Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and Police President Tomáš Tuhý have concluded a three-day working visit to Croatia. Craotia is one of the most popular holiday destinations with Czechs and the two country’s police forces cooperate in dealing with holiday makers’ problems. Throughout the summer and autumn a group of Czech police officers join Croat patrols to help deal with traffic accidents, thefts of documents and other problems. They also operate a phone helpline in Czech. According to the Croat authorities Czech tourists are relatively problem free and the joint patrols eliminate serious problems.
A Czech health insurance company has launched a pilot health awareness project for the parents and children to help fight obesity, the ctk news agency reports. Five percent of Czech children are obese and a growing number of them are overweight, largely due to a bad lifestyle. Doctors and insurance companies have been trying to reverse this trend since 78 percent of overweight children carry the problem into adulthood, resulting in serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. The prevention pilot project is for one parent and child and focuses on nutrition and physical activity.
A Prague taxi-driver who had gone missing for several days, sparking fears he might have been murdered, has contacted his family from Paris to confirm that he is alive and unharmed. His disappearance triggered a nation-wide search in connection with the still unexplained murders of three Prague taxi-drivers since the beginning of this year. One was shot in the head from behind in February after taking his client to an abandoned location outside Prague, the other two were murdered in a similar fashion in April. The case has spread panic among Prague taxi drivers and many are refusing to pick up clients on the street.
Regional Development Minister Věra Jourová, whom the coalition party ANO last week put forward as its nominee for EU commissioner, says that while regional development is her main area of interest she feels up to the challenge of accepting other portfolios. ANO put forward a new nominee, in place of former EU commissioner Pavel Telicka, in the hope of reaching agreement on the home front and winning support in Brussels which the party feels might be more inclined to favour a woman candidate. The Social Democrats are still pushing their own candidate for EU commissioner – former finance minister Pavel Mertlík. The coalition parties will try to agree on a single candidate next week.
Three stretches of the D1 highway between Šternov and Psáří in the Benešov region will be completely closed to traffic in both directions shortly before midnight on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday. The closures should take place successively and each closure should last for about an hour. The measure is due to work on an overpass which could not be undertaken with the present restriction of traffic to two lanes.
President Miloš Zeman and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš have stood up for Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová who is under fire for declaring her official residence to be the tax haven of Monaco. Finance Minister Babiš said in an interview for idnes.cz that since the Czech tennis star generally plays abroad her tournament wins would not be taxed in the Czech Republic anyway. President Zeman noted that Kvitová’s decision was a common practice among world class tennis stars and that the Czech Republic should be proud to have such an ambassador. He said he would be happy to receive her at Prague Castle. Left-wing politicians have slammed Kvitová for the decision and suggested she should no longer play for the Czech Republic.
The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is to end with a gala closing awards ceremony on Saturday evening. Two Czech films are in the running for the main prize: Andrea Sedláčková’s Fair Paly and Miroslav Krobot’s Nowhere in Moravia. The festival screened over 200 films including seven international premieres, two Czech premieres and, for the first time ever, an animated film. It will close with a screening of Damián Szifrón’s Wild Tales. For the first time ever the closing film and the closing gala ceremony of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will be shown live in cinemas around the Czech Republic.
Some 45 percent of Czechs support gay couples’ right to marry, according to a poll by the CVVM agency released on Friday. Around 73 percent of those surveyed said they were in favour of gay people’s registered partnership. The share of those supporting gay marriage has decreased by six percentage points since the previous poll conducted last year, the agency said. Meanwhile, some 45 percent of people in the Czech Republic believe gays should be able to adopt children, an idea opposed by 48 percent of those who took part in the poll.
Sixteen Czech firms have presented their bids for licences to grow and sell medical marihuana to pharmacies, the State Institute for Drug Control said on Friday. In the first phase of the two-round tender, the institute will review technical conditions while price will be the decisive factor in the second round. The winner will receive a licence to supply 40 kilos of medical marihuana. The drug is now legally imported from the Netherlands but no patients have been prescribed medical marihuana so far due to issues with prescription procedures, the news agency ČTK reported.
The police have arrested a 53-year-old man who allegedly made a threating phone call to Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová, a police spokeswoman said on Friday. The man reportedly made the phone call on Thursday, cursed at the tennis player and threatened her with physical violence and death. The tennis player alerted the police who arrested the man several hours later. The man’s motivation remains unclear. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison.