The ‘Chrastava shooter’ Pavel Vondrouš was handed down a half-year suspended sentence at a court in Liberec on Thursday. The prosecution accused him of endangering a public figure after he shot at the former president Václav Klaus with an Airsoft pellet gun last year in the town of Chrastava. In the end the court sentenced him for disorderly conduct. In his closing statement before sentencing, Mr Vondrouš said that he does not feel guilty and that he carried out his act not just for himself but for other Czechs who are suffering and are being overlooked by politicians. Former president Klaus, who only suffered minor bruising in the attack, was not present at the court hearing.
Most rivers that had swollen and flooded many parts of Bohemia in the past
week are slowly beginning to recede. This week’s floods claimed eight
lives and forced some 19,000 people to leave their homes. Some 31 thousand
people around the country lost access to drinking water in their places of
residence in the past four days, and many are still without power.
The Labe River reached its peak flow levels in the north Bohemian towns of Děčín and Ústí nad Labem on Wednesday night and began to slow down in the early hours of the morning. Areas surrounding the riverfront in both towns have been flooded since Wednesday morning, as water made it over floodwalls. In Ústí nad Labem, more than 3,000 people had to leave their homes, and in Děčín over 1,000 due to the inundation. The authorities expect the Labe to return to normal levels within the next week.
The Boston Bruins, with players David Krejčí and Jaromír Jágr, are a win away from making the Stanley Cup finals after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2:1 on Wednesday to take a commanding 3:0 series lead. The winning goal was scored by Patrice Bergeron in 2nd overtime on a play begun by Jágr against the boards. The 41-year-old Czech legend dug the puck out from Malkin, passing to Marchand who set up Bergeron for the winner. Goalie Tomáš Vokoun, who stopped 38 shots on the night, had little chance. In the playoffs, the Bruins’ Jágr, who has two Stanley Cup rings from more than two decades ago, has been effective at key moments; his teammate, David Krejčí, leads the postseason on points. So far he has scored nine goals and racked up 12 assists.
The Prague Biennale began on Thursday at the functionalist complex of the defunct freight railway station Žižkov in Prague. Among the artists representing the Czech Republic at the exhibit are Helena Hladilová, Jakub Nepraš and Luděk Rathouský. This sixth edition of the Prague Biennale will run until September 15. The Žižkov railway staition, which was built in 1936, has been recently given the status of a national heritage site and will be used in the future by cultural institutions and non-profit organizations.
The A and the B lines of the Prague metro are in full operation as of Thursday morning, although trains are still not stopping at seven stations that are in the immediate vicinity of the Vltava river. The C line will reopen on Friday, though some stations on that line will remain closed as well. All underground lines had been partly closed since Monday, as a precaution against floodingthat could have resulted from the rise in the water levels of the Vltava River earlier in the week.
The water levels of the Labe have not been rising in the town of Litoměřice, although it is not definite yet that they have reached their peak. Officials at the Lovochemie chemical plant in the nearby town of Lovosice decided not to release water into the complex despite the leaking flood barriers. The industrial complex, which produces chemical fertilizers, is now out of danger and the prime minister praised the company’s management for doing everything to avoid any damage to the environment. The Lovochemie complex was flooded in 2002 causing damage worth around 200 million crowns.
The Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech has won the Czech Republic’s Golden Ball award for footballer of the year for the fourth time in a row and the eighth time in total. The prize is voted on by the country’s association of sports journalists. On Friday, Čech (31) and the rest of the national team face Italy in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Prague.
A large court complex in Prague 9 was evacuated after an unknown person called in a bomb threat at one of the court buildings on Wednesday morning. The complex houses the district courts and state attorneys’ offices for the Prague 4,6,8,9 and 10 districts. More than a thousand people had to leave the buildings and the surrounding area was cordoned off until the bomb squad finished examining the whole of the complex.
Prague is preparing to remove the temporary flood walls that were set up along the Vltava river. Flooded roads and tram lines are being revitalized and clean-up work has started in the neighborhoods that were flooded. The water flow of the Vltava in the capital has gone down in the past 24 hours from 3,200 cubic meters per second to 2,500, allowing the Public Transportation Company’s employees to begin preparing the central metro station for reopening to the public, which is expected in the next two days. Five stations were reopened on Wednesday, but a number of others remain closed.
Although water in the Labe river has stopped rising in most areas south of
Litoměřice, north Bohemian towns of Děčín and Ústí nad Labem await
the river's peak on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Both towns have
been increasing flooded, as the Labe overflows the flood walls set up on
the embankments. Access to bridges, railroad stations and most streets
that run along the river are under water.
Distribution of electricity, gas and in some cases even running water in
parts of both
towns has been limited.
So far, this week’s floods in the Czech Republic claimed eight lives and some 19,000 people had to leave their homes. Some 31 thousand people around the country lost access to drinking water in their places of residence in the past four days, after flood water contaminated 636 wells and 72 public waterways.
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