News Press: Palestinian ambassador in Prague killed by semtex explosive concealed in book

08-04-2014 08:20 | Jan Richter

The former Palestinian ambassador in Prague, Muhammad Jamal, who died in an explosion on New Year’s Day, was killed by a semtex charge concealed in a book, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday quoting police sources. An investigator told the paper the police was now only working with one version of what happened; the Palestinian diplomat was going through old things at the embassy with no knowledge there were two explosive charges among them. The police said last month he died after the charge exploded in his hands. The police are reportedly nearly 100 percent positive the explosive was the Czechoslovak-made semtex from the 1970s.

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Warm days over for now, say meteorologists

01-10-2016 17:50 | Jan Velinger

Temperatures in October are to fall rapidly in the first week after very warm weather for much of September. Saturday say daytime highs of 26 degrees Celsius but only 17 degrees Celsius is expected on Sunday and 12 on Tuesday. The month of October, according to long term forecasts should see increased and at times intense rainfall. 

State employees to see bump in salaries

01-10-2016 13:48 | Jan Velinger

State employees could see a rise of around 1,876 crowns per month, bringing their average monthly salary to 28,855 crowns, the Czech News Agency reports. According to the news service, the amount has been accounted for in the government's draft state budget for 2017. The pay bump represents a rise of around seven percent. 

'Town centre' the main theme of Architecture Day

01-10-2016 13:37 | Jan Velinger

The first weekend of October sees the return of Den Architektury (Architecture Day) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia: some 50 Czech towns and cities are taking part. The theme in this year's sixth edition is the 'city centre'. Key sites in Prague and other towns will be open to the public as part of the event. 

Povodí Moravy to help boost sturgeon numbers

01-10-2016 13:28 | Jan Velinger

The state-owned company Povodí Moravy (Moravia Watershed) is aimimg to release 25,000 specimens of small sturgeon into the Morava and Dyje Rivers over the next five years. The news was confirmed by company spokesman Petr Chmelař. The idea is to boost the sturgeon population in the Danube River and its tributaries. The project will cost around half-a-million crowns. 

Tennis: Kvitová downs Cibulkova at Wuhan Open

01-10-2016 12:57 | Jan Velinger

Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has won her first WTA tournament this year, declassing Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6:1, 6:1 at the Wuhan Open in China. It is her first WTA triumph since last August. Fellow Czech player Lucie Šafařová with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, won the doubles in the Wuhan Open, meaning that Šafařová will qualify this year for the prestigious WTA Finals. 

President's spokesman says article not the one head of state referred to

01-10-2016 12:26 | Jan Velinger

The president's spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, has rejected suggestions that an article called 'Hitler - Gentleman' published in Rudé Právo in 1937 and uncovered recently by a Czech historian is the article to which President Zeman referred in a speech in 2015. The article found bears striking similarities to references made by the head of state but with notable exceptions: the article was not written by journalist Ferdinand Peroutka and was against and not in favour of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Mr Zeman had also said the article had been from 1936. Mr Ovčáček suggested the find could be a useful "clue" in the continued search. 

"Hitler - Gentleman" article found - but was not written by Peroutka and was critical of Nazism, contrary to president's claim

01-10-2016 10:41 | Jan Velinger

An article called "Hitler - Gentleman", referred to by President Milǒs Zeman in a speech in January 2015, has been found, ending speculation about its existence ever since. But the article in question, published on February 24,1937, appeared not in Přítomnost, as Mr Zeman claimed, but in Rudé Právo. Novinky.cz and other sources report that most significantly, it was not written by legendary Czech journalist Ferdinand Peroutka and was not favorable but critical of Hitler and Nazism.

According to available information, the article in the newspaper was reaction to a story published a day earlier in the agrarian right-wing daily Venkov, which had quoted Czech legionnaires describing Hitler as an "affable fellow" and someone they did not think wanted to start a war in Europe. The article, which featured no byline, was labelled an unprecedented provocation by Rudé Právo.

The president's claim that the 'Gentleman' article was written by Ferdinand Peroutka led to a lawsuit from the journalist's granddaughter; a court recently ordered the head of state to apologize, but the Office of the President filed an appellate complaint in response.

The 'Hitler-Gentleman' article was reportedly uncovered by historian Jan Galandauer while conducting other research. The president's spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, reacted with a tweet on Saturday morning, saying he considered the find "an interesting clue". 

Czech officials attend Peres funeral

30-09-2016 18:19 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek joined world leaders in Jerusalem on Friday to pay their last respects to former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres. President Zeman, who did not attend the funeral, sent a message of condolences. People in the Czech Republic who wish to pay their last respects to the Israeli statesman and 1994 Nobel Peace Prize winner can do so at the Israeli Embassy in Prague on Wednesday October 5. Among the first to sign the condolence book at the embassy were the Speaker of the lower house Jan Hamáček, Culture Minister Daniel Herman and Deputy Foreign Minister Václav Kolaja. 

Political analyst: Czech banks would withstand Deutsche Bank’s potential fall

30-09-2016 18:19 | Daniela Lazarová

The potential collapse of Deutsche Bank would not seriously threaten the Czech banking sector, the ctk news agency said on Friday, citing a number of financial experts. The health of the German lender came under scrutiny after the U.S. Justice Department suggested it pay 14 billion dollars to settle a number of investigations related to mortgage securities. It’s fall, should the German government refuse a bailout, would hit a number of European financial institutions, but according to analyst Lukas Kovanda of Roklen Group, Czech banks are stable enough to withstand the inevitable repercussions. 

President Zeman warns against Islamic radicalism in Rhodes

30-09-2016 17:36 | Daniela Lazarová

Addressing an international conference in Rhodes, President Miloš Zeman warned of the danger of Islamic radicalism, saying Islamic State was like a social cancer spreading from Iraq and Syria with the aim of destroying other civilizations. He compared it to Nazism which first set out to destroy the Jews, then the Slavs and then more and more nations. Mr. Zeman has come under fire for attending the Rhodes event annually held by Russian businessman and close friend of President Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Yakunin. The former Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, is also due to address the gathering. 

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