News Thousands march through Prague in support of marihuana legalization

10-05-2014 20:59 updated | Jan Richter

Some 8,000 people marched through the centre of the Czech capital on Saturday in support of marihuana legalization, part of the international Million Marihuana March event. Organizers said the number of participants was higher than last year; two people were arrested over for possesing small amounts of dry cannabis, a police spokesman said. Under Czech law, possession or growing of marihuana for personal use is a minor offence; earlier this year, however, the anti-drug unit of the Czech police raided a number of shops offering marihuana seeds and equipment for growing the illicit drug, raising concerns of a more stricter approach towards recreational marihuana growers and users.

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MEPs demand action on Lety pig farm

30-09-2016 16:47 | Daniela Lazarová

Over 80 MEPs have signed an appeal for the European Commission to secure the removal of a pig farm at Lety, south Bohemia, built on the site of a former Romany concentration camp. In a letter to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, its signatories point out that the Czech Republic failed to resolve the shameful problem in three decades and action is long overdue. Several Czech governments pledged to remove the pig farm from Lety, but failed to find money for a buyout. The Sobotka government recently indicated it was close to finding a solution, but no details have been released on the progress made. Some 1,300 Czech Romanies passed through the Lety camp during WWII; over 300 of them died there, while another 500 were deported to Auschwitz. 

Avast Software acquires rival firm AVG

30-09-2016 15:44 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech-based computer anti-virus and security company Avast Software has acquired a majority stake in the Dutch rival firm AVG Technologies. According to Avast, the acquisition was completed on Friday and as of Monday, October 3, the two will operate as a single company. Avast bought AVG shares for nearly 32 billion crowns (some 1.3 billion dollars) with the aim of expanding its presence in emerging markets. The combined company now has over 400 million users. 

Constitutional Court rejects Savov complaint

30-09-2016 14:39 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint by fugitive businessman Frantisek Savov with regard to information that the Prague State Attorneys’ Office made available to the British judiciary in support of an extradition request. The request was granted earlier this year and the businessman claims that the office overstepped its powers in releasing certain papers to the British authorities. The judge ruled on Friday that his complaint was unsubstantiated. The 44-year-old businessman is wanted on suspicion of large-scale tax evasion and money laundering. Savov, who owns the Mladá Fronta publishing house and a series of publications including the business paper E15 and Euro magazine, has denied any wrongdoing. 

Police president: If violence persists, Czech officers could be deployed in Britain

30-09-2016 13:52 | Daniela Lazarová

If attacks against foreign nationals in Britain were to persist, and the Czech community and tourists from this country felt endangered, the Czech Republic would negotiate the possibility of having Czech police officers deployed in selected parts of the country, Police President Tomas Tuhy told Czech Radio on Friday. Police chief Tuhy, who said he had consulted the matter with the British police, said such an arrangement had been put into practice in Croatia and Bulgaria, at the height of the tourist season. Although Czech officers have no powers in a foreign country they can help resolve problems in cooperation with the local police and their presence is seen as reassuring. At present there are a number of Polish officers in Harlow, where a Polish national was killed. 

Explorers confirm Czech Hranice Abyss deepest underwater cave on the planet

30-09-2016 12:21 | Daniela Lazarová

A team of explorers has just confirmed that Hranice Abyss, located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, is deepest underwater cave on the planet. A Czech-Polish expedition, led by the legendary Polish diver Krzysztof Starnawski, descended deep into the flooded limestone abyss Hranicka Propast this week and found it to be far deeper than previously thought. The underwater cave is 404 meters deep, making it the deepest underwater cave in the world, 12 meters deeper than the previous record holder, 392-meter-deep Pozzo del Merro in Italy. News of the discovery appeared in the National Geographic which co-funded the expedition. 

Former deputy labour minister sentenced to six years for abuse of office

30-09-2016 11:44 | Daniela Lazarová

A court has sent former deputy labour minister Vladimír Šiška to six years in prison for abuse of office. Mr. Šiška was found guilty of signing a disadvantageous contract with the firm Fujitsu Technology on a system for the distribution of social welfare benefits. He failed to announce an open contest for the contract, incurring losses to the state of 282 million crowns. Former labour Minister Jaromír Drábek resigned over the scandal back in 2012. 

Central register of misdemeanors to go into operation

30-09-2016 11:26 | Daniela Lazarová

A central register of misdemeanors is to be put into operation on October 1. According to Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, who made the announcement at a press briefing on Friday, the register should enable the authorities to take a tougher line with repeat-offenders, who could be given higher fines for misdemeanors like petty theft and disturbing the peace. The data is to be retained for a period of five years. 

Europa League: Sparta Prague beat Inter Milan

30-09-2016 09:23 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech football club Sparta Prague stunned visitors Inter Milan in their Europa League group stage match at Letná on Thursday night, getting two goals from Václav Kadlec in the first half. Inter got a goal back in the final 19 minutes but Holek headed in a third goal after the Italian side’s Ranocchia was sent off. Sparta now have three points from two games in Group K, putting them in third spot. 

Czech PM calls on British counterpart to take action against attacks on foreign nationals

30-09-2016 08:54 | Ruth Fraňková

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has appealed to his British counterpart, Theresa May, to take action against hate crimes and and violence directed against Czechs and people from other European countries living and working in the United Kingdom. In a phone call on Thursday, Prime Minister Sobotka said the Czech government was alarmed by the increase in hate crimes in Britain. A Czech businessman was brutally beaten to death by a BMX gang in London last week. A month ago, a large group of British teenagers attacked two Polish men and one of the victims died. 

Tennis: Kvitová advances to semi-finals at Wuhan Open in China

29-09-2016 18:37 updated | Ruth Fraňková

Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s singles at the Wuhan Open in China on Thursday after defeating Johanna Konta of Great Britain 6:3, 6:4. She is set to face Simona Halep of Romania. 


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