News Tuesday is 45th anniversary of self-immolation of Jan Zajíc

25-02-2014 19:55 | Ian Willoughby

Tuesday marks the 45th anniversary of the self-immolation of Jan Zajíc in response to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led troops and the “normalization” period that followed. Aged 18, Zajíc set himself on fire on 25 February 1969 as he felt a similar move by Jan Palach the previous month had failed to shake the indifference and apathy of Czechoslovak society in the wake of the occupation.

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Prague police report major drop in number of offences last year

21-04-2014 12:00 | Jan Richter

Prague’s municipal police dealt with over 836,000 offences last year, which was more than 22 percent less than in 2012, according to the force’s annual report released by Prague City Hall. A spokeswoman for the municipal police said the drop was due to changes in traffic legislation that came into force last year; officers also provided assistance during floods which hit the capital last august, and also focused primarily on combatting more serious offences and crimes. Traffic offences were by far the most frequent offences processed by Prague municipal police last year. 

Football: Sparta closes in on league title

21-04-2014 10:41 | Jan Richter

Sparta Prague defeated city rival Dukla 3:1 in the Gambrinus liga’s round 25 on Sunday, and increased their lead at the top of the table to 13 points ahead of defending champions Viktoria Plzeň. Sparta’s Hušbauer scored twice in the game, another goal came from Kadeřábek. Plzeň play their match later on Monday but Sparta could celebrate the first title in four years as soon as next weekend. 

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. 

Czech women’s tennis team beats Italy to reach Fed Cup finals

20-04-2014 18:40 updated | Jan Richter

The Czech women’s tennis team has reached the finals of the Fed Cup after defeating defending champions Italy 4-0 in Ostrava over the weekend. Czech number one Petra Kvitová scored two points, defeating Roberta Vinci and Camila Giorgi. Lucie Šafářová, meanwhile, beat Sara Errani, and the Czech duo Koukalová, Hlaváčková took the fourth point after defeating Italy’s pair Giorgi, Knapp, in Sunday’s doubles. In the Fed Cup finals, the Czechs will host Germany in November. 

Hockey: Lev Praha tied 1-1with Magnitogorsk in KHL finals

20-04-2014 18:34 | Jan Richter

Hockey club Lev Praha lost to Magnitogorsk 1-4 on Sunday the KHL finals, and are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series. The hosts built up a 4-0 lead before Lev’s Azevedo scored in the 57th minute, setting the final score at 4-1. Lev won the series’ opening game 3-0 on Saturday. The series now moves to Prague where games three and four are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. 

Galvanic plant fire causes 200 million in damages

20-04-2014 18:05 | Jan Richter

Fire at a galvanic plant in Lanškroun, eastern Bohemia, has caused damages of around 200 million crowns, the news agency ČTK reported. The fire broke out shortly before Sunday noon; fire fighters could not immediately access the scene as carbon dioxide bombs were exploding inside; they only got the fire under control by Sunday evening. The authorities closed off several streets in the town, and warned people not to approach the scene of the fire. Causes of the fire are under investigation. 

PM Sobotka marks anniversary of Nazi-razed village

20-04-2014 16:26 | Jan Richter

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka along with Czech army officials, public figures and other guests on Sunday marked the 69th anniversary of the destruction of east Moravian village of Ploština by the Nazis during the final days of the Second World War. The village was set alight and at least 24 of its inhabitants murdered because their provided help to local armed resistance groups. In his remarks, Mr Sobotka emphasized the need to keep the nation’s memory alive, and to resist attempts to distort its history. 

Czech canoeist drowns in Austria

20-04-2014 15:08 | Jan Richter

A 36-year-old Czech man from Brno drowned while canoeing on the Saalach River near the Austrian town of Lofer, the country’s APA news agency reported on Sunday. The man, who was with a group of friends, capsized in a narrow stretch of the river; his body was only found after an hour. Some 80 people took part in the rescue operation including Austrian and German firefighters. 

Boxer Konečný retires after defeat in WBO title fight

20-04-2014 13:28 | Jan Richter

Czech boxing champion Lukáš Konečný has retired following his defeat by Peter Quillin of the US, in the WBO middleweight title fight. The 35-year-old Czech boxer, who in 2012 held the interim title of WBO light middleweight champion, told the news website lidovky.cz on Sunday that Quillin was better but he thought the fight was a decent end to his professional career. He now only plans to appear at exhibitions but said he would like to be involved in professional boxing in the future as well. 

Health Ministry to scrap planned compulsory e-prescriptions

20-04-2014 09:29 | Jan Richter

The Czech Health Ministry is going to scrap plans to introduce compulsory electronic prescriptions, the news website lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. E-prescriptions, which were to replace paper prescriptions as of next year, were expected to save billions of crowns, diminish paperwork in doctors’ offices as well as prevent abuse. But the ministry says many physicians are not ready for the move, and up to 20 percent of them would have to close their practices. Doctors’ unions have welcomed the decision, and say e-prescription should only be voluntary in the future. 

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