A court in Opava on Friday conditionally released a woman sentenced to prison for the abuse of her two sons in the 2007 Kuřim case. She has served six years out of her nine-year term. The boys’ mother was sentenced along with five other people including Barbora Škrlová, a 33-year-old woman at the time who posed a 13-year-old girl. The group severely abused the boys, presumably to force them into obedience; the true motivation of the abusers has never been established.
A former dean of Charles University’s 1st Faculty of Medicine, Tomáš Zima has been elected the university’s new rector. Mr Zima received 42 out of 70 votes in the second round of voting by the Academic Senate, beating the other candidate, deputy rector Stanislav Štech. Tomáš Zima will assume his post in February when the four-year term of his predecessor, Václav Hampl, expires. Mr Zima, who is 47, served as the dean of the medical school until last year when he became the head of the faculty’s Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics.
Close to 8,000 Czechs abroad have registered to vote in the elections; some of them have travelled hundreds of kilometres to the nearest polling station. There are 104 polling stations outside the Czech Republic, mostly at Czech embassies and consulates. Czechs abroad are selecting candidates from the central Bohemian ballot.
The Czech Health Ministry on Friday warned against three batches of NovoMix 30 Flexpen insulin pens, produced by the firm Novo Nordisk. They were found to contain inconsistent amounts of the active ingredient and are being withdrawn from the market. Some 2,500 Czech diabetes patients are at risk of using the pens; the ministry said they can receive new insulin pens free of charge. The warning came from the EU’s medicines agency and applies to 12 countries of the bloc.
Czechs abroad have started voting in the country’s early general elections. Polling stations in the US open at 2pm local time on Thursday and voters who have registered to vote in the elections will be able to do so until 9 pm on Saturday. Close to 8,000 Czechs around the world have registered to vote in the elections, some travelling hundreds of kilometers to the nearest polling station. There are 104 polling stations outside the Czech Republic, mostly at Czech embassies and consulates. Czechs abroad will be selecting candidates from the central Bohemian ballot. In the Czech Republic polling stations will open at 2pm of Friday and voting will end twenty-four hours later.
The Prague gas company Pražská plynárenská is testing its network for potential leaks by intensifying the gas odor additives between now and next Wednesday. People can report leaks at the emergency line 1239. The last such test was undertaken in May of this year following a gas explosion in a building in the centre of Prague.
The police are prosecuting 32 people with the smuggling and sale of illegal drugs in Vinařice prison near Kladno outside of Prague. Drugs sold illegally to inmates were for the most part heroin, crystal methamphetamine and marijuana. Drugs were allegedly smuggled in by visiting relatives, through the mail, in packages thrown over the perimeter fence or even by inmates themselves returning to the prison from work. The suspects in the case, if found guilty, could face up to five years in prison, the police revealed on Thursday.
The government’s former human rights commissioner Monika Šimůnková has accused the Rusnok cabinet of downplaying the security threat presented by Russian Cossacks in the Czech Republic as a concession to Moscow. Mrs. Šimůnková, who was dismissed as head of the government’s human rights section and later resigned as human rights commissioner said the real reason for her removal from office was a clash over an annual report on the state of minorities in the Czech Republic. She said the report she handed the government contained a warning regarding the risk presented by the cultural association of Russian Cossacks who were actively disseminating Russian propaganda. The prime minister allegedly ordered the passage to be scrapped in order not to antagonize Russia. The former human right’s commissioner has also accused the government of trying to marginalize the human rights agenda and bring it under the interior ministry.
An eleven-year-old boy was among those awarded for bravery during a ceremony organized by the Czech Association of Firefighters on Thursday. The boy saved his younger sister’s life by carrying her out of the house when a fire broke out. The association traditionally awards people who risk their lives to save others as well as distinguishing members from its own ranks for acts of exceptional courage.
Part of the D47 highway from Brno to Ostrava may have to undergo emergency repair work after an inspection found a serious fault in its construction. According to the transport ministry one of the lower layers of the highway –a layer of gravel essential for the stability of the road surface - is missing. It is not yet clear how big a stretch of the road would have to be repaired. The firm which undertook the construction says it wants to see the results of the inspection.
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