News Amazon gives up plan to build distribution centre in Brno

20-06-2014 15:55 | Jan Velinger

US Internet giant Amazon has given up plans to build a distribution centre in a Brno industrial zone and is looking for other locality in Central and Eastern Europe, Amazon´s spokesman for the Czech Republic Karel Taschner has told the Czech News Agency. Amazon was promising investment of almost 3 billion crowns and creation of 1,500 jobs in Brno. Locals, however, expressed concern over increased road traffic which they consider to be beyond tenable already. The Amazon spokesman for the Czech Republic made clear that Amazon was still open to looking for further opportunities in the Czech Republic, given European market growth. One project is going ahead: the construction of Amazon´s distribution centre in Dobroviz near Prague, set to begin in the near future.

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Cabinet to discuss parties ministry says should be barred

03-12-2016 17:04 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech cabinet will on Monday consider a list of 29 political parties that the Ministry of the Interior has said should be barred. The government may call on the Supreme Administrative Court to halt the activities of such groupings as National Democracy, Alternative for the CR and Citizens.cz. The court could also order the dissolution of 13 parties whose activities it has currently suspended. In May the Chamber of Deputies proposed that 81 parties that had not made public full financial reports for the previous year be ordered to cease operations. 

Protest against real-time sales-reporting system held in Prague

03-12-2016 14:32 | Ian Willoughby

Around 500 people demonstrated in central Prague on Saturday against a freshly introduced system under which businesses’ sales are relayed to an online taxation database in real time. The Wenceslas Square gathering was organised by the Association of Entrepreneurs and Managers and two other groups. The association’s chairman,, described the system – the first part of which went into full effect on Thursday – as instrument of state despotism and spying on business people. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš says it will curb tax evasion. 

Corbyn warns of rising threat of far-right populism in Prague speech

03-12-2016 14:14 | Ian Willoughby

The leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has called on socialists across Europe to unite and take on the rising threat from the far right during a speech in Prague. Speaking on Saturday at a Party of European Socialists conference hosted by the Czech Social Democrats, Mr. Corbyn said populist "siren voices" offered the wrong solutions. He warned that the populist right often identified the correct problems, but their solutions were “the toxic dead ends of the past”. The PES conference comes to a close on Saturday. 

Koukalová comes third in Biathlon World Cup in Sweden

03-12-2016 14:08 | Ian Willoughby

Czech Gabriela Koukalová came third in the sprint in Sweden’s Oestersund on Saturday for her first podium finish this season in the Biathlon World Cup. The 27-year-old won the competition last year under her maiden name of Soukalová. Koukalová’s coach Zdeněk Vítek told Czech Television that she had produced a super display in the second World Cup meeting of 2016–2017. 

Weather forecast

03-12-2016 08:27 | Ian Willoughby

It should be cloudy with some fair spells on Sunday. Temperatures are not expected to climb above 0 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are likely to hover around freezing for much of the next week, forecasters say. 

Launch of new interpretative dictionary of Czech set for turn of year

03-12-2016 08:20 | Ian Willoughby

The Institute of the Czech Language at the Academy of Sciences is to start bringing out a new interpretative dictionary of Czech at the turn of the year, Czech Television reported. The first part will deal with the letter A and will only be available online. Other letters are to be added in the coming years, with the authors set to decide at a later date whether to also bring out a print edition. The entire project will be a lot narrower in scope than a previous dictionary of literary Czech published between 1960 and 1971, Czech Television said. 

Czech book market growing but number of small bookshops falling

03-12-2016 08:19 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech book market is growing, according to a new report from the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers cited by the news site iDnes.cz. The industry had a turnover of CZK 7.5 billion in 2015, a 5 percent increase on the previous year that was driven in large part by the Ministry of Education directing schools to buy books for their libraries directly from bookshops. Over 16,500 titles were published on the local market. The report says that the number of independent bookshops has continued to decline and may fall further due to the government’s new electronic cash registers scheme. 

Speed-skater Sábliková wins 3,000 m race in Astana

02-12-2016 17:23 | Daniela Lazarová

Three times Olympics winner Martina Sábliková won her third consecutive 3,000 m race at the Speed Skating World Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan. She was timed at 4. 02,90 coming in ahead of Anna Jurakova from Russia (4.03,84), and Miho Takagi from Japan (4.05,68). Sáblíková also won the 3,000m title in Nagano Japan and Harbin in China. She is striving for her 11th World Cup victory. 

Head of Prague Castle guard dismissed

02-12-2016 15:43 | Daniela Lazarová

The head of the Prague Castle guard, Petr Prskavec, has been dismissed, the president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, announced on Friday. He did not specify the reasons for his dismissal. Prskavec spent less than a year in office, taking over from Radim Studený, who was sacked for failing to prevent the guerrilla artistic group, Ztohoven, from hoisting a giant pair of red boxer shorts over Prague Castle after removing the presidential standard. The Prague Castle guard had recently come under fire over increased security at Prague Castle which inconveniences visitors who have to queue up to pass through metal detectors, but an inside source claims this was not the reason for Prskavec’s dismissal. 

Norwegian court rejects Czech mother’s appeal

02-12-2016 13:32 | Daniela Lazarová

A Norwegian court has refused to reopen the case of Czech mother Eva Michaláková who is fighting for her two sons, after being stripped of her parental rights following suspicions of abuse. Although charges were never pressed the boys have been placed in foster care and a judge barred Ms Michaláková from having any contact with her sons in June of this year on the grounds that she had medialized the case in her own interest. The appellate court ruled that the verdict of the regional court was fully justified and there were no grounds on which to review the case. The verdict is now legally binding. Michaláková’s battle for her sons, which has now dragged for five years, has received a great deal of publicity in the Czech Republic. Last year the Czech prime minister intervened on her behalf and he told journalists on Friday the Czech Republic would continue to support her should she choose to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 

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