The Supreme State Attorney, Pavel Zeman, has challenged earlier court rulings which called for criminal proceedings to be discontinued against two Chinese nationals who grabbed Tibetan flags and threw them into the Vltava river during protests during the Prague visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping early last year. Two Prague courts earlier said that the criminal cases be dropped because of the low material value of the flags. Zeman though has challenged those decisions, arguing that it is not the cost of the flags that is the main issue but the intentions of the defendants in their alleged actions against legitimate protesters. The state visit was marked by a series of clashes with heavy handed Czech police action against Chinese policy and human rights protesters also coming under fire.
At least one person died after a fire broke out a gas storage warehouse in Plané, in the western district of Tachov on Friday. Explosions were reported at the site as the fire spread. Three people received medical treatment and locals were evacuated from the surrounding area. News site Mladá fronta Dnes reported that there more than 500 full industrial gas canisters were stored at the facility.
The police have refused to act on a complaint by Prague Mayor Jan Čižinský over the Chinese show Body The Exhibition who asked that the human remains on exhibit, which have been plastified and dissected, be buried. The human bodies, some 300, are currently on show at Prague’s Exhibition Grounds. The exhibition, which has travelled worldwide, has previously courted controversy over speculation over the origins of the dissected bodies in China.
Czech economic growth in the first quarter of the year has been revised upwards to an annual 3.0 percent, an increase of 0.10 basis points from the earlier estimate of the Czech Statistical Office at the start of June. The quarter on quarter growth figure was also upped to 1.5 percent from 1.3 percent. Strong domestic growth and export demand helped fuel the first quarter growth figure.
The newly reconstructed Werich villa on Prague’s Kampa, once the home of the famous Czech actor Jan Werich, opens to the public on Friday evening. The historical building has been uninhabited and falling apart since it was severely damaged by floods over a decade ago. The reconstruction, which was financed by Prague 1 authorities, amounted to around 30 million crowns. The villa is now leased by the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation, which has turned it into the Voskovec and Werich Arts and Social Centre in honour of the great Czech acting duo. The centre will offer lectures, exhibitions and other events.
The 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off in the West Bohemian spa town on Friday evening. This year’s edition is being attended by Uma Thurman, Casey Affleck and Ken Loach. A newly-restored version of the Czechoslovak classic The Shop on Main Street will receive its world premiere. Actress Uma Thurman, who starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill I and II and Casey Affleck, who won the Oscar for Best Actor this year for Manchester by the Sea, will be on the red carpet; on Friday they will receive the President’s Award given by the festival.
Saturday should be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain; daytime highs should reach around 21 degrees Celsius.