Czech Television opened up its studios in Prague, Brno and Ostrava to the public on Saturday, as part of the public broadcaster’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the beginning of broadcasting. Visitors will be able to view sets of television seri es and news studios at the main Kavčí hory headquarters in Prague. On Saturday morning, hundreds of people were reportedly waiting in line there to take a tour of the complex. The open house in Prague will last until 6 p.m., while in Brno in Ostrava until 4 p.m.
Two men and a woman in wheelchairs rappelled down the 25-meter high wall of the Congress Center in Prague on Saturday, as part of the “Pojď dál” festival marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Jedličkův Institute for children with physical disabilities. The three disabled sportspeople were aided by professional mountain climbers as they scaled down the wall. They originally requested to go down one of the supports of the nearby Nusle bridge, but did not receive permission. The day-long festival also featured a rich musical and artistic program.
The Liberec football team defeated Prague’s Sparta 2:0 on Saturday in the 26th round of the Gambrinus League. This is the sixth win in a row for Liberec’s Slovan, which puts them in the third place in the league, only five points behind the leading Plzeň, giving them a good chance to play in the European league in the next season. Slovan’s victory has complicated Sparta’s ascend to the top of the chart, where it remains in second place.
Milan Peroutka, drummer of the cult pop-rock band Olympic, died on Friday night at the age of 49. Peroutka had played with Olympic, headed by the frontman Petr Janda, since 1986, and recorded a number of albums with the band since the 1980’s. To celebrate 50 years since the band’s founding, Olympic began the Blue Pyramid tour last year. Given Mr Peroutka’s passing, the band cancelled two upcoming concerts next week in Prague.
The police’s anti-corruption unit have proposed that 12 people be charged in connection with suspicious contracts won by the company Promopro during the Czech presidency of the European Union in 2009. Detectives say the firm overcharged the Office of the Government by almost CZK 400 million for audiovisual services. Among those accused are three former state officials, including the then deputy to Alexandr Vondra, who was deputy prime minister for European affairs when the alleged offences took place. The three face charges of abuse of office and breach of trust, while police say the other accused are guilty of money laundering and fraud.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, appointed three new Constitutional Court judges on Friday. Following Senate approval of their nominations last week, academics Jaroslav Fenyk and Jan Filip have joined the country’s highest court, as has judge Milada Tomková. The Senate also gave its backing to the nomination of Vladimír Sládeček; he will be appointed next month when the term of one of the current justices comes to an end. All in all, seven of the 15 members of the Constitutional Court are stepping down this year.
The acting head of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes says she is considering suing her predecessor for alleged financial mismanagement. Pavla Foglová told journalists on Friday that former director Daniel Herman had paid bonuses in January that the institution did not possess and had raised the salaries of dozens of senior employees shortly before his removal last month. Mr. Herman says his sacking by the Institute’s left-controlled board was a political move. The state agency administers the files of the StB secret police and other documents from the communist era.
Czechs now have a more positive attitude towards the work of the European Union than they did a year ago, suggests a freshly released opinion poll by the STEM agency. Forty-five percent of respondents in the survey, which was conducted last month, said they believed that EU functioned democratically, seven percent more than in a similar poll last year. Meanwhile, 30 percent – compared to 25 percent in 2012 – said they thought the bloc worked effectively.
A couple have received eight-year jail terms for the grave mistreatment of a sick woman who subsequently died. Zdeněk and Alena Hostaš, from a small town near Olomouc, were looking after the woman, the man’s mother, and lived off her disability benefit money. However, they kept the 62-year-old woman, who had suffered a stroke, in appalling conditions in an unheated room without adequate food, drink or medicines. She died a few weeks after being taken into hospital early this year.
The pro-cycling civic association Auto*Mat has launched a competition aimed at encouraging more people in the Czech Republic to ride to work. Around 3,500 people in 11 cities and towns around the country have signed up for the contest “To Work By Bike”, which runs throughout May and is being held for the third time. Entrants sign up online and collect points for cycling to their job with colleagues in teams ranging from two to five members.