Czech Pirate Party leader Ivan Bartoš and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of
ANO have clashed over a recent trip to Russia by ANO’s lower house
speaker, Radek Vondráček. Speaking on a Czech Television discussion show
on Sunday, Mr. Bartoš said information was lacking about the trip as no
Czech journalists had been invited to take part.
For his part, Mr. Babiš said his party colleague had gained respect on the trip to Russia, where he had brought up the poisoning of the Skripals. Mr. Bartoš said speaking about Novichok was insufficient; only a Russian apology for its use would amount to genuine partnership, he said.
While in Moscow Mr. Vondráček met two local politicians who are on EU and US sanctions lists. The lower house speaker headed the first official visit to Russia by Czech MPs in a decade.
Services were temporarily interrupted on the A (green) line of the Prague
Metro system on Sunday morning after water seeped into the Bořislavka
station. The section of the line between the stations Náměstí Míru and
Petřiny was closed in both directions.
A spokesperson for the city’s transport authority said heavy equipment beneath the tunnel at Bořislavka had damaged it and caused the seepage.
The number of teaching assistants working with special needs pupils in the
Czech schools system has doubled in the last three years, Czech Television
reported on Sunday. However, principals say there are still not enough
assistants to meet requirements.
The Ministry of Education intends to refine the conditions for appointing assistants. An amendment to a government edict on inclusion in education is now undergoing a comments procedure. Inclusive education was introduced in 2016.
Most teaching assistants receive only around CZK 14,000 a month, which makes it hard for schools to make hires, Czech Television reported.
Celebrations of the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia are due
to culminate next weekend. Prague will see concerts, exhibitions, a
military display, a parade and fireworks, while events are also planned for
elsewhere in the country. The actual anniversary falls on Sunday.
The coordinator of celebrations in the capital, Robin Čumpelík, told Czech Television that there will zones with events taking place on both days at Prague’s Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Náměstí Republiky, Dejvice and Letná.
Video mapping will be projected onto the National Museum, which is being ceremonially reopened on Saturday after major renovations, and the National Theatre.
A bear known to have been in the Zlín region in Moravia since September
killed two sheep in the Kroměříž area on Friday night, a representative
of the Olomouc branch of Friends of the Earth told the Czech News Agency.
The animal also destroyed a beehive near Kroměříž in recent days.
Rangers have placed a trap for the bear that includes a bag of apples covered in honey. Though the location has not been revealed, there are signs warning people of the trap.
The central committee of the Communist Party have refused to discuss
holding an extraordinary congress in the wake of poor elections results,
chairman Vojtěch Filip told reporters after a meeting on Saturday. The
Communists’ next congress is due in spring 2020. The party’s leaders
also expressed fundamental disagreement with a section of the party dubbed
Restart that have criticised the present leadership.
Mr. Filip has said he is disappointed by the Communists’ election results but described calls for him to resign as irrelevant. He has been chairman since 2005.
The Czech Union of Freedom Fighters has presented a medal to Communist
Party MP Zdeněk Ondráček, who beat up demonstrators while a member of a
Communist riot squad in 1989, iDnes.cz reported on Saturday. During a
ceremony on Thursday Mr. Ondráček was presented with a medal inscribed
“For the homeland and for freedom” by the chairman of the group
Jaroslav Vodička, himself a one-time collaborator of the Communist-era
secret police, the news website said.
The Czech Union of Freedom Fighters comprises World War II freedom fighters, their family members and supporters. It has faced criticism over the fact that members served the pre-1989 security services.
Ninety-two people died of drug overdoses in the Czech Republic last year,
according to data issued on Saturday by the Institute for Health
Information and Statistics. The previous year 94 people lost their lives in
that way, while in 2015 the figure was 104.
Another 128 deaths in the Czech Republic in 2017 were attributed to the influence of illegal drugs or medications. Twenty-five people took their own lives using medicines and 27 did so via drugs.
The Indian summer that the Czech Republic has been enjoying recently is now
over, meteorologists say. Next week daytime highs are not expected to
exceed around 11 degrees Celsius while rain is also forecast. The
information comes from a regular four-week outlook issued by the Czech
Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Friday.
Temperatures are expected to decline further in the second half of coming four-week period. However, they will be in line with long-term averages for the time of year, forecasters said.