An exoplanet is now called after a word made famous by Czech author Karel
Čapek – Makropulos – the Czech Academy of Sciences reports. The word
was chosen through a public competition initiated by the International
Astronomical Union where any Czech citizen could send a proposition that
was then reviewed by a scientific commission. Although there are already
some 450 objects in space named by the Czechs who discovered them, it is
the first time that the general public has had a chance to do so.
Located within the Lynx constellation, Makropulos circles a star called XO-5. The planet itself is a so-called “hot-Jupiter”, a gas giant which orbits its parent star very closely.
Some 4,500 sent name proposals, but only one out of seven was in line with the rules set out by the expert commission. The Czech Republic was not the only country to take part in the competition, 110 states altogether were each allocated an exoplanet to name.
The Czech Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Jaromír Balda to change his conviction qualification from “terrorist attack" to “public threat", Czech Television reported on Wednesday. The 71–year–old man was convicted of terrorism after seeking to derail a train by cutting two trees onto the tracks. His aim was to create the impression in Czech society that Muslim immigrants were behind the attack, but the attempt failed. Mr Balda originally faced the prospect of five to 15 years in jail, but was only given a four year sentence, due to diminished sanity.
The Christian Democratic Party will seek to counter an increase in parental
allowance, recently passed by the Chamber of Deputies, by an appeal to the
Constitutional Court. Party Chairman Marek Výborný said that the new
legislation is discriminatory because it does not concern all families with
children up to the age of four. The appeal is currently being prepared and
will be issued once President Miloš Zeman sings the bill and it comes into
Parental leave is set to increase by CZK 80,000 in January. However, opponents say that the legislation will stop some 70,000 families, who have already used up their current allowance, from accessing the extra money.
The largest Czech online supermarket Rohlik.cz has opened up a new online
food store in Hungary. Called Kifli.hu, the website offers foodstuff
deliveries in Budapest and the surrounding area. The founder of Rohlik.cz,
entrepreneur Tomáš Čupr, says it is one of the most important events in
the company’s history and hopes the new website will become the number
one online food delivery store in Budapest within a year.
Mr Čupr founded Rohlik.cz in 2014. The company is currently active in seven Czech cities and has served over 1 million customers.
The Chamber of Deputies has voted in favour of a bill that would give
courts the power to prohibit breeders from keeping animals for up to 10
years in cases of animal cruelty and up to 20 years for companies. A group
of 80 MPs originally intended the legislation to increase the prison
sentence for animal torture and their illegal breeding from five to eight
years. However, the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs rejected
The new legislation is primarily aimed at individuals and companies who run commercial animal breeding facilities such as puppy farms. These animals are often held in small cages under unsanitary conditions. According to the State veterinary administration, cases of animal cruelty reports and convictions increased last year.
Events commemorating the eighth anniversary since the death of dissident,
playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel are took place across
many cities across the Czech Republic this Wednesday.
In Prague, people were able to light a candle and listen to readings from Havel’s works on Jungmanovo Square. Later, a special mass in honour of the former president was heard in the Church of Our Lady of the Snows. In the evening several other events remembering Havel took place across the city, including a march to Prague Castle and speeches from Václav Havel’s friends and colleagues. Events were also taking place in regional cities such as České Budějovice and Ustí nad Labem.
Václav Havel died on December 18, 2011, at his country house in the village of Hrádeček located in the north east of Bohemia. He is seen as the icon of the Velvet Revolution which ended communism 30 years ago and served as president for three consecutive terms.
The average mortgage rate in the Czech Republic fell slightly to 2.35
percent in November, according to an index run by financial advisors
Fincentrum. It is the 10th month in a row that home lending rates have
fallen in the country.
Mortgages in the Czech Republic hit their lowest price, 1.77 percent, in December 2016 and have on the whole grown since then.
Thousands of people protested against Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in
Prague on Tuesday evening. Police said around 15,000 had taken part in a
demonstration on Wenceslas Square that was followed by a march to the
Office of the Government in the city’s Klárov district, while organisers
Million Moments for Democracy put attendance at tens of thousands.
Representatives of a number of opposition parties spoke at the protest, which was the latest in a series held by Million Moments for Democracy. The group say Mr. Babiš is in conflict of interest and should stand down and are also demanding the removal of his minister of justice, Marie Benešová.
Only a fifth of the Czech Republic’s railway stations and stops are at
least partly wheelchair accessible, the country’s ombudswoman, Anna
Šabatová, says. Speaking at a news conference, she said there was no
legal mechanism for forcing transport companies to make their services more
suitable for wheelchair users.
Ms. Šabatová told reporters that the only legislation in this area rules that all train wagons produced after 2008 must be wheelchair accessible.