News Masaryk University offers position to Russian professor sacked for criticizing annexation of Crimea

28-03-2014 18:03 | Daniela Lazarová

Brno’s Masaryk University has offered a position to Russian professor Andrej Zubov, who was sacked from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations after criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Prof. Zubov was dismissed from the institute where he’d worked since 2001 after comparing Moscow's actions in Ukraine with Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938. The rector of Brno University said prof. Zubov had expressed appreciation of the offer and promised to visit the school in the near future to discuss the possibilities.

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MPs postpone new VAT on building lots

22-12-2014 12:23 | Jan Richter

The lower house of Parliament on Monday approved a Senate proposal to postpone the introduction of a 21-percent value-added tax on building lost by one year. Senators argued that the introduction of the new tax could thwart some the sales of land that had already been arranged. The new tax will come into force in January 2016. The MPs on Monday also relaxed the rules for the newly introduced obligation to report VAT to the tax authorities; under the new rules, self-employed VAT payers will only be required to send in their reports every three months rather than each month. 

Armed robber holds up JIP supermarket

22-12-2014 11:06 | Jan Velinger

A man held employees at a JIP supermarket at gunpoint in Pardubice, east of Prague, on Monday, making off with at least one million crowns, the Czech News Agency reports. The firm itself released no information but ČTK points out that the criminal police are involved. Police have plate numbers from the suspect’s vehicle and are tracking to see if it was stolen. Police units, equipped with bullet-proof vests and automatic weapons, are monitoring roads in the area for a sign of the perpetrator. If caught and found guilty, he faces up to 10 years behind bars. 

Experts start clearing Vrbětice munitions depot

22-12-2014 10:44 | Jan Velinger

Pyrotechnics experts have begun clearing the site of a damaged munitions depot in Vrbětice, eastern Moravia. The operation started on Monday morning after no spontaneous explosions had occurred at the site for nine days. Experts will first comb the surrounding forest and meadows for any unexploded munitions potentially tossed the wayside by earlier explosions at the site before moving inside the depot. Any munitions found will be either transferred to a new holding area or will be destroyed on site. The depot near Zlín was partially destroyed by a massive blast in October which killed two employees and led to further uncontrolled explosions, putting the local community at risk. 

Two people die in traffic accident in Vamberk

21-12-2014 15:37 | Jan Velinger

Two people died in a car crash near Vamberk in the area of Rychnov; two others were injured. The police confirmed the accident had taken place ahead of a roundabout. It was a tragic weekend for motorists on Czech roads: eight people lost their lives in traffic accidents. 

Špinar to be new artistic director of drama at National Theatre

21-12-2014 15:33 | Jan Velinger

Long-time in-house director Daniel Špinar will succeed Michal Dočekal as the artistic director of drama at Prague’s National Theatre. The latter’s mandate ends in June 2015; he was artistic director for 12 years. Mr Špinar (35) was chosen for the post by National Theatre head Jan Burian, after taking part in a tender for the post and receiving backing from an expert committee, which screened numerous candidates. 

Survey: Forty percent of Czechs give to charity at Christmas

21-12-2014 15:32 | Jan Velinger

A new survey conducted by the Ipsos agency for Profi Credit suggests that 40 percent of Czechs (and 46 percent of Slovaks) give to charity at Christmastime. According to the poll, which involved 4,000 respondents, more than two-thirds of Czechs donated to children in need, either at orphanages or in hospital or suffering from disabilities. Seniors were the second-largest group to receive donations, the poll found, and animal charities, third. 

Two people die of smoke inhalation in fire caused by Advent candle

21-12-2014 15:16 | Jan Velinger

Two people, a 27-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man, died of apparent smoke inhalation in their apartment in Prague on Sunday when a candle left burning caused a Christmas wreath to catch fire. The fire, in the hallway, burned itself out even before firefighters arrived. Medics tried to revive the two but were unable to save them. Their two dogs also died in the tragedy. Autopsies have been ordered. 

Moratorium on activity at damaged munitions site to end

21-12-2014 14:14 | Jan Velinger

A nine-day moratorium on the removal of munitions from the damaged facility in Vrbětice runs out at midnight on Sunday. If no uncontrolled explosions are heard, the job to begin clearing live munitions from the unstable site can begin. The storage facility, being guarded by the Czech Army, became an unexpected threat after an initial blast in October cratered part of the site and killed two employees. The government has scrambled to find a solution, calling in the military to ensure safety and security as the size of the problem became apparent. 

Man killed in shooting incident in Vysoké Mýto

21-12-2014 13:49 | Jan Velinger

One person was killed, another injured, in a shooting incident in Vysoké Mýto, east of Pardubice, shortly after 12 AM on Saturday. The deceased and the injured man were reportedly part of security at a local discotheque. The police detained two others at the scene and confiscated a firearm for forensics testing. According to one source, the shooter was a member of the local municipal police. The news was confirmed by the town's mayor, who said the officer had not been on duty and that the gun was not a service firearm but privately owned. 

Team finds piece of meteorite

21-12-2014 13:12 | Jan Velinger

Members of an extended team searching for pieces of a bright meteorite, which recently blazed across the night sky and crashed in the area of Zd´ár nad Sázavou in the Czech Republic, have seen success. According to the Czech News Agency, on Saturday they recovered a piece - just a centimetre in size - in a field. The find will still have to be tested in the laboratory. If confirmed, the sample will be 23rd meteor in the world whose celestial orbit and area of origin are known. According to the astronomer Pavel Spurný of the Czech Academy of Sciences the main piece, if found, will be about the size of a fist. Originally, prior to entering the earth's atmosphere, the meteor weighed 200 kilos. Its flight was spotted by hundreds in the region of Vysočina on December 9. 

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