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16-11-2019

Up to 300,000 people attend anti-Babiš demonstration on Prague's Letná plain

Protesters gathered on Prague's Letná plain to demonstrate against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Justice Marie Benešová, calling on both to resign. According to the organisers there were as many as 300,000 people in attendance. The two-hour demonstration, which began at 2pm on Saturday, was the latest in a series of protests that have been going on since April this year. Organisers Million Moments for Democracy set out new demands on the prime minister, while also calling on opposition parties to find a way to increase their strength and vowing to organise new demonstrations if the prime minister interferes in the country's justice system, media, receives a pardon from the president, or if his alleged conflict of interests results in a withdrawal of EU subsidies.

Protestors suspect the Czech prime minister has been seeking to influence a criminal investigation into suspicions he committed EU subsidy fraud. However, the prime minister denies this and earlier this year, the criminal proceedings against him regarding an alleged case of subsidy fraud related to the Stork's Nest farm were halted by the state attorney investigating the case.

Czechoslovak New Wave film maker Vojtěch Jasný dies aged 93

Director and script writer Vojtěch Jasný, one of the leading individuals involved in Czechoslovak New Wave cinema has died at the age of 93. Mr. Jasný was resposible for films such as All My Compatriots and When the Cat Comes for which he won the Cannes Special Jury Prize. Following the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, Jasný emigrated to the United States where he continued to work as a film maker.

Plane crashes into Labe river

An ultralight plane crashed into the Labe river on Saturday afternoon, Czech Television reports. The pilot was found dead in the river. An investigation into the crash will be carried out with the involvement of local experts.

A similar incident happened two months earlier near the village of Hrušovany in the west of the country. The two crew members who were recovered survived but suffered injuries.

Students vow to continue occupying main building of Charles University until end of weekend

Students demonstrating in the main building of Charles University in Prague against climate change and the current rector of the university Tomas Zima say that they will continue occupying the venue at least until the end of this weekend. The main entrance to the building has been occupied by students from a number of Czech universities since Wednesday.

The protestors insist that Mr. Zima is a barrier for the university's efforts to tackle climate change, but the rector says that this is nonsense and refuses to resign. The university authorities have offered to resolve the issue through a debate at the next Charles University academic senate meeting, which will include a special discussion on climate change.

Tomáš Berdych expected to announce end of tennis career

Tomáš Berdych, who for many years had been the Czech number one mens' tennis player, is expected to announce the end of his career sometime during this Saturday. The 34-year-old said he believed it unlikely he would continue into the 2020 season already in August, after he had been eliminated in the first round of this year's US Open.

The former world number 4's biggest success was reaching the Wimbledon finals in 2010. He was also on the winning Czech team of the 2012 and 2013 Davis Cup. In recent years, Mr. Berdych has been plauged by hip injuries and is currently 103rd in the world.

16-11-2019