News Višegrad Group and South Korea to broaden cooperation
The Višegrad Group states and South Korea have agreed to broaden bilateral cooperation in the areas of business, science and culture, the ctk news agency reports. At a meeting in Bratislava on Thursday Czech, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian and South Korean officials discussed potential areas of cooperation. The Višegrad Group countries have attracted plenty of South Korean investors. Most recently the tire manufacturer Nexen chose the Czech Republic for its 23 billion crown investment, a tire plant that is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs.
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The legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath is set to perform at a sold-out Prague’s O2 Arena on Thursday night. The concert is part of an alleged final concert tour. The line-up includes three out the band’s four original members: frontman Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bass guitarist Terrence ‘Geezer’ Butler. The final European tour of the legendary band started on June 20. Black Sabbath last performed in the Czech Republic three years ago.
The Czech Republic’s Gross Domestic Product rose by 4.5 percent year-on-year in 2015 and by 2.7 in the previous year, according to the revised data released by the Czech Statistical Office on Thursday. The revised figures are slightly higher than the previous estimates, according to which the Czech economy grew by 4.2 percent last year and by 2 percent in 2014.
Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová has advanced to the second round of the women’s singles at Wimbledon. The tournament’s 24th seed beat Annet Kontaveit of Estonia 4:6, 6:4 and 6:4. Another Czech, Karolína Plíšková, was knocked out on Thursday after losing to Japan’s Misaki Doi 6:7, 3:6 in the second round.
Meteorologists have issued a storm warning for the southern and central part of the Czech Republic. The storms, which could be accompanied by torrential rain, hail and high winds, are expected to hit the region on Thursday afternoon. The warning includes a call for people to secure their windows and garden furniture.
Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, who is on a two-day official visit to Belarus, has met with the country’s president Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko called for improved relations between Belarus and the EU. Mr Zaorálek is also set to meet with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei to discuss the democratization process in Belarus and examine possible ways for cooperation between Belarus and the EU within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The Czech Foreign Minister is also scheduled to officially open a new building of the Czech embassy in Minsk. A Czech business delegation also accompanied the minister. They are hoping to land key contracts including one to develop the Minsk underground.
A new science and technology park is set to be built in Buštěhrad near the town Kladno. The project, financed by the Trigema developer, is expected to cost some 800 million crowns. The park, which will cover an area of nearly 18,000 square metres, is set to open in 2018. It will offer two buildings with offices, research workplaces and laboratories. A research centre of the Czech Technical University has been recently opened in Buštěhrad.
In football, the Czech national manager Pavel Vrba has stepped down from his post, after signing a deal with the Russian club Makhachkala. The 52-year-old former Plzeň coach took up the post of the Czech national trainer on January 1, 2014. His squad qualified for the finals of the Euro 2016 Championship, but finished early with just one point from a draw with Croatia in the group stage. Makhachkala was 12th in the Russia league last season. It is not yet clear who will replace Vrba in the post. Mladá Boleslav coach Karel Jarolím or the current head of the Bohemian and Moravian Football Federation and former player Ivan Hašek have been mentioned as possible successors.
Some 400 film fans have been queuing up for tickets to the 51th Karlovy Vary International Film festival, which is due to kick off on Friday. The festival will open with a screening of, the British-US-French coproduction film Anthropoid which tells the story of the 1942 assassination of acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The screening will be attended by the director Sean Ellis and lead actors, including Jamie Dornan. Among other guests of the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival will be American actor Willem Dafoe, who will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography, and screen-writer Charlie Kaufman. The festival will run until July 9.
The head of the special police unit for combatting organised crime, Robert Šlachta, will end his 26 year police career on Thursday. Šlachta tendered his resignation June 10 in protest at a proposed re-organisation of the police force. Those proposals sparked a rift within the government coalition between the biggest party, the Social Democrats led by prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, and ANO party, headed by Andrej Babiš. Šlachta led the special police squad since 2008 and was widely viewed as being successful in the post. State prosecutors are investigating whether the police shake-up was basically a move to eject Šlachta from his post.
In ice hockey, San Jose Sharks Czech attacker Tomáš Hertl has signed a new two-year contract to continue at the club. The contract is reported to be worth 6 million US dollars. The 22-year-old’s current three year deal is coming to an end. Last season Hertl scored 21 goals and provided 25 assists in a campaign which led the Sharks to the Stanley Cup finals. Hertl is currently recovering from injury which resulted in him missing out on the last Stanley Cup clashes with Pittsburgh.