News New football season begins with Sparta vs Bohemians
This Friday sees tthe start of the new football season, with Sparta facing Bohemians 1905. There will be two matches on Saturday in the top flight. Saturday will see Příbram face off against Plzeň while Jablonec will face Slavia. Last season, Příbram long had to stave off possible relegation before improving to a solid overall 34 points. Plzeň finished second behind season champions Sparta.
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The Czech Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint by fugitive businessman Frantisek Savov with regard to information that the Prague State Attorneys’ Office made available to the British judiciary in support of an extradition request. The request was granted earlier this year and the businessman claims that the office overstepped its powers in releasing certain papers to the British authorities. The judge ruled on Friday that his complaint was unsubstantiated. The 44-year-old businessman is wanted on suspicion of large-scale tax evasion and money laundering. Savov, who owns the Mladá Fronta publishing house and a series of publications including the business paper E15 and Euro magazine, has denied any wrongdoing.
If attacks against foreign nationals in Britain were to persist, and the Czech community and tourists from this country felt endangered, the Czech Republic would negotiate the possibility of having Czech police officers deployed in selected parts of the country, Police President Tomas Tuhy told Czech Radio on Friday. Police chief Tuhy, who said he had consulted the matter with the British police, said such an arrangement had been put into practice in Croatia and Bulgaria, at the height of the tourist season. Although Czech officers have no powers in a foreign country they can help resolve problems in cooperation with the local police and their presence is seen as reassuring. At present there are a number of Polish officers in Harlow, where a Polish national was killed.
A team of explorers has just confirmed that Hranice Abyss, located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, is deepest underwater cave on the planet. A Czech-Polish expedition, led by the legendary Polish diver Krzysztof Starnawski, descended deep into the flooded limestone abyss Hranicka Propast this week and found it to be far deeper than previously thought. The underwater cave is 404 meters deep, making it the deepest underwater cave in the world, 12 meters deeper than the previous record holder, 392-meter-deep Pozzo del Merro in Italy. News of the discovery appeared in the National Geographic which co-funded the expedition.
A court has sent former deputy labour minister Vladimír Šiška to six years in prison for abuse of office. Mr. Šiška was found guilty of signing a disadvantageous contract with the firm Fujitsu Technology on a system for the distribution of social welfare benefits. He failed to announce an open contest for the contract, incurring losses to the state of 282 million crowns. Former labour Minister Jaromír Drábek resigned over the scandal back in 2012.
A central register of misdemeanors is to be put into operation on October 1. According to Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, who made the announcement at a press briefing on Friday, the register should enable the authorities to take a tougher line with repeat-offenders, who could be given higher fines for misdemeanors like petty theft and disturbing the peace. The data is to be retained for a period of five years.
Czech football club Sparta Prague stunned visitors Inter Milan in their Europa League group stage match at Letná on Thursday night, getting two goals from Václav Kadlec in the first half. Inter got a goal back in the final 19 minutes but Holek headed in a third goal after the Italian side’s Ranocchia was sent off. Sparta now have three points from two games in Group K, putting them in third spot.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has appealed to his British counterpart, Theresa May, to take action against hate crimes and and violence directed against Czechs and people from other European countries living and working in the United Kingdom. In a phone call on Thursday, Prime Minister Sobotka said the Czech government was alarmed by the increase in hate crimes in Britain. A Czech businessman was brutally beaten to death by a BMX gang in London last week. A month ago, a large group of British teenagers attacked two Polish men and one of the victims died.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s singles at the Wuhan Open in China on Thursday after defeating Johanna Konta of Great Britain 6:3, 6:4. She is set to face Simona Halep of Romania.
The Czech anti-monopoly office on Thursday approved the acquisition of the oldest Czech travel agent Čedok by Polish tour operator Itaka. The former owner of Čedok, US-based Odien Group, is stepping out of the tour operator market altogether to focus on hotels and resorts. According to server e15.cz, the new owner paid over half a billion crowns for the acquisition. With turnover reaching around 2.0 billion last year, Čedok is estimated to rate as the country’s fourth biggest tour operator.
A new documentary film called RINO, a portrait of Karel Köcher, most successful Czechoslovak spy of the Cold War, who infiltrated CIA during the 1970s, has entered cinema distribution s on Thursday. The documentary, which premiered at last year’s Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, was directed by Jakub Wagner, who interviewed numerous former US agents and other officials for the film.