In connection with the tragic Germanwings plane crash, the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines has said it has an internal regulation according to which there must be two crew members in the cockpit at all times during a flight. If one of the pilots needs a few minutes break they must wait to be replaced by one of the cabin assistants before leaving, a spokesman for Czech Airlines told the news site novinky.cz. The regulation has been in force for the last ten years. The airline Travel Service has confirmed a similar policy.
Defense Minister Martin Stropnický said all was in readiness for the 120 vehicle strong US military convoy, which is expected to pass through Czech territory at the end of this week. Speaking at a press briefing in Prague on Friday the minister said the smallest details had been taken care of to ensure a smooth transfer, and all was in readiness both at the military barracks where the soldiers will be staying the night as well as along the given route. Traffic police are prepared for the event and we have all the necessary licenses, the minister noted. The cost of the operation –estimated at 175,000 crowns will be covered by the US army.
The convoy, returning from a NATO exercise called Operation Atlantic Resolve in the Baltic states, is travelling through six countries on its way to a military base in Germany. It will arrive in the Czech Republic on Sunday and spend four days on Czech territory.
The police have confirmed finding internationally banned anti-personnel land mines in storage at the Vrbětice munitions depot, which was seriously damages in a series of blasts last year, Czech Television reported. The anti-personnel landmines have been banned since 1997 by the Ottawa Convention. Five people have been charged with violating the law on arms licensing and holding illegal weapons. They are employees of Excalibur Army and Real Trade, two weapons trading companies which stored ammunition at the munitions depot in Vrbětice.
The Labour Ministry is working on a proposed legislation which should enable up to 4,000 miners to go into early retirement – by up to five years earlier than the present pension law allows. The present criteria for early retirement allow miners who have worked below ground since 1993 and who undertook 3,300 work shifts by 2008 to ask for retirement 5 years earlier. Labour Minister Michaela Marksova said on Friday she wanted to all miners who have undertaken the said number of work shifts without specification by what date to have the same advantage. The measure is being undertaken to ease the social impact of the planned mine closures.
The owner of a lodging facility in Přerov, which illegally served as an old peoples home has received a half a million crown fine, the ctk news agency reports. The case came to light when Czech Senator Jitka Seitlová publicized the fact that there were several dozen helpless, old people living in the house in atrocious conditions. After the case made national headlines the people were quickly removed, with some ending up in emergency wards holding their documents with no idea of where they were or what had happened to them. By failing to register his lodging house as a social and health facility the owner by-passed strict health norms and avoided regular inspections to check up on the wellbeing of the home’s inhabitants.
Air bank which was established in 2011 has consolidated its position on the Czech banking scene, posting a 313 million crown profit in 2014, the ctk news agency reports. The preceding year the bank suffered 80 million crown losses. The main reason behind the turnaround is a 49 percent increase in clients in 2014 to 318,000. Originally the bank did not expect to show a profit until 2015.
Education Minister Marcel Chládek has presented 42 teachers with Best Teacher Award for a creative and inspiring approach in the classroom. The event, celebrating the country’s best teachers is held annually on the eve of Teachers Day on March 28th. Students also elect the most popular teacher in the Czech Republic, with each school putting forward its own nominee for the Golden Amos Prize commemorating Jan Amos Comenius, known as the Teacher of Nations. This year the award went to Hana Pacíková, a teacher at the Police Academy in Holešov.
A month-long series of events in support of reading will culminate on Friday with the traditional Night with Andersen held in libraries across the Czech Republic. The annual fairy-tale night for children is to promote reading among the youngest generation with thousands of children spending the night at their local library where they read, chat and listen to a public reading of fairytales by the famous Danish children’s writer Hans Christian Andersen. The event has a fifteen year tradition and this year 90,000 children have registered to take part in libraries around the country.
Prague councillors on Thursday passed a proposal for the division of 240 million crowns in culture funds, awarding 57.5 million to one-year projects and the rest for four-year projects beginning in 2016. The city’s grant commission evaluated almost 650 different projects. Prague’s Archa Theatre and the arts space Meet Factory received the most in funding; some venues including Divadlo Komedie or festivals such as Febiofest were turned down.
Czech hockey goalie Ondřej Pavelec has been in excellent form and won his sixth game in a row on Thursday for the Winnipeg Jets. The goaltender stopped 39 shots as his team, the Winnipeg Jets, defeated opponents the Montreal Canadiens handily 5:2. Players Frolík and Tlustý got assists. The Jets are 14th in the NHL at the moment while the Canadiens topped the table earlier this week but have currently slipped to fourth spot. The Habs are on 100 points; the New York Rangers are first, with 101.
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