The opposition TOP 09 party have called on the Czech minister of foreign
affairs, Tomáš Petříček, to summon the Russian ambassador to Prague.
They want the diplomat to explain why the Russian minister of culture,
Vladimir Medinsky, said the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář, was
behaving like a Nazi in connection with a divisive statue of Red Army
commander Ivan Konev in the district.
TOP 09 chairman Jiří Pospíšil said it was not possible that the incident could conclude with Minister Petříček making a statement in the media.
Mr. Petříček said on Monday that the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs would take more steps over the matter, but did not specify what kind.
The statue of Konev has repeatedly been vandalised. The Prague 6 Town Hall recently covered it, sparking protests, and later abandoned that approach.
European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen has offered the
Czech Republic’s Věra Jourová the values and transparency portfolio on
the next Commission. Ms. Jourová will also be a deputy president of the
Věra Jourová was in charge of justice, gender equality and consumers on the previous European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš pointed out that it was the first time the country had ever received a European Commission deputy president’s post. He said the awarding of the values and transparency portfolio represented a show of trust by Ms. von der Leyen.
Czech opposition politicians have been critical. Vít Rakušan of the Mayors and Independents said it was absurd that the values and transparency post had gone to a country whose prime minister stands accused of not adhering to EU values.
The Civic Democrats’ Petr Fiala said Ms. Jourová’s task would be to keep the recalcitrant Visegrad Four states in line, adding that the portfolio had no real influence.
The arrival of cooler weather has led to the “heating season” beginning
in some parts of the Czech Republic. Temperatures fell to as low as nine
degrees Celsius in some places on Monday, with particularly low
temperatures registered in the Ore (Krušné) Mountains. This has led to
the municipal heating being turned on after a break of several months in a
number of spots, such as in Ostrov in the Karlovy Vary Region.
Some of the low temperatures recorded on Monday are not usually seen until the end of September.
A meteorologist at a station in Šindelová in the Karlovy Vary Region said that such a dramatic turn in the weather was only seen once every eight or 10 years.
The Chinese Embassy in Prague says the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
itself chose to cancel a tour of China. Officials issued a statement to
that effect after the Czech minister of culture, Lubomír Zaorálek,
protested China’s blocking of the tour during a meeting with Ambassador
Zhang Jianmin on Monday.
A spokesperson for Czech Radio, which operates the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, described the Chinese Embassy’s assertion as nonsense, explaining that the ensemble had failed to receive the necessary permits to tour China.
The Chinese authorities have blocked a number of planned tours by Czech classical music ensembles. This follows a move by Prague’s mayor to excise an article recognising the One China policy from the city’s partnership agreement with Beijing.
On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, the Ministry of Health
noted that on average more than 1,300 Czechs take their own lives each
year. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among Czechs aged 15
to 24, officials said.
The Czech Republic has put in place a National Suicide Prevention Action Plan for 2020-2030 that focuses on identifying early warning signs. Member of professional psychiatric groups told reporters on Tuesday that an estimated 90 percent of victims suffered from mental illness.
Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, with men over 75 particularly vulnerable. Often they visit a GP with a problem a few weeks or months beforehand.
The suicide rate was lowest in the Czech Republic in 1995 and 1996, according to the national statistical office. In the former Czechoslovakia, it was highest in the first few years after the crushing of the Prague Spring by Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968.
The Czech Army chose to buy 12 military helicopters from US maker Bell
rather than a cheaper option from its rival Sikorsky mainly because Bell
offered greater cooperation with Czech firms, the daily Právo reports.
The deal priced at 14.5 billion crowns included 8 utility Venom helicopters and 4 attack Viper helicopters, which share most of their parts. Sikorsky had offered 12 Black Hawks for 1 billion crows less and included weaponry and ammunition shipments.
But military officials told Právo that Bell offered far more work for Czech companies, in particular the state-owned enterprise LOM Praha, which fixes and maintains Soviet-era Mi-24 helicopters, and the Military Technical Institute (VTÚ).
Bell’s deal also allowed for preserving combat capabilities when the Mi-24s are removed from service, around 2025, the sources said.
The Czech team have advanced to the FIBA World Cup basketball quarterfinals
for the first time despite their 77 – 84 loss to Greece on Monday. The
Greek team needed to win by at least 12 points to advance.
For the Czechs to make it to the top 8, they still needed the United States needed to beat Brazil, later on in the day. The US won the Monday afternoon match by a score of 89 – 73.
After this result, the Czechs got second place in the standings in the three-way tie with Brazil and Greece, thanks to point difference.
Chicago Bulls guard Tomáš Satoranský flirted with a triple-double (13 points, eight assists, nine rebounds) in the Czech win.
Apart from the Czechs and Americans, also already through to the quarterfinals in China are the French and Australians. Argentina, Serbia, Spain and Poland have all locked down their seeding.
Prague councillors unanimously agreed on Monday to establish a Museum of
20th Century Memory that will focus on the history of non-free regimes in
the Czech lands. The city council is to put the proposal to a formal vote
on September 19.
A total of 30 civic associations and social organizations bringing together former political prisoners, educators and researchers had expressed support for setting up the new museum.
If approved, the museum’s board will likely include historian and writer Jiří Padevět, Post Bellum director Mikuláš Kroupa and historian Petr Blažek of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
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