Daily news summary News

30-01-2011

Czech tourists scrapping package holidays to Egypt

Czech tourists have started scrapping package holidays to Egypt amidst growing concern over the security situation. The Czech Foreign Ministry has advised Czechs to postpone all non-essential trips until the situation stabilizes. There are currently some 800 Czech holiday makers in Egypt, mostly in the country’s Red Sea resorts. The Czech Embassy in Egypt said on Sunday there had been looting in Hurgada and the embassy was getting calls from concerned Czech tourists. In the meantime Czech travel agencies are sending more tourists to Egypt on the argument that the popular Red Sea resorts are safe destinations. Czech Airlines are currently dispatching 7 charter flights a week to Egyptian holiday resorts and say they are prepared to make a flexible decision should the security situation worsen.

Police save man and baby

Police psychologists in Plzen had a dramatic Saturday night after being called to a case where a man wanted to jump from a third floor window with a year-old-child in his arms. The rescue-effort was successful and the man was eventually persuaded to hand over the child and is now getting psychiatric care. His wife jumped from the same window on the previous day and is in serious condition in hospital. The child was reportedly hypothermic but otherwise unharmed.

Evictions over domestic violence on the rise

The number of people who are evicted from their homes over domestic violence is on the rise. According to statistics collected by the White Circle of Safety, an NGO which helps victims, more than 1,000 perpetrators of domestic violence were evicted from their homes last year; a thirty percent increase on the previous year and the highest incidence since the practice was introduced four years ago. According to Czech law the police have the right to evict a perpetrator of domestic violence for a period of ten days, giving the victim time to consider their situation and decide on court action. After that a court can prolong the eviction period.

TUs to debate government offer on Tuesday

Doctors trade unions are to meet on Tuesday to make a final decision regarding Health Minister Leos Heger’s offer of an additional two billion crowns for salary hikes if doctors withdraw their resignations and desist from further destabilizing protests. The government and trade union leaders are still at loggerheads over some of the conditions of such a deal. Trade unions have demanded guarantees that all doctors who resigned in support of the protest against low wages should be allowed to return, but hospital directors have said they intend to make their own decisions. The prime minister has also expressed the view the money, which is to be acquired by scrapping 10,000 non-essential hospital beds, should not be used only for salary hikes.

Some governors acting as mediators in health crisis

Some governors are acting as mediators in the health crisis and talking to hospital directors about the possibility of re-employing doctors who handed in their notice over low salaries. Pardubice governor, Radko Martinek, of the Social Democrats, said on Sunday he had been assured that all doctors in the region would be taken back on condition that they withdraw their resignations by the end of next week.

Sazka has accepted an offer from an unnamed investor

The management of the ailing lottery giant Sazka says it has accepted one of two offers to settle its debts and save the company from bankruptcy. It did not specify which offer it had accepted saying the news would be made public at a press briefing on Tuesday. According to the CTK news agency Sazka had an offer by the investment group Penta and another by Synot Holding, another lottery company, in cooperation with entrepreneur Karel Komarek, the owner of the group KKCG. Penta wants to fully take over Sazka. Under its proposal, Sazka would, however, continue to pay part of its funds to Czech sport associations, according to Kejval. Synot has allegedly shown interest in 60 percent of Sazka, with 30 percent to remain in the hands of the current shareholders.

Theft of credit card data abounds

Czechs are increasingly vulnerable to theft of credit card data, with gangs and hackers always several steps ahead, the daily Lidove Noviny reports. Banks have not revealed the amount of money stolen on the argument that this is confidential information but in the past year 77 banking machines were found to have illegally installed skimming devices and practices such as phishing, pharming and shouldering have become increasingly common.

European Yo Yo Championship in Prague

The two-day European Yo Yo Championship held in in Prague’s Archa Theatre over the weekend attracted 150 contestants from two dozen European states and many yo yo fans and professionals from abroad. The Czech Yo Yo Association revived the European championships after a 57-year-long break in 2010. Among last year’ s winners were two Czechs : Václav Kroutil in 1A division and Petr Kavka in 5A. This year’s winners in all five categories will be announced on Sunday evening.

Verner claims bronze in Berne

Czech figure skater Tomáš Verner claimed the bronze medal on Saturday at the European Figure Skating Championship in Berne, Switzerland. The gold went to France's Florent Amodio with his compatriot Brian Joubert placing second. Verner, although only 24 years old, can be considered a veteran with eight European Championships under his belt. After a gold in 2008 and a silver in 2007, the Czech now took bronze. He performed to a Michael Jackson medley and landed a quadruple toeloop as well as five triple jumps, but he stumbled out of his first triple Axel and doubled a Lutz.

Kozák double boosts Lazio's outside title hopes

Czech forward Libor Kozák bagged both second-half goals as Lazio beat Fiorentina 2-0 on Saturday to keep their Serie A title hopes alive. The 21-year-old opened the scoring from the penalty spot before netted a close-range header heading home the second just four minutes later to put Lazio third in the table, above city rivals Roma who play on Sunday.

Weather

The coming days should continue partly cloudy with day temperatures dropping to minus 4 degrees Celsius. Nighttime lows may reach minus 16 degrees.

30-01-2011