Real estate agent Eliška Nosková has been ordered by the district court in Litoměřice to apologise for discriminating against Czech Romany Lenka Balogová; the court, however, rejected the 100,000 crowns in damages sought. In the incident, the plaintiff was not allowed to rent an apartment she wanted because of her ethnicity. The case had its roots in a plan in 2013, in which the ombudsperson’s office sought to uncover discrimination by real estate agencies.
A 54-year-old man drowned after jumping into a reservoir in Otrokovice on Thursday, the police said. Prior to the jump, the man had been drinking heavily, witnesses said. When he did not resurface, the emergency services were alerted. Police spokeswoman Monika Kozumplíková confirmed that medics tried but were unable to resuscitate the man. Earlier this summer, a foreign national drowned at the same reservoir; the incident gained national attention after the police failed to clear the area and allowed families to continue swimming nearby, after covering the floating corpse with a tarp.
A clinic specializing in traditional Chinese medicine will open to patients in September within the Hradec Králove Teaching Hospital complex. The clinic will be staffed by Chinese doctors who helped set up the Czech-Chinese Centre for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine at the hospital in June of this year. They are currently studying the effects of traditional Chinese medicine on oncological patients and patients with multiple sclerosis. The centre is a pilot project and the first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe.
Surgeons from the Prague-based Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in cooperation with German experts are reported to have been the first in the world to perform heart surgery without opening the rib cage. According to an IKEM spokeswoman the team implanted a HeartMate III ventricular assist device to a 70-year-old woman suffering from an advanced stage of heart failure, using only a small incision between the ribs. The operation was performed in May and the patient has been able to return to a normal life. IKEM specialists also helped develop these heart assist devices in cooperation with a technological centre in the United States. Within this programme, they have implanted a long-term heart pump to more than 270 patients.
Ceremonies paying tribute to the 2,500 Czechoslovak pilots who flew with the RAF during WWII took place in Prague on Thursday. People gathered at the Memorial to Czechoslovak Airmen in Prague’s Dejvice district and at the Winged Lion Memorial at Klárov Park, a gift from Prague's British expatriate community, to lay flowers and pay their respects 70 years after the country’s heroes returned to their homeland in August of 1945. Five hundred of them never returned, the rest were given a heroes’ welcome on Old Town Square, but the nation’s gratitude was short-lived. When the communists came to power in 1948 they were portrayed as enemies of the state, jailed and persecuted.
The first of a group of some 70 Syrian refugees who are expected to receive medical treatment in the Czech Republic should arrive in mid-October, according to Interior Ministry sources. The Czech government agreed earlier this year to take in 15 Syrian families, altogether 70 Christian refugees, from camps in Jordan – in order to give their children medical care which cannot be administered inside the refugee camps. At the end of the year the Czech authorities should also start resettling the first batch of altogether 400 Syrian refugees which the country has agreed to take in from outside the EU. Another 1,100 refugees will come from EU member states such as Greece and Italy which are bearing the brunt of the refugee crisis.
The massive fire that broke out at Unipetrol’s Záluží chemichal complex near Litvinov in northern Bohemia has been brought under control. Fire crews from the whole of the Ústí region were called to the blaze which followed an explosion. Over 1000 people living in the vicinity of the plant were evacuated, others were cautioned to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. Four firemen were treated as they fought the blaze and one person was injured. A spokesman for Unipetrol said no toxic substances were released into the air. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
Environment Minister Richard Brabec is to get an additional 250 million crowns for the environment sector in 2016 for landscape management and measures to help fight drought, the ctk news agency reports. The minister requested the extra funds in connection with the problems brought about by the extreme weather conditions this summer. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, who approved the request in full, said that under the present circumstances, he could not guarantee meeting the set 70 billion crown deficit target for next year. Earlier in the day Babiš agreed to an extra 3.0 billion crowns for the 2016 budget of the Ministry of Interior for expenses connected to the migrant crisis.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek will not be undertaking a trip to Lebanon for the time being in connection with the case of the five Czechs who went missing in the country in mid-July. According to a statement issued by the Czech Foreign Ministry shortly after the return of a Czech delegation to Lebanon headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek, there is not enough information on the case at present to merit a visit by the foreign minister. Both sides will remain in close contact. The five Czechs disappeared in the Bekaa Valley, near the border with Syria, on July 18th and the Lebanese interior minister was quoted in the local media as saying that the case had a criminal background and was allegedly linked to drug and arms smuggling.
The indebted Fund for Children at Risk Klokánek which runs a number of children’s homes around the country says it is selling off three of its facilities in order to lower its debt. The homes being placed on the market are in Kroměříž, Dubí and Prague’s Kbely district. Several dozen employees will lose their jobs. In June the ailing fund replaced its management and is asking the government for a financial injection which would enable it to continue functioning.