Voters in the Czech Republic are going to the polls on Friday and Saturday in the second round of elections to one third of the seats in the Senate. While the size of the government parties’ majority in the upper house will be decided in voting for 27 of the 81 seats, the Social Democrats will continue to have the biggest group no matter what the results. In last weekend’s first round of voting no candidates received the majority needed to win a seat without contesting a run-off. Polls opened at 2 pm and will close at 10 pm on Friday before reopening at 8 am on Saturday and closing at 2 pm.
The Brno Regional Court has decided to keep murderer Kevin Dahlgren in remand pending his appeal hearing. The US citizen is facing a life sentence for killing four relatives of his in the Moravian capital in 2013. Mr. Dahlgren’s lawyer told reporters on Friday that there had been little chance the court would agree to his client’s request to be released. The court said there were fears he might flee the country if let go. Mr. Dahlgren was the first US citizen ever extradited from the United States to the Czech Republic.
Fishermen in Třeboň, south Moravia say they expect a harvest of around 2,300 tonnes of fish this year. The ceremonial launch of three days of harvesting began on Friday morning at the largest Czech fish pond Rožmberk, which is near Třeboň. The town is the country’s most famous centre for the production of carp, which is traditionally eaten by Czechs for Christmas dinner. This volume of fish expected this year is regarded as average.
Firefighters were called out to deal with an oil spill on the Vltava River in Prague on Friday, iDnes.cz reported. The oil “stain”, which was around 50 metres in length, occurred between the Charles Bridge and Mánes Bridge in the centre of the city. It was likely caused by the escape of motor oil from a plastic bottle, a spokesperson for the fire service said. A temporary ban was imposed on boats on the river while the problem was being addressed.
Activists at the Klinika alternative social and arts centre in Prague 3 refused to allow the new owners to enter the building in which it is housed on Friday morning. The Railway Infrastructure Administration formally took possession of the property from the state but could not enter as their keys did not work and Klinika organisers inside refused to let them in. The building was abandoned in 2009 before in 2014 being taken over by the squatters, who have resisted several attempted evictions.
Increased speed monitoring will be introduced on the Czech Republic’s most important motorway, the D1, next year, iDnes.cz reported on Friday. A tender process is already underway for new radars to be installed at toll gates on seven sections of the busy motorway, the news site said. The minister of transport, Dan Ťok, says the controls should curb speeding on the D1 and thus help shorten tailbacks; he said 80 percent of tailbacks were caused by violations by drivers.
Saturday should be wet and cloudy in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of around 12 degrees Celsius expected. There ought to be a similar daytime high on Sunday, which will see some sunny spells.