News Traditional customs observed on Easter Monday, Czech public holiday

21-04-2014 10:25 | Jan Richter

Traditional folk customs are observed on Easter Monday, a public holiday in the Czech Republic. In a popular custom known as pomlázka, male carollers whip women and girls get with braided willow sticks decorated with ribbons. In return, they give men painted eggs. The custom has pre-Christian roots in pagan fertility rites. Legend has it that women that go whipped on Easter Monday will remain healthy and fertile for the entire year.

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Czech Radio: Czechs spending more on sport

29-05-2016 09:37 | Jan Velinger

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. 

Children evacuated from playing field in face of local floods

29-05-2016 09:18 | Jan Velinger

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. 

French Open: Berdych rebounds to defeat Uruguay's Cuevas in four sets

29-05-2016 08:06 | Jan Velinger

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. 

Controversial grouping Bloc Against Islam dissolved

28-05-2016 17:29 | Jan Velinger

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. 

Právo: Lebanese national was extradited to US in April

28-05-2016 09:44 | Jan Velinger

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. 

Damage to railway track in Friday crash estimated at almost 900,000 crowns

28-05-2016 09:22 | Jan Velinger

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. 

Snowboarder Ledecká wins King of the Snow Trail competition

28-05-2016 09:12 | Jan Velinger

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 to begin renovation of last highway section at Výškov

28-05-2016 08:54 | Jan Velinger

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. 

US convoy continues journey across Czech Republic

28-05-2016 08:34 | Jan Velinger

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. 

National football team secures easy win over Malta

28-05-2016 07:53 | Jan Velinger

The Czech national football team defeated Malta easily by a score of 6:0 in their friendly on Friday afternoon. The goals, three in each half, were scored by Plašil, Škoda, Hubník, Lafata, Necid, and 20-year-old Patrik Schick, making his national team debut. The match also saw the long-awaited return of team captain Tomáš Rosický. Goalkeeper Petr Čech earned his 119th start - a national team record, one better than retired player Karel Poborský. The squad will face a considerably tougher opponent, Russia, in another pre-Euro 2016 friendly next week. 


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