News Czech totalitarian study institute quits Europe-wide network

26-02-2014 16:02 | Jan Richter

The Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has quit a European network of similar organizations, a spokesman for the institute said on Wednesday. The Czech agency, which among other things administers the files of the former communist secret police, left the Platform of European Memory and Conscience over a dispute about whether or not it employs former communist officials. The European platform in January suspended the membership of the Czech institute which was one of its founding members.

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Czech motorcycle racer Jakub Kornfeil takes silver at British Grand Prix

30-08-2015 17:52 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech Grand Prix motorcycle racer Jakub Kornfeil has reached the World Championship podium for the first time in his career. The 22-year-old Czech finished second in the Moto 3 race at British Grand Prix in Silverstone on Sunday, behind Britain's Danny Kent. Kornfeil started his 103rd race from the fifth row after qualifying in 13th place. Another Czech, Karel Hanika, failed to finish the 17-lap race. 

Lower VAT has not reduced prices for end consumers: study

30-08-2015 16:51 | Ruth Fraňková

The introduction of a reduced, 10-percent value added tax rate for selected products in January this year has not resulted in lower prices for end consumers, according to a survey caried out by TaxVision consulting agency. On the otehr hand, some enterpreneurs recorded a slight increase in profits. For some producers, sellers and exporters of goods that are subject to the lower VAT, the change brought more paperworks and more expenses, the survey suggests. The reducedd VAT applies to books, baby food and medicines. 

Javelin thrower Špotáková fails to reach podium in Beijing

30-08-2015 15:56 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech Olympic champion javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková has failed to reach the podium at the World Championships in Beijing. She finished in the ninth place in Friday's final in the Bird's Nest Stadium, after she threw 60.08 metres. The 34-year-old athlete, who split from long-time trainter Jan Železný last year, said she planned to engage a new coach before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

Sobotka: President's visit to China not to harm Czech Republic

30-08-2015 14:19 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech president's visit to China will not harm the Czech Republic's foreign policy or the country's position within the European Union, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in a live debate on Prima television on Sunday. Miloš Zeman is the only Western politician to take part in the events in Beijing marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in the Pacific, that will take place next week. According to Mr Sobotka, the EU states have not agreed on a EU-wide boycott of the celebrations. The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, has previously said that the Czech Republic's decision not been questioned in Brussels. 

International military training to get underway in Czech Republic on Monday

30-08-2015 12:04 | Ruth Fraňková

Soldiers from the Czech Republic and other NATO allies, including Germany, Great Britain and the US, will take part in an international military training in the Czech Republic, which gets underway on Monday. The joint excersise of NATO units, Ample Strike 2015, will be held in Náměšť nad Oslavou in south Moravia until September 22. According to Magdalena Dvořáková of the General Staff's press department, the aim of the military training is to harmonise the activities of tactic air-force pilots and forward air controllers. For the first time this year, the Canadian air force and Austria will also participate in the exercise. 

Number of road deaths up this summer due to heatwave

30-08-2015 10:54 | Ruth Fraňková

More people have died on Czech roads this summer than during the same period last year, Czech Radio reported on Sunday, citing police statistics. Since the beginning of summer holidays, 149 people have been killed in road accidents, which is 17 more than last year. According to Martin Farář of the Transport Ministry's Road Safety department (BESIP), the big death toll was affected by the exceptionally hot weather, which prevailed throughout most of the summer. According to the statistics, nearly one third of all the road crashes victims died on Friday, when people drive out of the big cities to their country houses. 

Kvitová claims her third title at Connecticut Open

30-08-2015 10:10 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech women's tennis number one Petra Kvitová has claimed her third title at the Connecticut Open in New Haven. In an all-Czech final on Friday, she defeated her compatriot Lucie Šafářová 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. The world number five faced only one break point and held serve throughout to remain unbeaten in seven career matches against Šafářová. Kvitová collected her third WTA title this year and 17th in her career. 

Education minister plans to prolong compulsory education to ten years

29-08-2015 18:32 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech Education Minister Kateřina Valachová wants to prolong compulosry education in the Czech Republic from nine to ten years by making the final year of preschool compulsory. The proposal is part of an amendment to the School Act, which will be submitted to the government in mid-September. According to the draft legislation, all children at the age of four should be entitled to a place in nursery school by 2017 and by 2018, preschools should be available to all three-year-olds. Under the proposal, children in the final year of preschool should be entitled to free lunches. 

Prague plans to introduce SMS mass notification system

29-08-2015 17:10 | Ruth Fraňková

The city of Prague plans to introduce a mass notification system via text messages, which could be used in case of emergencies or accidents to inform inhabitants of the affected districts. Mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová, made the announcemnt on Saturday at a meeting with journalists on the occasion of the Rescue Services Day. At present, the SMS system is limited only to those who have subscribed to it, which is not very effective. For instance in the case of water contamination in Prague's Dejvice district, which happened in May this year, only several dozen people received an SMS with an early warning. 

Some 200 people demonstrated against police repression of far-left groups on Friday

29-08-2015 16:05 | Ruth Fraňková

Around two hundred people attended a protest march in the centre of Prague on Friday evening against alleged police repression of the Czech far-left scene. The participants went from Jungmann square to Bartolomějská street, which was notorius as the base of the Communist secret police, and ended on Wenceslas square. The organizers were questioning the police raid on the Cibulka squat in Prague in May this year, as well as the operation Fenix in April, which resulted in the arrest of over thirty people. Several of them were later charged with allegedly taking part in the preparation of a terrorist attack on a train. 

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