Czech military police have taken four people into custody in connection
with the death of an Afghan commando and terror suspect beaten while in
NATO custody. A state prosecutor said they face charges for failing to
report a crime.
The Afghan commando, Wahidullah Khan, was accused of killing a Czech soldier in October 2018 in one of many insider attacks by Afghan forces on NATO troops last year.
He allegedly opened fire on a group of Czech soldiers at Shindand air base, a facility in Herat Province in western Afghanistan. That attack killed Cpl. Tomáš Procházka and wounded two other Czech soldiers.
At the time, Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) rejected that Czech soldiers were responsible for Khan’s death. The Defence Ministry has declined to comment on Thursday’s arrest of four people.
The Czech Republic currently has 345 soldiers in Afghanistan. So far, 14 Czech soldiers have been killed there.
The Czech police unit charged with combatting organised crime (NCOZ) has
released its annual report outlining developments in the sector. Among
other things, it points to a rise in cybercrime and tax fraud using bogus
‘chains of companies’.
Reported incidences of cybercrime increased by 1,161 to 6,815 last year it said. Most related to bogus online shops and ‘phishing’ attacks, where sites extract and exploit users’ data and accounts. It also noted a slight increase in the spread of extortionate ‘ransomware’.
The NCOZ report noted high levels of tax evasion and fraud among Vietnamese and Chinese businesses, which it said often use “chains of companies” to mask transactions. It said there had also been a rise in such financial crime by Slovak-owned entities, particularly among employment agencies.
It further noted an increase in confiscated forgeries of ID cards and papers especially from Romania, Poland and Lithuania. The illegal employment of foreigners in the Czech Republic brings with it organised criminal gangs, the report said, noting Ukrainians represent the largest number of foreigners here illegally.
Twelve young opera singers have advanced to the finals round of Plácido
Domingo's annual Operalia competition, now underway at the Czech
National Theatre in Prague.
The finalists, selected from 40 young singers from across the globe, will compete for prizes of up to USD 30,000 each in the final-round concert on Friday evening.
The general competition awards first, second and third prizes for male and female singers, while just two prizes are bestowed to a man and a woman in the zarzuela division.
Friday’s final-round concert will be live-streamed on medici.tv as well as via Operalia’s Facebook page, and will feature the finalists performing alongside an orchestra conducted by Domingo himself.
Groundwater levels remain at the lowest average points since the 1960s,
according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, despite the heavy
rain of recent days.
Soil drought afflicts nearly two-thirds of Czech territory with no relief in sight.
Meteorologists say sustained rain and isolated thunderstorms will only raise humidity levels in the upper soil strata, and only in certain areas.
Syphilis cases are on the rise throughout Europe, the European Centre for
Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has warned.
In the Czech Republic, ECDC data show a 70 percent increase in reported cases between the years 2010 and 2017, the last year for which complete data is available.
Despite the rise in reported cases, the Czech rate of infection is less than half the European Union average.
Some 30,000 syphilis cases were reported in the 28 EU Member States in 2016, when the average incidence rate was 6.1 cases per 100, 000 people.
The Czech National Bank re-issued 30,000 sets of six 20-crown coins on
Wednesday to mark the centenary of monetary separation from the former
The six coins featuring famous First Republic politicians such as Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš, as well as the first central bank governors, were first issued in 2018.
At that time, collectors could exchange them for coins of the same value. Now the cost for six coins has been set at CZK 590. Another 20,000 sets of the coins are due to go on sale this autumn.
Pop singer Karel Gott, who turned 80 last month, has cancelled an
appearance at the upcoming Benátská noc festival in Liberec due to acute
pneumonia, a spokesperson said.
Gott was due to perform on Thursday, the eve of the festival, at the traditional "Party for the Impatient" (Večírek pro nedočkavé). It was to have been his last public performance this year.
The festival setting is considered to be the most beautiful in the Czech Republic. It traditionally features headliners in three musical genres over three days: rock on Friday, pop on Saturday and folk music on Sunday.
Czech mountaineer Klára Kolouchová reached the top of K2 mountain located
in the Himalayas on Thursday morning, making her the first Czech woman to
successfully ascend all three of the world‘s highest peaks. Kolouchová
climbed Mount Everest in 2007 and Kangchenjunga, the world’s third
highest mountain, this May.
The Czech mountaineer managed to make it to the top of K2, often seen as the most difficult and dangerous mountain to ascend, on her third attempt. Previously she had been stopped by avalanches and nausea. She is currently working on a documentary film with director Jana Počtová about her quest to get to peak of K2.
The upper house of Czech Parliament voted in favour of a proposal for a
constitutional complaint against President Miloš Zeman. The proposal
received 48 votes on Wednesday, while 20 senators voted against and 7
abstained. If the proposal also receives support from the majority of the
lower house, it will reach the constitutional court. However, this is
unlikely, due to the ruling ANO-Social Democrat coalition, supported by the
Communist Party, holding a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. The Freedom
and Direct Democracy Party, which seems likely to support the president as
well, controls a further 19 seats.
The impulse for the draft complaint is the alleged influencing of the judiciary by President Zeman and his staff. The president’s recent unwillingness to accept the resignation of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has also been added into the complaint.
In mid-June President Zeman dismissed the accusation, saying that it was a sign of constitutional illiteracy.