The Czech Ministry of the Interior is preparing new legislation aimed at
helping sports clubs ban rowdy fans from entering stadiums, Czech
Television reported on Sunday. This includes permitting the use of cameras
with facial recognition technology that would catch problem supporters
trying to get into arenas.
The draft bill also envisages fines of between CZK 10,000 and CZK 50,000 for the use of pyrotechnics in stadiums, with sanctions doubling in the case of repeat offenses.
The Office for the Protection of Personal Data has expressed reservations over the use of facial recognition technology. The Ministry of the Interior said the misuse of information would be prevented by strict conditions set out in the amendment.
The remainder of February should see a continuation of relatively mild
weather for the time of year, the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute said
in a regular four-week outlook. Daytime highs in the following week could
reach up to 15 degrees Celsius with temperatures only returning to their
long-term averages in March, the forecasters said.
Precipitation will also be higher than usual for the time of year throughout the rest of February before returning to typical values after the turn of the month.
The Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková broke her own world record in the 5,000m at the sport’s world championships in Salt Lake City on Saturday with a new best of 6:41.18. However, the 32-year-old still finished second in the event and immediately lost the record after Natalya Voronina of Russia became the first women to break the 6:40 barrier.
Sunday is the 30th anniversary of the foundation of a new
counterintelligence service to replace notorious Czechoslovkia’s
communist-era State Security (StB), which was abolished a day earlier under
a Ministry of the Interior order. The new agency was first known as the
Office for the Defence of the Constitution and Democracy.
After a change of title in 1990 it was eventually named Bezpečnostní informační služba (BIS, Security Information Service) following the creation of the independent Czech Republic in 1993, BIS wrote on its website.
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, may attend events in Plzeň in May
marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Czech city at the end
of World War II, the Czech News Agency said. The American foreign policy
chief has received an invitation from the Czech side and confirmation is
now being awaited, it reported.
The Czech News Agency said Mr. Pompeo had discussed a possible visit to the Czech Republic with the country’s ministry of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, at the ongoing Munich Security Conference.
Events marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Plzeň will culminate on May 6, when US forces led by General George S. Patton entered the city in 1945.
The minister of transport, Karel Havlíček, says a planned online sales
system for motorway vignettes should now cost around CZK 128 million, far
lower than the CZK 401 million price agreed in a previous tender process.
Mr. Havlíček told the Deník N news site that the savings would mainly
come in the sphere of security. His predecessor in the post, Vladimír
Kremlík, was dismissed following the initial tender process.
Mr. Havlíček, who is also minister of industry and trade, said the new system may also draw on the results of a hackathon last month in which volunteer programmers created an alternative system.
Czech regional authorities are to receive powers to regulate the use of
water, including through hose-pipe bans, Právo reported on Saturday. Under
a government bill, regional commissions will be able in crisis situations
to declare water shortages and impose usage restrictions independently, the
daily said. The legislation is set to go before the lower house in a second
The minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, said experience of recent droughts had shown that the uncontrolled use of water by industry, agriculture and households would have to change in future. The country has been hit by drought over successive summers.
Czech Lucie Charvátová caused a sensation when she took bronze in the
sprint at the Biathlon World Championships in Italy’s Anterselva. The
27-year-old only had the 19th best time on the 7.5 kilometre cross country
skiing track but did very well in the shooting part of the event.
Following the best result of her career to date Charvátová said she had frequently faced criticism and considered quitting the biathlon. Among those she thanked was Egil Gjelland, the Norwegian coach of the Czech team.
Work looks set to begin next week on a replacement for a Marian column
removed from Prague’s Old Town Square over a century ago, the Czech News
Agency reported. The sculptor who has designed the new column, Petr Váňa,
said archaeological research would start on Monday and installation should
take place between late April and mid September.
The original 17th century Marian column was regarded by some as a symbol of Austrian rule and was torn down by protestors in 1918, shortly after Czechoslovakia was founded. There has been heated debate over whether to replace it.