Final Word from Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Parliament gave the cabinet another 17 days of emergency powers yesterday. Another way to look at it is that Parliament gave the state prosecutors another 17 days to hit anyone abusing the state of emergency with both barrels. On March 13, Supreme State Prosecutor Pavel Zeman reminded would-be spreaders of infectious diseases, crooks, embezzlers, fraudsters, usurers and other generally bad guys that they can do quadruple the time under the aggravating-circumstances clause of the criminal code if they commit a crime during a state of emergency. Despite this dire warning, the opposition in Parliament is highly suspect of some of the deals being brokered. With everyone from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on down talking about the "new normal" that the coronavirus is ushering in, now is a key moment for the prosecutors to show that their bite is as bad as their bark. Is there a new normal in combatting insider criminality, or is it the same as the old normal? [ Czech Republic covid-19 WHO World Health Organization ]

Glossary of difficult words

with both barrels (of a shotgun) - with unrestrained force or emotion;

usurer - a person who lends money at unreasonably high rates of interest;

quadruple - consisting of four times as much or as many as usual;

aggravating circumstances - factors that increase the severity or culpability of a criminal act;

to be suspect of - (in this context) to be suspicious of;

to broker - to arrange or negotiate (an agreement);

to usher in - to cause or mark the start of something new;

someone's bark is worse than his or her bite - a person is not as unpleasant or frightening as it might seem;

insider - a person within a group or organization, esp. someone privy to information unavailable to others.

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