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Police charge three youths with arson in connection with fire that ravaged Guty church

Three young men have been charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed a historic wooden church in the town of Guty, Silesia. The church, dating back to 1563 was one of the best preserved wooden churches in the country. The authorities have already announced that the church will be replaced. Petra Batkova of the National Heritage Institute told the ctk news agency that negotiations underway to secure funds for the project. Besides the insurance money, contributions will be made from state and church institutions and the public. A collection has been launched and a charity concert is being planned to help raise funds for the new church.

Electric fence being installed in Zlin region to prevent spread of swine fever

Workers have started installing a 45km long electric fence in the Zlin region which is fighting an epidemic of African swine fever. The fence is to prevent the migration of infected wild boar. The animals will gradually be put down. A state of emergency is in place in the region and special measures are in effect to protect private and commercial pig breeders. There are some 400 wild boar in the infected area. Work on the fence is expected to last for another two or three days. Farmers in the high-risk area will not be able to harvest their crops and will receive compensation from the state.

Bill on state defence envisages help from civilian population

A bill on defence of the state drafted by the Czech Defence Ministry envisages military training of volunteers from the civilian population. If approved the Defence Ministry would spend hundreds of millions of crowns in preparing back-up units from the civilian population who would actively participate in the country’s defence in the event of war. Such a project would involve closer cooperation and financial aid to associations of amateur radio enthusiasts, shooting clubs and cynology experts. Running an administrative and coordination centre for such training would cost 60 million crowns annually.

Contract between Kyrgyz state company and Czech Liglass approved despite doubts

The shareholders of the leading Kyrgyz state-owned power company have approved a multi-million dollar contract with the Czech firm Liglass Trading on the construction and operation of two hydro-electric plants in Kyrgyzstan as well as series of smaller electricity-generating projects. The contract was approved by a strong majority of 97.6 percent shareowners despite speculation in the Czech and Kyrgyz media that the Czech company may be unreliable and warnings from Kyrgyz diplomats that Liglass Trading lacked credibility and that a sister company of the firm was on the brink of bankruptcy. The contract with Liglass was signed on July 10 at a ceremony in the office of the government at which Kyrgyz President Atambajev himself was present. Both Prague Castle and the Czech Trade Ministry lobbied for Liglass.

Czech civil servants found to be uninformed and arrogant

Czech civil servants are arrogant, careless about the needs of the public and often unable to give advice in their given area of expertise, according to the outcome of an in-depth survey conducted by Brno’s Mendel University. Two thirds of respondents polled said they had bad experience with arrogant civil servants who were unwilling or unable to give them advice. Civil servants in the construction sector who deal with red tape linked to construction permits got the worst marks. People also complained that they need to go to several institutions in connection with a single request.

Tomáš Berdych reaches quarter-finals in Mexico

Top seed Tomáš Berdych beat Adrian Mannarino 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Los Cabos, Mexico on Thursday. It was a hard-won victory for the Czech player with Berdych rallying from 1-4 down in the final set to reach the quarter-finals. Berdych is continuing to build on his semi-final run at Wimbledon as he bids for his first ATP World Tour title of the season. He next faces Thanasi Kokkinakis, who beat American Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 6-2.

Weather forecast

The intense heatwave is expected to last until Sunday with Friday and Saturday’s temperatures between 29 and 33 degrees Celsius. A cold front on Sunday will see temperatures drop to around 25 degrees. Thursday was the hottest day of the year with temperatures reaching 38.3 degrees Celsius.