Masopust carnival processions – the Czech Mardi Gras celebrations –
kicked off in Prague on Saturday with a flamboyant parade from Hradčany to
Prague will offer several other Masopust celebrations in the coming days. The Karlín Maspust celebrations will take place on February 15, the Žižkov district has scheduled its celebrations for February 25 and the celebrations at Anděl in Prague 5 will be held on February 26.
A ban on direct flights to and from China is now in force in the Czech
Republic. The last flight from China arrived at Prague’s international
airport on Saturday, bringing a number of Czechs who opted to leave the
country due to the coronavirus outbreak.
There were previously twelve direct links a week to four Chinese cities. The ban will remain in place until further notice. Similar bans have been affected by many other countries.
A renewed investigation into the death of Czechoslovak foreign minister Jan
Masaryk is taking into account the results of a study by investigators
Martin Čemák a Jan Špička who claim that Masaryk was not pushed from
his bathroom window in the early hours of that fatal day in 1948.
After analysing the position of the body in relation to the injuries sustained, the investigators concluded that Masaryk must have fallen from the wide ledge at some distance from his bathroom window where someone leaning out would not have been able to reach him. “He fell straight as a candle, facing the building, hitting the ground on his heels,” Jan Špička said in an interview for Czech Radio.
This would suggest that he may have fallen after trying to hide on the ledge or reach another window.
There have been several investigations into Jan Masaryk’s death. Those conducted during the communist regime concluded it had been suicide, one undertaken after the fall of the communist regime claims it was murder.
The vice president of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, has voiced
concerns regarding the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, describing them
as “fragile democracies”.
In an interview for the weekly Der Spiegel she said the so-called reform in Poland had affected all levels of the judiciary and had reached a very dangerous moment, because it could be irreversible. “The Polish reform is being carried out with the help of a crowbar.
In Hungary, this process is more subtle, but broader, because it also applies to the public media," Jourova noted.
Asked if the European Commission has a new strategy to deal with "countries that violate the rule of law," such as Poland or Hungary, the vice president of the EC replied that efforts were being made to solve these problems.
Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková won the 3,000 meters race at the
Calgary World Cup on Friday, strengthening her lead in the overall
standings. The three-time Olympic champion covered the track in 3: 54,936,
which is her personal best this season.
She beat Antoinette de Jong from the Netherlands by 1.24 seconds. Russia’s Natalja Voronin placed third.
The very first Czech Comic-Con, a convention for fans of comic book culture
is drawing thousands of fans to Prague’s O2 Universuum centre.
The convention which focuses on sci-fi, fantasy and horror gives fans the chance to meet the stars of their favourite movies and TV shows,among them Ron Perlman, the American actor, who has been in Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim, Brandon Routh, who played Superman in Superman Returns, Danny John-Jules, who plays Cat in Red Dwarf and Ian McElhinney from Game of Thrones.
The convention opened on Friday and will last through the weekend.
Thousands of people from around the Czech Republic responded to a call for
humanitarian aid to China made by the Moravian town of Třebíč, donating
facemasks, disinfectants, digital thermometers, latex gloves and protective
shoe covers, among others.
Třebíč, which was asked for help by its partner city of Yichang, where hundreds are infected with the Wuhan coronavirus, earmarked 100,000 crowns for the purchase of aid and called on the public to help.
The humanitarian aid will be sent to China on several planes in the coming days.
Prague City Hall wants to name the Prague square Pod kaštany where the
Russian Embassy is located after the murdered opposition leader Boris
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib told the news site Aktualne.cz that the major parties represented in the Prague City Council have voiced support for the move and a vote could take place in the coming weeks.
Pod kaštany square could be officially renamed on February 27, on the fifth anniversary of Nemtsov's killing. The mayor said he hoped that Nemtsov’s daughter would attend the official ceremony.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček was on a one-day working visit
to Manchester on Friday. Mr. Petříček met with Czechs living in Great
Britain to discuss their concerns in connection with Britain’s departure
from the EU.
The Czech Foreign Ministry recently opened a consulate in Manchester in order to give expats and companies additional support in resolving concerns linked to Brexit.
The Czech foreign minister also honoured the memory of Czech and Slovak soldiers killed in WWII who are buried at the Cheadle and Gatley Cemetery south of Manchester.