Over the last 25 years, just under 475,000 Czechs ended up at some point in the drunk tank, under the heavy influence of alcohol or drugs, according to new health care statistics. Some 84 percent of those to held overnight over the 25 years were men. Last year, some 23,000 spent the night in one of 17 facilities, a drop of around 5,500 year-on-year. Last year, the number of minors detained was only two percent, down from nine percent in 2006.
The district court in Ostrava has sent two youths, aged 18 and 19, who are suspects in a brutal attack on singer and musician Michal Hrůza, into custody. Hrůza underwent brain surgery in the early hours of Thursday after suffering from internal bleeding after allegedly being attacked by the two. His condition remains serious. The state prosecutor overseeing the case said that Hrůza had intervened to try and prevent a fight between the youths and was badly beaten for it. The two are charged with grievous bodily harm, a crime which carries a maximum ten year sentence. Hrůza is a highly-respected singer and songwriter, who wrote hits for his former band Ready Kirken as well as for other performers including Aneta Langerová and for his solo career. The singer had been in Ostrava to perform.
Retired footballing legend Antonín Panenka, the scorer of a famous chip during penalties in the final versus West Germany in the European Championships in 1976, is planning on entering politics with a senatorial run, according to news website iDNES. According to the website, Panenka is likely to be nominated leader of a movement called Independents for Prague 10 ahead of elections to the Senate this autumn. He would run to fill a seat formerly held by Jaromír Štetina, who was elected to the European Parliament in May, for a shortened mandate of two years. An announcement by the former international is expected next week.
The ANO movement's Minister for Regional Development, Věra Jourová, appears to be a step closer to being nominated by the ruling coalition for post of Czech EU commissioner, according to news website iDNES. Social Democrat Interior Minister Michal Chovanec told the daily the Social Democrats would put the interests of the country ahead of their own; the party had been pushing for the nomination of former finance minister Pavel Mertlík. But there was speculation that a female candidate would more likely gain traction within a new commission headed by new head Jean-Claude Juncker. The heads of the three parties in government was to finalise the name before the regular cabinet meeting on Monday.
A 27-year-old Czech mountain climber had to be rescued by helicopter in neighbouring Slovakia. The climber made a wrong decision in Slovakia's High Tatras, on the Kezmar massif, and became stranded in territory too difficult for his equipment. He contacted the mountain rescue on Friday but could not be picked up until Saturday morning. The climber did not suffer any injuries.
The 51-year-old pilot of a small sports plane was killed during an acrobatic aerials competition near the airport in Kroměříž on Saturday morning. The accident took place shortly before 11 AM. The plane reportedly caught fire before it crashed. The aircraft hit the ground just 60 metres or so from a family home. The rest of the event, organised by a local areoclub, was immediately called off. Police are investigating.
Former leader of the Green Party and ex minister of the environment Martin Bursík has announced he has been selected to by the centre-right TOP 09 party to stand for the Czech Upper house, the Senate. Bursík said he had been backed by Prague 1’s executive committee to stand in spite of the fact that he is a member and founder of another environmental party, LES. TOP 09 deputy chairwoman Helena Langšádlová said that Bursík was both a democrat and pro-European in explanation of the support. The Senate seat which will be contested in the autumn is currently held by Civic Democrat Zděnek Schwarz.
Temperatures climbed on Friday to above 30 degrees Celsius in many parts of the Czech Republic with even hotter weather and temperatures of up to 33 degrees Celsius expected on Saturday. One of the hottest spots is expected to be Southern Moravia. The heat spell has been accompanied by fire warnings, especially in the south of the country. The hot weather is expected to break on Monday night when heavy storms are predicted.
The two ringleaders of a gang whose kidnapping of wealthy Czechs sometimes ended up with murder have been given life sentences by a Prague court on Friday. Michael Šváb and Libor Skopalík were given life sentences for their roles in the five-man gang. The court heard how they picked their targets from rich Czech businessmen when they were abroad. One of the targets though was said to have been killed in the Dubai desert after being suffocated and hit on the head with a stone. Another businessman was shot in Italy after being first abducted in Nice. Members of the gang were said to have met in prison where they planned their future actions after they were released.
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