News Czech Internet use highest in Central Europe and Baltics

02-07-2014 15:22 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech Republic has the highest Internet use in the whole of Central Europe according to the results of a survey released on Wednesday by the Gemius company. It said 96 percent of Czech of active age use the Internet compared with 85 percent of Estonians and 79 percent of Latvians. Leaving aside the Czech Republic, Internet use in the other Visegrad four states of Central Europe, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, ranged between 65 and 75 percent, the survey said. With 6.7 million Internet users, the Czech Republic is the second biggest Internet market in the region behind Poland.

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Pilgrims pouring to Velehrad for People of Goodwill Days

04-07-2015 12:36 | Daniela Lazarová

People are gathering at the Velehrad pilgrimage site for the annual People of Goodwill Days that traditionally accompany the celebrations of the legacy of Ss Cyril and Methodius, missionaries from Thessalonica who brought Christianity to the Czech lands in the 9th century. Although the main celebrations, including a mass served by Cardinal Dominik Duka, will take place on Sunday, many events are taking place today, such as the unveiling of a sculpture to St. Methodius on the occasion of the 1200 th anniversary of his birth and a performance by a Greek choir from Thessalonica. The celebrations annually attract thousands of visitors and this year is not likely to be an exception despite the tropical heatwave that has hit the country. 

Thirty people evacuated after gas explosion in Litvinov housing estate

04-07-2015 12:13 | Daniela Lazarová

Thirty people were evacuated from a block of flats in Litvinov on Saturday morning after a gas explosion in one of flats. Although the explosion shattered windows, the flat where it happened was empty and none of the inhabitants were hurt. Seven fire brigades from the vicinity were called to the scene and it took firefighters over two hours to get the fire under control. The municipality has provided temporary housing for the evacuated families. 

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to present the international premiere of Mississippi Grind

04-07-2015 12:01 | Daniela Lazarová

The 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is offering viewers more than fifty screenings at eleven cinemas on Saturday. They selection includes the world premiere of Journey to Rome, a Czech-Polish coproduction, and the world premiere of the Kyrgyz movie Heavenly Nomadic. The highlight of the festival’s second day is the international premiere of the poker road movie Mississippi Grind, presented by actor Ben Mendelsohn with director Ryan Fleck. US actor, Richard Gere, who was presented with the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the festival’s opening ceremony of Friday night will give a press conference and later attend a screening of Pretty Woman at the festival’s outdoor cinema. 

Thousands sign petition against public display of racism and xenophobia at anti-migrant rallies

03-07-2015 18:56 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Over 5,000 people have signed an appeal calling on the government to openly denounce the recent show of racism and intolerance at several anti-migrant demonstrations in the Czech Republic. The appeal, drafted by the group StopHatred.cz, calls on the prime minister and interior minister to take a resolute stand to the hate-speech and xenophobia the country has witnessed, saying that the public debate on the migrant issue had been hijacked by a number of intolerant individuals who were spreading an atmosphere of fear and hate.

A group of 12 senators on Friday made a similar appeal, sending an open letter to the government, in which they asked the country’s leadership to strongly denounce the displays of hatred and xenophobia. The senators say it is alarming that police officers present at these demonstrations did not take action against what is clearly a violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has already slammed the police for its inaction demanding an explanation from his subordinates. 

Šafářová reaches fourth round at Wimbledon after victory over Stephens

03-07-2015 18:31 | Daniela Lazarová

In the women’s singles at Wimbledon on Friday, 6th seed Lucie Šafářová beat Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-3 6-1 to reach the 4th round at Wimbledon for the second time in her career. “I am extremely happy. Sloane played a tough game but from the second set I was more aggressive and was able to turn the match around,” she told reporters. She will next face US Coco Vandeweghe against whom she has not previously played. 

Czech Republic braces for heatwave

03-07-2015 16:20 | Daniela Lazarová

Meteorologists have been issuing health warnings with respect to the tropical heatwave that is expected to hit the Czech Republic over the weekend. Temperatures on Sunday and Monday should hit 37 degrees Celsius with the worst conditions expected in the big cities. People have been advised to stay out of the sun and limit physically straining activities as much as possible. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Sunday is a public holiday dedicated to the missionaries Cyril and Methodius who brought Christianity to the Czech lands and hundreds of believers are expected to undertake the annual pilgrimage to Velehrad. 

MERS ruled out in Czech patient

03-07-2015 15:56 updated | Ruth Fraňková

Tests have ruled out the potentially fatal MERS virus in a Czech man hospitalized in Prague, the country’s chief hygiene officer Vladimir Valenta reported on Friday. The patient, a man from Ostrava who had recently travelled to South Korea, remains at Prague’s Na Bulovce hospital for further tests and treatment. The 49 people who were placed in quarantine in connection with the case will be released immediately. It was the country’s second MERS scare and Mr. Valenta said that the measures undertaken showed that the authorities were well prepared to deal with a potential crisis. 

Czech contingent back from Khaan Quest in Mongolia

03-07-2015 14:49 | Daniela Lazarová

A Czech contingent of around 50 troops has returned from Mongolia where it took part in Khaan Quest an annual multinational exercise co-sponsored by the U.S. military, designed to promote regional peace and security in Northeast Asia. The Czech troops provided survival instruction courses to a Mongolian contingent ahead of its scheduled UN mission to Southern Sudan. According to the Czech ambassador to Mongolia Ivana Grollova the unit received high praise for and has been asked to run similar training courses next year. 

Metro C line restricted due to track maintenance

03-07-2015 14:48 | Daniela Lazarová

Prague City Transport has announced that a stretch of Prague metro’s C line will be out of operation for a fortnight due to track maintenance. Trains will not be running between Kačerov and Háje stations from Saturday July 4th until July 16th. Passengers have been asked to use replacement buses instead. 

Strahov tunnel to close to traffic on Saturday

03-07-2015 12:05 | Daniela Lazarová

Prague’s Strahov tunnel, which links the Prague 5 and 6 districts, is due to close to traffic at 8 am on Saturday for a ten day period. During that time road workers will link the tunnel to the newly built Blanka tunnel complex which is due to open to traffic in mid-September. Drivers have been warned to expect heavier traffic and complications with detours during the closure. The tunnel is due to reopen on July 14th at 5 am. 

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