Daily news summary Daily news summary

09-08-2016

Constitutional Court reverses part of landmark ruling on judges’ salaries

The Constitutional Court has reversed part of a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court according to which judges and state attorneys were entitled to reclaim lost wages in the years between 2014 and 2014. The Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that they are only entitled to part of the lost earnings caused by the fact that the state used the wrong figures when calculating wages in the public sector. However it refused to recognize claims to back-payments on the grounds of the coefficient used to calculate the monthly wage. The verdict will not affect the majority of judges, who reached a compensation agreement with the state in which they agreed to forego the latter loss in salaries.

Cardinal Duka warns against dangers of Islam

Cardinal Dominik Duka has warned against underestimating the danger of Islam and an open door policy for refugees from the Islamic world. The internet news site Novinky.cz says in this connection that the question of whether Islam presents a danger to Europe and European values continues to divide the Czech Catholic community. In the wake of the murder of Catholic priest Jacques Hamel, Cardinal Duka wrote an article in which he says the act should serve as a memento to those who underestimate the danger of Islam and attribute terrorist acts to frustrated or mentally deranged individuals. The Catholic weekly failed to print the article, which then appeared on the Cardinal’s blog, and Catholic priest Tomas Halík openly criticized Duka for failing to make a distinction between Islam and Jihadist terrorists.

General Šebesta takes over command of Czech Airforce

Brigadier General Jaromír Sebesta took over command of the Czech Air Force on Tuesday. He replaces General Libor Štefanik who held the post for three years. The change of guard took place at a special ceremony at Kbely Military Airport in Prague. The air force has 5,400 pilots who fly Gripen planes, helicopters and CASA transport planes. They serve the country’s defense needs, take part in foreign missions and help out in times of crisis such as floods.

Regional branch of Social Democrats defends Governor Hasek's position

The South Moravian branch of the Social Democrats has upheld Governor Michal Hašek’s position at the head of the party’s election ticket for the autumn regional elections. The governor’s position has been undermined in recent days by revelations that his press releases were written by a lobbyist working under a fictitious name. Hašek’s office is also said to have paid the woman 400,000 a year to write laudatory articles about him for the news sites parlamentnilisty.cz and krajskelisty.cz. The governor, who went before the party’s regional committee to explain the matter on Tuesday, said his office had never signed a contract with the said lobbyist, she merely worked for the PR agency with whom his office had a contract. The woman in question was found guilty of attempting to bribe journalists earlier this year. There have been calls for the governor to resign in the wake of the scandal.

Supreme Court upholds Tofl gang verdicts

The Supreme Court has upheld nine of the 11 sentences served to members of the notorious Tofl gang which was found guilty of bribery, extortion and abuse of office. The accused received sentences of 3 to 9 years and hefty fines. The gang is named after a former head of the regional economic crime squad who together with several former colleagues threatened entrepreneurs in Moravia. They elicited large sums of money for withdrawing trumped up charges against them and in some cases even threatened to murder or abduct family members if the money was not delivered. Ten of the convicted appealed the verdict. Only the case of Petr Kripsky, who received 4.5 years in jail will have to be reviewed by the regional court in Brno. The other verdicts are now binding.

Medical tests disprove earlier warnings about growing male infertility among Czech men

Medical tests have disproved earlier warnings about growing male infertility among Czech men, fertility specialist Michal Pohanka from the General Teaching Hospital in Prague said at a press briefing on Tuesday. Pohanka said that, in fact, male fertility appears to have improved in recent years, which doctors ascribe to a healthier lifestyle. A medical study involving 5,000 men showed that the average sperm count was four times higher than the bottom rate for fertility set by the WHO. The quality of sperm has also reportedly improved.

Two bus drivers fight over passengers

The drivers of two rival bus firms ended up in court after getting into a fist fight in front of shocked passengers, the news site Novinky.cz reported. The drivers each tried to reach the bus stop in the town of Janovice first in an attempt to take more passengers on board and the incident ended in a fist fight in which one of the drivers beat up the other so badly he had to be taken to hospital with broken ribs and head injuries. The aggressor was given 220 hours of community work as punishment.

Sablíkova’s hopes of competing in Rio dashed

Czech speed-skater Martina Sablíkova will not be able to compete in the Olympic women's road time trial on Wednesday. Her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was definitively rejected on Tuesday. Sablíkova, a five-times Olympic medallist in speed skating, was not included in the International Cycling Union's (UCI) final list for the Rio Games despite the Czech federation nominating her through its own qualification system. Czech officials said the root of the problem was the interpretation of the qualification procedures for Rio.

Hermannová and Sluková lose against Spanish beach volleyball duo

The Czech beach volleyball duo of Hermannová and Sluková suffered defeat at the Summer Olympics in Rio, losing to Spanish opponents Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan 2:0 on Monday. The score was 15:21 a 19:21. The Czechs face Argentina next.

Rio Olympics: Sports shooter David Kostelecký misses chance to clinch bronze medal

David Kostelecký, an Olympic gold medal winner in the Men’s Trap event at the 2008 Summer Olympics, missed a chance on Monday to clinch a bronze medal in Rio. Against Great Britain’s Edward Ling, the Czech shooter slipped to fourth spot after missing six of 15 targets. The competitor, who is 41, said he was an ‘old hand’ in the event and at that the fourth place finish would have bothered him more if he had not already secured gold at the previous games.

09-08-2016