The finále of Czech Television’s StarDance competition drew 1.7 million
viewers, about 100,000 more than the previous installment of the reality TV
style celebrity dance contest, held in 2016.
Actor Jiří Dvořák won the contest with his partner, professional dance instructor Lenka Nora Návorková, defeating fellow thespian Pavla Tomicová, who was paired with Slovak dancer and choreographer Marek Dědík.
StarDance is based on the BBC programme Dancing with the Stars, launched in 2004. This year’s Czech contest was the ninth installment.
A group of Czech girl and boy scouts crossed into the country from Austria
on Saturday evening with traditional Light of Bethlehem lanterns.
The flame had arrived in the Austrian city of Linz from Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The scouts brought it by train to the Czech city of České Budějovice.
In the coming days before Christmas, the lanterns will be taken to all corners of the Czech Republic for people to light their own candles, with large ceremonies planned at the cathedrals in Brno, Prague, and Olomouc.
The tradition of the Light of Bethlehem first appeared in the Czech Republic after the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
The Communists (KSČM) leadership has chosen MEP Kateřina Konečná as the
party’s leader for the European Parliament elections in May 2019. She won
a clear majority of the votes in a secret ballot of the party’s central
committee, according to the Czech news agency ČTK, citing unnamed sources.
Her rival candidate, MEP Jaromír Kohlíček, received about 25 percent of the vote. Konečná, who is the Communists’ deputy chairman for European affairs, had been the favourite to win and has already been preparing for the EP election for several months.
The KSČM leadership also approved their election programme on Saturday morning. The party wants to call for changes in key EU treaties with the aim of giving more power to the member states. In particular, the Communists want a greater say on what legislation will be agreed on the European level.
The senior opposition right-wing Civic Democrats' (ODS) election leader will be Jan Zahradil, who is also the leading candidate of the EP's European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).
The junior government Social Democrats (ČSSD) board has proposed MEP Pavel Poc for the centre-left partys election leader, while the opposition Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) have chosen MEP Pavel Svoboda.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has launched a further round of
subsidies to support the development and purchase of electronic vehicles
and charging stations to reduce C02 emissions.
It offers entrepreneurs up to 200 million crowns from EU funds for the purchase of electric cars and the purchase of non-public recharging stations. Applicant can ask for money until May 2019. Subsidies range from 50,000 to 10 million crowns.
In the Czech Republic, there are currently 178 public pay stations. The government aims to have some 800 charging stations nationwide within five years. Their construction is being supported by Ministry of Transport subsidies.
EU lawmakers in October hammered out a deal to cut vehicle emissions 35 percent by 2030 in a bid to fight climate change and pollution.
The EU also agreed to offer incentives for manufacturers to sell zero- and low-emission cars in markets such as the Czech Republic where the current sale of such vehicles is below 60 percent of the EU average.
Czech screenwriter-director Petr Jákl’s English-language biopic of the
15th-century Bohemian leader Jan Žižka has finished shooting after less
than three months on set.
With a reported budget of 275 million crowns, Jákl’s biopic of General Žižka, an innovative military strategist who led the Czech Hussites to victory in a series of confrontations in religious wars, is set to be the most expensive domestic film ever shot.
American actor Ben Foster will portray Žižka in the film, which has the working title “Medieval”, opposite British veteran actor Michael Caine. Foster is perhaps best known from the X-men franchise and the indie film “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”.
The police have filed criminal charges against the so-called ‘king of
tantra’, massage therapist Richard Vojík. Investigators say he allegedly
sexually abused clients over a number of years, the daily Právo reports.
Several women who attended his massage and intimacy courses described Vojík as a sexual predator who initiated unwanted contact for his own pleasure.
At least two women characterised it as rape, including one who said he had unprotected intercourse with her after she was drugged, according to Právo.
The Department of Defence has officially begun a tender for the delivery of
210 armoured infantry vehicles at a projected cost of more than 50 billion
crowns, the largest public contract in modern Czech history.
Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar (for ANO) is due to brief the cabinet about the candidates on Monday and then ask four selected companies to submit their bids.
Four European manufacturers are expected to take part in the tender process: BAE Systems, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS), PSM and Rheinmetall Landsysteme.
To bid, a significant part of the production and servicing must take place in conjunction with VOP CZ, a Czech state enterprise run by the Ministry of Defence.
The ministry hopes to sign a contract in August 2019.
The government is likely to reject a proposal from a group of MPs from six
parties to further legalise marihuana, the Czech news agency ČTK reports,
citing the draft agenda of Monday’s cabinet meeting.
The debate in part is about making medical marihuana more readily available. The opposition Pirate Party is leading the initiative to change current legislation on growing, processing and possessing cannabis for one’s own needs.
Currently, adults are allowed to grow up to five marihuana plants at home for their own consumption. Under the proposal, adults could also have up to 1.25 kilograms of marihuana at home and up to 30 grams on their person.
It would also be legal for adults to give – but not sell – 30 grams outside of their home to another adult. The government argues it would be absurd to legalise the free transfer of marihuana but criminalise any offer to procure or sell it.
According to ČTK, the Ministry of Justice has recommended that the government take a neutral stance on the draft while the interior and health ministries, and the government office, gave negative opinions on it.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is due to visit the Forum Europe-Africa
in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss European investments in the African
The prime minister has been a long-term supporter of the idea of a large-scale economic help for Africa that would improve local conditions and reduce the causes of migration to Europe.
The Austrian forum is part of a broader concept of economic cooperation between the EU and Africa, which is to focus on sustainable investment and employment.
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