Eighteen police officers who were illegally working for filmmakers have been charged with abuse of office and bribery. A police spokeswoman said on Sunday that seventeen of the officers had been arrested Saturday; one of them is currently abroad. The men were paid for example to help shut down traffic for film shoots and some of them, according to police, made hundreds of thousands of crowns working for film companies. They face prison sentences of up to eight years. In the Czech Republic, police officers are not allowed to take on second jobs, except for those that are of scientific, education, publishing or artistic nature.
Following heavy rain showers in the night from Saturday to Sunday, water levels of several rivers in the Liberec region have risen. According to information from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the river Šmedá has reached the third level on the flood activity scale, while at three other locations, first-level flood alerts were issued.
In the Czech Republic, the amount of energy generated by solar panels grew significantly in 2011, with solar power production reaching 890 gigawatt hours within the first five months of the year, according to fresh data published by the Energy Regulatory Office. In 2010, power generated by solar panels only amounted to 175 gigawatt hours in the same period. The proliferation of solar energy panels was kick-started by state subsidies last year; as a consequence, the sector became attractive to a number of investors. Despite the rapid growth, solar energy still only accounts for three percent of the total energy production in the Czech Republic.
Sixty-one people died on Czech roads in July of this year, the lowest figure in twenty years. Last year, 104 people died in the same month due to traffic accidents. The highest number of road fatalities in the month of July occurred in 2003, when 159 were killed in traffic. According to the statistics, a number of the accidents that occurred in July 2011 were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. The total number of traffic deaths for 2011 has reached 379.
The Czech Airlines Pilots Association on Saturday announced that they would not, as they had previously threatened, hold a go-slow protest on Monday. The pilots’ association had planned the protest due to redundancies at the state-controlled carrier ČSA, however, its head, Filip Gaspar, says that the pilots have reached an agreement with the management of the airline. He added that as part of the agreement, all future staff cuts would be discussed in detail with the union and would be dependent on the development of the market. On Wednesday, Czech Airlines started handing out notices to some of its pilots, a step that the management of the airline says is in line with a plan to restructe the airline, which was approved by the Czech government last year.
A confrontation at a gas-station along the D1 highway in Prague escalated when one of the men involved in the fight drew a knife and stabbed the other man on Saturday evening. The attacker then drove off and left the injured man, who is currently being treated in hospital, behind. Police are investigating the case as attempted murder.
The Czech Republic have been drawn to face Malta, Armenia, Bulgaria, Denmark and Italy in qualifying games for the 2014 football World Cup in Brazil. Only the winner of the group is assured of playing in the competition. Czech captain Tomáš Rosický said the group was evenly matched with four teams who would have ambitions to qualify.
The Czech Republic have reached the final of the European Under-19 Football Championship for the first time, after beating Serbia 4:2 in Friday’s semi-final in Romania. The Czechs, who are managed by Jaroslav Hřebík, had a 3:0 lead within 20 minutes thanks to strikes from Tomáš Přikryl, Tomáš Kalas, and Tomáš Jeleček. They face Spain – who are world and European champions at senior level – in Monday’s final.
The unseasonably low temperatures and relatively heavy rainfalls that dominated July in the Czech Republic will be interrupted at the start of next week. From Monday to Friday, clear to cloudy conditions with daytime temperatures between 21 and 27 degrees Celsius are expected. At night, temperatures will average 15 degrees. However, the weather is expected to take a turn for the worse next weekend, cooling down again with scattered showers and thunderstorms in places.
Conditions on the weekend are expected to be partly cloudy with scattered showers in some places and daytime highs of 23 degrees Celsius.