News Špotáková makes ideal return to international athletics with Rome win in javelin
The Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková made the perfect return to international athletics after maternity leave with a first place finish at a Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday evening. The reigning Olympic champion, who is 32, did not take part in any major events last year after giving birth to her first child. Špotáková topped the podium in Rome with a throw of 66.43 metres, more than three metres ahead of her nearest rival.
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This winter has been one of the warmest recorded in the Czech Republic, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. The average temperature from the start of December to the end of February was 0.7 degrees Celsius, which is 1.9 degrees higher than the average for the period 1971 to 2000. However, last climatological winter was even milder with an average of 1.2 degrees Celsius.
The One World international festival of human rights documentaries got underway in Prague on Monday evening. The annual event opened with Warriors from the North, which explores how a radical Islamic group recruits volunteers in Denmark. The 17th One World will bring over 110 films from five dozen countries to audiences in Prague before moving on in reduced form to 33 other Czech cities and towns.
British director Sean Ellis is set to portray the 1942 assassination the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, in Anthropoid, a movie named after the daring operation carried out by Czech and Slovak paratroopers dropped near Prague. The lead roles will be taken by actors Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy. Heydrich died days after the attack, sparking Nazi reprisals that included the destruction of two villages and the killing of thousands of civilians.
Five Czechs have made this year’s list of US dollar billionaires, compiled by the US business magazine Forbes. The richest Czech Petr Kellner, owner of investment group PPF, is reported to be the 160th wealthiest person in the world, with assets valued at 8.4 billion US dollars. It is the tenth time Kellner has been ranked in the Forbes’s rich list. Agrofert owner and finance minister Andrej Babiš is 732nd, followed by Radovan Vítek, Karel Komárek and Pavel Tykač.
A newborn boy was placed in a babybox in Vyškov in Moravia on Monday evening at around six p.m. The founder of the Czech baby box network, Ludvík Hess, said the child’s condition was stable. The baby, who was given the name Dominik, was the fourth child this year to be abandoned in this manner. There are currently a total of 63 baby boxes in the Czech Republic, and in the past nine years, 70 girls and 46 boys were left in them.
American pop singer Madonna is set to perform in the Czech capital in early November. Her appearance in Prague’s O2 Arena is part of her tour promoting her last CD Rebel Heart. Tickets for the concert will be released in mid-March. The popular singer will launch her tour in August in Miami, before moving to Europe, Australia and Asia. Madonna last played in the Czech Republic in 2009.
The first victim of last week’s shooting incident in Eastern Moravia was put to rest on Monday after a funeral attended by family, friends and local inhabitants. The 43-year-old waitress was one of the eight people killed last Tuesday in a random attack in a pub in the town of Uherský Brod. The 64-year-old shooter, who was apparently mentally instable, subsequently turned the gun on himself. The other seven victims, all of them men, will be laid to rest in the coming days.
Zdeněk Kapitán, the head of the Brno-based International Office for the Legal Protection of Children, is set to go to Norway on Tuesday to discuss the situation of two Czech children removed from the family by Norwegian social services with local authorities. The children were taken away in 2011on suspicion of sexual abuse; a year later, they were placed in foster families despite the fact that a police investigation found no evidence of abuse. Mr Kapitán is set to meet with the representatives of Norwegian social services as well as with the lawyers of the boys’ mother, who last year filed a lawsuit against the decision of the social services.
Czech President Miloš Zeman on Monday addressed the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) forum in Washington, receiving a standing ovation. The Czech president condemned the growing Islamic terrorism and said that the first step to fight it was expressing solidarity. Mr Zeman appealed for a coordinated action of the international community, shielded by UN Security Council. During his stay in Washington President Zeman is scheduled to pay tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack at the Pentagon memorial and lay a wreath at the statue of first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. No talks with US top officials have been planned.
Police in the Dominican Republic, in cooperation with Czech investigators, last year arrested a Czech fugitive criminal, spokesman for the police presidium David Schön said on Monday. The 64-year-old Viliam Nikoden, wanted on an international arrest warrant since 2009, was apprehended near the town of Monte Cristi, north of the Dominican-Haitian border. The man, who was sentenced in absentia for serious economic crimes, has already started to serve his sentence in a Czech prison. The Dominican Republic has become a popular destination for Czech criminals in recent years. Another Czech fugitive, who had been on the run for two years, was arrested in the country at the end of January.