News Press: Czech government did not respond US jets offer
The Czech government did not respond a US offer to lease 14 fighter jets for the Czech Air Force, the news website aktulane.cz reported on Thursday. The report says the offer to lease US-made F-16 aircraft was last made in February, before the Czech government decided to lease the Swedish jets Gripen instead. The conditions of the deal were reportedly better that those offered by Sweden. The website quotes David Cannavo, the head of a US company which was mediating the deal, as saying they never heard back from the Czech government, and that the US embassy in Prague told the firm the deal on leasing Gripen fighters had been sealed long before.
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Livestock numbers in the Czech Republic fell by more than half over the last 30 years, according to information released by the Czech Statistics Office. The number of cattle fell to just 40 percent of 1987 levels and pigs to around 36 percent. Farmers have warned that more breeding farms could close unless they receive broader support. The government recently outlined in its agriculture road map until 2030 plans to improve the situation.
Czechs are spending more each year on sports equipment and sport events, Czech Radio reports citing numbers by Eurostat. According to the broadcaster, they spend around 2,500 crowns per year on sport items, events or fitness club memberships. That is roughly twice the amount spent in 2012. Some spend considerably more, not least in areas of organized team sports such as ice hockey or football, where the numbers can go as high as 30,000 crowns. One interviewee told the broadcaster that ice hockey equipment for each of his sons cost 2,500 crowns alone - not including skates or helmets.
Firefighters intervened on Saturday as local flooding and thunderstorms threatened more than 400 children at an organized event on a playing field in Jílovice in the region of Hradec Králové. The children were evacuated from the area, many of them carried to awaiting vehicles in firemens' arms. No persons were hurt in the incident. Flooding affected a number of buildings in local municipalities including Výrava and Librantice.
Czech men's tennis number one Tomáš Berdych rebounded after losing the first set in his Roland Garros third round match against Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, winning three straight to reach the next round. Berdych turned the game around with precision play and relatively few unforced errors.The final score was 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. Berdych faces Spain's David Ferrer next.
Members of the controversial Bloc Against Islam, dissolved the movement on Saturday at their national congress in the Czech capital. Instead, they formed a new grouping carrying the name of its leader: Iniciativa Martina Konvičky (Martin Konvička Initiative). Not all members were in favor; one group of delegates left the proceedings in protest. The now defunct Bloc Against Islam originally signed an agreement to cooperate with the upstart Dawn Party in upcoming elections but withdrew from the contract in April. The Dawn Party is seeking financial compensation for alleged damages suffered.
Lebanese national Faouz Jaber was secretly extradited to the US to the Czech Republic weeks ago in connection with suspected terrorism charges, the weekly Právo reports. The move, confirmed by the police, was reportedly kept quiet for security reasons. Faouz Jaber was one of three people wanted by the United States, but earlier two other Lebanese citizens were allowed to return to their homeland in exchange for five Czechs held for more than half a year in that country. That move sparked sharp criticism of the Czech action from US authorities. They wanted to question the trio in connected with a suspected drugs for arms involving the FARC guerrilla movement in Colombia.
Repairs on railway track damaged in Prague after a passenger train derailed on Friday between the Vršovice and main train stations are underway and expected to continue over the weekend. The derailment of the train, not carrying passenger at the time, caused damage estimated at around 880,000 crowns. The accident blocked the use of two of four tracks, affecting connections throughout the day.
Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká, 21, was declared the overall winner of this year's King of the Snow Trail (Král bíle stopy) competition on Friday evening. Winners are chosen by experts, trainers, and sport journalists. Ledecká had a dream season in 2015-16: she was the overall winner on the World Cup circuit in parallel slalom snowbaording and is the first Czech to also win the parallel giant slalom at the FIS Snowboard World Cup.
Construction workers will begin renovation on a nine kilometre stretch of the country's D1 highway connecting Prague and Brno. Repairs on the stretch of road are to last until August 21, and traffic is to be limited to three lanes - two of them one way, the other in the opposite direction. Workers will be removing and replacing a 30 centimetre high concrete layer. Renovation of what in total has been a roughly 30 kilometre stretch on the D1 between Výškov and Brno began in 2012; other repairs are taking place elsewhere on the D1, for example outside of Prague. A combination of the repairs and traffic accidents in the summer contributes at times to traffic jams and prolonged delays on the country's main throughway.
Members of a US military convoy, greeted by Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces Josef Bečvář and the US ambassador to Prague Andrew Shapiro on Friday, continued on their journey on Saturday morning to Výškov and Přáslavice. The convoy is on its way to exercises in the Baltic states. Czech army vehicles are due to join the convoy on Saturday, when Czech and US soldiers will get a chance to familiarize themselves with the different equipment being used. The US convoy is expected to quit Czech territory on Monday morning.