The foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority began a working visit to
the Czech Republic on Monday. Riyad Al-Maliki will be received in
particular by his Czech counterpart, Tomáš Petříček.
The foreign ministers discussed the Czech humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian Authority, opportunities for bilateral trade and the Middle East peace process.
Following a morning meet, Petříček said the Czech Republic wants to put more emphasis on linking business activities with development aid provided to Palestine.
While in Prague, Riyad Al-Maliki is also scheduled to meet the ambassadors of the Arab League countries.
Last year Palestine withdrew its ambassador from Prague after Czech politicians expressed support for the opening of a US embassy in Jerusalem in December 2017. Palestine considers it a violation of international law.
Bohemia JazzFest, one of the largest summer music festivals in Europe, gets
underway on Monday evening in Prague.
Headlining on Monday at the Old Town Square is the Stefano Bollani Quartet from Italy. Also on the programme is Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and his quartet and the Lorenz Kellhuber Piano Trio from Germany.
Bohemia JazzFest was launched in 2006 by acclaimed jazz guitarist Rudy Linka. It now draws nearly 100,000 jazz fans to historic town squares throughout the Czech Republic.
All the concerts are open-air, free of charge, and feature headline performers playing in medieval settings.
The Constitutional Court plans to review the rape conviction of a tantra
sex and yoga practitioner Jaroslav Dobeš, also known as ‘Guru Jára’,
the Czech News Agency reports.
Dobeš had fled in 2015 to the Philippines to avoid serving a 10-year sentence for rape. He was arrested there along with his associate Barbora Plašková, who was also sentenced.
While on the face of it ‘Guru Jára’ promised lessons in yoga, tantra and Eastern philosophy, in practice his female pupils were pressured into taking part in ritualised sex with him.
Dobeš and Plášková were originally sentenced by the Regional Court for six cases of rape. Both remain in immigration detention facilities in the Philippines.
The Czech foreign trade surplus rose in May by 17.2 billion crowns in
annual terms, to 24.4 billion crowns, according to preliminary data
published on Monday by the Czech Statistical Office.
Exports grew year-on-year by 8.1 percent to 332.5 billion crowns and imports by 2.5 percent to 308.2 billion crowns.
The balance was positively influenced mainly by the motor vehicle sector, where exports increased by 11.5 billion crowns. At the same time, the deficit in refined petroleum products, chemicals, and oil and natural gas decreased.
Charges have been filed against a Prague prosecutor for allegedly taking
bribes in 2013 from a former judge, who is now in prison on corruption
charges, Czech TV reports.
The prosecutor, Pavel Suchánek, was acquitted in October on charges that he took a bribe from Ondřej Havlín, a judge who earlier served as an ambassador to Croatia and later Bulgaria.
Six others prosecutors had faced charges in 2013. Only one was sentenced.
There is growing interest among Czech students in the Erasmus student
Data provided by the organizers shows a ten percent increase in the number of applications, with around 8,000 Czech students expected to go abroad for student exchange stays in the coming academic year.
The most sought after destinations are Germany, Spain and Great Britain.
Over 100,000 Czech students have benefitted from the Erasmus program since it was introduced twenty years ago.
Finance Minister Alena Schillerová met with President Miloš Zeman and his
team of financial advisors at Lany Chateau on Sunday to brief them about
the 2020 draft budget.
She said that while she saw no means of reducing the proposed 40 billion crown deficit she was determined not to exceed this limit.
Ministers for the Social Democratic Party failed to support the draft in a Cabinet vote arguing that the budget proposal failed to take into account all their program priorities.
The opposition Communist Party, which tolerates the minority government in exchange for certain policy program concessions, has said it wants to see the deficit slashed by ten billion.
Several dozen environmental activists engaged in a symbolic blockade of the
coal power plant Chvaletice in north-east Bohemia to protest against an
exemption that will allow it to remain in operation, despite the fact that
it does not comply with all EU environment norms.
The three-day peaceful protest outside the plant’s gates ended on Friday. Protesters did not try to disrupt the plant’s operation allowing workers and traffic free passage. They argue that the plant is a serious polluter in the region and was to have closed in 2016.
The plant’s spokeswoman said on Friday that it was undergoing a modernization worth billions of crowns and already fulfilled 23 out of 25 strict EU requirements.
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