The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and Expats.cz top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Oct. 17, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 17.10.2022 15:51:00 (updated on 17.10.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Babiš trial resumes today with contradictory statements

Former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš had a "relationship" with the The Stork's Nest (Čapí hnízdo) farm, and no major decision could be made without him, advertising and marketing specialist Tereza Svěráková said today during a hearing at the Prague Municipal Court, ČTK reports. Svěráková said that Babiš gave her an extensive tour of the premises, a fact that Babiš denied. Babiš stands accused of assisting in EU subsidy fraud for his role in the Čapí hnízdo affair in 2007.

2 Signal festival attracts half a million visitors

The events and exhibitions of the Prague Signal Festival of Light and Digital Culture attracted more than 500,000 visitors, ČTK reports. This made the festival's edition, the tenth since its inception, the most successful in its ten-year history, the organizers said in a press release.

The festival ran between Wednesday and Sunday and featured 15 installations in the city center, and in the neighborhoods of Vinohrady as well as Vršovice for the first time in the festival's history.

3 Lead in Czechia's first Oscar-awarded film dies

The popular Czech actor Josef Somr, died today at the age of 88, his wife told ČTK. Somr, who played in more than 170 films, is probably best known for his role of lewd train dispatcher Hubička in Jiří Menzel's 1966 Oscar-winning film "Closely Watched Trains" (Ostře sledované vlaky).

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"A sad piece of news," the Culture Ministry wrote on Twitter, calling Somr "the actor of many transformations, a master, a legend. We honor his memory."

4 LGBTQ+ flag flies on Ministry of Foreign Affairs building

Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský tweeted a photo showing the building of the Foreign Ministry flying a rainbow flag in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. In the accompanying post, Lipavský professed his admiration for LGBTQ+ people.

"The events of the last few days prove how important the fight for human rights is," he said in reference to a deadly shooting last week outside an LGBTQ+ bar and cafe in Bratislava that left two dead. "This is why I will continue to fly the LGBTQ+ flag on the Czech Ministry of Interior building) and this is why the Pirate Party -- whose member Lipavský is -- supports marriage for all.

5 Neuron honors eight scientists with generous prizes

Computational chemist Pavel Hobza and hematologist and oncologist Jan Starý won the prize of the Neuron Foundation for lifetime contribution to science, ČTK reports. The prize came with a CZK 1.5 million award for each scientist.

The prize ceremony took place yesterday in Prague. The Neuron Foundation, which aims to increase the prestige of scientists in the Czech Republic, was founded in 2010 by mathematician and entrepreneur Karel Janeček. Six other scientists received awards accompanied by prizes of CZK 500,000 each.

6 Czech Philharmonic kicks off European tour

The Czech Philharmonic together with its chief conductor and music director Semjon Byčkov is starting a European tour today connected with the Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union. During their ten-day tour, musicians from the Czech Philharmonic will visit famous European halls in Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Essen.

The concerts will feature compositions by Gustav Mahler, Dmitri Shostakovich, Joseph Haydn and Robert Schumann. French cellist Gautier Capuçon and Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson will perform as soloists.

7 Warm Sunday breaks temperature records across Czechia

This Sunday broke records for high temperatures in several locations across Czechia. Nineteen out the roughly 160 weather stations that have been operating for at least 30 years in the Czech Republic measured yesterday the warmest Oct. 16 on record. The warmest temperature nationwide was measured in Strakonice, with 25 degrees Celsius. Read more here.

8 Firefighters rescue people stuck on a rock in Divoká Šárka

Several people stuck on a rock in the Divoká Šárka nature reserve yesterday evening called the Prague fire department, Pražská Drbna reports. The members of the group climbed down safely and without injuries after receiving assistance. Martin Kavka , spokesman for the Prague fire brigade, said that the participation of emergency services wasn't even necessary.

9 New scheme helps Prague residents recycle old cell phones

The non-profit organization Remobil has teamed up with the logistics company Zásilkovna in a campaign to collect old mobile phone and also help disabled children and adolescents. The 100 grams for nature campaign, a reference to the usual weight of a cell phone, estimates that 44 percent of Prague citizens put an unnecessary mobile phone in a drawer (in the case of functional mobile phones), or 40 percent (in case of broken mobile phones).

10 Man wrongfully imprisoned for two years receives compensation

A district court in Prague ruled today that Lukáš Nečesaný, who spent two years behind bars despite a lack of evidence to convict him, should receive CZK 1.7 million, iDnes reports. was sentenced for an attack on a hairdresser from Hořice in Jičín that took place in February 2013. The victim did not recognize Nečesaný as the aggressor at first, but later identified him as the attacker. According to forensic experts, she suffered memory lapses after the attack.

11 Teachers fired for liking posts on Instagram that criticized school

More than 600 people signed a petition in support of three employees of the Brno High School of Art and Design, who were fired after liking posts on Instagram criticizing the school, Denik N reports. The posts were from an anonymous profile that contained caricatures of director Petra Černínová, and criticized conditions at the school since Černínová took over. 

12 50 Cent is in Prague for two nights

After a 12-year absence, rapper 50 Cent returns to Prague for two concerts this week, iDnes reports. The U.S. artist, who is also an actor, producer, and successful entrepreneur, will be at the O2 Arena on Oct. 17 and 18. An additional 400 tickets were released at the last minute for the first show, which had sold out in no time. The Grammy Award winner won worldwide acclaim with his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin' that sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

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