The Karviná black coal mine is investigating a case of mass food poisoning which has now affected over three hundred miners. The health problems started three days ago with new cases reported every hour. They have reportedly affected both miners and above ground employees such as clerks and operators. Hygiene workers are on site taking samples and special measures are in place regarding food and drink. All canteen employees are undergoing tests. The mine has over 5,000 employees and the fall out has so far not effected excavation work.
The opposition Social Democratic party is holding a weekend conference on party policy. Its leader Bohuslav Sobotka on Saturday accused the present government of having failed morally and policy-wise and warned that the growing social divide, corruption and gloomy economic prospects could lead to growing public support for populist and authoritarian politicians. He said the Social Democrats were ready to offer the public a welfare state which could be achieved without increasing public debt. The Social Democrats have proposed the introduction of progressive taxation, abolishing the private pension scheme in the government’s pension reform, and leveling a 76 percent tax on anyone who could not explain the source of their wealth.
The Pope’s special envoy Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, served a special mass in St Vitus’ Cathedral on Saturday in honour of St. Agnes of Bohemia on the 22nd anniversary of her canonization by the Roman Catholic Church in 1989. The mass is part of a series of events this year marking the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Agnes of Bohemia, one of the country’s most revered saints. In a letter to Czech believers, written in Latin, the Pope speaks of the outstanding character of St. Agnes and the strength of her legacy.
The Czech National Socialist Party 2005 on Saturday officially approved a
planned merger with the National Socialist Party – Left Wing of the 21st
Century -a new political entity set up by former Social Democrat leader
Jiří Paroubek. The party’s conference started with a conflict between
its former leader Karel Janko and its temporary leadership headed by
Stanislav Palsa. Mr. Janko was recently ousted from the party’s helm
his point blank refusal for the party to merge with Mr. Paroubek’s new
political grouping. Mr. Janko attempted to address the conference in a
last-ditch-attempt to dissuade the party leadership from its decision. He
was not allowed to finish and after getting into a scuffle with another
party member was led away by the police.
Jiří Paroubek, who headed the Social Democrats between 2006 and 2010 and resigned following a poor showing in the last general elections, was at odds with his successor and needed a new platform for his political ambitions.
Police evacuated Prague’s Palladium shopping mall around midday on Saturday after receiving a hoax bomb threat. The mall remained closed for over an hour as explosives experts conducted a thorough search of the building. Police are searching for the hoax caller, who could face up to two years in jail.
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered the Czech Republic to pay 10.000 euros i.e. around a quarter of a million crowns in compensation to a father who was barred from seeing his son following his divorce, the daily Lidové Noviny wrote on Saturday. The father was prevented from seeing his son for almost ten years – first on the whim of his former wife and later on the grounds of a ruling by a Czech court which argued that the relationship between the divorcees was irreparably bad and seeing both his parents would have an adverse affect on the child. The man took his case to a European court and won.
The Czech national football team played its best match to date under coach
Michal Bílek on Friday defeating Montenegro 2:0 in the first-leg of their
playoff for Euro 2012. The match, played at Sparta’s stadium on Letná
plain, was scoreless after the first 45 minutes, but early in the 2nd half
Czech goalie Petr
Čech – playing with a partial facemask after breaking his nose –
quashed a major chance that could have been a game-changer.
The second half saw goals from Pilář and Sivok as well as tireless play from team captain and key playmaker Tomáš Rosický. The 2:0 win leaves the Czech Republic in good shape ahead of the rematch in Montenegro on November 15. The team that triumphs in the playoff will head to the European Championships to be held in Ukraine and Poland next year.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas will meet with the president on Monday to hand over the resignation of Trade and Industry Minister Martin Kocourek, who on Wednesday announced his decision to leave the cabinet amidst allegations of corruption. The prime minister is also likely to propose a successor to the post from his own Civic Democratic Party. Among the possible candidates for the position are Zbyněk Stanjura, head of the party’s deputies’ group in the lower house, one of the party’s leading economic experts Michal Doktor, and former industry and trade minister Martin Říman.
The head of Aircraft Industries, Ilona Plšková, injured in a shooting spree at the company’s Kunovice plant on Thursday – has been released from hospital. According to sources, she suffered only light injuries in the tragedy and will continue her recovery at home. The shooting saw three people – including the gunman – die. ¨ The police, meanwhile on Thursday night completed their investigation at the site, with the next focus to be on autopsies of the victims and assailant in the attack. According to sources, the deadly assault may have been revenge for an accident that left the suspect’s brother, arms magnate Pavel Musela, with permanent brain damage. Following the shooting, the attacker turned his weapon on himself.
Detectives from the anti-organised crime unit have charged three suspects with illegal arms dealing. One of the men, the head of a suspected gang operating in the Czech Republic, is reportedly a former police officer himself. The trio were reportedly involved in the sales of banned automatic weapons and ammunition: if found guilty each could face up to eight years in prison. The illegal sales were said to repeatedly have taken place in areas of North and Central Bohemia, involving seven weapons worth more than 200,000 crowns. Some of the items were retrofitted, featuring equipment currently used by some countries’ Special Forces. The head of the gang will remain in custody awaiting trial.