Rastislav Maďar, the president of a Czech organisation focusing on infectious diseases and tropical medicine, has warned that families with children who under the age of two years should avoid exotic destinations or less developed parts of the world for risk of illness. Citing statistics from inoculation centres, he suggested that India, Nepal, Peru and less-traveled parts of Thailand were riskiest for toddlers, where they could pick up diarrhea, inner-ear infections, respiratory illnesses, fever, and heatstroke, to name a few. Mr Maďar also told the Czech news agency that an additional factor was poor or less-reliable health care in areas.
An express train heading from Turnov to Malá Skála hit a fallen tree in the early hours of Saturday; no one was injured in the accident – busses are being provided as alternative transport, the spokesman for Czech Railways said. The locomotive, luckily did not derail although the vehicle was damaged. Malá Skála is to see an influx of visitors on Saturday afternoon travelling to the first edition of a new local rock festival, this year featuring performers Richard Muller, Mig 21, Anna K and others.
Two new paths for cyclists will be added in the city of Plzeň within the Greenways projects thanks to EU funds. Pedestrian, cycling, and rollerblading have been expanded along the city’s four rivers since 2006. By the end of 2014 an additional 1.7 kilometres will be added at the cost of 27 million crowns the Plzeň’s Mayor Martin Baxa said.
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins face off in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday evening. Chicago will have home-ice advantage in what has so far been a closely-fought series. The Blackhawks won the last game to even the best-of-seven match-up at two apiece. Both clubs feature the talents of Czech players: the Bruins’ David Krejčí leads in the post season on points, while future hall-of-famer Jaromír Jágr has proven effective on key plays. At the same time, he has suffered a scoring drought.
President Miloš Zeman has started a series of meetings with party leaders with regard to the ongoing government crisis. On Friday afternoon he received the Civic Democratic Party’s nominee for prime minister Miroslava Němcová and acting party leader Martin Kuba at his residence in Lány. It will be up to the president to decide who will be given a chance to form the next cabinet. The president has not indicated whether he plans to give the outgoing centre-right coalition another chance to form a government. Mr. Zeman plans to meet with the leaders of all parliamentary parties over the weekend and will make his position known at a press conference on Tuesday.
TOP 09 on Friday officially accepted Miroslava Nemcova as the centre-right coalition’s joint nominee for prime minister. However the party conditioned its approval by a meeting of coalition leaders on Sunday and stressed the need for the Civic Democrats to lose no time in proposing a suitable replacement for the post of speaker of the lower house. The acting chairman of the Civic Democrats Martin Kuba said his party would be willing to consider a TOP 09 candidate for the post.
The public trust rating of the centre-right Civic Democrats has dropped to an all time low in the wake of a crippling corruption scandal that resulted in the demise of prime minister Petr Necas and his resignation as party leader. According to the results of a flash poll conducted in the wake of the scandal, the Civic Democrats would only get 8 percent of the vote in general elections. The Social Democrats would win the elections with 29,3 percent of the vote and the Communist Party would come in second with 16.1 percent. TOP 09 would come in third with 15 percent. The only two other parties who would make it past the 5 percent margin needed to win seats in Parliament would be the Christian Democrats with 7.5 percent and the Party of Citizens’ Rights with 6.6 percent.
The Senate has approved a bill which would strip convicted MPs of their salaries. The bill still needs to be signed into law by the president. Once in force it will affect MP Roman Pekárek who is serving a sentence for corruption. Another jailed MP, David Rath, also charged with corruption, awaits trial.
Lower house speaker Miroslava Němcová says that in her view the police raid on government offices last week violated constitutional principles. In an interview for Friday’s edition of the daily Hospodářské Noviny, Mrs. Němcová criticized the fact that the country’s leading officials were kept in the dark for hours about the purpose of the raid and even after the police failed to provide any information which would justify such extreme action. She said that if she is appointed to lead the next cabinet she would ask the interior and justice ministries to look into the matter.
Ivan Fuksa, one of the three former Civic Democrat MPs who have been charged with corruption, has appealed the court ruling under which he was remanded in custody. The former deputy questions both the argument that he could influence witnesses and the very essence of the charges brought against him, on the grounds that accepting perks does not constitute a crime.