Czech government experts will meet for a second time on Monday to get to grips with the impact of trade sanctions caused by the Ukraine crisis on the local economy and what steps can be taken to cushion the blow for companies. Short and long term measures to help exporters are being prepared with the meeting expected to yield firm proposals for action. Russia responded to European Union and other sanctions with a blanket ban on European food exports to the country. Prague is also hoping that help for affected agricultural producers could come from Brussels.
In an interview with Czech Television, Czech president Miloš Zeman has given a positive assessment of the current coalition government, which came into office this January. Specifically, Zeman noted that the government should be ranked on economic growth, and related indicators such as real wages and increased pensions. With this in mind, he said he believed the government has "withstood the test". But Mr. Zeman did note that if it were up to him, he would replace a few "weaker" ministers in the cabinet. The president declined, however, to name names.
Andrew Schapiro, the designated new United States ambassador to the Czech Republic, is to arrive in the country to assume his post, writes ČTK. Mr Schapiro, who possesses Czech roots, will replace outgoing ambassador Norman Eisen, who has been in the post since 2011. Schapiro was nominated to the position back in March - the precise date he will present his credentials to the Czech president is not yet known.
The Prague Transport Museum has added a new item to its impressive collection of historic vehicles - a red and white 1932 tram, connected to a 1908 wagon. Of note are special tinted windows to comply with wartime blackout conditions. Around 800 such trams were in operation in Czechoslovakia until 1974.
The first year of a new Roma-themed film festival is to kick-off at the end of September, reports Denik.cz. The festival, entitled Čačikano, will take place at the Světozor cinema in central Prague. According to festival organiser Alžběta Jílková, the event is designed to highlight the richness of Roma culture and also overturn prevalent stereotypes.
Spaniard Dani Pedrosa has won the Czech Motorcylce Grand Prix in Brno, completing 22 laps on the 5.4-kilometre course in 42 min and 47 sec. The win thwarted fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez's hopes of securing 11 straight MotoGP wins; instead he had to settle for fourth place. Czech competitor Karel Abraham came in 14th place with a time of 43 min 51 sec.
The Czech Supreme Court has affirmed a principle of joint responsibility in instances when a group of assailants causes the death of a particular individual, writes Aktualne.cz. The ruling relates to a drawn-out 2007 murder case in which an argument among a group of people led to a fight and subsequent fatal stabbing of one individual. It was not possible to determine who specifically had caused the murder. The case has spent years in the Czech court system. The Brno-based body has now affirmed a previous ruling that all involved parties must pay equal compensation to the victim's family.
The Vysočina region of the Czech Republic has seen an alarming rise in the number of tick-borne encephalitis cases. According to newly-released data, the number of cases has doubled in comparison with the previous year - 19 recorded instances in the region this year, none proving fatal. Incidences of another tick-borne disease, Borreliosis, in Vysočina are also up, with 118 reported cases. Low levels of inoculation by Czechs against these diseases as compared with countries such as Austria, are partially blamed for the high infection rate.
Seeking to secure an additional CZK 600 million in revenue for road-building projects, the Ministry of Transport is set to increase toll fees for transport trucks by up to ten percent, reports Czech Television. According to the ministry, the time to raise the fees is ideal in order to prevent a fall in available infrastructure funding. The changes would come into effect next year.
An ammonia leak on Saturday afternoon at a Kladno bakery complex operated by the Belgian La Lorraine chain led to the site being sealed off by firefighters and hazardous materials specialists. Ultimately, only two people were found to have suffered light injuries as a result of the leak. Back in February, the same facility, which employs 500 people, suffered serious fire damage, reports ČTK.