The city of Brno faces major disruptions of its public transport system due to the renovation of a railway bridge in the centre of the city. Between July 14 and August 11, local and express trains will not stop at Brno’s Main Station but instead at the stations Brno-Židenice and Brno-Královo Pole. Passengers travelling to central Brno are advised to use buses and trams. Sections of several tram and trolleybus lines will also be closed due to reconstruction work during the summer.
The new environment minister, Tomáš Podivínský, has backed plans to
expand the Temelín nuclear power station. Speaking to reporters after a
visit to the plant on Friday, Mr Podivísnký said the planned
of two new blocks was important for the country’s energy stability.
critics say it would be highly unprofitable to go ahead with the plan
current electricity prices, the minister said the energy market was
distorted by subsidies for renewable sources of energy.
The state-owned energy firm ČEZ is planning to pick the winning bid for the multi-billion project this autumn; however, it’s not clear whether the caretaker government will award the contract, or whether the process will be concluded after the next general election.
Former prime minister Petr Nečas has strongly condemned the police
investigation of alleged corruption in his government. Speaking to
reporters after being questioned by investigators on Friday, Mr Nečas
the investigation was a “fabricated political case”, and the state
attorney overseeing the case was acting “wilfully”. The former cabinet
leaders also said he would not step down as MP despite the fact the police
has asked the lower house to strip him of his parliamentary immunity so
that he can be prosecuted.
Petr Nečas stepped down as prime minister last month after the police arrested his chief of staff, Jana Nagyová, and three former MPs for his party, the Civic Democrats. The authorities believe the MPs were corrupted when they accepted posts in state run-firms in return for giving up their seats in the lower house to make way for government legislation. Ms Nagyová also allegedly tasked the country’s military intelligence with spying on Mr Nečas’ wife.
The police on Friday called off a search for missing 1980s pop star Iveta Bartošová, a police spokeswoman said. The police are in touch with the 47-year-old singer although did not reveal her whereabouts. Ms Bartošová, who reportedly suffers from alcohol addiction, has been missing since Saturday, when a friend drove her from her home to unknown location.
A 24-year-old Czech woman was murdered in the US city of Chicago at the end of last month, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Friday. The woman was reportedly stabbed and strangled to death in her apartment on the night of June 24. The homicide is under investigation by the Chicago police; however, it has affected the Czech community in the city and even led to disputes at the Czech general consulate in Chicago after one of its employees was fired for having provided unauthorized information. The Czech ambassador to the US, Petr Gandalovič, is set to visit the city at the end of July in an attempt to calm the situation.
The Czech Justice Ministry Friday filed extradition request to the US embassy in Prague for US citizen Kevin Dahlgren who is wanted in the Czech Republic over four murders, a spokeswoman for the ministry said. The request was filed a day after the ministry received the respective documents from Brno prosecutors. Twenty-year-old Kevin Dahlgren is suspected of murdering a four-member family he was staying with in Brno in May. He then fled to the US where he was detained upon arrival and has since remained in custody.
Lucie Svěcená, a 15-year-old Czech swimmer, has set a new national women’s 100-metre butterfly record. She finished the race in 59.73 seconds at the Junior European Championships in Poland on Friday, becoming the first Czech woman to cover the distance in less than one minute. 18-year old Czech swimmer Jan Micka took two gold medals at the championships when he finished first at 400-metre and 1,500-metre free style.
The Education Ministry on Friday confirmed accreditation for the law faculty of West Bohemia University in Plzeň. The school can now admit students into its three- and five-years’ programmes. Plzeň law faculty was in 2009 hit by a scandal when it turned out that many of its graduates took very little time to earn degrees. However, the ministry’s accreditation agency said situation at the school had improved.
President Miloš Zeman has nominated the chief justice of Prague’s Municipal Court, Jan Sváček for judge of the Constitutional Court, a spokeswoman for the Senate said. Mr Sváček was nominated by then-president Václav Klaus but Senators did not approve him for the post. Since his inauguration in March, Miloš Zeman has nominated eight candidates for the top court, seven of whom were approved.
The Czech Banking Association on Thursday cut its economic forecast for 2013. It now predicts an 0.8 percent contraction of the country’s GDP, down from the 0.2 percent the association predicted in April. The report cites an unexpected drop in GDP in the first quarter of this year as the main reason for the revision; however, the authors said the economy should start recovering moderately towards the end of the year when quarter-on-quarter growth is expected.
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