News Anti-corruption police investigating halting of Blanka construction

25-02-2014 19:55 | Ian Willoughby

Detectives from Prague’s anti-corruption and financial crime unit have begun investigating last year’s halting of work on the Blanka tunnel complex in the city, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. At the end of last week, officers acting on the basis of a criminal requested that City Hall hand over documents relating to the huge building project. The anti- corruption unit believe that councilors’ decision to halt construction may have unlawful, the latter said. The current Prague authorities say the contract for the over-budget tunnel job signed by their predecessors was never valid. They have requested talks with the justice minister over the matter, which is also being investigated by a police organised crime unit.

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PM Sobotka marks anniversary of Nazi-razed village

20-04-2014 16:26 | Jan Richter

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka along with Czech army officials, public figures and other guests on Sunday marked the 69th anniversary of the destruction of east Moravian village of Ploština by the Nazis during the final days of the Second World War. The village was set alight and at least 24 of its inhabitants murdered because their provided help to local armed resistance groups. In his remarks, Mr Sobotka emphasized the need to keep the nation’s memory alive, and to resist attempts to distort its history. 

Czech canoeist drowns in Austria

20-04-2014 15:08 | Jan Richter

A 36-year-old Czech man from Brno drowned while canoeing on the Saalach River near the Austrian town of Lofer, the country’s APA news agency reported on Sunday. The man, who was with a group of friends, capsized in a narrow stretch of the river; his body was only found after an hour. Some 80 people took part in the rescue operation including Austrian and German firefighters. 

Czech women’s tennis team beats Italy to reach Fed Cup finals

20-04-2014 13:57 | Jan Richter

The Czech women’s tennis team has reached the finals of the Fed Cup after winning three points against defending champions Italy in their semi-final tie. Czech number one Petra Kvitová won the decisive point on Sunday when she defeated Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-3, 7-5 in Ostrava on Sunday. The Czechs also won both of Saturday’s singles rubbers; Lucie Šafářová defeated Italy’s number one Sara Errani while Petra Kvitová beat Camila Giorgi. In the Fed Cup finals, the Czechs will host Germany in November. 

Boxer Konečný retires after defeat in WBO title fight

20-04-2014 13:28 | Jan Richter

Czech boxing champion Lukáš Konečný has retired following his defeat by Peter Quillin of the US, in the WBO middleweight title fight. The 35-year-old Czech boxer, who in 2012 held the interim title of WBO light middleweight champion, told the news website lidovky.cz on Sunday that Quillin was better but he thought the fight was a decent end to his professional career. He now only plans to appear at exhibitions but said he would like to be involved in professional boxing in the future as well. 

Health Ministry to scrap planned compulsory e-prescriptions

20-04-2014 09:29 | Jan Richter

The Czech Health Ministry is going to scrap plans to introduce compulsory electronic prescriptions, the news website lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. E-prescriptions, which were to replace paper prescriptions as of next year, were expected to save billions of crowns, diminish paperwork in doctors’ offices as well as prevent abuse. But the ministry says many physicians are not ready for the move, and up to 20 percent of them would have to close their practices. Doctors’ unions have welcomed the decision, and say e-prescription should only be voluntary in the future. 

Survey: Few Czechs follow nutritional values labels

20-04-2014 09:09 | Jan Richter

Over 80 percent of Czechs believe they know how to choose healthy food stuffs but only 17 percent of them follow labels with information about their nutritional values, the news agency ČTK reported on Sunday citing a survey by a healthy food campaign. The survey suggests that some two-thirds of those responsible for food shopping in their homes consider their diet unbalanced due to lack of will, time and money. While most Czechs are aware of some basic healthy diet principles, the poll also found that many of them believe in myths; for example, around 25 percent believe they should not eat after 5 PM. 

Czech women’s tennis team is leading Italy 2:0 in Fed Cup semi-finals

19-04-2014 17:10 updated | Jan Richter

Czech women’s tennis team is leading 2:0 against defending champions Italy in their Fed Cup semi-finals tie in Ostrava after Lucie Šafářová defeated Italy’s number one Sara Errani 6-4 6-1 in the opening singles match on Saturday. In the second Rubber, best Czech player Petra Kvitová beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4 6-2. 

Government to launch firearms amnesty in July

19-04-2014 15:42 | Jan Richter

The Czech government is planning to launch an amnesty for illegally held firearms in July, Czech TV reported on Saturday quoting government legislation. Members of the public will be invited to hand in unregistered firearms and ammunition without facing penalties or legal action; they will also be able to apply for permit so that they can keep the weapons legally. The last gun amnesty was held in 2009 when the police retrieved 7,000 firearms. 

Health insurers launch major cancer screening campaign

19-04-2014 12:32 | Jan Richter

The Czech Republic’s largest health insurance firm, VZP, has invited some 408,000 of its clients for cancer screening, a spokesman for the company said. The insurer is planning to reach all of its 1.2 million clients who should regularly be screened for the disease but fail to turn up. These include women aged between 25 and 70 to be screened for breast and cervical cancer; both men and women aged between 50 and 70 should be tested for colorectal and anal cancer. Other Czech health insurance companies are also taking part in the campaign, in total, they want to send out 1.85 invites by the end of the year; those who choose to ignore the invitation will be approached again next year. 

Hockey: Zlín in 2:0 lead over Brno in league playoffs’ finals

19-04-2014 08:45 | Jan Richter

PSG Zlín defeated Kometa Brno 3-0 at home on Friday, taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoffs’ final series. Zlín goals came in the 16th, 40th and 55th minutes; Kometa have so far scored no goals in the final series. The series now moves to Brno where the third game is scheduled for Monday. 

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