Prague City Hall councillors have indicated they will not allow the police
to activate automatic facial recognition cameras in the city.
Prague police asked the municipality to approve the pilot project at six selected locations within measures to increase security in the capital.
Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib from the Pirate Party slammed the idea, tweeting that City Hall would not support the “Chinese-style Big Brother project” and Councillor Jiří Pospíšil from TOP 09 said such a move would be an invasion into people’s privacy for which there was currently no justification.
Interior Minister Jan Hamáček and the police said they had merely floated the idea to test the waters.
The Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes on Thursday
handed out its annual awards for contribution to freedom and democracy.
Among this year’s recipients were Russian journalist Vladimir Kara Murza who is a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, Romany activist Čeněk Růžička and a member of the anti-Nazi and anti-communist resistance František Wiendl.
The tradition of handing out commemorative medals to defenders of freedom and democracy was established in 2008.
The Češi pomáhají (Czechs Help) initiative says it has a list of 200
Czech families ready to take in unaccompanied child asylum seekers from
Greek refugee camps. The initiative has called on the government to respond
positively to the Greek authorities’ appeal for EU member states to take
in underage asylum seekers.The Czech Republic has been asked to accept 40
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček recently said that Czech embassy officials in Greece would visit the refugee camps in question to ascertain the situation. However the prime minister’s ANO party and the Social Democrats of the ruling coalition have frowned on the idea, preferring to help migrants in their home countries.
The consortium CzechToll/SkyToll, which is to start operating a new tolling
system in the Czech Republic as of December 1st, has announced it will
increase the number of registration places in the coming days in order to
avoid traffic problems due to unregistered vehicles.
Hauliers using toll roads will be obliged to register and have their vehicles fitted with a new on-board unit by December 1st.
Approximately 251,000 vehicles are reported to have registered to date and another 200,000 are expected to do so in the coming days.
According to a study presented by the Czech NGO Arnica, fish caught in the
Vltava River in Prague contain less mercury than home-bred and imported
fish sold on the market.
Just two out of 14 samples of fish caught in the Vltava River in Prague slightly exceeded the mercury limit set by strict US safety norms. As regards randomly chosen samples of fish sold on the market, five of 28 samples tested exceeded the limit.
According to EU safety norms, which are less stringent, all but one sample of fish sold on the market - swordfish from Sri Lanka – passed the test.
People in fifteen Czech towns and cities can gain first-hand experience of
homelessness on Thursday night. The annual event titled Sleeping Out in the
Open aims to raise awareness of the problems of homeless people and fight
prejudices against them.
People taking part in the event organized by charities are encouraged to donate food and clothes to the homeless.
According to available statistics there are 23,800 homeless people in the Czech Republic, of which 2,600 are under 18.
The interior ministers of the Visegrad group states and Austria are holding
talks on a broad range of security issues in Prague.
Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, who is hosting the meeting at Hrzánský Palace said the main focus of the talks was on illegal migration, border security in Central Europe and cooperation with the UK post-Brexit.
President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said earlier the EU must clearly define “illegal” migration and work towards a common security and asylum policy.
Senator Marek Hilšer has announced his intention to run in the next
presidential elections in 2023. Senator Hilšer said he would run as an
independent candidate, which means that he will have to collect 50,000
signatures from the public or alternately get support from ten parliament
deputies or twenty fellow senators. He intends to tour the regions to win
Hilšer ran for president in the 2018 election but failed to make it to the run-off in which the incumbent president, Miloš Zeman beat his main rival Jiří Drahoš. President Zeman is not eligible to run for a third term.
Marek Hilšer is a brain tumour specisalist. He was elected to the Senate in the autumn of 2018.
40 percent of Czechs aged 16 have tried electronic cigarettes, according to experts from the National Anti-Addiction Helpline. In a press release on the occasion of the International No Smoking Day, the organisation went on to say that 17 percent of 16-year-olds are also regular users. It is expected that the number of those who smoke regular cigarettes, currently some 2.5 million people, will continue to decrease. Around 5 percent of Czech adults smoke e-cigarettes.