Lower house lawmakers have passed a raft of proposed government tax changes which mainly focus on offering more tax relief for parents for second, third, and fourth children. The move, for example, boosts tax relief for a second child by 2400 crowns to reach 19404 crowns. The measure, if backed by the Senate and president, should come into effect by April 1. But a series of amendments to the rules over electronic cash registers and sales declarations proposed by both government and opposition parties failed to win sufficient support.
Ukrainian member of parliament and former air pilot prisoner of the Russians, Nadiya Savchenko, met with Czech opposition lawmakers on the last of her three-day visit to the Czech Republic on Friday. She encouraged Czech leaders to keep in contact with their Ukrainian counterparts and called for them to lobby Moscow over the fate of ongoing Ukrainian prisoners from the conflict in East Ukraine. TOP 09 party leader Miroslav Kalousek said Savchenko was a symbol of liberty and resistance against the aggressor.
The Czech Radio and Television Council has criticized the national broadcaster, Czech public television, for bias and lack of objectivity in reporting on the US presidential elections. The council says Czech Television was clearly biased in favour of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and mixed news and commentary in her favour. The criticism was in reference to a special program broadcast on US election night. It has given the national broadcaster a week to take corrective action, but did not specify what form it should take. Czech Television has dismissed the criticism as unjustified.
Lawmakers have voted to tighten the rules for so-called “independent” presidential candidates who seek to qualify for the campaign through the collection of signatures. The lower house passed a motion calling for passport or identity card numbers to accompany the details of citizens backing would be presidential candidates in petitions. These must obtain backing from 50,000 citizens. The other route to stand is by getting support from sufficient lawmakers in parliament. Last time round in the first direct presidential elections four years ago a series of would be candidates were disqualified after checks on some of the signatures suggested they were false. The lawmakers also voted to refuse foreigners from other EU countries who only have temporary residency the right to vote in local elections although the government pushed for the change to be made.
Italian composer Ennio Morricone will team up with Portuguese singer Dulce Pontes to perform in the Prague stop of his 60 Years Music Tour. That is taking place at Prague’s O2 arena on February 4. Morricone and Pontes paired up to produce the Focus album in 2003 which sold 800,000 copies worldwide.
In tennis, Czech player Barbora Strycová failed to clinch the doubles trophy at the Sydney Open. Paired with Indian partner Sani Mirza, the Czech-Indian partnership went down 4:6 4:6 against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Hungary’s Timea Babos in the final. Strycová and Mirza had been looking for their third title together.
Fresh snow and high winds are complicating traffic in many parts of the country. The Road Maintenance Authority closed the main road to Poland via Harrachov for trucks during the night and the restriction is likely to remain in place throughout Friday. More snow is expected in the course of the day and meteorologists have warned of gale force winds in the western parts of the country reaching 110 km per hour in places.
The weather on Saturday will mostly be overcast with a high likelihood of snow showers, especially on high ground. Maximum daytime temperatures will range between minus two and plus two degrees Celsius.
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