News President says NATO, EU need to extend military operations to dissuade Russia from further intervention in Ukraine
The European Union and NATO should send a strong message to Russia by extending military operations into areas of Ukraine and possibly Moldavia, Czech President Miloš Zeman said Friday, reiterating a view he shared a day earlier with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Prague. The president’s stance differs from that of the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, who stated it was not the time for "beating the war drum"; he indicated that he favoured diplomacy over threats. According to President Zeman, Russia needed to be sent a strong message to dissuade the country from considering any further annexation of regions in Ukraine after it took control of Crimea.
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The police have charged a man with pouring acid on a woman in the West Bohemian city of Plzeň in November last year. The women suffered chemical burns on her face, including her eyes, arms and legs, while she also apparently swallowed some of the liquid. The man, who the Czech News Agency reported had been the victim’s boyfriend, was arrested on Monday. He faces 15 to 20 years in prison if found guilty of attempted murder.
The Czech government will next week discuss an intergovernmental donation of small arms munitions to the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Czech News Agency reported, quoting representatives of the defence and foreign affairs ministries on Tuesday. At the same time, the cabinet is supporting Czech firms that wish to sell weapons to the Iraqi Kurds, who have been facing an offensive from Islamic State, or ISIS, radicals. Deputy Foreign Minister Petr Drulák said last week that Czech armaments could be on their way to Iraq by the end of this month. Talks between Prague and Kurdish representatives are ongoing.
Police in Germany have detained a Czech man on an arrest warrant issued in 1976, the news website iDnes.cz reported. The man, who is 67, was picked up at the airport in Frankfurt, where he had just landed on a flight from Brazil. Accused of committing sex crimes, he spent some time in custody in Germany almost four decades ago before fleeing to South America. Police in Frankfurt said he may have returned to the country because of home sickness.
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejčíř last week regained part of his property confiscated by the state, the news site Aktualne.cz reported. A court released valuables worth around CZK 30 million in order to sell them and raise damages, but Mr. Krejčíř’s lawyers applied for the property before his creditors did so and won it back. However, he does not have the right to take any action with regard to the items in question, according to the Chamber of Executors. Mr. Krejčíř escaped during a police raid on his Czech home; since 2007 he has been living in South Africa, where he has been linked to organised crime.
Swimmer Petra Chocová has set a new Czech record in the women’s 100m breaststroke. Chocová, who is 28, shaved 42 hundredths of a second off a record she herself set last year, finishing in a time of 1:07:66 in heats at the European Swimming Championships in Berlin on Tuesday. The Czech will also be attempting to defend her title in the 50m breaststroke, which she won at the previous European Championships two years ago.
Gottland, a documentary film inspired by a book uncovering various aspects of Czech culture and modern history, received a pre-premiere at a railway freight yard in Prague’s Žižkov district on Monday night. The film was shot by five documentary makers, several of whom were students when work on it began. The producers plan to only screen it at unusual venues and it will not get a cinema release. The book Gottland by Polish journalist Mariusz Szczygiel came out in 2007 and was recently published in an English translation.
A Prague district court has adjourned until October a case involving two well-known actors who played traffic police in a Candid Camera-style recording during which a motorist had a heart attack. Petr Čtvrtníček was in court on Tuesday morning, while Jan Potměšil and other defendants involved in the production of the Czech Television programme did not attend. The court asked to see the show’s screenplay, which was approved by management at the public service broadcaster. It also wants to interview the heart attack victim, who has not turned up for the two hearings to date.
More, and older, cars are crowding Czech roads according to figures released Tuesday by the country’s Automotive Industry Association. The number of new registered cars rose by just under 72,000 to total almost 4.6 million in the first six months of the year. But an increasing number of those cars are ageing bangers. The average age of cars on the roads has gone up to 14.29 years from 14.20 years. That is the highest figure for the last 20 years. The association said that the number of motorcycles had risen by 21.000 to exceed the one million mark.
In football, Czech national goalkeeper Petr Čech was on the substitutes bench for London club Chelsea’s first game of the new season away at newly promoted Burnley. Manager José Mourinho preferred 22-year-old Belgian Thibault Courtois between the posts. According to some reports, the Portuguese manager said he was thinking of the club’s future. Burnley threatened an upset when they scored first, partly due to an error by Courtois, but Chelsea struck back with three goals to win 3:1. Čech’s back-up role will renew speculation that he might be headed soon for a new club after being Chelsea’s first choice ‘keeper for more than a decade.
One of the recommendations that the government sanctions working group has come up with is the introduction of a Czech framework of state support for firms which choose to cut workers’ hours due to a crisis or emergency rather than laying them off, Secretary of State for European Affairs Tomáš Prouza announced. Some of the initial costs for such a mechanism should be covered by European funds and should hopefully be put in place by the start of 2015, according to the head of the Confederation of Industry in the Czech Republic Jaroslav Hanák. Head of the biggest confederation of trades unions, Josef Středula said that such a move had been sought for the last seven years but had been blocked by former centre-right governments. The recommendations will be polished over the next week and should be put to the government by the end of the month.