LAW Justice Ministry submits proposed redefinition of rape
The Ministry of Justice has submitted an amendment to Czechia’s legal definition of rape, basing it on the principle of “no means no.” The amendment considers lack of consent expressed through gestures, crying, or defensive postures. It also addresses victim defenselessness due to various reasons like illness, intoxication, or mental disorders.
Rape will now solely encompass intercourse and penetrative acts, while less severe actions will be categorized as a new crime – sexual assault. In sum, the proposed redefinition abandons the concept of rape as forced sexual intercourse, replacing it with the notion of non-consensual intercourse.
international relations Czech national security adviser encourages China dialogue
At the Aspen Institute Central Europe conference in Prague, Czech national security adviser Tomáš Pojar advocated for opening political dialogue with China. He emphasized the complex global landscape, stressing the need for long-term thinking and open communication channels.
Pojar highlighted the significance of engaging with China despite differing values and systems. Acknowledging the world’s shift to a multipolar state, he urged practical actions, including providing support to allies and discussing shared values without presuming centrality. Pojar emphasized the importance of economic cooperation and underlined the necessity to address China’s increasing influence on global dynamics involving Russia, Iran, and the Middle East.
PRIME MINISTER Czech PM to miss Nov. 17 tributes due to illness
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will miss the Nov. 17 commemorative events in Prague due to illness following a recent return from Africa. He expressed regret for canceling his meetings since Tuesday and acknowledged the significance of this day, marking the fall of communism and the country’s embracing of freedom.
Fiala conveyed his heartfelt connection to the commemoration, highlighting his disappointment at being unable to attend physically this year. Despite his absence, he assured his solidarity, emphasizing that his thoughts and emotions align with those who hold this day in high regard. He plans to resume his duties early next week.
international Kremlin reacts to Czech sanctions against Russian company
The Kremlin is considering a response to the Czech Republic’s addition of a company managing Russian assets to its national sanctions list. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Prague’s move illegal and stated that they will investigate what assets the Czech Republic has in Russia.
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský defended the freezing of Russian assets as a legal step. The Russian company operates and manages properties in the Czech Republic owned by the Russian Federation. The asset freeze concerns dozens of apartments rented by the Russian company, excluding diplomatic mission properties.
culture National Library launches new version of digital library
The National Library in Prague has launched the fourth version of Manuscriptorium, an international digital library for historical documents. It offers over 60 million images and 170,000 digitized documents from more than two hundred institutions and 28 countries.
The library aims to cater to cultural workers, researchers, and scientists, while also expanding its impact on the general public and supporting education. Manuscriptorium allows users to not only view rare manuscripts but also work with them digitally. It also facilitates collaboration with other digital libraries worldwide and supplies data to the Europeana digital library.
diplomacy Slovak president meets Czech counterpart during state visit
Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová visited Prague Castle today for a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel. After the official ceremony and a guard of honor parade, the Slovak president entered the memorial book. They will have a private meeting followed by a working lunch.
Čaputová has a program for the whole day in the Czech Republic, including a meeting with compatriots at the Slovak Institute, laying a bouquet and lighting a candle on Národní třída, and a debate with students of Charles University in the evening.
Sanctions PM Fiala pushes for expanded freezing of Russian assets
Prime Minister Petr Fiala is pushing for an expanded freezing of Russian state assets within the European Union, including real estate. His government recently added a Russian agency overseeing property to its sanctions list. The move blocks Russia from selling or transferring real estate managed by the agency in the Czech Republic.
It also bars access to bank accounts receiving rental income. Fiala wrote on social media the action means Russia can no longer control these assets. His comments reflect a drive to further limit the use of Russian government funds and holdings across Europe in response to the Ukraine war.
Culture State offers CZK 1.4 billion for film incentives next year
The Czech government has approved maintaining the State Cinematography Fund’s annual budget at CZK 1.4 billion for 2024. This allows for continued subsidies that recover a fifth of eligible production costs for filmmakers. According to a cabinet paper, this investment leads to higher economic activity and industry development, in addition to cultural benefits. Though fully allocated this year, last year’s sum meant applications closed in January due to demand. Directors had warned the incentives must rise to stay competitive internationally.
Fund head Helena Bezdek Frankova’s proposal noted that foreign shoots spend around CZK 14 billion annually in the country. Given a 20 percent rebate, industry group calculations indicate 1.6 billion should be budgeted each year to properly support the sector. With certainty over 2024 financing, producers can plan future projects that stimulate local workforce and commerce.
Prague Neo-cubist sculptures to adorn Dvorecký Bridge
The Prague City Council approved buying five sculptures from artist Krištof Kintera for the new Dvorecký Bridge. The works will be placed the works on both sides of the bridge linking the Zlíchov and Podolí districts. One interactive piece features a water system. Geological issues delayed the 340-meter bridge’s November 2025 completion. One side of the bridge will feature a pool, a space for concerts, and climbing areas.
Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček said the sculptures will beautify the bridge while activating spaces with art. Citizens will name the bridge for a famous Czech woman in a poll. The project connects vehicular, cycling, and pedestrian traffic across the Vltava River. The cost of the sculptures totals CZK 8,530,500.
Weather Gusty, wintry weather ahead this weekend
Meteorologists are calling for below-seasonal temperatures this weekend across the Czech Republic. Highs on Saturday will only reach five degrees Celsius. Fresh winds will drive wind chills down further. Snow is likely above 400 meters in elevation. Overnight lows from Saturday through Monday will range from three degrees above zero to one degree below. Daytime highs will hover between two and six degrees.
Showers and snow showers are expected at higher altitudes, possibly down to lower spots on Sunday. Some southwestern warming is forecast for Sunday evening before temperatures rebound near ten degrees Celsius next week. Gusty winds and wintry precipitation will exacerbate the weekend chill.
Environment Train-station water dispenser draws criticism
The Czech Railways Administration has introduced a new water dispenser app to help reduce plastic waste. However, availability remains limited. Through an app, only half a liter can be obtained for free in a reusable bottle. Critics argue all should have barrier-free access, similar to free water options at Václav Havel Airport.
Administration head Jiří Svoboda defended the plan by citing past issues with public fountains attracting misuse as personal hygiene areas. Green Party politicians questioned why a simple tap wouldn’t work like airports. The long-debated topic of water access highlights a growing public need. The dispenser project will expand to 12 stations but debate continues over balancing commercial, environmental, and public welfare priorities at transport hubs.