Czech javelin champion Barbora Špotáková has been elected Athlete of the Year for the seventh time in her career. Another representative of the same discipline, javelin thrower Vítěslav Veselý came second and 400m runner Pavel Maslák came third. The Czech decathlon champion Jiří Sýkora was elected Newcomer of the Year and the title Coach of the Year went to the javelin legend Jan Železný.
The minister for human rights and minorities, Jiří Dienstbier of the Social Democratic Party, has slammed party representatives in the north Bohemian town of Duchcov who last week entered into a coalition with the ultra-right Workers Party. The party has been one of the main organizers of anti-Romany protests in the town of Duchcov. In a debate on commercial TV Prima, Mr. Dienstbier said he deeply regretted that any Social Democrat would enter into a coalition with a party that incites racial hatred which he said was a flagrant violation of the Social Democrats policy program and the values it upheld. Mr. Dienstbier said he agreed with the prime minister’s suggestion that the local branch of the Social Democrats should be scrapped and the persons in question expelled from party ranks.
Strict security measures are in place at Prostejov Hospital which on Saturday admitted a patient suffering from a fever, diarrhea and vomiting. The man is recently back from Nigeria and doctors have ordered tests for Ebola as well as other infectious diseases. The patient remains in isolation. Doctors say Ebola is unlikely, but all security measures ordered by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the deadly disease are in place.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has admitted there is no legislative framework for dealing with emergencies such as the devastating explosion at the Vrbětice munitions depot in Moravia. Speaking to journalists during a working visit to the affected region the prime minister said that the emergency had caught the authorities unprepared. This is an exceptional situation, unprecedented in the country’s modern history, and it has shown gaps in our legislation that need to be filled, Mr. Sobotka said. The prime minister said there were no emergency plans which could be put in place for the transfer of munitions untouched by the blast and no alternate grounds where they could be moved. The devastating explosion at the Vrbětice depot took place on October 16th and almost a month later pyrotechnics still don’t have the situation fully under control. The army is now guarding the site and should help with clean-up work. The munitions belonged to a private company which had leased the storage site.
A unique 64-carat diamond worth 16 million US dollars is currently on display in Prague. The stone, lent from Antwerp, was found in Lesotho, South Africa in 2012 and is the biggest diamond ever shown in the Czech Republic. The exhibition features a collection of some 200 diamonds of various colours, shapes and sizes altogether worth 21.5 million dollars. It can be viewed at Siroka 15 in Prague and will run until November 16th.
The Prague Transport Authority has announced that due to maintenance work in Prague’s Metro service on line A between the stations Dejvická and Můstek will be interrupted in both directions over the weekend. Metro service between the stations Můstek and Náměstí Míru will be provided on a single track by a shuttle train. Prague Metro is providing replacement buses.
Parts of Moravia, particularly the Ostrava and Karvina regions report worsened air quality with dust particles in the air exceeding three times permitted norms. Children, chronically ill and elderly people have been advised to stay indoors. Heavily-industrialized Moravia and Silesia are particularly prone to smog in the winter months and the problem is aggravated by city transport and coal heating.
A new police anthem which was to be played on special occasions has evoked a storm of controversy in police ranks. The majority of officers have rejected the anthem as a piece of music reminiscent of the 1950s communist era. Police president Tomáš Tuhý who released the anthem to the press on Friday has said he would get it reworked so that it would better represent a modern-day force.