Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for June 24, 2021

Czech PM Babiš slammed for response to Teplice case, Czech troops withdraw from Afghanistan, and UNESCO rejects Jiřičná-designed Žižkov development. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.06.2021 09:36:00 (updated on 24.06.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech PM slammed for his stance on Teplice case

The civic members of the Government Council for the Roma Minority Affairs have distanced themselves from PM Andrej Babiš and Deputy PM Jan Hamáček's words backing the police after the latter's action in Teplice, north Bohemia, a council spokesperson said Wednesday. Statements made by Babiš and Hamáček have undermined the impartiality of the investigation into the Saturday incident, in which a 46-year-old Roma man died in Teplice following police intervention. The signatories demand that Babiš and Hamáček attend the council meeting on June 30 to guarantee an impartial investigation. The incident, in which amateur video caught police restraining a man by kneeling on his neck, has been likened to the George Floyd case in the U.S. Czech Amnesty International, which described the police intervention as gross and unlawful, and The Council of Europe which said the videos are worrying, both demanded further investigations. ČTK

Czech troops to completely withdraw from Afghanistan

The Czech military will withdraw its remaining troops from the allied mission in Afghanistan by end-June. It will keep its unit tasked with protecting the Czech embassy in Kabul. The Czech Republic is one of the last countries to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Financial aid and assistance in training Afghan security forces outside the Afghan territory (possibly in east Turkey, Jordan, and Georgia) is being planned in an effort to prevent Afghanistan from turning into a terrorist safe haven again. The mission, ending after 19 years, is considered one of the most important deployments of the Czech military abroad. NATO announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan in April, with a deadline of September 11. A total of 11,500 soldiers attended the mission since its beginning in 2002. Fourteen died. Czech political leaders, including President Zeman, are skeptical about the allies' withdrawal from Afghanistan. ČTK

UNESCO: Jiřičná-designed skycrapers for Žižkov too tall

World-renowned Czech architect Eva Jiřičná must rework the design of the 100-meter-high undulating towers that were to comprise the New Žižkov Center project in Prague 3, world organization UNESCO ruled Wednesday. The new buildings on the former Telecom site should not exceed the surrounding buildings and can only be a maximum of 54 meters high. The winning design, chosen in 2019, was intended to stand on the 40,000-square-meter lot at Olšanská and Jana Želivského streets, now owned by a residential developer the Central Group. Some 98 architectural studios from 30 countries participated in the competition for developing the space, and a jury narrowed that down to 12 finalists. A new location in Prague is being sought for the towers.

Restored Czech film "The Cassandra Cat" to be screened at Cannes

The allegory "The Cassandra Cat," known also as "When the Cat Comes," by Czech director Vojtěch Jasný has been digitally restored and will be screened within the Cannes Classics section of the international film festival where it won three prizes including a special jury award in 1963, the National Film Archive said Wednesday. The fairytale allegory tells the story of a magician who arrives in a tiny town accompanied by an acrobat and a cat with a magic pair of sunglasses. Without it, the cat reveals the true characters of people who change colors accordingly. The coloring was created via special lights, costumes, and makeup. The Immagine Ritrovata studio working on Jasny's film specializes in the digital restoration of films. In the past, it worked on "Extase", which was awarded as the best digitally restored film in Venice in 2019. During the restoration, the studio used also audio materials provided by the International Federation of Film Archives and other European institutions. ČTK

Extreme thunderstorms cut powerlines across the Czech Republic

Following last night's heavy storms, there are approximately 45,000 consumption points without power in the Czech Republic, mainly in Central and Southern Bohemia, according to ČEZ and the distribution company eg.d from the E.ON group. ČEZ registered almost 100,000 places without power at night and expects deliveries to resume at most customers this morning. Fallen trees and power and safety equipment outages after the storms stopped or restricted rail traffic at more than 20 locations. The problems are mainly in southern and central Bohemia, mostly on regional lines. Thunderstorms at night raised the levels of smaller streams in a dozen places in western, central, and southern Bohemia, in Prague, and in southern Moravia. Thunderstorms are expected to continue Friday night. ČTK

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