News Khaled al-Atrash is to be the new Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic

01-09-2014 11:26 | Daniela Lazarová

Khaled al-Atrash is to be the new Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic. According to the daily Lidové noviny he has already received the so-called agrément from President Miloš Zeman. Khaled al-Atrash is the outgoing ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina where he has served since 2010. The last Palestinian ambassador to Prague, Jamal Muhammad Jamal, was killed in a blast at the embassy at the beginning of this year. It later emerged that he had been trying to open an old safe that contained explosives.

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Police reveal driver behind fatal head-on collision suffered from brain illness

19-09-2014 15:15 | Jan Velinger

The police have learned that a 53-year-old Austrian national who caused a fatal head-on collision on the Czech Republic’s D1 highway in May, was suffering from dementia. The Austrian authorities confirmed the motorist, who drove on the opposite lane on the highway, into oncoming traffic, had been ill. His vehicle crashed head-on into the car of two Slovak women – a mother and daughter – near Brno on May 13th. All three died in the accident. 

Police search for suspect considered armed and dangerous

19-09-2014 14:22 | Jan Velinger

Dozens of Czech and Polish police are searching for a 60-year-old Czech national near the border in the Bruntál area, suspected of having committed a violent crime of grievous bodily harm. The suspect, whose name is Bedřich Špurny, is considered armed and dangerous and the police have appealed to civilians not to try and stop him themselves. Forty Czech police officers in the night and early morning hours tried to pinpoint the suspect’s location, also with the help of a helicopter and police dogs. Being so close to the border, they enlisted help from their Polish counterparts. 

Czech fighter jet mission securing Iceland’s airspace extended

19-09-2014 14:13 | Jan Velinger

The Chamber of Deputies has extended a Czech fighter jet mission in Iceland from five to nine weeks, in response to the recent annexation of Crimea and the situation in Ukraine, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický revealed. The Czech Republic was asked to prolong the mission of monitoring Iceland’s airspace by NATO, the minister added. According to Mr Stropnický, Russia had increased activity by its air force not far from Iceland’s airspace. Four supersonic Gripen jets and 75 Czech military personnel are to take part in securing Iceland’s airspace from October to December. The cost of the mission will be around 33 million crowns. Earlier the Czech Republic took part in helping guard the airspace over the Baltic states. 

Paleontolologists present findings

19-09-2014 14:00 | Jan Velinger

Czech paleontologists revealed on Friday the details of the discovery of part of the skeleton of a Mesozoic Plesiosaurus dating back around 75 million years. The discovery was made in Antarctica. Zdeněk Venera, the director of the Czech Geological Survey confirmed the team also uncovered a number of fossils of new species of animals and plants. Over the course of several years, the scientists collected several thousand specimens. The CGS scientists have completed ten expeditions in terrain on the Antarctic Peninsula since 2003. 

Osprey aircraft to be displayed in Ostrava

19-09-2014 10:28 | Ruth Fraňková

The unique CV-22B Osprey aircraft landed at the Mošnov international airport in Ostrava on Friday. The unique half-helicopter half-plane, used by the US Air Force special forces, will be displayed at the annual NATO Days and Czech Air Force Days air show, which will get underway in Ostrava on Saturday. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the two-day event. 

Czech Red Cross sends aid to Ukraine

19-09-2014 10:10 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Red Cross, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is sending 1600 tonnes of medical supplies to Ukraine. It is already the seventh delivery of humanitarian aid from the Czech Republic to Ukraine. Earlier this year, the Czech government approved 50 million crown in aid to Ukraine for projects aimed at reconstructing health, educational and social facilities as well as infrastructure projects across the country. Czech hospitals have also provided treatment to more than forty injured Ukrainians as part of the Medevac programme of evacuating Ukrainian citizens in need of medical treatment. 

Senate hosts gathering against anti-Semitism

18-09-2014 17:40 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Senate on Thursday hosted a gathering against anti-Semitism to raise awareness of the anti-Jewish moods generated by the recent conflicts in Gaza. Head of the Jewish Museum in Prague, Leo Pavlát, warned against media manipulation in covering the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. The participants of the gathering, initiated by Senator Daniela Filipiová of the Civic Democratic Party, called on the president Miloš Zeman and the Czech government to send a clear message that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated. 

Škoda to resume suspended production in Russia

18-09-2014 17:40 | Ruth Fraňková

The car manufacturer Škoda will resume its production in Russia on Monday, the daily Lidové noviny writes on Thursday. The car manufacturer suspended production in two of its plants, in Kaluga and Nizhny Novgorod, on the 8th of September. Despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which has had a negative impact on the automotive industry in Russia, Škoda’s share in the Russian market in July increased from 3.1 to 4.2 percent on an annual basis. 

Agriculture minister meets with supermarket representatives

18-09-2014 15:48 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurečka is meeting with representatives of large supermarket chains on Thursday to discuss the issue of food waste as well as ways of supporting Czech producers. The ministry plans to launch a campaign to promote domestic production in mid-October, aimed at reducing the impact of the Russian embargo on EU food exports. 

First opera by Antonín Dvořák premiered in Prague

18-09-2014 14:35 | Ruth Fraňková

The first opera by Antonín Dvořák, Alfred, was performed for the first time ever with the original German libretto on Wednesday night at the Dvořák’s Prague festival, which is currently underway in the Czech capital. The Czech composer wrote the opera in 1870 at the age of 29. The piece was already performed once before, in 1938, with the libretto translated into Czech. 

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