Daily news summary News

27-07-2011

Czech extremist thanks Norwegian gunman on website promoting far-right views

A Czech far-right extremist has thanked the Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik for his twin terror attacks on the website White Media, the online version of the daily Lidové noviny reported on Wednesday. In an article titled “In Defense of Anders Breivik,” an anonymous author writes that what the gunman had done was understandable and would inspire others who oppose multiculturalism and are fighting against it. A police spokeswoman told the news site Aktualně.cz that police are investigating the case and the identity of the author. Terrorism expert Marian Brzybohaty commented, stating that publishing the article was a criminal act and broke the law on at least three different counts. The 32-year-old Norwegian gunman killed 76 people on Friday in a brutal bombing and shooting massacre and is currently facing charges of up to 30 years in prison.

Police evacuate remaining environmental activists from tree blockade

Police evacuated the remaining environmental activists holding a blockade in the Modrava region of Šumava National Park to prevent the felling of bark-beetle infested trees from the site on Wednesday afternoon. Some 17 of the activists participating in the blockade were arrested. Seven of the protesters were chained to trees and had to be removed by police. A few of them have started returning to the area, a police spokeswoman said. Some 40 police officers are currently on site. Loggers are expected to fell some 300 infested trees on Wednesday.

According to the organizer of the blockade, Mojmír Vlašín, police brutality has been escalating. He says that one officer attacked a protester, choked and threatened him. The park’s management is determined to push ahead with logging activity, arguing that another 30,000 trees in the vicinity are in imminent danger of infestation.

Ombudsman: Errors in pension payments responsibility of state

Czech ombudsman Pavel Varvařovský has said that if errors in paying out pensions occur, the state is responsible for correcting them and reimbursing those who have suffered financial damages as a consequence. He added that in the second quarter of this year, the Czech Social Security Administration had made a few such errors that were addressed with him. He said that in one case, a pensioners’ monthly payment was partially withheld due to the fact that the man had been in debt. However, after the creditor had informed the Social Security Administration that the debt was paid off, the agency continued withholding the money from the retired man for another 1.5 years. Mr. Varvařovský remarked that such mistakes can have grave consequences for pensioners and called on the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, where complaints can be filed, to address the matter accordingly.

Deputy of Justice Minister: Ministry budget for 2012 not sufficient

According to deputy justice minister Pavel Kasík the current draft budget for 2012 would only cover the ministry’s expenses for a period of about nine months. Mr. Kasik said in an interview with the Czech News Agency ČTK on Tuesday that the currently planned budget of 20.3 billion Czech crowns for the ministry would have to be increased by at least half a million to allow the ministry to fulfill its basic functions. Mr. Kasík added that the Justice Ministry would be debating next year’s budget with the finance minister in August and would ask for additional funds, since previous cuts have already had a negative effect on the country’s courts in particular. He explained that since previous cuts had already taken their toll in the area of human resources, a further reduction of the budget would most likely affect basic administrative tasks.

Czech bus swerves off Bavarian highway, young Czech man killed in accident

A 16-year old Czech was killed in an accident of a Czech bus with 57 passengers that happened in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday on a highway near Munich. According to Bavarian police, the vehicle rolled over on its roof after it had swerved off the highway. Twenty-one of the passengers, who were traveling back to the Czech Republic from a football match in Munich, were injured, two of the severely. Police are currently investigating the causes of the one-vehicle accident. Some 180 paramedics and several helicopters were involved in the rescue effort.

Direct investments by foreign investors in Czech Republic up by 56 percent year-on-year

Direct investments from foreign investors reached a total of about 113 billion Czech crowns in 2010, a 56 percent increase year-on-year, according to fresh data published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Investments were also up slightly compared to the pre-crisis year 2008. According to a spokesperson for CzechInvest, the data shows that economies worldwide have recovered from the world financial crisis. He added that this is palpable in the Czech Republic as well, and that in 2009, investments had dropped by 42 percent as a consequence of the global financial melt-down. Worldwide, foreign investments grew by 1.24 billion US dollars in 2010 year-on-year.

Police confiscate 90 specimens of rare parrot and turtle species

Customs officers, in collaboration with Czech police, have confiscated some 90 parrot and turtle specimens in a total of 12 house searches in an effort to crack down on the illegal trade with rare animal breeds. According to a police spokeswoman, the confiscated specimens have a retail value of roughly 14 million Czech crowns. Two suspects have been charged with illegally selling protected species, another five suspects are charged with other offenses connected to the trade in exotic animals. Among the parrot species confiscated were some very rare and endangered ones, such as the Hyancith Macaw, the Palm Cockatoo and the Red-Spectacled Amazon.

Suspect in murder case possibly brother of victim

According to media reports, the suspect in the murder of an 11-year-old girl who was found dead on Monday near the Silesian city of Krnov is the victim’s seventeen-year-old brother. Allegedly, he stabbed the girl to death in the apartment where the two of them lived and was seen running out of the flat by neighbors who were attempting to save the girl briefly after the murder took place. Police have not confirmed the identity of the suspect due to the fact that he is underage.

Fisherman using power generator to fish killed by electric shock

A 39-year-old man was killed in the South Bohemian town of Prachatice on Tuesday evening while he was fishing in a nearby lake. According to a police spokeswoman, the man was trying to catch fish with the help of a power generator and was most likely killed by an electric shock. His body was found by the lake where he was fishing; paramedics were not able to save him. Police are investigating the accident.

Police uncover marijuana plant near Teplice

Police raided a marijuana plant near the town of Teplice on Wednesday, confiscating some 450 marijuana plants and arresting one foreign national. According to a police spokeswoman, the plant was located on the ground floor, in the premises of a space that formerly had been used for retail businesses. Local police collaborated with the foreigners’ police unit in uncovering the plant. It is the second larger marijuana plant that has been raided in July of this year.

Weather

Ahead of the weekend, conditions should improve, with daytime highs of up to 24 degrees Celsius and mostly sunny weather.

27-07-2011