The government’s human rights commissioner, Helena Válková, has filed a
criminal complaint of defamation over an article that linked her to
notorious Communist prosecutor Josef Urválek, Deník N reported. The
former justice minister says that she was not involved in the harassment of
dissidents, as the Info.cz website wrote. She is also demanding an apology
from historian Petr Blažek, who was quoted in the piece in question.
President Miloš Zeman withdrew his nomination of Ms. Válková for the post of ombudsman after the article was published. She rejected calls to quit as human rights commissioner.
The Prague authorities have ordered an archaeological probe of a mass grave
in order to identify the precise location of the remains of Zdena
Mašínová, who was the wife of war hero Josef Mašín and the mother of
Ctirad and Josef Mašín, who escaped to the West in 1953. The Communist
authorities dumped her body in a mass grave at the Ďáblice cemetery
following her death in prison in 1956.
Last year Prague’s leaders agreed with her daughter, also called Zdena Mašínová, to exhume her remains. Councillor Milena Johnová said on Tuesday that according to period witnesses the body had been placed relatively close to the surface in a mass grave of children.
The Ďáblice graveyard contains the remains of around 14,000 people, including political prisoners, children born in prison and the victims of suicide.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, says two Czech
students who are currently in the Chinese city of Wuhan will be taken back
to Europe by the French authorities this week. The pair found themselves
stuck in Wuhan when it was placed on lock-down in a bid to slow the spread
of the coronavirus, which began there.
Mr. Petříček also said that a Czech national who is currently in Vietnam and was feared to have the respiratory infection did not in fact have it.
The foreign policy chief also said that Czech officials would remain at the country’s diplomatic missions in the region.
The coronavirus has spread across China and to 16 countries globally. Over 100 deaths had been recorded by Tuesday.
A proposal from the Czech minister of labour and social affairs, Jana
Maláčová, to withhold benefits from parents of children who played
truant has met with resistance from the Ministry of Education, the news
site Novinky.cz reported. Officials at the government department said the
plan would make conditions for teaching children worse and impact their
motivation and futures.
Under Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs draft legislation, benefits for accommodation would not go to people whose children missed 100 hours or more of school for non-health reasons.
US band The Killers are the latest name to be added to the line-up of the
Colours of Ostrava music festival in July. Other names on the bill for one
of the biggest events of its kind in this country include LP, Tindersticks,
The Lumineers, Sleaford Mods and Youssou N’Dour.
The four-day festival takes place at a former industrial site in the north-eastern city. It also features Melting Pot, a series of talks with notable speakers from around the world.
The state will next month hold consultations with companies seeking a
contract to build a new nuclear unit in the Czech Republic, the head of
semi-state power giant CEZ, Daniel Beneš, said on Tuesday. The Czech News
Agency reported that government official Jaroslav Míl and CEZ
representatives would helm the negotiations, which should conclude by
Mr. Beneš said five companies were in the running for the contract. They are Russia’s Rosatom, Westinghouse from the US, EDF of France, South Korea’s KHNP and China General Nuclear Power.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis said in November that work on a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power station would get underway in 2029 and would be completed in 2035.
The minister of industry and trade, Karel Havlíček, said discussion on expanding the country’s second nuclear power station, Temelín, would have to begin within five years.
The Czech Republic has the highest per capita incidence of kidney cancer of
any country in the world, the news website iDnes.cz reported, citing the
League Against Cancer, which is focusing on that form of the disease in its
campaigning this year. The renal cancer rate in the Czech Republic is twice
the average rate for the European Union. There is also a relatively high
incidence of it in neighbouring Bavaria.
Around 2,000 people are diagnosed with kidney cancer in the Czech Republic every year, with around 800 dying of it annually.
The Czech Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Public Health and
hygiene officials in Prague say they are regularly updating information
about the coronavirus on their websites in response to queries from the
The Czech News Agency reported that increasing numbers of people are seeking information by email and telephone regarding the infection, which originated in China but has not yet been registered in the Czech Republic.
The virus has spread across China and to 16 countries globally. Over 100 deaths had been recorded by Tuesday.
There are currently three people in the Czech Republic suspected of
contracting the Chinese coronavirus. Two cases are reported from the region
of Opava and one person is under observation in the hospital in the
Moravian town of Uherské Hradiště. Another two patients who had been
tested in Prague and in České Budějovice have been confirmed to not have
The fast-spreading infection, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, has killed more than 100 people in China and infected at least 4,500 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan in December.
Following a Security Council meeting on Monday to discuss responses to the crisis, the Czech government announced a number of special steps in connection with the virus, focused on people arriving by air on Czech territory.