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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Czech players Jakub Voráček and Tomáš Plekanec picked up points in their respective games on Saturday. Voráček, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers scored once and had three assists against Dallas. The Flyers won the match 4-2 and now have an eight-game winning streak. The Montreal Canadiens' Plekanec got four assists against the Colorado Avalanche. The Habs declassed their opponents, winning 10-1.
Euro MO Petr Mach has stepped down as the leader of the extra-parliamentary party the Party of Free Citizens which he founded seven years ago. The chairman took the step with the intent of securing a new mandate; there has been division within the party over whether it should focus on a single issue, a British-style exit from the EU, or take a more nuanced approach. Mr Mach represents the latter wing.
Passengers and staff were evacuated from Prague's Main Station on Saturday night after an anonymous caller warned a bomb had been hidden at the site. Trains ready to do so, departed, and further trains were turned away for more than one hour as the police searched the premises. Metro transport below the station continued uninterrupted but trains did not stop but only passed through. The police are searching for the anonymous caller; if found, the caller could face several years in jail.
London football club Arsenal are top of the Premier League on goals scored, with Chelsea second. The club came from behind on Saturday to win 3-1 against Stoke. Stoke's lone goal came on a penalty. In the second half, substitute Peter Crouch could have added a second for Stoke but his header was denied by goalkeeper Petr Čech.
Sunday should be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in places. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 6 or 7 degrees Celsius.
Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrána got his first goal in the NHL on Friday, helping the Caps down the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Columbus' Lukáš Sedlák also scored his first goal in the NHL, beating fellow Czech Petr Mrázek between the posts for Detroit. Mrázek was pulled after the goal. Columbus win the game by a score of 4-1.
Police in the region of Vysočina have so far this autumn checked some 1,200 hunters, finding no cases of serious wrongdoing. The news was confirmed by the regional police spokeswoman Dana Čírtková. Examined were permits, the state of hunters' firearms, and whether any alcohol had been consumed. On Saturday alone two hunting parties, totaling some 40 participants, were checked.
Police on Saturday stopped a total of seven people by roughly mid-day for riding Segways in Prague's historic centre where the vehicles are banned. In two cases, the riders were foreign nationals who were given symbolic and low fines of 100 crowns (less than four euros). Police have the right to fine riders up to 2,000 crowns. Prague city councillors approved the ban on the use of Segways on roads and sidewalks in the historic centre in July but the ban was not enforced before some 600 traffic signs highlighting the ban were installed in areas.
Tax changes sought by Social Democrats would chase away successful businesses, says finance minister
Tax changes being planned by the Social Democrats would "chase successful people and firms from the Czech Republic", Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has said in response to the Social Democrats plans regarding progressive taxation. The current coalition partners, polls suggest, are likely to finish first and second in the election next year and are vying for a fair amount of the same voters. The last national election was won narrowly by the Social Democrats. Recent rhetoric has put the political parties' differences into sharper relief: Mr Babiš, who heads ANO and is also deputy prime minister, said he did not understand why he and his party were - in his view - "continually criticized" by Social Democrat leader Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
Either ANO or the Social Democrats is how the head of the Social Democratic Party, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, assessed the chances of winning next year's parliamentary election which will outline the direction of the country for the next four years. Mr Sobotka made the statement at a closed meeting of the party leadership on Saturday. The party chairman has been trying to drum up support ahead of a party congress next March; so far no other candidate has come forward to challenge Mr Sobotka for the post. The leader said the Social Democrats needed to focus on a base of voters including families with children, the employed, and seniors and, for example, in improving wages. Polls have regularly put fellow members in government, ANO, first, ahead of the Social Democrats, although both parties lost ground in a recent survey.