Mountain biker Jaroslav Kulhavý won the gold medal at the London Olympics. The 27-year-old Czech won the Czech Republic’s first ever Olympic medal in Sunday’s mountain bike race in a sprint finish when he managed to stay in front of Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, who finished second. Kulhavý’s gold set the Czech medal tally at 10, with four gold, three silver and three bronze medals which ranks the country 19th in the Olympic medal count, between Jamaica and North Korea.
Several Czech NGOs including the human rights and charity group People in Need on Sunday criticized the government for not taking seriously the issues faced by foreigners working in the country as domestic workers. The NGOs said the government failed to move and ratify an international treaty which would improve the workers’ conditions. The activists dismissed the government’s argument that the numbers of foreign domestic workers are very low, less than 0.02 percent of all foreigners working in the country. Pavla Redlová from People in Need said that their real numbers were much higher, and that they often work and live in poor conditions. The international treaty dealing with the issue will next be debated in the Czech Senate.
The Czech Republic’s national marrow donors register has launched a
campaign to recruit new donors among the country’s firefighters, the news
agency ČTK reported on Sunday. Some 3,000 members of the Fire Rescue
Service could become donors of bone marrow, around half of the total
number, a spokeswoman for the service said. Doctors from the national
registry said they had positive reactions to the campaign.
The national marrow donation programme has around 36,000 donors; each year, it helps to provide marrow for some 100 transplantations.
The Czech foreign minister, and head of the coalition TOP 09 party, Karel Schwarzenberg has assembled his team for the presidential campaign, the news agency ČTK reported on Sunday. Businessman Marek Vocel, who was one of the founders of anti-communist NGO Opona, has become the leader of the team that also includes producer David Gaydečka. Mr Schwarzenberg, who ranks third or fourth in most polls of the presidential candidates, is planning to officially launch his campaign in September, some four months ahead of the first ever direct presidential elections held in the country.
The Czech Transportation Ministry is planning to increase the speed limit fro 90 to 110 km/h on selected 1st class roads, Czech TV reported on Sunday. The pilot project will be launched on the road between the cities of Pardubice and Hradec Králové, in eastern Bohemia, in the autumn, and other roads should follow. The ministry is also planning to rename expressways as motorways which would mean the network of motorways in the country would be extended by some 300 km overnight.
The Brutal Assault heavy metal festival held in the Josefov fortress near Jaroměř in eastern Bohemia, attracted some 15,000 fans of the genre over the weekend, organizers said on Sunday. The line-up of the event included the US band Ministry, the group Amon Amarth from Sweden and the British death metal veterans Napalm Death. The organizers said the festival was sold out but that they were not considering moving to another location. The police said the even was “relatively peaceful”.
Saturday became one of this year’s deadliest days on Czech roads as six people died in car crashes across the country, according to police figures. Saturday’s victims include a 27-year-old cyclist who died near Teplice after he was hit by a car, a 58-year-old woman who entered the opposite lane on a major Prague-České Budejovice road, killing herself and injuring three others.
A drunk man was run over by a train in northern Bohemia on Sunday morning escaped with bruised nose, a spokeswoman for the regional emergency services said. The man was spotted by the train’s driver lying on the tracks inside a tunnel. The driver stopped the train and called emergency services. When they pulled the man, who they said smelled of alcohol, from under the train, he had no serious injuries, except for bruised nose, a fact later confirmed in the hospital. The incident halted railway traffic on the line for some two hours.
Czech athlete David Svoboda won the gold medal in men’s modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games in London, setting a new Olympic record of 5928 points. The 27-year-old Czech won the first event, fencing, in which he equaled the Olympic record. He was on second place after second event, swimming but moved back to top after show-jumping. In the final event, a cross-country run combined with shooting, David Svoboda managed to stay clear of China’s Zhongrong Cao on second place. The medal is the Czech team’s third gold.
The Czech Republic will in early September host a major exercise of NATO’s air forces, a spokeswoman for the Czech Ministry of Defence said on Saturday. The air forces of 17 NATO member states will take part in the exercise which will under command of NATO headquarters in Ramstein, Germany. The planes including A-10 and F-16 of the US Air Force will be based at the Czech Air Force base in Náměšt nad Oslavou. The ministry spokeswoman said the event will be NATO’s only air force exercise this year.