Daily news summary News

02-08-2011

Dozens of lawsuits in Šumava National Park controversy

Environment activists are reportedly filing dozens of lawsuits against the police and management of the Šumava National Park over the logging of bark-beetle infested trees and the actions of the police against members of the blockade. A complaint has also been sent to the Ombudsman. Lawyers consulted by the environment activists say that by all accounts logging in that area of the protected nature reserve is illegal. One of the protesters has asked a court to stop the police actions against environment activists on the grounds that the officers are assisting an illegal activity. A group of around fifty environment activists have now been there for close to a fortnight chaining themselves to trees in an effort to physically prevent logging. Meanwhile the parks management has ordered logging to continue despite the controversy saying that thousands of still-healthy trees are at risk of infestation.

TOP 09 says Šumava controversy should be resolved in civilized manner

One of the ruling parties in the Czech coalition government TOP 09 has asked the park’s management and environment activists to go back to the negotiating table and resolve the matter in a civilized manner. The party’s leader, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the controversy had come to resemble a pseudo-religious war in which neither side was willing to listen to the arguments of the other. He criticized the park’s management for sidelining academicians who were ready to give valuable advice and said the Environment Ministry was doing nothing to diffuse the tension. TOP 09 said it had received assurances from environment activists that if the ministry organized a round-table debate on the matter they would end the blockade.

Constitutional Court orders healthy boy to be released from mental asylum

The Constitutional Court has annulled a court ruling on the grounds of which a young boy caught up in a messy divorce was placed in a mental asylum. The parents are fighting for custody rights and the child’s father asked a court to remove the boy from his mother’s care because she was influencing him against his father. The court sent him to a psychiatric institution where he has spent the last six months. His mother filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court which ruled that a mental asylum was no place for a perfectly healthy minor for the simple reason that his parents were fighting. This is not the first case in which a child has been treated in this manner. Previously a thirteen year old girl was sent to a psychiatric institution because she did not want to associate with her father.

Czech opera diva Milada Šubrtová dies at 87

Czech opera diva Milada Šubrtová has died at the age of 87. The soprano first appeared on stage in 1945 where she excelled starring in the Bartered Bride. Four years later she joined the prestigious National Theatre ensemble where with her three octave range she quickly became one of its star singers. She remained true to the country’s number one opera stage over a successful career spanning more than 40 years. She also made numerous recordings for Czech Radio and Czech Television.

Appellate court hands out tougher sentences for violence against homeless man

An appellate court in Olomouc has handed out sentences of five and six years to two men who beat to death a homeless man in the city of Prostějov late last year. The two men had appealed an earlier ruling by a regional court which sent the main culprit to a year and a half in prison and gave his accomplice a suspended sentence only. Both appealed the verdict, which was benevolent on the grounds of the victims poor state of health which the judge said had contributed to his death. The appellate court ruled the two men were to be held fully responsible for the result of the grievous injuries they has inflicted.

Tatra signs deal with DAF

Lorry maker Tatra Kopřivnice has signed a cooperation agreement with the Dutch firm DAF Trucks on the production and sale of a new lorry. DAF will be supplying Tatra with driver´s cabins and engines and will gain a fifth of the company’s shares. The new Tatra lorry is a combination of the Tatra chassis, DAF driver´s cabins and engines from PACCAR, Tatra CEO Ronald Adams told the CTK news agency on Tuesday. The vehicle is to be unveiled next Monday.

Registered partnership statistics

According to Colourplanet.cz, 1181 gay and lesbian couples entered into registered partnerships since the respective law enabling this came into force five years ago. 89 registered partnerships were annulled. The law legalizing registered partnerships was approved in 2006 after lengthy debate and four rejected bills. It gives gays and lesbians similar rights as in marriage but does not allow them to adopt children.

Two injured in truck-train accident

Two people were injured in a horrific looking accident in which a truck fell from a bridge onto train tracks and was mowed over by a locomotive. The accident happened near the town of Svor in north Bohemia on Tuesday morning. It is not clear what caused the truck to swerve and fall off the bridge but the truck driver was able to jump out of his cabin before it toppled down onto the tracks. The two injured people were a train driver and instructor who were in the cabin of the locomotive at the time of the accident. The route is closed to rail traffic for the rest of the day.

Austrian citizen

Police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old Austrian citizen who fell from a fifth floor hotel window in the city of Brno on Tuesday morning. He died on the spot from multiple internal injuries. According to a police spokesman the man very likely committed suicide.

Czechs lose to Spain in thrilling European U-19 final

The Czech Republic’s national squad was defeated by Spain in the final of UEFA’s European Under-19 football championship on Monday evening in Chiajna, Romania. The final score was 3:2 after extra time. The Czechs were defeated despite playing an excellent match and twice holding the lead.

Krejčí opened the scoring in the 52 minute, shooting through two defenders to beat Badia. Spain soon had a chance to equalize but goalkeeper Koubek made an excellent reflex save to keep the Czechs ahead. Spain tied the match with only minutes remaining. In extra time, the Czechs scored first again: Krejčí sent the ball to Lácha who fired in. Soon after, however, Spain turned around the result: Alcácer scored twice, in the 108th and 115th minutes, to give Spain the victory.

Weather

The coming days are expected to be warm and sunny with daytime highs reaching 27 degrees Celsius.

02-08-2011