News Czech mountaineer completes quest to climb world’s 14 highest mountains

26-07-2014 17:52 | Jan Richter

Czech mountaineer Radek Jaroš climbed the K2 peak in the Himalayas on Saturday, becoming the the first Czech and the 15th person in the world to climb all of the 14 highest mountains, Czech Radio reports. The 50-year-old Jaroš climbed his first peak over 8,000 metres, Mount Everest, in 1998. He has authored several books and film documentaries, and in 2009 received a fair play award from the Czech Olympic Committee for helping to save the lives of several of his colleagues.

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Lawyer Klára Samková faces possible action over anti-Islamic comments

27-05-2016 15:35 | Chris Johnstone

The Prague Bar Association and state prosecutors have said they are looking into controversial comments by lawyer Klára Samková. Samková compared Islam during a seminar in the lower house of parliament on May 18 to Nazism and Communism. The comments prompted a walk out by the Turkish ambassador and representatives of other Islamic countries attending. The bar council says it is examining whether the comments were in conflict with its ethical code and the prosecutor for Prague 1 into whether they represented a criminal offense. Samková later suggested the Turkish ambassador should be expelled from the Czech Republic. 

Passenger train derailment causes disruption

27-05-2016 15:34 | Chris Johnstone

Train chaos has been caused after part of an empty passenger train derailed between Prague’s main train station and the suburb of Vršovice. Many local and long distance train services out of the capital have now been switched to other stations because of the closure of the key lines. Delays are expected to continue throughout the day before the problem can be dealt with. 

Funeral service held for illustrator Adolf Born

27-05-2016 15:33 | Chris Johnstone

Dozens paid their last respects to designer and illustrator Adolf Born at Prague’s Strašnice crematorium on Friday. He died at the age of 85 on Sunday. Some of the mourners dressed up in traditional costumes from the end of the Hapsburg era. Born, was a great admirer of the Austro-Hungarian empire which preceded the creation of the independent Czechoslovakia in 1918. The ceremony ended with a rendition of Born’s favourite Radetsky March by Johann Strauss senior. Born was the illustrator of hundreds of childrens’ books enjoyed by four generation of Czechs. 

New atomic law backed by lower house

27-05-2016 15:31 | Chris Johnstone

Members of the lower house of parliament on Friday approved a new atomic law. The new law replaces legislation dating back to 1997 and updates Czech rules with the latest EU directives. The Czech government says the new rules should simplify some of the procures for building new nuclear reactors. The new law still has to be approved by the Upper House, the Senate, and the head of state. 

Interior minister lodges legal challenge to ‘gallows’ decisions

27-05-2016 15:30 | Chris Johnstone

Minister of the Interior Milan Chovanec has said he will challenge a decision by Prague City Authorities and Prague 1 local council that demonstrators who carried a mock gallows should not even be fined. Chovanec said he was offended that the action during a demonstration against immigration in July last year in Prague was not even considered as a civil offence. During the demonstration, attended by several hundred, placards were also carried accusing some politicians of treason against the country. 

US military convoy crosses into Czech Republic

27-05-2016 12:45 | Chris Johnstone

A US military convoy crossed into the Czech Republic on Friday morning. The convoy, around half as big again as the one which was welcomed last year, is on its way to exercises in the Baltic states. Czech army vehicles are due to join the convoy on Saturday, when Czech and US soldiers will get a chance to familiarize themselves with the different equipment being used. The US convoy should quit Czech territory on Monday morning. 

Bill to ban smoking to be reintroduced by government

27-05-2016 12:44 | Chris Johnstone

Minister of Health Svatopluk Němeček will reintroduce a bill to the government on Monday for the banning of smoking in restaurants and other places. That move was decided by a meeting of coalition government party leaders on Friday. The meeting was called by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in the wake of the defeat of the previous proposal in the lower house of parliament on Wednesday. Friday’s meeting was not attended by ANO leader Andrej Babiš or the leader of the Christian Democrats Pavel Bělobrádek, both of whom said they had prior engagements. The defeat of the bill on Wednesday sparked rancour in the ruling government coalition, mostly focused on the ANO lawmakers who voted three different ways on the final proposal. 

Klinika social centre receives František Kriegel Award for civic courage

27-05-2016 09:49 | Ruth Fraňková

The 2015 František Kriegel Award for civic courage, handed out annually by the Charter 77 Foundation, was given to the representatives of the Klinika social centre, which became a target of an arson attack by ultra-right radicals this year. An independent jury praised the centre's voluntary activities for its humanity and for not falling under the influence of ideology or market forces. František Kriegel, the Charter 77 signatory, was the only Czechoslovak political leader who refused to sign Moscow's humiliating dictate after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1968. 

Rudolf Jelínek spirits producer posts record turnover

27-05-2016 08:48 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech spirits producer Rudolf Jelínek posted a record turnover last year amounting to nearly 470 million crowns. The company’s profit was 70 percent higher than in the previous year, the general director Pavel Dvořáček told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The traditional plum liquor producer has finally recovered from the methanol scandal of 2012, during which 47 Czechs died of alcohol poisoning and which resulted in a decrease in demand for hard alcohol. In 2012, the company suffered losses to the tune of 19 million crowns. 

Restored copy of The Fabulous Baron Munchhausen to launch Zlín film festival

26-05-2016 17:32 | Ruth Fraňková

The world premiere of the digitally restored copy of Baron Prášil or The Fabulous Baron Munchhausen, a legendary film by Karel Zeman, will launch this year’s edition of the Zlín International Film Festival, which gets underway on Friday. The 1961 film, combining live action with various forms of animation, was restored within a project called We are cleaning up the world of fantasy, which aims to digitally restore three films by the visionary filmmaker. The new version of The Fabulous Baron Munchhausen will be screened for the first time on Thursday in Prague’s Lucerna cinema. 


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