Some 270 candidate lists have been put forward by various parties for regional elections in the Czech Republic in October. The figure is nearly two dozen higher than for the last elections to regional assemblies in 2012. The deadline for registration was 4 pm on Tuesday. Elections will take place in 13 of the country’s 14 regions, with the exception being Prague, which has a council elected in 2014. Voting will take place on October 7 and 8, at the same time as the first round of elections to the Senate.
This year’s edition of the Prague Pride LGBT festival will culminate with a parade on Saturday 13 August, the organisers announced on Tuesday. The parade will observe a minute’s silence for the victims of a recent massacre at an LGBT club in the U.S. city of Orlando, festival director Kateřina Saparová told reporters. As in previous years, a conservative group is planning a counter-gathering in the Czech capital on the same day.
President Miloš Zeman says Parliament should debate the issue of whether or not to accept refugees allotted to the Czech Republic under a European Union scheme. Communicating through his spokesperson, Mr. Zeman said on Tuesday that the country could not afford to risk terrorist attacks like those that had occurred in France and Germany. Accepting migrants would be to create a breeding ground for barbaric attacks in the Czech Republic, he said. The Prague government is committed to accepting nearly 2,700 asylum seekers under the EU plan. The head of coalition party ANO, Andrej Babiš, also says the country should refuse to accept any refugees
The cabinet is close to reaching agreement on the state buying the site of a World War II concentration camp for Romanies which now contains a pig farm, says the minister of culture, Daniel Herman. Hundreds of people died at the then concentration camp at Lety in South Bohemia. Speaking at a memorial ceremony in Lety on Tuesday, Mr. Herman said he believed the government would succeed in resolving the whole matter before the end of their term in office in October next year. He said the current cabinet were nearer to turning the complex into a memorial than any of their predecessors had ever been.
The trial has begun of four men accused of planning a terrorist attack on a train in the Czech Republic. One of the defendants, anarchist Martin Ignačák, told the Prague Municipal Court that the idea of carrying out acts of violence had come from undercover police officers who had infiltrated their group. He said the police agents had bought materials to produce petrol bombs and selected the location for an attack. According to the indictment in the case, Mr. Ignačák, Petr Sova and police agents buried materials for making petrol bombs near a railway bridge in April 2015. The pair were among a group of people arrested a week later.
The Czech group at the Olympic Games in will feature a chaplain for the first time Rio de Janeiro, the Czech News Agency reported. Oldřich Chocholáč, who is 31 and works in the Brno dioceses, said on the website of the Roman Catholic Czech Bishops’ Conference that he saw his mission in Brazil as serving not only Christian athletes but all members of the team who wish to discuss their participation in the Olympics or any other subject. Mr. Chocholáč was appointed chaplain by the chairman of the Czech Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Dominik Duka.
The national stud farm in Kladruby nad Labem, Central Bohemia is planning to apply for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List in September next year, the deputy governor of the Pardubice Region, Roman Línek, told the Czech News Agency. Following the application there will be a two- or three-year process before the stud farm learns whether it has been accorded the prestigious status. Founded in 1579, the Kladruby stud is known for its large Kladruber horses, one of the oldest breeds in the world.
The Czech football league title holders Viktoria Plzeň are preparing to face Qarabag in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on Tuesday night in the second leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie. Following a 0:0 result in West Bohemia last week a score draw or win would see Plzeň reach the final qualifying round of the lucrative competition. Even if they fail to make the Champions League they would be into the second-tier European competition the Europa League.
The Czech company Balóny Kubíček confirmed on Monday that it was the manufacturer of a hot-air balloon that hit power lines and crashed into a field near the town of Lockhart, Texas, killing all 16 people onboard. The tragedy, one of the worst hot-air balloon accidents in aviation history, happened last Saturday. There were reports that there may have been poor visibility during the flight which played a role. Kamila Kolářová of Balóny Kubíček said the balloon in the crash was made in 2014; she also confirmed that the company had been in contact with the investigators. Balóny Kubíček has been making hot-air balloons for nearly 30 years and is one of the three biggest producers in the world.
Hackers affiliated with the Anonymous group targeted websites of firms owned by Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday to protest against a bill on electronic sales registration and gambling legislation which empowers the state to block online sites. The group threatened that attacks would continue unless the plans were dropped. President Miloš Zeman signed the law on gambling in early June. According to the Czech News Agency, the websites of Agrofert Holding and the Penam bakeries were temporarily unavailable on Monday evening. Agrofert spokesman Karel Hanzelka confirmed that the websites of Agrofert Holding and its subsidiary Wotan Forest had been affected, but made clear the move had not affected company operations.