News Czech president expresses opposition to Russian intervention in Ukraine
Czech President Miloš Zeman has expressed opposition to Russia intervening in Ukraine; in a statement issued through his spokesman on Saturday, the president suggested military intervention would create a gulf that would take more than a generation to bridge. Mr Zeman was reacting to rising tensions in Crimea, where Russian forces are stationed or being boosted. He made clear he could draw on concrete experience, the invasion of former Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led troops in 1968. On Saturday, President Vladimir Putin requested - and received - approval from Russia's upper house to use troops on the peninsula until the 'normalisation' of the political situation in Ukraine. Mr Putin claimed that such a move was to protect the Russian-speaking population. Ukraine's new leadership has called Russia's behaviour an attempt to provoke an armed conflict.
The Czech Foreign Ministry reacted on Saturday by saying that Ukraine's territorial integrity as well as sovereignty needed to remain untouched and intact. The foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, is to meet with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to discuss developments on Monday.
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Several dozen people attended a meeting organized by anti-Islam activist Martin Konvička on Malostranské náměstí on Saturday. The participants of the meeting marched to the US Embassy shouting slogans in support of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Several police officers oversaw the gathering but no incidents were reported. A previous meeting organised by Konvička in Prague’s Old Town Square at the end of August caused controversy when he and a group of followers decided to stage their interpretation of an Islamic State “invasion” of the Czech Republic.
Temperatures are likely to stay above average for the rest of September, according to a regular monthly weather forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Saturday. On some days the temperature will reach up 24 degrees Celsius. During the first three weeks of October, daily temperatures are expected to drop to around 16 degrees Celsius. Rainfall levels over the next four weeks should be below the average for the time of year.
A massive anti-flood exercise took place in Prague on Saturday. Some 350 fire-fighters, rescue workers and other city employees have raised over one kilometer of barriers by the Vltava River at the Holešovice district. The overall anti-flood measures are nearly 20 kilometers long and have cost the city around three billion crowns. The massive exercise, the biggest since 2011, cost over one million crowns.
The Czech-born Jewish writer and painter Max Mannheimer has died in Germany at the age of 96. Mr Mannheimer, who was born in Nový Jičín, survived the Holocaust and dedicated his life in post-war Germany to fighting anti-Semitism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Mr Mannheimer on Saturday for his efforts to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, calling him "a great reconciler."
Tennis: Strýcová and Mirza win women’s doubles final in Tokyo, Berdych fails to reach final in St. Petersburg
Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová teamed with India’s Sania Mirza have won the women’s doubles final at Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Playing their third tournament together, the Czech-Indian duo secured their second title with a straight sets win over China’s Chen Liang and Zhaoxuan Yang 6:1, 6:1. Meanwhile, Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych has failed to reach the final of the St. Petersburg Open. The third-seeded Czech was beaten in the men’s singles on Saturday by Alexander Zverev
Stories of the victims of the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia are set to be released on Monday by the NGO Post Bellum, which has been publishing the testimonies of witnesses to modern Czech history for nearly 15 years. Entitled Stories of Heroes of the 20th century, the book brings more then 30 testimonies which have not been yet available in the audio archive on the NGO`s website. Some of them have already been released as part of the regular Czech Radio show Stories of the 20th Century. The book will be suitable for children from the age of 13.
Three people have been arrested over the killing of a Czech businessman working in London, the British newspaper the Guardian reported on Saturday. The 31-year old Zdeněk Makar was attacked by a gang of BMX teenagers on Friday following a row inside a fast food outlet. The gang chased and beat the 31-year-old to death with a metal chain. According to the Guardian, two men, aged 19 and 29, and a 16-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder and taken for questioning.
A Czech businessman working in London is reported to have been beaten to death by a gang of BMX teenagers. According to the Daily Mail Zdenek Makar was attacked after a 'trivial' row inside a fast food outlet. The gang chased and beat the 31-year-old to death with a metal chain, leaving him in a pool of blood. A cyclist attempted CPR but Makar was later pronounced dead by paramedics. Police have launched a murder inquiry and are currently searching for at least four youths thought to be involved. The Czech Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the victim was a Czech national.
Hygiene officers inspecting Prague’s Vietnamese Sapa market uncovered 35 tons of uncertified frozen meat in storage, the ctk news agency reported. According to the inspectors the meat was sold to Vietnamese restaurants around town, presenting a serious health risk. Sapa management faces a million crown fine. The matter is being further investigated. The number of inspections at Sapa increased after an inspection earlier this year found serious shortcomings, including rotting uncertified meat.
The Czech and Slovak governments are to hold a joint working session in Bratislava on Monday with security issues, cooperation in defense and transport expected to be high on the agenda. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told journalists on Friday that ministers would discuss bilateral ties and cross-border cooperation as well as make plans for a joint celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. The two nations spent 73 years in a common state, parting ways in 1993, but have maintained exceptionally close ties.