Strong winds have caused problems in the Moravian-Silesian, Olomouc and Zlín regions in northeast Czech Republic, destroying roofs and breaking off tree branches, damaging power lines and blocking roads. Meteorologists said that wind gusts in some parts of the region had reached hurricane speeds. Fire fighters report dozens of incidents that have required their assistance on Tuesday and Wednesday. The authorities’ warning against strong winds is in place until Thursday noon.
The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, served the traditional Christmas lunch for the homeless and the poor. The lunch was served at the Archbishop Palace and the Capuchin monastery in Prague’s Hradčany district on Wednesday. The menu included beef stock with liver dumplings, beef in cream sauce and roast duck, the organizers said. Some 270 people arrived for the lunch whose tradition started 15 years ago.
Czech courts will take years to arrive at a unified interpretation of the new Civil Code, the head of country’s union of judges, Tomáš Lichovník, said on Wednesday. The new code enters into force in January, and brings far-reaching changes to Czech civil law. The code will first be interpreted by district courts and courts of appeals but only the Czech Supreme Court will bring unified interpretation, Mr Lichovník said. Some judges are considering retiring due to the introduction of the new code, according to Mr Lichovník.
Czech NGOs might receive certification that should help donors find the right recipients of their gifts, a Czech association of non-profit groups said. The certification should be based on the effectiveness with which the groups use their financial resources, and should help identify the most efficient among thousands of Czech NGOs, according to the association. The certification methods are being devised in cooperation with the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations; the new system could be launched in 2015.
A spell of warm weather broke several temperature records across the Czech Republic on Christmas Eve. In Bohumín, in the northeast of the country, the temperature of 13.2 degrees Celsius was reported, beating a record from 1973. Unusually high temperatures were also recorded in Ostrava, the Šumava mountains, and other places.
The San Jose Shark’s forward Tomáš Hertl could miss the upcoming winter Olympic Games in Sochi due a keen injury. The 20-year-old Czech was injured in a last week’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. The first prognosis suggested he could be back on ice in a month’s time. But the Reuters news agency reported the player would have to undergo an operation which would almost certainly make him miss the games. The young Czech player had a great start into his first NHL season this year, scoring nine points in six games.
The Russian Finance Ministry announced on Monday that it has repaid the last part of its debt to the Czech Republic, which goes back to the time of the Soviet Union. Russia and the Czech Republic agreed on the repayment of the debt in 1994, and later the Czech government sold a large portion of 3.6 billion dollar total to a private company. Jiří Rusnok’s government approved the repayment of the remaining debt, of around 6.5 million dollars, this summer. The Russian ministry said it has paid it back through industrial production and monetary means.
The Office for the Protection of Competition has begun investigating the sale of the company Londa, which runs the most listened to radios station in the Czech Republic – Radio Impuls. Londa was sold in November to Agrofert, which belongs to the billionaire and chairman of the ANO party Andrej Babíš. The anti-monopoly regulator should make the decision about the merger within a month. The Agrofert group has also purchased the publishing house MAFRA, which puts out two popular daily newspapers Mladá fronta Dnes and Lidové noviny, earlier this year.
The Czech Academy of Sciences has breached the rules the distribution of grants, according to a report by the country’s Supreme Audit Office. The report says that grant applications were not processed transparently over the past six years, and in some cases, the academy could not show how they were processed at all. The institution also made errors in approving investments and purchases of scientific instruments.
The police have confirmed that the body of a mountain climber found over the weekend in Slovakia’s High Tatra mountains is that of Jaroslav "Jerry" Žilinský from Hradec Králové, who has been missing since late October. The body was found late on Friday by members of the mountain rescue service. The Slovak police have not yet determined the cause of death. Friends and family of Mr. Žilinský lost contact with him in late October after receiving letters and SMS messages suggesting he was planning to take his own life.