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Study: Czech regions face critical shortage of paediatricians within 5 years

Nearly a third of paediatricians plan to close their practices or retire within five years, a survey by the Association of General Practitioners for Children and Adolescents (SPLDD) shows.

Paediatricians are on average older than other general practitioners, and there is a looming shortage. The survey found that this shortage is especially acute in parts of the regions of Karlovy Vary, Liberec, Hradec Králové and Vysočina.

Municipalities and insurance companies have been experimenting with different incentives to try to lure new doctors into the field. Complicating matters is the elimination of paediatrics as a distinct field of study.

Palestinian foreign minister in Prague for working visit

The foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority began a working visit to the Czech Republic on Monday. Riyad Al-Maliki will be received in particular by his Czech counterpart, Tomáš Petříček.

The foreign ministers discussed the Czech humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian Authority, opportunities for bilateral trade and the Middle East peace process.

Following a morning meet, Petříček said the Czech Republic wants to put more emphasis on linking business activities with development aid provided to Palestine.

While in Prague, Riyad Al-Maliki is also scheduled to meet the ambassadors of the Arab League countries.

Last year Palestine withdrew its ambassador from Prague after Czech politicians expressed support for the opening of a US embassy in Jerusalem in December 2017. Palestine considers it a violation of international law.

Czech foreign trade surplus rises to CZK 24.4 billion in May

The Czech foreign trade surplus rose in May by 17.2 billion crowns in annual terms, to 24.4 billion crowns, according to preliminary data published on Monday by the Czech Statistical Office.

Exports grew year-on-year by 8.1 percent to 332.5 billion crowns and imports by 2.5 percent to 308.2 billion crowns.

The balance was positively influenced mainly by the motor vehicle sector, where exports increased by 11.5 billion crowns. At the same time, the deficit in refined petroleum products, chemicals, and oil and natural gas decreased.

Constitutional Court to review rape sentence for tantra instructor ‘Guru Jára’

The Constitutional Court plans to review the rape conviction of a tantra sex and yoga practitioner Jaroslav Dobeš, also known as ‘Guru Jára’, the Czech News Agency reports.

Dobeš had fled in 2015 to the Philippines to avoid serving a 10-year sentence for rape. He was arrested there along with his associate Barbora Plašková, who was also sentenced.

While on the face of it ‘Guru Jára’ promised lessons in yoga, tantra and Eastern philosophy, in practice his female pupils were pressured into taking part in ritualised sex with him.

Dobeš and Plášková were originally sentenced by the Regional Court for six cases of rape. Both remain in immigration detention facilities in the Philippines.

Press: Prague prosecutor charged for corruption in drunk-driving cases

Charges have been filed against a Prague prosecutor for allegedly taking bribes in 2013 from a former judge, who is now in prison on corruption charges, Czech TV reports.

The prosecutor, Pavel Suchánek, was acquitted in October on charges that he took a bribe from Ondřej Havlín, a judge who earlier served as an ambassador to Croatia and later Bulgaria.

Six others prosecutors had faced charges in 2013. Only one was sentenced.

Growing interest in Erasmus exchange program among Czech students

There is growing interest among Czech students in the Erasmus student exchange program.

Data provided by the organizers shows a ten percent increase in the number of applications, with around 8,000 Czech students expected to go abroad for student exchange stays in the coming academic year.

The most sought after destinations are Germany, Spain and Great Britain.

Over 100,000 Czech students have benefitted from the Erasmus program since it was introduced twenty years ago.

Finance minister briefs president on 2020 draft budget

Finance Minister Alena Schillerová met with President Miloš Zeman and his team of financial advisors at Lany Chateau on Sunday to brief them about the 2020 draft budget.

She said that while she saw no means of reducing the proposed 40 billion crown deficit she was determined not to exceed this limit.

Ministers for the Social Democratic Party failed to support the draft in a Cabinet vote arguing that the budget proposal failed to take into account all their program priorities.

The opposition Communist Party, which tolerates the minority government in exchange for certain policy program concessions, has said it wants to see the deficit slashed by ten billion.

Bohemia JazzFest starts Monday in Prague

Bohemia JazzFest, one of the largest summer music festivals in Europe, gets underway on Monday evening in Prague.

Headlining on Monday at the Old Town Square is the Stefano Bollani Quartet from Italy. Also on the programme is Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and his quartet and the Lorenz Kellhuber Piano Trio from Germany.

Bohemia JazzFest was launched in 2006 by acclaimed jazz guitarist Rudy Linka. It now draws nearly 100,000 jazz fans to historic town squares throughout the Czech Republic.

All the concerts are open-air, free of charge, and feature headline performers playing in medieval settings.

Wimbledon: Strýcová beats Mertens, Plíšková loses to Muchová, Konta beats Kvitová

Four Czech tennis players made it to the fourth round of the Wimbledon tournament, which began on Monday morning. It was a day of upsets.

First up was Barbora Strýcová, ranked no. 54, who took on Belgium’s Elise Mertens, the 21st seed, for the second time in her career. Strýcová roared back from a set down to beat Mertens by 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Later in the afternoon, No. 3 seed Karolína Plíšková faced fellow Czech national Karolína Muchová, ranked No. 68. Plíšková was the heavy favourite but lost in an upset to Muchová by 4-6, 7-5, 13-11.

Finally, in the most highly anticipated match, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová lost to Britain’s top player, Johanna Konta, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Strýcová will now face Konta in the quarter-finals.

Weather outlook

Tuesday should be relatively cool and cloudy throughout the country. Average daytime highs should range between 17 to 21 degrees Celsius.