President Václav Klaus appointed 38 new judges at Prague Castle on Wednesday. Most of the newly appointed judges, who were suggested by the Ministry of Justice, will be working at Prague city court. The gender ratio in the group was relatively balanced, with slightly more women than men. The president said that he has appointed 666 candidates to date, which means more than a fifth of the country’s judges were appointed by him. In 2005, Mr. Klaus caused a stir when he refused to appoint dozens of candidates because they were under thirty years old.
The Czech Academy of Sciences has warned against passing a proposal for changes in ecological law by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The head of the academy’s environment commission said on Wednesday that the changes it calls for would have serious effects on the health and well-being of Czechs. He criticized specific points of the proposal, such as changes in emission limits, as well as the ministry’s overall approach to environmental legislation. The proposal will be presented to the government on Monday. It calls for a total of 96 changes in the Czech Republic’s environmental law.
An expert confirmed on Wednesday that items confiscated during a search in the houses of four men on trial for attempted murder contain Nazi and neo-Nazi symbols. He said that the items propagated racial hatred and xenophobia, and that one of the defendants had in his possession a magazine that called for ethnic cleansing and compared Romanies to animals. The four defendants face charges of racially motivated attempted murder after a petrol bomb attack in the town of Vítkov last April that left three members of a Romany family injured. The most seriously hurt was a two-year-old girl, who suffered burns on 80 percent of her body and was at one point close to death.
The vice-president of the Football Association of the Czech Republic, Miroslav Kříž, was reported missing on May 22, a spokesman for the Prague police department said on Wednesday. Miroslav Kříž is said to have gone missing directly after a business meeting, which he attended with the owner of Ostrava’s Baník soccer club. According to unofficial information, he left the meeting after taking a phone call and has not been in contact with friends or relatives since. Police said they are investigating the case but cannot provide further details at the moment.
Former Czech president and esteemed playwright Václav Havel is to attend the US premiere of his latest play “Leaving” at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater with his wife Dagmar on Thursday night. The male lead is played by Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn, the general director of the theater, Jiří Žižka, is directing the play. Mr Žižka says he first became interested in theater at the age of 15, after seeing a performance of a play by Václav Havel in Prague. Tickets for the performance have been sold out for several weeks, the theater is considered one of the city’s best. Mr. Havel will be returning to the Czech Republic after the premiere.
Following the recent floods in Moravia, the crisis response team has observed more than 15 cases of subsidence in the south Moravian Zlín region. In the town of Lidečko, a drinking-water pipeline that supplies tens of thousands of households in the area could be put out of service due to subsidence. The governor of the region said on Wednesday that several towns will remain in a state of emergency until the end of the month. In 1997, floods devastated the Moravian town of Troubky. Damages caused by this year’s floods are estimated to reach a billion-crown figure.
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued storm warnings for the southern parts of Bohemia and Moravia, where strong winds, high precipitation and hail are expected to hit on Wednesday evening. Wind speeds could reach up to 75 km/h. On Thursday, other regions of the country, including Central Bohemia and Prague, may see strong winds and stormy conditions. Meteorologists expect the inclement weather to pass late on Thursday night.
Some forty members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club arrived in Prague on Wednesday, ahead of an international meeting of the controversial group to take place on Friday. Police are preparing for the arrival of more participants, some streets will be closed down on Friday. Motorcyclists will be the target of increased controls over the next few days in an effort to arrest club members who have a warrant for their arrest pending. The last Hells Angels meeting in Prague took place in 2005. The club was founded in 1948. Their primary motto is "When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets".
Jaromír Jagr, the Czech ice-hockey star, has pledged his support for the right-of-center Civic Democrats in the upcoming lower house elections due to take place over the weekend. On Wednesday, the leader of the party, Petr Nečas, said at a news conference that he appreciated the hockey player’s long lasting support for the Civic Democrats. He added that the party did not want to ride on the wave of Mr. Jagr’s popularity, but that rather, the hockey star’s support was a testimony to the values that the Civic Democrats promoted.
The Czech football team beat the United States 4:2 in a friendly match to end a series of defeats and record their first win under manager Michal Bílek. The Czechs went behind early on but equalized before half time before going on to win the match. Goals were scored by Sivok, Polák, Fenin and Necid. The Czech team last won in October last year during the final stages of their ill fated attempt to qualify for this year’s World Cup in South Africa. The US have qualified for the World Cup.