering former caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer for the post. The post of environment minister is likewise still vacant. The new cabinet is to be sworn in on Wednesday.
Responding to developments in Egypt, the Czech Foreign Ministry has said it is closely monitoring the situation and is concerned by the deep polarization of the Egyptian society in the course of the transformation process. The ministry urges a speedy restoration of democratic processes in Egypt by free and fair elections. It strongly condemns all acts of violence, especially violence against women, and firmly hopes that the security forces will take effective measures to protect the population.
The Boston Bruins, in a reversal, may try and again sign Czech hockey player Jaromír Jágr, several news sites report. Jágr was slated to leave the team following the Bruins’ defeat in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals – a move originally confirmed by General Manager Peter Chiarelli. But after forward Nathan Horton said he wanted to test the market, Chiarelli reacted by suggesting the club might rethink its position. Jágr went scoreless throughout the playoffs but was crucial on key plays, not least in games that went down the wire.
Thousands of people are streaming to the Velehrad pilgrimage site to attend celebrations marking the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia to spread the Christian faith and lay the foundations of literacy with the Glagolitic alphabet. A divine mass at the Velehrad basilica at midday Thursday was attended by high church dignataries, the papal legate, Cardinal Josip Bozanić of Zagreb, state dignitaries and foreign diplomats. The Days of People of Goodwill include a number of cultural events, a concert, exhibitions, lectures and conferences. Hundreds of officers are helping to direct traffic to the pilgrimage site.
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