News President Miloš Zeman cool on revival of missile defence plans

11-03-2014 16:07 updated | Chris Johnstone

Czech president Miloš Zeman has dismissed any resurrection of US plans to construct an anti-missile defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland by saying it would be ineffective. Zeman’s spokesman said that the head of state was standing by his long held views on Czech participation in a US anti-missile defence system. Republican Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain suggested the US revive its plans for a radar station in the Czech Republic and anti-missile base in Poland as reaction to Russia’s intervention in the Ukraine crisis. The plans developed under former president George W Bush were quickly dropped by successor Barack Obama soon after he became president. Moscow frequently protested the proposed siting of the missile defence system in Central Europe saying that it was aimed at undermining its defences and not a move to counter so-called ‘rogue states’.

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Passenger-less train crashes at Brno station

25-06-2016 09:31 | Ian Willoughby

An express train crashed into a shunting locomotive at Brno’s Main Train Station on Saturday morning. The train was not carrying passengers at the time. The train’s locomotive derailed after the driver went through a signal, crashing into the shunting locomotive and causing injuries to its driver. Czech Railways officials put the damage at around CZK 3 million. 

High temperatures due to end with storms on Saturday

25-06-2016 08:24 | Ian Willoughby

Forecasters have warned of major storms in the Czech Republic on Saturday. After record-breaking temperatures on Thursday and Friday, heavy downpours, hailstones and wind storms are expected to hit between 3 PM and 3 AM. Bohemia will be most affected with storms also likely in parts of Moravia and Silesia slightly later. Temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius should then fall to between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius, meteorologist Štefan Handžák told Czech Radio. 

Parts of Prague Castle closed off for Zeman advisor’s party

25-06-2016 08:12 | Ian Willoughby

Parts of Prague Castle were closed on Friday evening for the birthday party of Martin Nejedlý, chief advisor to President Miloš Zeman. The head of state was among the well-wishers at the event hosted by Mr. Nejedlý, who headed a Czech branch of Lukoil, at the Queen Anne’s Summer Palace and adjacent Royal Gardens. They had never previously been rented out for a private or commercial event, reported. Also in attendance at the party were cabinet ministers, two former prime ministers and the Russian ambassador. 

Brexit dominates talks between Czech Prime Minister and Austrian Chancellor

24-06-2016 17:55 | Ruth Fraňková

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who is on a two-day working visit to Austria, met with the country’s Chancellor Christian Kern on Friday. Mr Kern said after the meeting that the talks were dominated by Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The Czech Prime Minister stressed that it was essential for the central European countries to strengthen good mutual relationships, especially in view of Brexit. The two politicians also discussed European issues, the migrant crisis, transport infrastructure and energy security. 

Police seized record amount of pervitin in 2015

24-06-2016 16:49 | Ruth Fraňková

Police seized over 107 kilogrammes of pervitin last year, the largest amount in the history of the anti-drug squad and twice the amount seized in the previous year, according to the annual report by the National anti-drug headquarters quoted by the Czech News Agency on Friday. The police also took hold of over 655 kilos of marihuana and over 120 kilos of cocaine. According to experts, the illegal drug business is fuelled by growing demand for pervitin in neighbouring countries. In recent years, the large-scale production of pervitin has been dominated mostly by Vietnamese gangs, which aim at exporting the drug abroad. 

Temperature records broken around Czech Republic

24-06-2016 15:52 | Ruth Fraňková

The tropical heatwave that arrived in the Czech Republic this week has been breaking temperature records around the country. More than 15 monitoring stations on Thursday recorded the highest ever measurements for the day. The highest temperature, 32.9 degrees Celsius, was recorded in Žatec. Meteorologists have warned that the heatwave will be followed by heavy storms, which are expected to arrive in the country on Saturday afternoon and could be accompanied by hail and torrential rain. 

Wimbledon draw: wild card Radek Štěpánek to face Nick Kyrgios in first round

24-06-2016 15:29 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych will face Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in the first round of Wimbledon. Radek Štěpánek, who has received a wild card to the tournament, will play Australian Nick Kyrgios in his opening match. In the women’s singles, the tenth-seeded double Wibledon Champion Petra Kvitová will play Sorana Cirstea of Romania, while Barbora Strýcová has drawn Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. Another Czech, Lucie Šafářová, will face her double’s partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. 

Police finds explosives and radioactive material in family house in Nedvědice

24-06-2016 15:29 | Ruth Fraňková

Some four tonnes of chemicals, including explosives and radioactive substances, have been found in a house in Nedvědice near the city of Brno. Fire fighters and pyrotechnics specialists are currently clearing the site. The governor of the South Moravian region, Michal Hašek, has called a state of emergency in the municipality which will be in place for the next 15 days. According to experts, the amount of dangerous substances found in the house does not require evacuation of people from the nearby area. The situation is also being monitored by the State Office for Nuclear Safety. 

Brexit to slow down Czech economy: analysts

24-06-2016 14:08 | Ruth Fraňková

Brexit could slightly slow down the growth of Czech economy in 2016, economic analysts predict. According to estimates, the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product could drop by several tenths of a percentage point. Despite Brexit, the Czech economy is expected to grow by about two percent this year. The slow- down will be caused by a weakening demand for export to the EU, fuelled by uncertainty on world markets. At the same time, experts say that economic relations with Great Britain are not threatened in any way. 

Czech police arrest drug smuggling gang

24-06-2016 12:40 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech police have cracked down on a five member gang which smuggled cocaine and ecstasy from the Netherlands to the Czech Republic, the head of the anti-drug squad of the Czech police Jakub Frydrych announced on Friday. During the raid the police confiscated several kilogrammes of drugs. If convicted of drugs smuggling and illegal sale of narcotics the group’s members could each face up to 18 years in jail. 


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