Most Czechs agree the nation’s military troops should take part in
foreign missions, according to a flash poll taken after the government’s
proposal on Monday to send more troops to bolster UN Missions in Mali,
Niger and Chad.
A Median survey conducted for Czech Radio found two-thirds of respondents supported sending troops abroad – but more than half say they should be UN-approved missions only.
In total, nearly Czech 650 soldiers are now deployed in foreign operations. The survey came as MPs began discussing amending constitutional law to allow the government to decide on sending Czech soldiers on future missions without seeking approval by parliament.
The move is supported by the government coalition (ANO and the Social Democrats), and the opposition Civic Democrat, TOP 09 and Christian Democrat parties.
The initiative ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ has filed a lawsuit
against the Communist party and its chairman for falsely linking the group
with a cyberattack on a hospital. ‘Million Moments’ is demanding a
The hospital in Benešov, central Bohemia, was hit by a cyberattack on December 11 that paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-ray, ultrasound and electronic laboratory equipment and could not exchange information with other hospitals.
Million Moments has since last April been staging large protests calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) over alleged subsidy fraud and conflict of interest.
At a central committee meeting last month, Communist party chairman Vojtěch Filip criticized the tactics of the initiative, and claimed, among other things, they staged a “cyber terrorist attack on the hospital” in Benešov.
Babiš’s minority coalition government of relies on the support of the Communists, giving the party a political say for the first time since 1989. In exchange for its tolerance, the Communists have won some major policy concessions.
Old-Timers (Staříci), a feature film about a geriatric pair of men
seeking revenge on a communist-era prosecutor, has won the Czech Film
Critics annual award for Best Film of 2019.
Co-helmers Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník, shared the Best Director award for Old Timers, their debut feature film. Previously, they had mainly worked on film documentaries and TV projects.
Also nominated in the Best Film category was Owners, a theatre play about a co-op board adapted to film, and the WWII epic drama The Painted Bird.
The award for best film outside classic cinema distribution went to the Oscar-nominated short film Daughter by FAMU student Daria Kashcheeva, which last week won a jury prize as Sundance.
The Discovery of the Year award went to Bohdan Karásek for his debut film about a tragicomic relationship about thirty-somethings called Karel, Me and You.
The Best Documentary award went to a father-and-son road movie called Dálava directed by Martin Mareček.
Hockey club Sparta Prague have named Miloslav Hořava to replace German
national Uwe Krupp as the Extraliga team’s head coach.
Hořava played for Czechoslovakia at two Winter Olympics, where the team won silver and bronze medals, and for parts of several NHL seasons for the New York Rangers.
He began working as a coach in Czech Extraliga since 2002 but left in 2006 to coach the Czech National U-20 Team.
Krupp had led Sparta since May 2018 before being sacked on Thursday. His assistant coach Jaroslav Nedvěd was also recalled.
The group Liga otevřených mužů (League of Open Men) on Saturday
launched its eight “Dry February” campaign to encourage Czechs to
abstain from alcohol for the month. Potential benefits include higher
energy levels, and better sleep and sex, the group says.
The “Dry February” campaign initially focused on Czech men, who drink on average at least three times as much as women. In has become more focused on education so that people also realise the risks associated with regular alcohol use.
Czechia has among the highest rates of alcohol consumption per capita worldwide. Health statistics show almost 1 million Czechs are at risk of alcohol abuse, while associated costs exceed CZK 59 billion annually.
According to Liga otevřených mužů, last year about 6 percent of adults accepted the call to refrain from drinking during February.
The spread of influenza has been officially declared an epidemic. Over the
past week, the number of reported cases jumped 22 percent to 1,865 per
100,000 inhabitants, nearly 400 cases above the epidemic threshold.
The Bohemia region is currently most affected, with the greatest number of cases recorded among elementary-school children. To contain its spread, many schools closed temporarily. Some hospitals have restricted or banned patient visits.
Twelve people have already died from complications from the flu. Doctors estimate that the number of influenza-related deaths at between 1,500 to 2,000 each year. Most who succumb are elderly and have existing conditions.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček is due to visit Britain on February 7,
a week after Brexit took effect, to meet Czech nationals living in the now
former European Union member state.
The government will formally discuss Petříček’s mandate for the visit on Monday. But he is due to fly to Manchester, where the Czech Republic opened a new Consulate General for Brexit last year, honor the memory of Czechoslovak soldiers who fell during World War II buried near the city, and visit scientific and research institutions.
Petříček is also expecte to meet with various business and student groups to discuss the post-Brexit situation. Notably, Czechs must register as residents of EU states or lose rights they still enjoy until end-2020, under a transitional period.
The Czech men’s floorball team has secured a spot in this year's
World Cup in Helsinki.
Following a 7-1 win over the Netherlands at qualification tournament in Latvia on Friday evening, the Czechs are in first place in Group E.
The World Cup hosted by Helsinki runs from 4–12 December 2020. The Finnish team are the reigning champions, having defended their gold medal in Prague in 2018.
Renowned Czech photographer Staša Fleischmannová, known for her portraits
of numerous important figures such as Karel Čapek, André Breton and Boris
Pasternak, as died at the age of 100.
One of her sons, Michel Fleischmann, the current Czech ambassador to France, said that she would be buried on February 5 at Olšany Cemetery in Prague.
Staša Fleischmannová and her twin sister, Olga Housková, opened a Prague photo studio in the famous Topič building on Národní Street in 1939. They worked together on many portraits.