News Czech PM: EU’s sanctions on Russia won’t hurt Czech economy

30-07-2014 13:56 | Jan Richter

Extended EU sanctions against Russia adopted over Moscow’s alleged support for the rebels in Ukraine will not have any significant impact on the Czech economy, the country’s prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said in a statement on Wednesday. The sanctions are targeting Russia’s oil sector, defence equipment and sensitive technologies. However, the Czech Republic’s trade to Russia is based on civilian goods, Mr Sobotka said. The opposition Civic Democrats have questioned the prime minister’s claim, and said any effective sanctions must also logically hurt those who impose them.

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Stanley Cup playoffs: Mrázek chased from net

19-04-2015 14:09 | Jan Velinger

Hockey goaltender Petr Mrázek may have been phenomenal in the Red Wings opening game in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but was less than stellar on Saturday when he allowed four goals on 18 shots. He was pulled after allowing the fourth; the Lightening went on to win 5:1. Mrázek will reportedly return for Game 3. The series is currently tied at one apiece.

The Winnipeg Jets' Ondřej Pavelec, meanwhile, stopped 37 shots on Saturday but his team still lost by a score of 2:1 against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. 

Czech women's tennis team advances to Fed Cup final

19-04-2015 13:53 | Jan Velinger

The Czech women's tennis team has secured a berth in the final of this year's Fed Cup. The squad clinched a third point on Sunday, putting the final out of reach for the French, when Petra Kvitová defeated opponent Caroline Garcia in straight sets. The final score was 6:4, 6:4. The Czechs are the defending champions; they will face either Germany or Russia in the final, held in November. 

Výškov academy to handle higher number of recruits

19-04-2015 13:43 | Jan Velinger

A military training centre in Výškov will see an increase in the number of recruits trained in the coming years, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka confirmed during a visit on Saturday. The number of recruits and members of the active reserve should increase by some 2,000 annually. The PM made clear that the Výškov Defence Academy was prepared to shoulder the extra workload and higher number of trainees. He also confirmed the government aimed to increase defence spending from the present 1 percent to 1.4 percent by 2020. Finance Minister Anrej Babiš said late Saturday he had promised to gradually increase the defence budget by 20 billion crowns; the minister is currently on a visit to the US. 

Hundreds protest against nuclear waste facility plans

19-04-2015 13:20 | Jan Velinger

Hundreds of people from seven localities on Saturday held simultaneous events in protest of a nuclear waste repository being planned by the government. Protestors walked along paths that would be closed to the public if a repository were built in their respective area. This was the first time that protests were held on the same day in all seven areas. If built, the nuclear waste repository will go into operation in 2065. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said he believed that the state would find a reasonable solution that people would not oppose. He told Czech TV the aim was to create a repository which would not be a threat to the environment. Once a suitable location is chosen, the deep geological facility will take some 15 years to complete. 

Firefighters struggle to put out fire at Beroun area ranch

19-04-2015 13:06 | Jan Velinger

Firefighters worked on Saturday evening and most of the night to control a blaze at a ranch in the area of Beroun, outside of Prague, which began at around 5 PM. Firefighters appeared to get the fire under control by 8 PM but found there were still flash fires in the attic sections. A spokesman confirmed the operation was a difficult one. Damage to the site has been estimated at six million crowns. 

Concrete slab breaks off bridge

19-04-2015 12:57 | Jan Velinger

A 5 x 20 metre concrete slab serving as siding of the bridge-like construction that serves Chotkova Street in the Prague city centre broke off on Sunday morning, requiring technicians to secure the section and test additional panels for safety. The slab broke off at around 6 AM. No one was hurt but guests were evacuated from two rooms at a nearby boutique hotel - the Hofmeister - as a precautionary measure. An additional side panel was found to be loose and had to be secured. Chotkova is a heavily used street winding up from the city's Malá strana quarter to Letná Park and Prague Castle, seeing traffic from both trams and motor vehicles. The concrete panel which collapsed was not a load-bearing part of the construction. 

Women’s tennis team takes 2:0 lead against France in Fed Cup semi-final

18-04-2015 18:27 | Jan Velinger

The women’s tennis team has gotten off to a good start in the Fed Cup semi-final against France winning both matches on the opening day. Lucie Šafařová survived five match points against Caroline Garcia to take the match to three sets: the final score was 4:6, 7:6, 6:1. Petra Kvitová won the second match, defeating Kristina Mladenovic 6:3, 6:4. 

Cyclist struck and killed by car

18-04-2015 13:33 | Jan Velinger

A 51-year-old cyclist was struck by a motorist on Friday evening in the Zlín area and succumbed on the spot to his injuries. The cyclist was hit head-on by the car driven by a 24-year-old who was passing another vehicle. The victim did not have any lights on his bike as required. The motorist, who tested negative for alcohol, is being investigated for possible negligence; if found guilty he could spend up to six years in jail. 

Teplice fails to move forward with gambling bylaw

18-04-2015 13:00 | Jan Velinger

City councillors in the spa town of Teplice have failed for a third time to pass a bylaw on the regulation of gambling terminals. The town, according to the Czech News Agency, has some 1,500 such machines, twice that of Ústí nad Labem or Most. Members of Town Hall have been tasked with coming up with a proposal which would satisfy a majority of 27 representatives. The bylaw should be passed by the end of the year. 

Municipalities, in areas being considered as possible sites for nuclear waste repository, hold protest events

18-04-2015 12:49 | Jan Velinger

Municipalities in seven areas of the Czech Republic, being considered by the government as possible locations for a nuclear waste repository operational as of 2065, are holding protest events on Saturday saying "No" to government plans. Demonstrations and concerts are underway in places to express opposition to the siting of the waste site; in the past referenda were also held. Plans for a deep geological repository for the country's radioactive waste have existed since 1990. The facility, if a suitable site is found, would take 15 years to build. 



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