Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec have resolutely condemned the racism and xenophobia displayed at a recent anti-migrant rally in Prague. Prime Minister Sobotka said it was inadmissible to use freedom of speech and assembly to spread intolerance and racial hatred and it was up to the police force to ensure the right of law at such gatherings. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec admitted that the law had been violated on several counts at the Prague demonstration and the police had failed to take action. He said the police force had been reminded of its duty and stressed that such behaviour would not be tolerated in future. Thousands of people have been signing a petition against racism and xenophobia in the wake of the anti-migrant rally in Prague, where the police turned a blind eye to participants carrying dummy gallows for the traitors who opened the country’s doors to migrants.
The Czech Bishops´ Conference has offered the government assistance in accepting Christian migrants whose life is at threat. In a statement issued on Saturday the Czech Bishops´ Conference said it was prepared to call on parishes to accept families of Christian refugees, in cooperation with the local authorities. Local charity organisations should also get involved in the process of providing aid to immigrants, the bishops said. At the same time, they pointed out the need to distinguish economic migrants from refugees fleeing from war, hunger and instability.
People are gathering at the Velehrad pilgrimage site for the annual People of Goodwill Days that traditionally accompany the celebrations of the legacy of Ss Cyril and Methodius, missionaries from Thessalonica who brought Christianity to the Czech lands in the 9th century. Although the main celebrations, including a mass served by Cardinal Dominik Duka, will take place on Sunday, many events are taking place today, such as the unveiling of a sculpture to St. Methodius on the occasion of the 1200 th anniversary of his birth and a performance by a Greek choir from Thessalonica. The celebrations annually attract thousands of visitors and this year is not likely to be an exception despite the tropical heatwave that has hit the country.
Two Czech tourists holidaying in the Albanian mountains were brutally murdered and robbed by unknown gunmen, the ctk news agency reports. The thirty-six year old woman and twenty six-year old man are reported to have been gunned down on a mountain road near the town of Skadar on their way to a tent camp. According to the AFP news agency the killers pushed the car with the dead bodies down a ravine to make it appear an accident. Police reportedly found an automatic weapon inside the car suggesting that one of the attackers might have been travelling with the victims.
A Czech military plane is transporting four Przewalski mares to Mongolia for reintroduction into the wild, part of Prague Zoo’s long-standing programme to save the Mongolian wild horse. The zoo’s spokeswoman said the horses left Prague airport aboard a CASA military plane on Saturday. Przewalski’s horse is a rare subspecies native specifically to Mongolia. It became extinct in the wild 40 years ago and Prague Zoo has played a major role in saving the horse, breeding it and gradually returning it to its natural environment. Between 2011 and 2014 the zoo has sent 15 horses to a nature reserve in the Mongolian steppe where they have started breeding successfully.
Thirty people were evacuated from a block of flats in Litvinov on Saturday morning after a gas explosion in one of flats. Although the explosion shattered windows, the flat where it happened was empty and none of the inhabitants were hurt. Seven fire brigades from the vicinity were called to the scene and it took firefighters over two hours to get the fire under control. The municipality has provided temporary housing for the evacuated families.
The 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is offering viewers more than fifty screenings at eleven cinemas on Saturday. They selection includes the world premiere of Journey to Rome, a Czech-Polish coproduction, and the world premiere of the Kyrgyz movie Heavenly Nomadic. The highlight of the festival’s second day is the international premiere of the poker road movie Mississippi Grind, presented by actor Ben Mendelsohn with director Ryan Fleck. US actor, Richard Gere, who was presented with the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the festival’s opening ceremony of Friday night will give a press conference and later attend a screening of Pretty Woman at the festival’s outdoor cinema.
Meteorologists have issued a heat storm warning for the western parts of the country on Saturday afternoon and evening, predicting torrential rain and hailstones in places. Afternoon heat-storms are expected across the country in the next two days when temperatures should hit 37 degrees Celsius. The tropic heatwave should break mid-week although a long-term forecast for July predicts above average temperatures for the entire month.
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