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Military action in Iraq should have U.N. mandate, says Czech foreign minister

Military action in Iraq should have a mandate from the United Nations Security Council, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has said. He made the statement on Friday evening on Czech TV, a day after US President Barack Obama authorized the US military to begin conducting targeted strikes on Islamic State (IS) fighters in northern Iraq. The Czech foreign minister agreed it was necessary to act for humanitarian reasons and made clear he did not think Mr Obama was continuing his predecessor’s policies. The US president told the NYT in an interview that the US would not allow militants to “create some caliphate through Syria and Iraq”. The Czech Republic is considering whether to deliver arms to Kurdish units under attack from radicals in northern Iraq, as well as sending additional humanitarian aid, Mr Zaorálek said Friday.

Daily: Žák to serve as advisor to president

The former transport minister in the previous government, Zdeněk Žák, has been named as an advisor to Czech President Miloš Zeman in the area of transport, Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes reports. He joins five others who held ministerial posts in the short-lived government, which was hand-picked by Mr Zeman but never received backing in Parliament’s lower house. Dnes writes that while Žák, like the other advisors, will not be paid in the role of advisor, he could nevertheless have access to non-public information and important contacts. In the last general election, Mr Žák headed the Prague candidate’s list for the Citizens’ Rights - Zemanites Party; the Zemanites were badly defeated, getting only 1.5 percent of the vote, well below the five percent needed.

Forty-six-year-old dies in mining accident

A 46-year-old miner died 900 metres below ground at OKD’s ČSM mine in the Karviná area on Friday; he had reportedly been operating hydraulic machinery. The accident took place shortly before 2 PM; possible causes are being investigated. The news was confirmed by the company’s spokesman. Five miners have died in accidents at OKD facilities this year.

High court to hear appeal by convicted killer

Prague’s High Court next week will weigh an appeal by convicted murderer Petr Mokriš, a thief and recidivist who killed a 21-year-old journalist in 1993. Invited back to her home, Mokriš stabbed and strangled the woman and stole electronic equipment worth 18,000 crowns. He was released from prison in 2008. This year, the man was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison by Prague’s Municipal Court for his role in another tragedy: a fight in which he badly beat his opponent, who fell and suffered a brain injury – to which he succumbed almost a year later in hospital.

Police say residents of Ústí slum living in appalling conditions

The deputy head of Ústí nad Labem’s police force has confirmed that dozens of residents at a slum block in the city’s Sklářská street are living in veritable filth and appalling hygienic conditions. Photographs reveal a huge courtyard between buildings which has turned into a de facto dump by locals. Garbage piled high includes countless boards, plastic items, mattresses and other items.

According to the deputy head of the police, items in the impromptu junk yard catch fire several times a week. The surrounding buildings have several owners, the Czech News Agency learned, who allegedly accepted rent but then failed to pay, for example, the utility for water. One resident said he and his family paid almost 9,000 per month in rent.

No more heatwaves expected this summer – meteorologists

Meteorologists have said that the rest of August and first week of September will see lower daily temperatures than the long-term average, falling, in the week of August 18 – 24 to around 22 degrees Celsius and the first weekend of September to around 20 degrees. Rain fall is also expected in the coming days. If the forecast holds, this weekend will be the last during summer vacation when highs top 30 degrees.

Strong storms hit Olomouc region

Strong storms hit the Olomouc region on Saturday causing damages in places. The storm tore three roofs off buildings in Šternberk. Strong winds, heavy rainfall and storms also affected areas in Zlín and Moravia-Silesia.