News Czech President Zeman addresses European Parliament

26-02-2014 12:39 | Jan Richter

Czech President Miloš Zeman addressed a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. In his first address to MEPs, Mr Zeman expressed support for the earliest possible adoption of the euro by the Czech Republic. He also criticized what he considers as the EU’s excessive bureaucracy, transfers of MEPs between Brussels and Strasbourg, the architecture of EU buildings and other issues. The Czech president later met with the European Parliament speaker, Martin Schulz, as well as Czech MEPs.

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Czech women’s tennis team beats Italy to reach Fed Cup finals

20-04-2014 18:40 updated | Jan Richter

The Czech women’s tennis team has reached the finals of the Fed Cup after defeating defending champions Italy 4-0 in Ostrava over the weekend. Czech number one Petra Kvitová scored two points, defeating Roberta Vinci and Camila Giorgi. Lucie Šafářová, meanwhile, beat Sara Errani, and the Czech duo Koukalová, Hlaváčková took the fourth point after defeating Italy’s pair Giorgi, Knapp, in Sunday’s doubles. In the Fed Cup finals, the Czechs will host Germany in November. 

Hockey: Lev Praha tied 1-1with Magnitogorsk in KHL finals

20-04-2014 18:34 | Jan Richter

Hockey club Lev Praha lost to Magnitogorsk 1-4 on Sunday the KHL finals, and are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series. The hosts built up a 4-0 lead before Lev’s Azevedo scored in the 57th minute, setting the final score at 4-1. Lev won the series’ opening game 3-0 on Saturday. The series now moves to Prague where games three and four are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. 

Galvanic plant fire causes 200 million in damages

20-04-2014 18:05 | Jan Richter

Fire at a galvanic plant in Lanškroun, eastern Bohemia, has caused damages of around 200 million crowns, the news agency ČTK reported. The fire broke out shortly before Sunday noon; fire fighters could not immediately access the scene as carbon dioxide bombs were exploding inside; they only got the fire under control by Sunday evening. The authorities closed off several streets in the town, and warned people not to approach the scene of the fire. Causes of the fire are under investigation. 

PM Sobotka marks anniversary of Nazi-razed village

20-04-2014 16:26 | Jan Richter

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka along with Czech army officials, public figures and other guests on Sunday marked the 69th anniversary of the destruction of east Moravian village of Ploština by the Nazis during the final days of the Second World War. The village was set alight and at least 24 of its inhabitants murdered because their provided help to local armed resistance groups. In his remarks, Mr Sobotka emphasized the need to keep the nation’s memory alive, and to resist attempts to distort its history. 

Czech canoeist drowns in Austria

20-04-2014 15:08 | Jan Richter

A 36-year-old Czech man from Brno drowned while canoeing on the Saalach River near the Austrian town of Lofer, the country’s APA news agency reported on Sunday. The man, who was with a group of friends, capsized in a narrow stretch of the river; his body was only found after an hour. Some 80 people took part in the rescue operation including Austrian and German firefighters. 

Boxer Konečný retires after defeat in WBO title fight

20-04-2014 13:28 | Jan Richter

Czech boxing champion Lukáš Konečný has retired following his defeat by Peter Quillin of the US, in the WBO middleweight title fight. The 35-year-old Czech boxer, who in 2012 held the interim title of WBO light middleweight champion, told the news website lidovky.cz on Sunday that Quillin was better but he thought the fight was a decent end to his professional career. He now only plans to appear at exhibitions but said he would like to be involved in professional boxing in the future as well. 

Health Ministry to scrap planned compulsory e-prescriptions

20-04-2014 09:29 | Jan Richter

The Czech Health Ministry is going to scrap plans to introduce compulsory electronic prescriptions, the news website lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. E-prescriptions, which were to replace paper prescriptions as of next year, were expected to save billions of crowns, diminish paperwork in doctors’ offices as well as prevent abuse. But the ministry says many physicians are not ready for the move, and up to 20 percent of them would have to close their practices. Doctors’ unions have welcomed the decision, and say e-prescription should only be voluntary in the future. 

Survey: Few Czechs follow nutritional values labels

20-04-2014 09:09 | Jan Richter

Over 80 percent of Czechs believe they know how to choose healthy food stuffs but only 17 percent of them follow labels with information about their nutritional values, the news agency ČTK reported on Sunday citing a survey by a healthy food campaign. The survey suggests that some two-thirds of those responsible for food shopping in their homes consider their diet unbalanced due to lack of will, time and money. While most Czechs are aware of some basic healthy diet principles, the poll also found that many of them believe in myths; for example, around 25 percent believe they should not eat after 5 PM. 

Czech women’s tennis team is leading Italy 2:0 in Fed Cup semi-finals

19-04-2014 17:10 updated | Jan Richter

Czech women’s tennis team is leading 2:0 against defending champions Italy in their Fed Cup semi-finals tie in Ostrava after Lucie Šafářová defeated Italy’s number one Sara Errani 6-4 6-1 in the opening singles match on Saturday. In the second Rubber, best Czech player Petra Kvitová beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4 6-2. 

Government to launch firearms amnesty in July

19-04-2014 15:42 | Jan Richter

The Czech government is planning to launch an amnesty for illegally held firearms in July, Czech TV reported on Saturday quoting government legislation. Members of the public will be invited to hand in unregistered firearms and ammunition without facing penalties or legal action; they will also be able to apply for permit so that they can keep the weapons legally. The last gun amnesty was held in 2009 when the police retrieved 7,000 firearms. 

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