News Court hands stiff sentences to murderous trio

10-03-2014 12:29 | Jan Velinger

The regional court in Ostrava handed stiff sentences on Monday to three men who robbed and murdered an older couple from Bohumín in the Karviná area last year: 27 years in prison, 30 years, and life behind bars. All three were heavily in debt and at least one of the three knew the victims, who were shot and killed in a garage and buried in a pre-dug grave on the spot. The men had staked out the couple from among a number of potential targets; crucial in their decision was that they believed the couple had cash in their home instead of in the bank. The perpetrators made off with 230,000 crowns but had ‘hoped’ for up to five million. All three will be held in maximum security prisons.

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Education minister plans to prolong compulsory education to ten years

29-08-2015 18:32 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech Education Minister Kateřina Valachová wants to prolong compulosry education in the Czech Republic from nine to ten years by making the final year of preschool compulsory. The proposal is part of an amendment to the School Act, which will be submitted to the government in mid-September. According to the draft legislation, all children at the age of four should be entitled to a place in nursery school by 2017 and by 2018, preschools should be available to all three-year-olds. Under the proposal, children in the final year of preschool should be entitled to free lunches. 

Prague plans to introduce SMS mass notification system

29-08-2015 17:10 | Ruth Fraňková

The city of Prague plans to introduce a mass notification system via text messages, which could be used in case of emergencies or accidents to inform inhabitants of the affected districts. Mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová, made the announcemnt on Saturday at a meeting with journalists on the occasion of the Rescue Services Day. At present, the SMS system is limited only to those who have subscribed to it, which is not very effective. For instance in the case of water contamination in Prague's Dejvice district, which happened in May this year, only several dozen people received an SMS with an early warning. 

Some 200 people demonstrated against police repression of far-left groups on Friday

29-08-2015 16:05 | Ruth Fraňková

Around two hundred people attended a protest march in the centre of Prague on Friday evening against alleged police repression of the Czech far-left scene. The participants went from Jungmann square to Bartolomějská street, which was notorius as the base of the Communist secret police, and ended on Wenceslas square. The organizers were questioning the police raid on the Cibulka squat in Prague in May this year, as well as the operation Fenix in April, which resulted in the arrest of over thirty people. Several of them were later charged with allegedly taking part in the preparation of a terrorist attack on a train. 

Dutch parachutist dies at Klatovy airport

29-08-2015 15:37 | Ruth Fraňková

A Dutch parachutist, aged 49, died at an airfield near Klatovy in West Bohemia on Friday evening, after his parachute failed to open during a jump from the altitutde of 500 metres. The case is being investigated by the police and the Air Accidents Investigation Institute. The airport in Klatovy, which is mainly popular due to an extreme discipline called swooping, based on a high-speed landing with a parachute, has seen a number of fatal accidents in the past few years. The most recent one involved a world-famous Danish skydiver Mads Jensen, who died at the airport during a training jump in May this year. 

Giant puppets in Pilsen attracted thousands of people

29-08-2015 15:18 | Ruth Fraňková

Thousands of people gathered in the streets of Pilsen on Friday night to watch a procession of giant puppets of the Spanish theatre company Carros de Foc, which marked the opening of the Skupa's Pilsen Festival organised as part of the European Capital of Culture 2015. The huge marionettes, including a 20-metre-long dragon and a huge flying bird, are part of a site-specific show La Niña transforming the historical centre of Pilsen into a theatre stage, along with dozens of acrobats, dancers and musicians. The event will be repeated on Saturday and Sunday night. The Skupa Pilsen festival of puppetry and alternative theatre was established in 1967 and takes place every two years. 

More than 80 castles open their door to public on Saturday night

29-08-2015 14:59 | Ruth Fraňková

More than 80 castles and chateaus across the Czech Republic join the annual Night of Castles on Saturday, opening their door to visitors with special programmes, including evening tours, concerts, theatre performances and more. The main programme of the festival's sixth edition will take place at the Kratochvíle state chateau in South Bohemia. In Prague, people will have a chance to visit the Senate's Wallenstein palace at Malá Strana and the gardens at Prague Castle. Four famous villas in Brno, including the Tugenhadt villa, will be also open on Saturday night. 

Kvitová and Šafářová to meet in all Czech final at Connecticut Open

29-08-2015 14:57 | Ruth Fraňková

Petra Kvitová and Lucie Šafářová will face each other in an all-Czech final at the Connecticut Open, after winning their semi-final matches of the WTA tournament in New Haven in straight sets. Petra Kvitová secured a 7-5, 6-1 win over Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, while the fourth seeded Šafářová beat Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-2, 7-6. Czech number one Petra Kvitová has a 6-0 career record against her compatriot Lucie Šafářová. 

Czech fighter pilots wrap up Iceland mission

28-08-2015 18:14 | Jan Velinger

Czech Gripen fighter pilots have completed their mission guarding Icelandic airspace, returning with the planes to the Czech Republic on Friday. The journey took three-and-a-half hours and the jets refuelled during flight. Czechs have now guarded Icelandic airspace twice. The Czech military also served in similar missions in the Baltic states as a member of NATO. 

Czech Statistical Office confirms fast-growing economy

28-08-2015 18:09 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Statistical Office has confirmed strong 4.4 percent annual growth of the economy in Q2 in its revised estimate made public on Friday, while improving its preliminary estimate of a quarter/quarter rise from 0.9 to 1 percent. The Czech Republic is currently showing the most significant growth in all of Europe that, analysts confirmed. The surge is tied to positive developments in the economy, namely boosts in domestic consumption as well as investment. 

E-registration of sales could be launched in mid-2016

28-08-2015 18:04 | Jan Velinger

The electronic registration of sales will most likely be launched by mid-2016 following the coalition’s approval of the Finance Ministry's proposal to extend the period between the promulgation of the relevant law and the time the law takes legal effect from 3 to 7 months, the Finance Ministry said on its website. The bill on the introduction of the electronic registration of sales is currently being discussed in the Chamber of Deputies. Opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats have come out against the bill. The government is hoping the system will help limit grey economy and improve tax collection. 

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