Children returned to school in the Czech Republic on Monday morning after
two-month summer holidays. While the number of first class pupils is
expected to be down on previous years the overall number of elementary
school children is growing, the Czech News Agency reported. Secondary
schools should have a similar number of students to last year, when a
two-year decline came to a halt.
Under a new scheme supported by NGOs and ministries almost 20,000 disadvantaged children will get free school lunches.
President Miloš Zeman welcomed pupils at the T.G. Masaryk elementary school in Prague 6. The head of state was met by a protest by a number of parents, who were oppoosed to his visit.
Government leaders ANO would have won elections last month on 28 percent of
the vote, suggests an opinion poll carried out by the Kantar TNS agency for
Czech Television. That figure is less than two points below what the party
received in October’s elections.
The Czech Pirate Party, who got under 11 percent in October would now receive 15 percent, the survey indicates. Thirteen percent of respondents in the poll said they would vote for the Civic Democrats.
The Communists and Freedom and Direct Democracy would receive 8 percent of the vote, the poll suggests, while the Social Democrats and the Mayors and Independents would get 6.5 percent, the Christian Democrats would get 5.5 percent and TOP 09 5 percent.
Karolína Plíšková has reached the fourth round at tennis’s US Open
for the third time in succession. The Czech player overcame Ashleigh Barty
of Australia 6-4 6-4 to set up a clash with local favourite Serena
Williams, who has 23 Grand Slams titles to her name.
The Czech women’s doubles pairing of Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková have also advanced to the fourth round in Flushing Meadows. After winning the French Open and Wimbledon the pair are the top seeds at the final Grand Slam tournament of the year.
The Social Democrats’ nominee for foreign minister, Miroslav Poche, has
been a very negative force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš. Mr. Babiš said on a TV discussion show on Sunday
that Mr. Poche, who is currently a political secretary at the ministry,
would never head the government department.
President Miloš Zeman refused to appoint Mr. Poche and Social Democrats chairman, Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček, is currently also serving as caretaker foreign minister. The party say they will return to the matter after Senate and municipal elections next month.
Mr. Poche described the prime minister’s words on Sunday as an attack. He said if Mr. Babiš was cooperating with the likes of Hungary’s Viktor Orban he would be hard pressed to find a similarly minded foreign minister within the Social Democrats.
The number of road deaths in the Czech Republic in July and August was
one-fifth higher than in the same period last year. While 101 people died
on the roads in the holiday months of 2017 this year the figure was 121.
The director of the country’s traffic police, Tomáš Lerch, said the unusually hot weather was definitely one factor behind the increase, Czech Television reported.
A large number of motorcyclists and cyclists took to the roads in the summer and such road users accounted for over a third of all deaths in August.
Fatal auto accidents were caused in many cases by tiredness and a lack of attentiveness, the police said.
A political grouping fielding candidates in forthcoming municipal elections
in Brno is using mafia references in a bid to win support, Lidovky.cz
reported. The leader of Maffie.cz, Lubor Pospíchal, appears on its
candidates list as “capo di tutti capi” while other nominees have
nicknames such as “the big fish” and “the gun”, the news site said.
On its website Maffie.cz writes that politicians are considered a mafia but no other party admits it. At the same time the group lists turning Brno into a “smart city” as its number one policy.
The Czech BIS intelligence service has warned of the growing danger of
paramilitary groups, which have around 2,000 members in total, iDnes.cz
reported. BIS says that some such militia groups are attempting to forge
ties with state organisations and members of the national and local police
forces, the news site said.
In its latest report on extremism in the Czech Republic, the Ministry of the Interior writes that some paramilitary groups are xenophobic, racist and fiercely opposed to Czech foreign policy. However, they frequently disguise their ideological leanings and promote “defence education”.
iDnes.cz reported that the groups learn how to handle pistols, knives and other weapons and often believe that the Czech Republic could overnight be flooded with migrants keen to subjugate the local population.
The Czech women’s tennis number one, Petra Kvitová, has been knocked out
in the third round of the US Open in New York. The 28-year-old, who was
ranked fifth at Flushing Meadows, lost 5-7 1-6 to 20-year-old Aryna
Sabalenka of Belarus.
The result means that two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitová has failed to get to even the fourth round stage of any of this season’s four Grand Slam tournaments.
Slavia Prague have replaced Viktoria Plzeň at the top of the Czech soccer
league after a 4:0 victory over reigning champions in the capital. In a
dramatic game the hosts opened the scoring after just three minutes through
Souček and were awarded two penalties, converting one. The visitors had
defender Hubník sent off five minutes before half-time.
Previously Plzeň had taken the maximum points in the opening six round of the league and Slavia are only in front of them on goal difference.