Eight people were injured on Tuesday when there was an explosion at a waste
disposal facility at a Hamr na Jezeře in the north of the Czech Republic.
Two of those injured are in a critical condition. Around 10 rescue workers
also need to be examined after coming into contact with an unknown
substance, a spokesperson for the rescue services in Liberec said.
The mayor of Hamr na Jezeře said it appeared that sulphuric acid has leaked into the atmosphere.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, visited Ukraine on Tuesday. After
attending the launch of a Czech-Ukrainian enterprise forum, Mr. Babiš held
talks with the country’s prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk. Following
both engagements in Kiev he reiterated the Czech Republic’s support for
the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
Mr. Babiš later told Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that the Czech Republic condemned Russian aggression in the east of the country and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The Czech leader also invited Mr. Zelensky to a meeting of the Visegrad Four in Prague.
Major renovation work has begun on the Thermal hotel in Karlovy Vary. The
building will be closed from January until mid-March because of the
renovations, which will cost CZK 580 million.
Work on some parts of Thermal was launched in November. The building, which dates from the 1970s and hosts the Karlovy Vary film festival every year, belongs to the Czech state.
Retired forward Václav Nedomanský has become the second Czech to be
inducted into ice hockey’s Hall of Fame in Toronto. The other Czech to
have received this accolade was goaltender Dominik Hašek, back in 2014.
Nedomanský, now 75 and living in California, was a member of the Czechoslovak world championship winning team in 1972 and scored 163 goals in 220 games for the national side.
He later fled from communist Czechoslovakia and arrived in Toronto via Switzerland. It was not until Nedomanský was 33 that he began his career in the NHL, with stops at the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.
After his active career, Nedomanský initially worked as a coach, in Schwenningen and Innsbruck. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he worked as a scout in Europe for the Los Angeles Kings.
Charles University students who for several days blocked the rectorate
building have agreed to end their occupation strike. They also withdrew
their demand that Rector Tomáš Zima resign immediately.
Following a three-hour meeting on Monday evening with the protesters, the Academic Senate agreed to adopt a resolution that Charles University would proactively address fighting climate change, ČTK reports.
Zima has been in the spotlight in recent weeks for his role in establishing a Czech-Chinese Centre at Charles University, where some events seem to have been funded by the Chinese Embassy. The Academic Senate has agreed to review Zima's mandate and seek climate neutrality by 2022.
Over 136,000 people have signed an online petition or ‘challenge’ by
protest group Million Moments for Democracy calling on politicians and
ordinary citizens to ensure a flourishing democracy.
The petitioners want politicians “who respect democratic norms and institutions, do not lie or steal, and have no conflicts of interest”. Signatories pledge to “care about others and the state of society, assuming their share of responsibility” for the country to be “free and just”, among other things.
The petition was announced at a Million Moments for Democracy rally on Saturday marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution attended over 250,000 people.
In late February the group launched a petition specifically calling on Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) to resign for allegedly not respecting the aforementioned principles. So far, that petition has 433,000 signatories.
The Czech government has approved a 7 percent digital tax on large internet
businesses such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. According to
Ministry of Finance estimates, the new tax would bring in 5 billion crowns
of revenue a year.
The Ministry of Finance proposes introducing a so-called DST model of digital tax as proposed earlier by the European Commission.
Subject to the new tax would be internet companies with a global turnover of over EUR 750 million (CZK 19.1 billion) and annual turnover in the Czech Republic of over CZK 100 million.
Some digital economy platforms such as Airbnb and Uber that allow users to provide services and goods to each other for a transaction fee would also be subject to the tax.
Some 300 people have turned out to pay their respects to Jan Stráský, the
last prime minister of federal Czechoslovakia, who died this month at the
age of 78.
Following the break-up of Czechoslovakia, among other things, Stráský was a regional governor of Central Bohemia. An avid hiker and biker, he later led Šumava National Park and the Czech Tourists Club.
Among those attending Monday’s ceremony at Prachatice cemetery was former premier and president Václav Klaus, who paid tribute to Stráský’s political acumen and integrity.
Prague City Hall agreed on Monday to sign a memorandum pledging to remove
fragments of Jewish tombstones used as cobblestones in the city centre and
return them to the community.
Pedestrian zones on Prague’s high street Na Příkopě and at the base of Wenceslas Square were repaired under Communism in part using tombstones from a derelict 19th century Jewish cemetery in Chomutov.
The work was reportedly carried out ahead of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Czechoslovakia in 1987.
The Jewish community, which has for years called for the fragments to be removed, plans to deposit them in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague’s Žižkov district. A project called "Finding the Lost Face of Jewish Cemeteries" will try to help identify the fragments.