Thursday, 21 February 2019

Weekly roundup

By Ivan Lamper | Respekt |
16 February 2010

An influx of Arctic air from Siberia sent temperatures plummeting to minus 20 degrees Celsius. A moonshine distillery exploded Lužice near Hodonín. Greece’s financial woes complicated sales of Czech bonds on the global market. Chief health officer Michael Vít recovered from the Mexican flu. Cap-and-trade system hackers startled the European Commission, and the interior ministry started working on safeguarding government computers from external attacks. Newspapers informed the public that Iran had started producing enriched uranium used to produce nuclear bombs.

He had his hand in his pocket when he was talking to me,” said judo practitioner and Teplice Social Democratic functionary Martin Prokeš, explaining why he beat an attendant unconscious at the City of Teplice’s official ball when the man came to ask a crowd of big shots from his party’s local organization to collect their belongings from the cloakroom because it was late and the cloakroom attendants needed to go home. The Winter Olympics began in Vancouver.

President Václav Klaus set the election for May 28 and 29 and then left for Egypt to introduce the new Skoda Superb to the Egyptian market. The Czech mint in Jablonec began minting a commemorative coin marking the 70th anniversary of the death of Sigmund Freud. The state prosecutor filed suit in Ostrava against four neo-Nazis who set fire to a Roma family’s house in Vítkov last April, resulting in a two-year-old child’s near fatal injuries; the men are accused of racially-motivated attempted mass murder and could face life imprisonment. Smog blanketed Ostrava, and authorities advised people to limit their time outside. Three hundred people from both sides of the border at Bayerisch Eisenstein-Železná Ruda commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Viktor Yanukovich was elected President of Ukraine. NATO expressed great surprise at Russia’s new strategic doctrine wherein the Kremlin called NATO’s expansion to the east as “today’s biggest threat” and threatened to use nuclear weapons if its “vital interests” were jeopardized.

“In food, whatever can be replaced with a cheaper product is replaced. I would like people to know what they are eating and that today’s civilization diseases are only a consequence of stress and poor diet,” farmer František Němec explained why he launched, where people can find contact information to farmers who sell their products directly to customers.

“I can assure you that I’m not doing anything against the law – I’ve simply been using the apartment for more than 20 years in accordance with the lease agreement,”
said Sazka CEO Aleš Hušák after it became apparent that in addition to his “new home"”– a 60-million-crown villa on Menorca – and his family house in Černošice, he holds a publically-owned, rent-controlled apartment in Prague’s Břevnov neighborhood where the lease contract states that “the applicant does not own any immovable property intended for housing.” A completely immobile patient burned to death right in her hospital bed in České Budějovice for unknown reasons. The number of unemployed citizens climbed to a record 574,000. Stock prices dropped steadily on Europe’s stock markets, including Prague’s. Because of Greece’s slide into bankruptcy, speculators bet a record sum – one billion crowns – on the euro’s depreciation. Czech school inspections revealed that more than a quarter of the students at schools for the mentally handicapped – roughly 10,000 children, the vast majority of which are Roma – have been sent to these institutions illegally, without a reason, merely because of their race.

“Look, I’ve been going to gatherings since 1983. Even then, under the Communist regime, the whole country wanted to see me and they waited two years for the opportunity. It’s better now, the wait is down to half a year,” Radek John, famous pre-Velvet Revolution writer and journalist, now chairman of the Public Affairs party, told his audience at a meeting in Děčín. A long-term academic study revealed that trees are growing faster now than they have at any other time in the last 200 years. Experts informed the public that platinum had surpassed gold in terms of investment value. The government decided to repeal an excessively stringent law banning recently released convicts from going into business if they had served over a year in prison. An avalanche killed a defiant skier who attempted to ski down to Velký Kotel in Jeseníky despite warnings from rescue workers. Meteorologists announced that spring would arrive in just three weeks.