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Lower house presents nominees for state awards

Snowboard champion Ester Ledecká, footballer Petr Čech and poet Karel Sýs are among the 28 nominees for a state award proposed by the lower house of Parliament. War veterans Josef Ocelka, Josef Bernát and Květoslav Prokeš have been nominated for state awards in memoriam.

The country’s highest state distinctions – The Order of T.G. Masaryk, the Order of the White Lion and medals of merit are traditionally handed out by the president on October 28th, Czechoslovak Independence Day. Nominations are put forward by both houses of parliament and the president.

This year the anniversary will be especially important since it marks 100 years since the birth of Czechoslovakia.

Clean up operations underway after flash floods

Clean-up operations are underway in central, western and southern Bohemia which were hit by flash floods on Thursday night.

Flood alerts have been called off, but a number of roads were still closed in the Karlovy Vary region on Friday and many homes remained without electricity.

Firemen have been working around-the-clock to clear roads and pump water from cellars in the wake of Thursday’s storms. The severe storms hit the country following a lengthy period of drought.

Zeman: Hamáček broke deal on not nominating Poche foreign minister

President Miloš Zeman says Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček went back on an agreement between the two to not nominate Miroslav Poche as minister of foreign affairs in a possible coalition with ANO. Speaking on TV on Thursday evening, Mr. Zeman said that Mr. Poche – whom he called an amateur – cast doubt on two pillars of Czech foreign policy: opposition to EU quotas on migrants and a pro-Israel policy.

Mr. Poche is one of five members of his party in line to take ministerial portfolios in a possible minority coalition with ANO. The Social Democrats are currently conducting an internal ballot on whether to enter such a government.

TOP 09 proposing tougher punishment for animal cruelty

The opposition TOP 09 party is proposing tougher punishment for cruelty against animals. Party leader Jiří Pospísil told reporters the respective amendment was ready and the party would seek support for it across the political spectrum.

The move comes in response to reports of a growing number of illegal breeding houses where dogs are kept in atrocious conditions. The media have also recently carried shocking cases of cruelty against dogs perpetrated by individual owners.

The Pirates and the Mayors and Independents Party have reportedly promised to support the bill.

Film festival for children and youth kicks off in Zlín

The 58th International Film Festival for Children and Youth opens in the town of Zlín on Friday night. The festival, which runs until June 2nd, will screen some 300 films from around 50 counties of which 18 will have their world premiere in Zlín.

169 films are competing for the main festival prize The Golden Slipper, the Europe Award and the Zlín Dog, among others. The festival expects to attract over 120,000 visitors.

Among the VIP guests this year is Andrea Morricone, one of the greatest contemporary Italian composers and conductors, and the son of the phenomenal composer Ennio Morricone.

Andrea Morricone composed the musical composition for the film 72 Hours in Bangkok, a film by Czech director and producer Lubomír Haltmar, which is having its world premiere screening on Monday, May 28at the festival.

Nymburk crowned basketball league champions for 15th time in row

Nymburk have become Czech basketball league winners for the 15th time in a row. The Central Bohemians decided the final playoff series in two games; after overcoming Opava convincingly in Nymburk, they again easily overcame them on Thursday, 114:73.

Opava’s silver medal was their first in Czech basketball’s top flight in a decade and a half. It means they, like Nymburk, will enter next year’s Champions League, Europe’s top international club competition.

Weather forecast

Although a storm warning remains in place until late Friday, Saturday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.