The first non-conditional sentence for software piracy has been handed down by a Czech court. A man from Most received a 20-month jail term for illegally copying and selling software from the firms Microsoft and Adobe, the anti-piracy organisation BSA told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday. The software companies said the miscreant had caused them losses of half a million crowns.
City Hall in Brno has had a map created of sites where there is a relatively high risk that unexploded World War II bombs may be buried, the newspaper Brněnský deník reported on Tuesday. Bombs were dropped on the Moravian capital by both the Americans and the Russians in the latter part of the war. One historian told Brněnský deník that there are still 10 or 12 US time bombs in the city that could explode when celluloid strips preventing them from going off eventually perish.
Councillors in Brno have approved the naming of a narrow street in the city after late president Václav Havel. Václav Havel Alley leads from the theatre Divadlo Husa na provázku, with which the playwright was associated, to the cathedral at the city’s Petrov. The idea was put forward by a senior figure at the theatre; it was first rejected in a public internet poll before being approved in another vote in which people had to cast their ballots in person.
Police in Prague are stepping up security at banks in the city in the period leading up to Christmas when, they say, crime usually increases. Officers will focus on drop-offs of shops’ takings and ATMs. They will monitor selected banks and carry out checks on individuals spotted in their vicinity, a spokesperson said.
Viktoria Plzeň are preparing for a crucial Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow at their Štruncovy sady stadium on Tuesday night. It is not possible for either club to qualify from their group and the match will decide which claims third spot and a berth in the second-tier Europa League. Plzeň need to win 1:0 or 2:1 or by a two-goal margin to advance. It will be the West Bohemians’ last game under coach Pavel Vrba, who is taking over as manager of the Czech national team.
The Davis Cup has gone on display in the lobby of the Czech Radio building on Prague’s Vinohradská St. Visitors can view the tennis trophy and also have their photograph taken with it between 9:00 and 18:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Inspired again by veteran Radek Štěpánek, the Czech men’s team recently won the trophy for the second time in a row.
President Miloš Zeman has said he plans to have the final word in the line-up of the new cabinet. In an interview for Czech Radio on Sunday Mr Zeman said he would veto any proposed minister whom he did not consider to be an expert in the given field. Giving a case in point the president said he would never appoint Martin Stropnický from ANO 2011 to the post of defense minister although, in view of his qualifications, he would have no problem accepting him as culture or foreign minister. Critics say this may be a strategy on the part of the president to keep the interim Rusnok cabinet which he himself handpicked in office for as long as possible.
The Czech Republic is giving Bulgaria financial aid to help the country deal with a wave of Syrian refugees. Outgoing Interior Minister Martin Pecina signed an agreement to that effect with his Bulgarian counterpart Cvetelin Jovchev in Sofia on Monday. The 25 million crowns are to be used for the construction of new refugee centers and logistics. The Rusnok cabinet approved the aid package in November along with an aid package for Turkey which has already received 500.000 euro for the same purpose.
President Miloš Zeman, made clear in his regular broadcast Hovory z Lán on Sunday he will not boycott next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, unlike, for example, his German counterpart Joachim Gauck. Mr Zeman did say he was prepared, while there, to voice his views on human rights. A number of world figures are refusing to attend the Olympics over legislation in Russia discriminating gays and lesbians. Mr Zeman said in the broadcast that sexual orientation was a personal matter in which politics should have no part, which he could say at a press conference there. Mr Zeman will travel to Russia for two days to show support for the Czech Olympic team. According to the Czech News Agency, the president will also attend a reception of heads-of-state to be held by Russian President Vladimir Putin together with the country’s sports minister.
The prices of goods and services rose in November by 1.1 percent year-on-year after four months of steady numbers. The rise is presumably related to intervention by the Czech national bank aimed at weakening the Czech crown to improve conditions for export and spur consumer spending at home. The steps were introduced in the first week of November. Foodstuffs including dairy products, non-alcoholic beverages and vegetables as potatoes saw the highest price increases.