News Priest tortured over “miracle” remembered ahead of anniversary of death

23-02-2014 21:29 | Ian Willoughby

Around 200 people in the village of Číhošť in the Vysočina region held a ceremony on Sunday marking the anniversary of the death of local priest Josef Toufar on February 25 1950. Toufar was accused of faking a miracle in the form of a moving cross in his church in late 1949. The Communist secret police forced him into a confession and he died as a consequence of the torture he experienced.

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Square in Haifa named after Václav Havel

30-06-2015 10:12 | Jan Velinger

A square in Haifa, Israel, was named after former Czech president Václav Havel in a special ceremony on Monday attended by the Mayor of Haifa, Yona Yahav, Czech ambassador to Israel Ivo Schwarz and Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman. The event was confirmed by ministry spokeswoman Simona Cigánková. Streets and buildings elsewhere around the world have also been named after the former dissident and playwright who became Czechoslovakia’s first post-communist era president and the first president of the Czech Republic after the country separated from Slovakia in 1993. Mr Havel died in December of 2011. 

Website: Former education minister offered job with Czech FA

30-06-2015 08:01 | Jan Velinger

Marcel Chládek, the former minister of education, youth and sports – who was recalled from his post on June 5 – has been offered a position with the Czech Football Association, according to neovlivni.cz. The former minister told the site he had received several offers including a sports-related job. Neovlivni.cz suggests the position is in some way connected to the national squad. As minister, Mr Chládek sought more state funding for sports and in the past refereed matches in football’s third division. According to neovlivni.cz, he has good ties with the head of the Czech Sports Union, Miroslav Jansta, as well as with the chairman of the Czech FA, Miroslav Pelta. 

Petr Čech completes move to Arsenal

29-06-2015 17:58 | Jan Velinger

London football club Arsenal confirmed on Monday it has signed a four-year contract for an undisclosed amount with Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech, posting photos of the acclaimed player with an Arsenal jersey. Arsenal are thought to have acquired the player for around £10m. Čech played 11 seasons with Chelsea, making more than 400 appearances. Čech said he was thrilled with the move and couldn't wait for pre-season training. The BBC reported that Čech also wrote in an open letter to Chelsea fans saying that he always expected to retire at Stamford Bridge but that he opted to leave after being replaced by Thibaut Courtois, playing only six matches for the Blues last year. According to sources, the Czech keeper was allowed to go to a Premier League rival in return for his many successful years of service which include a Champions League title and other honours. 

Cycling: König looks forward to Tour de France

29-06-2015 14:45 | Jan Velinger

Czech cyclist Leopold König has been named as one of nine riders for Sky who will compete in this year’s Tour de France. According to reports, the team leader is the UK’s Chris Froome, who last year was forced to withdraw from the competition early. This year’s Tour will be Czech racer König’s fourth; last year, the rider finished seventh in the overall standings. 

Project to teach about issues concerning LGBT community

29-06-2015 14:21 | Jan Velinger

A one-year project entitled “Invisible Minorities” being organised by the Czech NGO Proud, is aiming to teach about some of the issues faced by gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals at the elementary and secondary school levels as well as offering seminars for experts, the coordinator of the project Rut Dvořáková revealed to journalists on Monday. The project began in April and will cost less than one million crowns, most of which will come from Norwegian funding. Around 800 students from elementary and high schools are expected to take part in the seminar; a second part will focus on the lives and problems of seniors. 

Legendary Czech footballer Josef Masopust dies at the age of 84

29-06-2015 14:01 | Jan Velinger

Josef Masopust, the Czech football legend who led Czechoslovakia to the final of the 1962 World Cup, has died at the age of 84. The Club of Josef Masopust's Friends revealed that Masopust died in his home on Monday. The former midfielder, who was named best European player in 1962, is best remembered for his opening goal in the 1962 World Cup final against favourites Brazil. Brazil won the match 3:1. As a player Masopust made 63 international appearances and was named the best Czech footballer of the century in 2000. 

Kramný trial begins

29-06-2015 12:29 | Jan Velinger

The trial of Petr Kramný, accused of murdering his wife and daughter during their vacation in Hurghada, Egypt, two years ago, began on Monday at the regional court in Ostrava. Earlier, two versions of how the Czech husband could have killed his wife and daughter were outlined in expert analysis, according to Právo. Either, that he killed his wife Monika and eight-year-old daughter using a live electric cable when they were both talking a shower in the hotel room or that they were electrocuted as they slept in their beds. The deaths were initially put down to poisoning. Mr Kramný, who has denied the charges, could face a life sentence if found guilty. 

Tragic weekend on Czech roads

29-06-2015 12:19 | Jan Velinger

The first weekend of the summer holidays was a tragic one on Czech roads: 12 people were killed in traffic accidents. The number is higher by five than the same period last year. Accidents involved not only cars but also other motor vehicles: a 46-year-old died from injuries suffered when he was thrown over the handlebars of his electric bike after skidding on gravel in a turn. 

Greek crisis will not directly influence Czech Republic, says central bank governing board member

29-06-2015 12:09 | Jan Velinger

The Greek financial crisis will not have a direct impact on the Czech Republic, Czech central bank governing board member Lubomír Lízal has said. According to Lízal, stress tests have shown that the Czech financial sector is resilient to adverse shocks. The statement was made at the annual General Assembly of the Bank for International Settlements. Indirect impacts via the euro zone are likely but the euro area officials have made efforts to settle the crisis, Mr Lízal explained. Last week, talks between Greece and eurozone countries over bailout terms ended without an agreement, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras then called for a referendum on the issue to be held at the end of this week. 

PM says he has no knowledge of terrorist recruitment on Czech territory

29-06-2015 10:37 | Jan Velinger

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said he has no knowledge of of recruitment on Czech territory by the terrorist organisation IS, or Isil as it is also known, which holds large parts of Syria and Iraq. He made the statement on a Sunday TV debate programme in response to earlier words by the president which suggested that some on Czech territory had been recruited but had already departed for Syria. The country's BIS counter-intelligence organisation responded by saying it had no such information. The country's police president, Tomáš Tuhý, meanwhile, backed up the prime minister. He said the police knew of only foreign nationals who had left the Czech Republic for what he called "problematic destinations", adding that the authorities did not have information about why they were traveling to those areas. 

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