Czech MPs have voted against a bill allowing unmarried women to undergo artificial fertilisation using the sperm of an anonymous donor, iDnes.cz reported. Only 40 of 153 deputies present for Wednesday’s vote supported the amendment put forward by František Adamek of the Social Democrats. The motion sparked impassioned debate, with TOP 09 deputy Jitka Chalánková saying the right to have a child did not rank among the basic human rights. Reacting to this statement, the Social Democrat minister for social affairs, Michaela Marksová, said Ms. Chalánková had completely lost her mind. Mr. Adamek said the bill would remove the current requirement for unmarried women to present a male “partner” at fertility clinics.
A new “D” Metro line in Prague will run from a site in front of the Arkády shopping centre in the Pankrác district of the city, the head of the city’s transport authority, Martin Gillar, told journalists on Wednesday. A tunnel boring machine will be used at Pankrác, meaning a local sports ground will not be removed, as originally planned. Construction work is planned for the turn of 2019 and 2020 at the earliest. The first part of the D line will run from Pankrác south to Písnice. A second, later part will go north from Pankrác to Náměstí Míru.
ANO would come first with 28.3 percent of the vote if elections were held this month, suggests a new opinion poll from the STEM agency. A STEM survey in March gave Andrej Babiš’s party 27.0 percent. Some 16.1 percent of respondents in April said they would give their vote to the Social Democrats, who saw a rise of 1.1 percent on the previous month. The Communists placed third with 12.2 percent backing, down on their polling numbers for March.
Public sector trade unions are calling for a 10-percent rise in salaries for teachers, medical workers, arts professionals and other state employees from September. The head of the Czech Confederation of Trade Unions, Josef Středula, conveyed the demand after a meeting with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Wednesday. For his part, Mr. Sobotka said the government wanted to increase such salaries from January 2018. The PM said public sector organisations were struggling to find employees and higher salaries would serve as a motivating factor.
The minister of transport, Dan Ťok, has promised a swift drive to remove billboards from the sides of Czech motorways. Speaking in Wednesday’s Právo, the minister said he expected MPs to reject a bill recently submitted by Petr Bendl of the Civic Democrats under which only municipalities would decide on whether to allow billboards or not. Mr. Ťok said plans were in place for the country’s road authority to carry out a major campaign of destroying billboards after August 30. Legislation will come into effect on that date barring this form of advertising.
Two new additions look set to be made to the Czech Republic’s list of official “significant days”. The Chamber of Deputies has voted to make June 18 the Day of the Heroes of the Second Resistance, referring to those who fought back against the Nazis during World War II. The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, on 9 March 1944, is also in line to become a significant day. A co-author of the bill, Robin Böhnisch of the Social Democrats, said it paid a debt to the heroes of WWII.
Czech football league leaders Slavia Prague have been knocked out in the semi-finals of the domestic cup. Slavia suffered a surprise 1:0 defeat to Zlín in the capital on Tuesday evening when the visitors’ Lukáš Holík scored the only goal of the game. It was the Prague side’s first defeat in 24 outings. Zlín last reached the cup final in 1970.
A visit by Czech President Miloš Zeman to the White House has been postponed, the freshly appointed Czech ambassador to Washington, Hynek Kmoníček, told Czech Television on Tuesday. Mr. Zeman and President Donald Trump spoke by telephone shortly after the latter’s election win and the Czech head of state said Mr. Trump had invited him to visit Washington in April. Mr. Kmoníček said Mr. Trump’s agenda was currently dominated by the “North Korea crisis” and that talks on a visit by Mr. Zeman later in the year were ongoing. President Zeman was one of the few European leaders to publicly support Mr. Trump when he was campaigning for the White House.
A team of scientists at the Technical University of Ostrava is capable of producing the strongest titanium alloy in the world, a member of the team, Radim Kocich, told journalists on Tuesday. The material is biocompatible so can be implanted in the human body. The scientists have been working on the development of biocompatible materials for three years with American colleague Terry C. Lowe and the discovery will be patented in the US.