Bleacherreport.com writes it is uncertain whether San Jose Sharks forward Tomáš Hertl, suffering from a lower-body injury, will be set to return for game four of the Stanley Cup final. The game between the Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins is set for Monday evening. NHL.com quoted Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer as saying Hertl was day to day. A win by the Sharks on Monday would see them square the series against the Pens at two apiece, while defeat would put them on the brink. This year’s Stanley Cup final has been a very close affair: each win was by a single goal. The Penguins won the first two games 3-2 and 2-1, the Sharks won the third by a score of 3-2. Two of the wins came in overtime.
The president’s security team at Prague Castle will be headed by Zdeněk Šiman, a spokesman for the Police Presidium confirmed on Monday. The posting followed an eight-month search for a successful candidate after the departure of Petr Dongres, who asked to be released after artists and political activists from the art group Ztohoven bypassed security and hung a pair of giant red underpants above the castle in criticism of the head of state. The newly-chosen Zdeněk Šiman has a past working relationship with the president: he headed security for the president years ago during his time as prime minister.
Unknown vandals damaged one in a series of seven bronze statues forming The Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Prague, located at the base of Petřín Hill. The damage was spotted by a passer-by walking his dog at 7 AM. The vandals appear to have broken one of the figures near the base; the figure, as well as part of the foot which was broken off, were removed from the scene for repairs. The act of vandalism was recorded on camera and the police are searching for those involved. The memorial, unveiled in 2002, is the work of well-known sculptor Olbram Zoubek.
Prime Minister Bohsulav Sobotka has said that a planned railway route through Prague 6 to the city’s international airport should be complete by 2024. Speaking to journalists on Monday, he added the project would cost some 24 billion crowns. It is not clear whether the route, as currently conceived, will at all be subsidized from European funds. Transport Minister Dan Ťok confirmed that current plans counted on part of the track running through an underground tunnel to be built in Střesovice; the local city council is against the modernization of an already existing above-ground route.
Prague police have shelved their investigation into vandalism of Chinese flags on Prague’s Evropská Street some months back ahead of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. He visited Prague in March. The news was confirmed by police spokesman Jan Daněk. On the night of March 26 an unknown perpetrator damaged more than 50 flags using apparent ‘paint bombs’ that were hurled at the items. The Chinese flags had been hung alongside Czech flags on Evropská Street and other areas near Prague Castle. The damage was tabulated at more than 130,000 crowns.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are looking to tackle problems in the health sector together, the health ministers for both countries confirmed following talks on Monday. Outstanding issues in both countries include a shortage of doctors and nurses, many of whom seek better pay and conditions abroad. Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček and his Slovak counterpart Tomáš Drucker also discussed a joint approach in dealing for example with pharmaceutical companies to secure more advantage prices for medicine. On July 1, Slovakia will take up the EU presidency; Health Minister Drucker said that the availability of more expensive patented medicines, the issue of antimicrobial resistance and the lack of vaccination of contagious diseases would be issues focussed on during Slovakia’s tenure.
The average monthly wage increased by more than 4.4 percent in Q1 year-on-year, the Czech Statistics Office reported on Monday. The rise is the equivalent of just over 1,000 crowns. Minus inflation, the average rose by 3.9 percent. The national average for the monthly salary in the Czech Republic currently stands at 26,480; in the capital the number is the highest, just below 33,000 crowns.
Czech police are trying to trace alleged bank accounts belonging to imprisoned former politician David Rath in Israel, Qatar and four other countries, Czech Radio reported, citing documents linked to his case. Mr. Rath denies having accounts in other states and describes the police’s efforts as a waste of taxpayers’ money. Investigators suspect that the former health minister and regional governor accumulated CZK 675 million in bribes. Mr. Rath was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison and the forfeiture of CZK 20 million after being found guilty of bribe-taking last year. An appeal process is due to start in the autumn.
The Czech Republic was owed CZK 37 billion by other states at the end of last year with Cuba its biggest debtor, according to figures released by the Ministry of Finance quoted by the Czech News Agency. The figure was over CZK 2 billion higher than a year previously due to interest and fluctuations in the exchange rate between the crown and the US dollar, in which most of the debts are held. The Ministry of Finance said Cuba had requested to have some of its CZK 7 billion forgiven and offered to pay the rest back in instalments.