Fugitive former member of parliament Petr Wolf has settled the CZK 5 million financial penalty he received alongside a six-year jail term for subsidy fraud. The final installment was lodged by his wife on Thursday. Mr. Wolf, who was a Social Democrat backbencher, has been in hiding since failing to turn up to begin serving his jail term in January. He is believed to be somewhere outside Europe.
The controversial documentary depicting the Czech capital as a city of fraudsters and pickpockets aired on the National Geographic Channel last November was not filmed by the company’s own reporters but was acquired from Zig Zag Productions, the internet news site novinky.cz reports. The news site claims it has an exclusive interview with the documentary’s director Conor Woodman who allegedly spent ten days in Prague shooting at various locations and using hired actors to play out scenarios of tourists getting ripped off by taxi drivers, prostitutes and drug dealers. Prague is considering suing National Geographic over the report claiming in is manipulative and damages the city’s reputation.
The state of the environment in the Czech Republic improved in 2012, mainly due to an economic slowdown, according to a new government report released on Wednesday. The report notes a decrease in greenhouse gasses emissions which last year reached the lowest levels since 1990. Production of hazardous waste decreased by 10 percent last year, as did water consumption. The report also registers an increase in the numbers of deciduous trees which experts say improves the overall quality of forests. Among persisting environmental problems are high levels of air pollution in some areas, increasing noise levels, massive use of pesticides and mineral fertilizers, and others.
The Czech Republic’s footballers ended an unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign on a positive note with a 1:0 away win over Bulgaria on Tuesday night. The only goal of the game came from midfielder Bořek Dočkal early in the second half. The victory left the Czechs, who had already failed to reach Brazil next year, third in their group behind winners Italy and Sweden. Coach Michal Bílek quit with two matches remaining when it became clear his charges were out.
During his visit to the cigarette producer Philip Morris’ Czech plant in Kutná Hora on Wednesday, President Zeman has criticized the EU’s anti-smoking efforts. The president said he considered the final version of the EU’s latest watered-down anti-tobacco legislation “relatively good” but added that any attempts to regulate smoking only increased illegal trade with cigarettes. Mr Zeman suggested people don’t start smoking before the age of 27 which is when he himself became a regular smoker; after that age, according to the Czech president, the human body is mature enough and immune to tobacco’s adverse health effects.
The eighth annual festival of Austrian, German and Swiss cinema Das Filmfest begins in Prague on Wednesday. The event, hosted by the Altas and Lucerna cinemas, screens German-language feature films, documentaries and shorts, including the award-wining Swiss documentary More than Honey. The festival runs in Prague until Sunday before it moves to Brno the following week.
Historian Jaroslav Miller has been elected the new rector of Palacký University in Olomouc. Mr Miller, who has served as the chair of the history department at the university’s philosophical faculty, received 15 votes from members of the academic senate in the first round. The only other candidate, incumbent Miroslav Mašlán, got nine votes. The new rector is yet to be officially appointed by President Miloš Zeman.
The Social Democrats, the Citizens’ Rights Party and the ANO grouping have spent the most on advertising ahead of next week’s general election, according to a survey by the Admosphere agency. The Social Democrats spent 36.2 million crowns, followed by the Zemanites, with 35.5 million, and ANO which spent around 31 million. The agency estimates the advertising expenses of all political parties have exceeded 137 million crowns.
A court in Brno on Wednesday sentenced two men to 19 years in prison for the murder of an ex-police officer. The court said the two men shot their victim dead in front of his home in Brno in June, 2010. The murder was a contract killing ordered by a Brno businessman who was also arrested but committed suicide while in jail. The former policeman allegedly ran an extortion ring whose members are facing trial.
The Ghetto Museum in Terezín on Wednesday launched a new exhibition dedicated to the commanders and guards of the former Nazi concentration camp. Entitled Perpetrators of Crimes, the exhibit also follows the Nazi guards’ lives after the war. Around 155,000 Jews from various European countries were deported to Terezín between 1941 and 1945 on their way to Nazi extermination camps in occupied Poland.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Government to extend restrictions on movement until April 1st