News in brief for Sept. 14: Top headlines for Czechia on Thursday

Stork's Nest case goes to Supreme Court today, birth numbers will remain part of Czech IDs, gas prices up, and more headlines for Sept. 14, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 14.09.2023 08:55:00 (updated on 14.09.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

defense US F-35A aircraft land in Czechia for NATO Days

Three F-35A Lightning II aircraft of the U.S. Air Force landed at Mošnov airport in Novojičín to be presented at the NATO Days event this weekend. Five machines, including both American and British variants, will be on display.

The event organizers, Jagello 2000, expressed their satisfaction with the rarity of having five state-of-the-art machines in one place, making Ostrava the first location in Central and Eastern Europe to host such an exhibition. Visitors can look forward to static and dynamic demonstrations, including a quarter-hour presentation of the F-35A aircraft.

Prague Traffic restrictions on Barrandov bridge end tonight

All traffic restrictions on the Barrandov Bridge in Prague will end Thursday night, according to the municipal Technical Administration of Communications of the Capital City of Prague (TSK). Restrictions on approaches to the bridge will also end. Reconstruction of the 1983 bridge, which has never been repaired before carrying 140,000 vehicles daily, is being conducted in stages through 2025.

This year's work included repairs to ramps and the bridge's left southbound lanes, limiting traffic since May 15. Following a loading test, lanes reopened in early September, though work continued. TSK said signage will soon be removed to fully reopen the span, a key part of the city's ring road network.

COURT Babiš acquittal in subsidy fraud case overturned

The Prague High Court canceled the acquittal of former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his aide Jana Nagyova in the EU subsidy fraud case known as Stork Nest Farm, returning it to the Prague Municipal Court for a new trial, according to reports.

While the High Court will not announce its official decision for a month, procedure indicates the acquittal was overturned. Babis' lawyer said he could not comment until reviewing the full written ruling. The decision comes after prosecutors appealed the January acquittal, seeking to have the case reheard.

crime Int'l arrest warrant issued for Czech terrorist

The Regional Court in Pilsen has issued an international arrest warrant for Tomáš Cermák, the first person in the Czech Republic to be sentenced for inciting a terrorist crime. According to reports, Cermák is avoiding going to prison and there are indications that he could be hiding abroad.

The arrest warrant was submitted by the police, who believe that Cermák may be staying outside the European Union. Cermák was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison for calling for violence against politicians during the pandemic, as well as inciting hatred towards Ukrainians and disorderly conduct.

hockey Jágr celebrates 35 years on ice

Czech hockey legend Jaromír Jágr made his debut for the Kladno Hockey Club in the Czechoslovak League 35 years ago on Sept. 13, 1988, reports. He was 16 years old at the time and wore the number 15 on his jersey. The Pilsen Hockey Club won the game 6-3.

Jágr's career has spanned decades, and he is still an active player today, refusing to accept the Pittsburgh Penguins' offer to retire the Czech hockey legend's iconic number 68. His Kladno teammate, Tomáš Plekanec, revealed that Jágr is currently the owner and coach of the team, but may also return as a player in the future.

trains Passengers received CZK 30 compensation for sweltering train trip

Passengers on a Czech Railways train from Český Krumlov to Prague only received CZK 30 as compensation for a trip in sweltering heat last month, reports. During the Czech Railways trip from Český Krumlov to Prague, the air conditioning stopped working and the window could not be opened, leading to a child passing out due to the heat.

Czech Railways said it was investigating the incident. The company's spokeswoman explained that in such situations, passengers should be transferred to cars with functioning cooling or emergency ventilation windows should be used, adding that proper compensation would be offered if a passenger's health is harmed.

Politics Stork's Nest case goes to Supreme Court today

The Supreme Court in Prague will hold closed proceedings today in the case of Čapí hnízdo, in which former Prime Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš and his former advisor Jana Nagyová were acquitted in January. Only the judges and court reporter will attend; the prosecution and defense lawyers will not be present.

Closed hearings are common in appeals where the original verdict is overturned. The case concerns a CZK 50 million grant for an agricultural development. Both have denied guilt. The Supreme Court cannot reject the appeal without review but can send the case back to the Municipal Court in Prague, as the prosecutor demands.

Economy Gas prices hit CZK 40 in Prague

Fuel prices continue rising in the Czech Republic, with gasoline hitting 40.05 CZK per liter on average, the highest since last November, while diesel costs CZK 38.88, the most since last December, according to the Czech Confederation of Consumer Associations.

Prices remain highest in Prague, where gasoline averages CZK 41.07 and diesel CZK 39.91, and lowest in South Bohemia, at CZK 39.61 for gasoline and CZK 38.39 for diesel. See a list of current gas prices by region via

CULTURE FOK opens season with violin virtuoso

Symphony Orchestra Prague (FOK) opened the season last night under the baton of chief conductor Tomáš Brauner with a concert with violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov. In the Smetana Hall of the Prague Municipal House, the Israeli violinist, violist, and conductor of Russian origin played the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major by Johannes Brahms. 

One of the world's most essential violinists, Vengerov, performed with the Prague Symphony for the first time. He received great applause, the audience applauded the encore, in which Vengerov played a composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. Another performance is planned tonight.

Society Birth numbers will remain part of Czech IDs

The government approved on Wednesday a proposal by the Ministry of the Interior to continue including birth numbers in identity cards. Current regulations were set to remove birth numbers from ID cards by 2025, but the proposed change will allow for the ongoing recording of social security numbers.

Proponents argue that the birth number is vital for reliable identification and that removing it would require significant investments in existing information systems. Additionally, the government has approved a draft law that would allow people to prove their identity digitally, but physical ID cards will still be required for travel.

tennis Czech players score Davis Cup wins

In the opening match of the Davis Cup final tournament, Czech tennis players defeated host Spain, taking a step towards advancing to the quarterfinals. Tomáš Macháč and Jiří Lehečka secured victories in their singles matches, which ended 6:4, 6:4 against Zapata, and 7:6 (7:5), 7:5 against Davidovich respectively; while Adam Pavlásek and Jakub Menšík triumphed in doubles with 5:7, 7:6 (8:6), 6:4 against Granollers and Davidovich.

This win puts the Czechs in a position to make it to the knockout phase for the first time in the new format of the Davis Cup. They will face South Korea and Serbia in their remaining group matches.

Development Czech govt. approves plan to restore Terezín, Josefov

The Czech government has approved a plan to restore and develop the fortress towns of Terezín in the Litoměřice district and Josefov in the Náchod district. Over the next five years, up to CZK 1.73 billion will be used to save dilapidated buildings, with additional funds allocated for further development.

The Ministry of Regional Development is preparing a new program, while the Ministry of Culture will contribute through its emergency program for repairing monuments. The priority is to stop the destruction of six cultural monuments, including barracks, an armory, and a hospital.

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