The Prague police have recommended to the state prosecutor to indict an editor at the weekly magazine Reflex, Jiří X. Doležal, and the former deputy editor-in-chief Jaroslav Plesl for propagating the use of drugs. The police charged both men in August after an edition of the magazine came out containing a blurry picture, which was supposed to appear in focus once the reader smoked marijuana. The magazine also contained cigarette rolling papers and a notice on the front cover indicating that they were to be used to roll a marihuana joint. Mr. Doležal was the author of the article, and Mr. Plesl was at the time of printing filling in for the editor-in-chief. If the state attorney chooses to prosecute the case, the two men could face up to five years in jail or a fine if found guilty.
The district of Prague 1 has approved a controversial plan to demolish a building on the corner of Prague’s Wenceslas Square and Opletalová Street, a spokeswoman for the district said. The owner of the building is planning to erect a new structure on the site but was waiting for final approval before taking steps. If no one raises objections within 30 days, the project will be able to move ahead. The planned demolition has drawn protests from a part of the public and saw heated debate; however, the building was denied protection as a historic monument by the authorities.
A section of the main Czech D1 motorway between Prague and Brno will be closed several times on Saturday as a new bridge will be constructed at the site, the Transport Ministry said. A 10-kilometre long stretch between Loket and Hořice in central Bohemia will be closed for four 1.5-hour periods starting at 8 PM on Saturday. Cars and vans will be diverted to an alternate route while trucks will have to wait for the road to reopen.
When one half of the Čapek brothers villa was put up for sale by the relatives of Karel Čapek’s wife on May, some were worried that the famous writer’s residence, where many important works were written, would be sold to a private owner and closed off to the public for good. The Prague 10 district council put the concerns to rest on Monday when it voted to purchase the villa for 44 million crowns. The owner, Karel Scheinpflug, was willing to lower the original asking price of 55 million, in order to make the residence a public space. Radio Prague
City councillors in Prague have taken a significant step to try and curb disorderly conduct in the capital, passing an ordinance doubling the number of public areas where the consumption of alcohol will be banned. As of October 3, almost 860 spots in the capital will be off-limits for alcohol, including parks, areas near schools, and city squares.
Prague 10 municipal council approved a plan to buy a villa in the Vinohrady district of the capital which once belonged to the writer Karel Čapek. The municipality earmarked nearly 44 million crowns for the purchase. The villa, built in the 1920s, houses part of the writer’s archive, his library and some of his personal belongings. The owner, a distant relative of Karel Čapek’s wife, had been offered a higher price by other interested buyers but said he wanted to sell the property to Prague 10. The villa should eventually be open to the public as a museum dedicated to the writer.
Jostled between nation states and ideologies for the best part of two centuries, traces of an ever changing Czech identity crisis sit subtly in the foreground of the Prague we know today. Whatever rule Bohemia or Czechoslovakia was under - whether it be the Hapsburg Monarchy in the eighteenth century, National Socialism in the 1940s or Communism until 1989; the bridges over the Vltava have seen and lived through it all. A closer look at two of Pragues busiest bridges unveils a history not so distant in Prague’s past.
The Prague 10 town hall is willing to pay 43 million crowns for the former residence of the famous writer Karel Čapek. Although a foreign bidder has offered a higher price, the villa’s owner, Karel Scheinpflug has indicated that he would be willing to sell it for the lower price to the local administration. The local town council will vote on the proposal to buy the villa on Monday. Cultural Minister Jiří Balvín has expressed interest in speaking at the council meeting in support of the decision. Karel Čapek and his painter brother Josef had the villa built for them in the early 1920’s. Only the half where Karel lived is currently for sale. The writer’s study has been preserved as it appeared during his lifetime. The Prague 10 council plans to open up a part of the residence to the public, if the sale goes through.
The Prague City Hall has approved a controversial amendment to the ordinance on the regulation of gambling. The new city ordinance has lowered the number of places where gambling is allowed from 650 to 317 and includes a ban on advertising of gambling facilities and neon-light signs outside of these locations. Gambling facilities are an important source of income for the city coffers. Due to the limit on the number of places where gambling machines can be located, the city will most likely lose up to 400 million crowns from its budget, which is approximately half of what it receives from gambling today. The Green Party has strongly criticized the amendment, saying that it will not influence the overall number of gamblers. Others criticized the change for not being strict enough and leaving room for possible corruption.
The authorities in Prague have decided to take action against people urinating in public, Novinky.cz reported on Tuesday. Officials have asked members of the city police to draw up a list of spots, such as tram stops, which are particularly badly affected, the news website said. A police spokesperson said that officers, who can fine those over the age of 15 who urinate in public up to CZK 1,000, have to deal with the problem frequently. Special cleaning agents containing chlorine are used in some parts of the downtown area.
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