News Government to nominate Sir Nicholas Winton for country´s highest honour

16-06-2014 15:14 | Jan Velinger

The Czech government will propose to the president that Sir Nicholas Winton, the British national who saved more than 650 mostly Jewish children from the Holocaust by organizing the kindertransports out of Czechoslovakia before the start of WWII, receive the country’s highest honour – the Order of the White Lion. The decision was taken by the government on Monday, several weeks after President Miloš Zeman said he would award Sir Winton the distinction at the official ceremony held on October 28th, marking the founding of Czechoslovakia. The president himself made the announcement on the occasion of Sir Winton’s 105th birthday.

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Members of the public and politicians are marking the Day of Czech Statehood

28-09-2016 12:08 updated | Jan Velinger

Czechs on Wednesday marked the Day of Czech Statehood and paid tribute to the patron saint of Bohemia St. Wenceslas, murdered on this day (by his brother Boleslav) in the year 935. The town of Stará Boleslav saw a traditional pilgrimage and mass on Marianské square near the church where he died. The mass was served by Bishop Vojtěch Cikrle and the guest preacher was Cardinal Joachim Meisner, holder of the Czech Republic's highest state honour, the Order of the White Lion. For the first time, the mass was attended by President Miloš Zeman, who on the day called St. Wenceslas "one of the teachers of European civilization". Others who took part in the pilgrimage to Stará Boleslav were former president Václav Klaus, Deputy Prime Minister and Christian Democrat leader Pavel Bělobrádek, and leader of opposition party TOP 09 Miroslav Kalousek. September 28 has been a national holiday since the year 2000. 

Football: Sparta will face Inter Milan led by Holoubek

28-09-2016 11:18 | Jan Velinger

Football club Sparta Prague face Inter Milan in their second Europa League group stage match on Thursday led by David Holoubek, the 36-year-old assistant trainer who has taken over in the interim on the bench after Zdeněk Sčasný was let go on Sunday following the club's 2:0 loss to cross-town rivals Slavia. Sparta has not won in four matches. In their Europa League group stage opener, Sparta lost 3-0 against Southampton. Thursday's match takes place in Prague. 

Czech prime minister pays tribute to Shimon Peres

28-09-2016 11:01 | Jan Velinger

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has joined world leaders in paying tribute to former Israeli prime minister, president, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres who died in the early hours of Wednesday at the age of 93. Mr Peres had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. Mr Sobotka called Shimon Peres a major figure in Israeli politics and his death a huge loss for Israel, stressing that politicians of his stature were needed to end "violence and religious fundamentalism" in the region of the Middle East. The statesman's funeral is scheduled for Friday and is due to be attended by world leaders including US President Barack Obama, US presidential candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former US president Bill Clinton, Pope Francis, Prince Charles and many others. 

Czech Republic's spot in Global Competitiveness report remains unchanged

28-09-2016 10:15 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Republic neither improved nor worsened in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, remaining 31st out of 140 countries ranked. In the report released by the World Economic Forum, Switzerland came first for the eighth time in a row. The study, which uses 70 per cent survey data and 30 per cent hard data, takes into consideration 12 pillars of competitiveness to determine the country’s ranking. Areas studied include health care, infrastructure, education and the labour market. 

President Miloš Zeman turns 72

28-09-2016 09:28 | Jan Velinger

The Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, turned 72 on Wednesday but unlike in 2014, public broadcaster Czech Radio reported, planned no official celebration this year. According to the broadcaster, last year Mr Zeman marked his birthday at a Russian restaurant in New York City, where he was attending the session of the UN General Assembly. A year earlier, he held a larger celebration both at the president's chateau in Lány and at Prague Castle to which notable guests, including the prime minister, were invited. 

Gala premiere of Anthropoid takes place in Prague

27-09-2016 19:33 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech gala premiere of the film Anthropoid about the 1942 operation to assassinate senior Nazi Reinhard Heydrich has taken place at a Prague cinema. Director and co-writer Sean Ellis attended the screening, as did one of its stars Cillian Murphy and several Czech members of the cast of the movie, which was shot in the Czech capital. It focuses on the daring assassination of Heydrich in Operation Anthropoid, which was led by Czechoslovak parachutists Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. Relatives of the two war heroes were also invited to the premiere. 

Man with brain damage becomes third person to receive pardon from Zeman

27-09-2016 16:43 | Ian Willoughby

Miloš Zeman has granted his third presidential pardon since being appointed in 2013. The recipient of the pardon was charged with obstructing justice but suffers from brain damage caused by a stroke and did not understand why he was facing trial. The request for clemency was made by the state attorney. Prior to his election President Zeman said he would only grant pardons in very exceptional cases. In 2013 he transferred the power to conduct clemency proceedings to the minister of justice, saying he regarded it as an unnecessarily monarchical element of the constitution. 

Poll: ANO would come first in elections on 28.5 percent

27-09-2016 15:21 | Ian Willoughby

ANO would come first in general elections with 28.5 percent support, suggests a new opinion poll published by the CVVM agency on Tuesday. The party’s coalition partners the Social Democrats would place second on 23 percent, the survey conducted this month indicates. The Communists would be the choice of 15 percent of respondents, ahead of the Civic Democrats with 9.5 percent backing and the Christian Democrats and TOP 09, who would tie on 6.5 percent, according to the CVVM poll. 

Jarolím picks young striker Schick for World Cup qualifiers

27-09-2016 14:11 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech football manager Karel Jarolím has picked 20-year-old Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick for two upcoming World Cup qualifiers against German and Azerbaijan. Schick has made just one appearance for the senior international side. Meanwhile midfielder Milan Petržela and centre back Tomáš Sivok have returned to the Czech squad. The Czechs – who drew in their opening qualifier against Northern Ireland in Prague – face Germany away on October 8 and Azerbaijan at home three days later. 

Ice hockey coach Růžička fined for embezzling from club

27-09-2016 12:21 | Ian Willoughby

Ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička has received a fine of CZK 400,000 after being found guilty of embezzling CZK 500,000 intended for his then club Slavia Prague. If Růžička, who denies any wrongdoing, fails to pay the fine he will face 16 months in prison. The verdict may be appealed. As a player Růžička was part of the Czech team that won gold in the Olympics while as a trainer he has led the national side and spent nearly 15 years at Slavia. 


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