The news website idnes has reported that the average salary for Czech doctors and dentists reached 50,000 crowns per month in 2010. According to the website, salaries improved by 3.7 percent from the previous year. Nurses at public hospitals earned an average of 27,000 crowns per month (the equivalent of around 1,600 US dollars) –some 4,000 crowns more than at private facilities. The average monthly salary in the Czech Republic is just under 24,000 crowns per month. Doctors’ salaries will further increase this year following an intense campaign where they threatened to walk out in protest over pay.
Three suspects charged with beating a homeless man to death last year, appeared for the first time in court on Monday. Josef Král, Jiří Znojil, both 19, and 25-year-old suspect Miroslav Červeňák are charged. Last September, under the influence of alcohol, they targeted and beat the 39-year-old victim in a Šumperk park, kicking him in the head and face repeatedly. The victim later died in hospital. A metropolitan police officer who responded to the call compared the brutality to scenes from a butcher’s shop. One of the suspects, Mr Červeňák, has denied involvement, telling the court on Monday that he had tried to get the others to stop. If found guilty, the three men could face up to 18 years in prison.
The Czech media will be able to publish transcripts of wiretap recordings if it is in the public interest – stipulated in an amendment to the controversial “muzzle law” which came into effect on Monday. The original legislation was introduced on January 1, 2009, strongly restricting the publication of sensitive data in order to protect the identities of victims of violent crimes. But the law was strongly criticised by domestic and foreign media as restricting freedom of the press, who also saw sanctions of up to five years in prison or the possibility of five million crown fines for offenders as excessive. The new amendment allows for exceptions as long as the information released is in the public interest, for example, in cases of suspected corruption of politicians or other civil servants.
The Czech Academy of Sciences has awarded visiting US astronaut Andrew Feustel a medal for his contribution to science, education and culture as well as the promotion of humanitarian ideas. The astronaut will tour Czech towns to give lectures and take part in debates on space exploration for almost two weeks. The 45-year-old Feustel will also co-chair a programme prepared by the US Embassy and the Academy of Sciences called "The Junior Ambassadors of Science and Technology", encouraging Czech youth to develop interests in engineering and the sciences.
Mr Feustel recently took a Czech flag and a plush toy of the legendary animated Czech character krtek or Mole (created by artist Zdeněk Miler) on the last mission of the space shuttle Endeavor. The astronaut’s wife Indira, who has Czech roots and is with him on his visit to the Czech Republic, said the idea of taking the popular krtek on the mission was to draw children and youth to the wonders of space exploration.
Fire fighters responded on Monday morning to a blaze in the Krkonoše Mountains, in the north of the country, which destroyed two of three historic chalets dating back to the 19th century. The third building was also damaged, partly consumed by flames. The earliest chalet in the complex of buildings known as Petrova bouda was first opened in 1811 by Johann Pittermann, and was later transformed into a hotel by a follow-up owner. The buildings destroyed on Monday had been boarded up since 2008 and were in poor condition. The cause of Monday's fire has not been determined, but the police and fire fighters will conduct an investigation.
The Czech news website idnes reports that prior to World War II the Krkonoše Mountains boasted some 30 such winter chalets, many of which have long since been torn down or have fallen into ruin.
A state prosecutor has pressed several criminal charges against the head of the Olomouc Faculty Hospital, Radomír Maráček, including alleged machinations in public tenders and other shady business dealings, signing disadvantageous contracts and papering over others. By the prosecutor’s estimate, the suspect caused almost seven million crowns in damages. Police began their investigation in February; if found guilty, Mr Maráček could face up to eight years in prison.
Croatian police saved a three-year old Czech boy from an overheated vehicle in the Dalmatian coast’s city of Split on the weekend. According to the news site 24sata, the parents had left the child, who was sleeping in the car, on Saturday afternoon to take a walk through the city. Passersby, who saw that the boy in the car was screaming, called the police, which saved the boy from the vehicle within 45 minutes. He is currently being treated for dehydration at hospital. It is not yet clear whether Croatian authorities will be prosecuting the parents of the child.
The Czech Statistical Office has reported new numbers regarding life-expectancy in the Czech Republic. Over the last 20 years the numbers have increased in men and women’s favour by almost seven and five years respectively. Czech men, on average, now live to 74.4 years of age and Czech women to 80.6. In 1990, the average for Czech males was 67.6 and 75.4 for women. Since 1920, the average life span has increased far more dramatically: by 27.4 years for men and 31 for women, the office said.
The Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague has been named the best film school in Europe by prestigious film magazine The Hollywood Reporter. In the article FAMU placed seventh out of 25 film schools worldwide. The American Film Institute topped the list, followed by the University of Southern California and the Beijing Film Academy. FAMU’s place on the list is attributed in large part to its successful alumni. In the 1960s these included filmmakers from the Czechoslovak New Wave, among them Miloš Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus), Věra Chytilová, and Jiří Menzel. Later graduates included the Bosnian filmmaker Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies, Undergound), and the Polish-born Agnieszka Holland (Total Eclipse).
Monday evening will see the Czech Republic face Spain in the final of UEFA’s European Under-19 football championship. The final kicks off in Bucharest at seven pm local time. Ginés Meléndez's Spain are seeking their fifth victory in the competition – a result which would allow them to retain the trophy. By contrast the Czechs, under coach Jaroslav Hřebík, are hoping to win their first U19 title. In the semi-final the Czechs eliminated Serbia 4:2, while Spain crushed Ireland 5:0. The Czechs were undefeated in the group stage, while Spain posted one loss - against Turkey.
The beginning of the week should be partly cloudy with showers in places but also sunny periods. Daytime temperatures on Tuesday are expected to reach highs of 23 degrees Celsius.