Four in ten Czechs are proud of their citizenship, according to a recent survey by the Public Opinion Research Center (CVVM). The survey also revealed that 14 percent are ashamed of being Czech and 42 percent are ambivalent. National pride among Czechs has been steadily decreasing. In October 2011, 47 percent were proud of their Czech citizenship, while nine percent were ashamed of it. Around two-thirds of the respondents said if given a choice of any country of residence they would live in the Czech Republic. Two years ago, some 70 percent gave the same answer.
The Christian Democratic party wants to see their chairman Pavel Bělobrádek become the deputy speaker of the lower house, if they were to enter into a coalition government with the Social Democrats and the ANO party. The deputy chairwoman of ANO, Věra Jourová, announced on Friday that her party expects to receive five or six cabinet posts in the possible new government, and are most interested in the ministries of interior, foreign affairs and finance. ANO also want to nominate one of their deputies for the post of speaker of the lower house. The Social Democrats, who received the most votes in the October general elections, are planning to begin discussions on the possible make-up of the future government on Saturday evening at the meeting of the party leadership.
Thirty-eight Romani university students have received a stipend worth 21,500 crowns (800 Euros) for the academic year from the Roma education fund. According to some estimates, there are a little over 100 Romanis studying in Czech universities. Most of them are focusing on the fields of education, humanities, as well as economics and medicine. In the nine years of existence, the Roma education fund has provided stipends to 205 Roma university students.
FBI agents have arrested a man suspected of robbery and torture in Prague. Hossein Nayeri and three others were charged with kidnapping for ransom, aggravated mayhem, torture and burglary after they allegedly drove the owner of a California medical marijuana dispensary to the dessert last October and brutally tortured him in order to get money from him. One of the suspects was arrested already last year, while two others were arrested on Friday in Fresno. Mr. Nayeri was allegedly transferring flights in Prague on Thursday on his way to see his family in Spain. He will face extradition proceedings in the Czech Republic.
Top Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková took second place in the 3000 meter race at the opening World Cup speed skating event of the season in Calgary, Canada. Sáblíková finished 35 seconds behind the German veteran skater Claudia Pechstein, and 29 seconds ahead the current world champion Ireen Wust of the Netherlands.
A nursing secondary school in Prague has forbidden two of its female Muslim students to wear the tradition hijab headdress to class, causing the students to leave the school. One of the students offered to wear the scarf in a way that would only cover her hair, but the school’s principal said that it was still unacceptable. The other student began attending classes without the hijab, but also left the school a few days later. The school said that wearing any headgear is against official policies and that the 23-year-old Somali and the 25-year-old Afghan students had other problems with school rules, which the young women deny. There are currently no laws in the Czech Republic, which concern religious dress in public.
A spell of unusually warm weather has broken temperature records across the Czech Republic. A weather station in Prague’s Klementinum complex registered the temperature of 17.9 degrees Celsius on Friday, breaking the previous record of 16.5 degrees for November 8 from 1895. In Olomouc, meanwhile, the temperature of 16.8 degrees broke a record from 1928. Friday’s highest temperature – 20.1 degrees Celsius – was registered in Dyjákovice, in south Moravia.
The Czech unemployment rate in September remained at 7.6 percent, unchanged from the previous month, according to government figures released on Friday. The country’s labour offices registered over 550,000 job seekers last month, which was 377 less than in September. Compared to the same month last year, however, there were nearly 60,000 unemployed people more. Analysts say the Czech labour market has stabilized but expect a slight increase in the number of jobless people in the coming months.
Czech astronomers would like to establish a “dark sky” area near the village of Manětín, in west Bohemia. The area of 315 square kilometres should improve conditions for astronomical observations, and reduce levels of light pollution. The idea has won support from the mayors of eight communities in the area which has one of lowest levels of population density in the country. There are now eight “dark sky” areas in Europe, two of them in the Czech Republic.
The Prague transit authority will on Saturday inaugurate metro carriages designated for singles, the company’s CEO Jaroslav Ďuriš told reporters. The middle carriage on each train running on the metro’s A line will offer single people a chance to chat and meet other singles on Saturdays between 10 AM and 10 PM, Mr Ďuriš said. The carriages will have no special signs; instead, passengers will be informed by boards placed in metro stations. The transit authority, which refers to the cars as “communication carriages”, has backed down on its original plan to designate the carriages strictly for people looking for new partners.
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Iconic Czech brands that survived competition from the West after the fall of communism
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Cold War “king of Šumava” story brought to life in new film by Irish director
Unions: Strike Wednesday will hit most Czech schools