News Amazon still hopeful about planned Brno location

26-03-2014 11:58 | Jan Richter

The US online retailer Amazon still believes it will be able to build a large distribution centre in a location outside Brno, the developer CTP Invest, which works with the firm, said in a press release on Wednesday. The company remains hopeful despite the fact that the plans have been rejected by Brno City Hall over zoning issues. The developer said it hoped Brno municipal assembly would next month vote to change the zoning limits, allowing for the plan to go ahead. The firm also said it was not considering an alternative location, offered by the South Moravian Region. Amazon is planning to invest some 2.7 billion crowns in Brno, creating around 1,500 jobs. Another Amazon distribution centre is to be built in Dobrovíz outside Prague.

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Taxi drivers protest against unfair competition, permitted fares

08-02-2016 08:41 | Chris Johnstone

Around 200 taxi drivers protested on Prague’s main highway in the centre of the city early on Monday morning. Only one lane of the normally busy highway was left free for traffic. The protest was called by the Association of Taxi Concessionaries against what they describe as unfair completion from unlicensed taxi drivers using such services as Huber. They also want to highlight the stalled talks with Prague City Hall about higher permitted fares. Talks between licensed taxi drivers and town hall officials collapsed in November last year. 

Czech Republic beat Romania 3:2 in Fed Cup tie

07-02-2016 19:06 | Chris Johnstone

In tennis, the Czech Republic won a tight tie against Romania on Sunday 3:2 and are through to the semi-finals of the Fed Cup. Karolína Plíšková and Barbora Strýcová beat Andreea Mitu and Loana Olaru in the decisive doubles 6:2, 6:3. Earlier, Karolína Plíšková drew the tie level at 2:2 with a 6:4, 4:6, 6:3 win against Monica Niculescu. Petra Kvitová had earlier lost 4:6. 6:3, 3:6 against Romanian top player Simona Halep. 

Czech government paid 6 million US dollars for release of kidnapped women in Pakistan: report

07-02-2016 14:40 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech Republic paid a ransom of around 6 million US dollars for the release of two Czech woman held in Pakistan, the weekly Respekt reports in its latest edition, details of which were released Sunday. The sum far exceeds the ransom sum previously suspected, of around 2 million US dollars, the weekly added. Antonie Chrástecká and Hana Humpálová were released in March last year after two years of captivity. At the time of the release, interior minister Milan Chovanec, denied that any negotiations were held or ransom paid to the kidnappers, believed to be linked to Al-Qaeda. The report comes amid the fallout from the release of five Czechs held in Lebanon in return for a Lebanese citizen held in the Czech Republic. 

ČSOB to launch 20 billion crown arbitration against central bank: report

07-02-2016 13:57 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech National Bank is facing arbitration proceedings of up to 20 billion crowns, the business weekly Euro reports in its latest edition, the ČTK news agency reported on Sunday. The pending move relates to former paper industry giant ICEC-Holding which was given loans by the former bank IPB with part of its assets given as security. When the bank collapsed and was finally transferred to the Czech bank ČSOB in 2000 some of the ICEC assets went with it. The weekly reports that ICEC Holding and ČSOB have been battling over the claims for several years but now the state, specifically the central bank, which guaranteed the takeover of IPB, is set to be the target of an arbitration proceeding launched by ČSOB. 

Masked men launch fire bomb attack on Prague centre for immigrants

07-02-2016 10:33 | Chris Johnstone

A group of around 20 masked men attacked a centre used to help immigrants in the Prague district of Žižkov on Saturday night. They threw Molotov cocktails at the building in which around two dozen people were inside. Police and firemen rushed to the scene. They have not been able to confirm a link between the attack and anti-immigrant and anti-Islam demonstrations held in Prague earlier in the day. The centre was established in a disused building by volunteers to collect clothes and other basic necessities and offer help to immigrants. 

Foreign ministry confirms five Czechs killed in Austrian avalanche

07-02-2016 09:44 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed five Czechs were killed by an avalanche in the Austrian Alps on Saturday, the ČTK agency reported Sunday. Earlier police reports had only said the victims were believed to be Czechs. Three other Czechs injured by the avalanche have been released from hospital, the agency reported. A total of 17 Czech skiers were caught in a massive avalanche that struck the Wattener Lizum region, south-east of Innsbruck shortly before midday. Three others were airlifted to hospital. According to Czech Television the two groups of Czech skiers caught in the avalanche ignored repeated warnings not to set out. High degree avalanche alerts have been in place in the region for several days now. Some of the survivors said they were in a region where a lower second degree warning applied shortly before the avalanche struck. 

Former Czech hostage says Lebanon kidnapping not arranged by Ali Fayad family

07-02-2016 08:54 | Chris Johnstone

One of the freed Czech hostages in Lebanon has rejected the idea that their kidnapping was organised by members of Ali Fayad’s family. Fayad, detained in Prague, was released soon after the Czechs were put on a plane home. Jan Švarc told Czech Television that it would have been stupid for the family to kidnap the lawyer and a member of the family, who later suffered a heart attack during his imprisonment. He described the kidnappers as professionals and that they did not appear to belong to any religious group. But Švarc said his personal opinion was that they were not members of the Lebanese intelligence service. The identity of the kidnappers is still not clear. 

Gabriela Soukalová takes third place at Canmore

07-02-2016 08:34 | Chris Johnstone

Czech biathlete Gabriela Soukalová achieved third place in the mass start event at Canada’s Canmore. She trailed winner, Italian Dorothea Wierer ,by around 50 seconds. The Czech still tops the World Cup ranking with 763 points although second placed Wierer has closed the gap and is now on 672 points. 

Five Czechs killed in avalanche in Austria

06-02-2016 19:26 | Daniela Lazarová

Five Czech skiers have been killed in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps, the AFP news agency reported. A total of 17 Czech skiers were caught in a massive avalanche that struck the Wattener Lizum region, south-east of Innsbruck shortly before midday. Three others were reportedly airlifted to hospital. According to Czech Television the two groups of Czech skiers caught in the avalanche ignored repeated warnings not to set out. High degree avalanche alerts have been in place in the region for several days now. 

Romania ties Fed Cup draw against Czech Republic 1:1

06-02-2016 17:07 | Chris Johnstone

In tennis, the Czech Republic began the defence of their Fed Cup title with a 1:1 draw against Romania at the end of the first day’s play. Karolína Plíšková got the visitors off to a winning start after turning around the game against world number three Simona Halep. After losing the first set 6:7, Plíšková took the following sets 6:2, 6:4. Petra Kvitová though lost to Monica Niculescu 3:6, 4:6. 

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