A number of railway stations were evacuated in the Czech Republic on Saturday after an anonymous bomb threat was received. The threat was against a “main station” but which one was not specified, so police cleared stations in Brno, Olomouc, Ostrava, Prostějov, Chomutov and Liberec. Checks were made at other main stations, including in Prague, following the threat, which was sent by email on Friday night. In Brno public transport around the main train station was also diverted.
Skiers were trapped on a chairlift at Javorový vrch in the Beskid Mountains for up to two hours on Saturday morning after the machine got stuck. Fire officers had to lift them down after the chairlift stopped working due to an apparent electrical fault. Twenty-seven people, including Czechs and Poles, were rescued with none sustaining any injury.
The mild winter the Czech Republic has been experiencing is set to continue. According to a monthly weather forecast issued on Saturday by the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute, in the next four weeks some daytime temperatures should exceed 10 degrees Celsius, though mornings will remain cold with temperatures hovering around freezing point.
Police say a Czech gun maker did not break the law by using a genuine image of an Islamic State terrorist standing behind a kneeling prisoner in an orange jump suit in an advertisment. The picture was accompanied by the slogan “With empty hands you can soon be on your knees” and a tag-line that the company Zelený sport had the broadest selection of sub-machine guns in “Christian Europe”. Police had been investigating whether the firm had broken the law with the controversial ad but concluded it had not, Czech Radio reported.
Around CZK 80,000 has been collected towards the renovation of a 19th century wooden merry-go-round at Prague’s Letná. The collection, which began two months ago, is being run by the nearby National Technical Museum and the Prague 7 district authority. However, organisers say they need to raise CZK 170,000 to repair each of 20 wooden horses (which are decorated with real horse hair) in the merry-go-round. Dating from 1892, it was in operation until 2006.
A group that last year illegally squatted a former medical clinic in Prague’s Žižkov district have been given permission to use the building free of charge. The agency representing the state in property matters is set to hand over the keys to the Klinika civic association after a tender process in which it became the last remaining applicant. The erstwhile squatters plan to open a cheap restaurant and bicycle repair shop on the premises.
ANO are choosing “shadow ministers” for government departments controlled by coalition partners the Social Democrats. In a two-page interview in Saturday’s edition of Mladá fronta Dnes (a newspaper which he owns), ANO chief and finance minister Andrej Babiš said Jaroslava Jermanová could be “shadow foreign minister”; MEP Pavel Telička has previously been regarded as the grouping’s foreign affairs expert. Mr. Babiš said Radka Maxová might become social affairs spokesperson and Radek Vondráček would be a good fit for sport (which falls under the Ministry of Education).
The discrepancy in pensions between Czech men and women has not changed in the last one or two decades, according to the Social Security Office. Women receive pensions that are on average twenty percent lower than men. While men receive on average twelve thousand crowns a month, women get around ten thousand. This stems from the discrepancy in pay during their work years. An expert commission has advised the government to consider calculating the pensions of married couples from their joint earnings.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will head a business delegation to South Korea next week. The aim of the visit, the first by a Czech head of government in 14 years, is to boost investment and trade and help create more job opportunities. The Czech prime minister will be received by the South Korean President Park Geun-hye, address a bilateral business forum and attend the opening of a Czech center in Soul. Last year the Czech Republic attracted two large South Korean investment projects – the construction of a factory by the car maker Hyundai Mobis and the construction of a car tire plant by Nexen Tire. Together they created more than 2,000 new job opportunities.
Czechs are high on the list of Europeans who are wary of foreign migrants, according to the results of a Eurobarometre poll. On average 58 percent of Europeans are against opening their doors to more foreign migrants with Latvia, Greece, Italy and Cyprus topping the list of anti-immigration countries. In the Czech Republic 75 percent of respondents expressed themselves against a migrant friendly policy and moreover strongly opposed a joint policy on migrants within the EU. Among the most tolerant countries in this respect is Sweden where only 25 percent of respondents would close the country’s doors to migrants.