News Zaorálek calls on Moscow to aid crash investigation and cease sending weapons and gunmen to eastern Ukraine

22-07-2014 11:39 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, says the Russian Federation should provide assistance to an independent investigation into the crash of a Malaysian plane in eastern Ukraine and also cease sending weapons and gunmen to the region. He said if Moscow failed to do so in a matter of days an extraordinary EU summit should adopt strong sanctions targeted at sectors of the Russian economy. Mr. Zaorálek was speaking in Brussels, where EU foreign ministers have been meeting for the first time since Thursday’s incident, in which almost 300 people died when a Malaysian Airlines flight came down in territory held by pro-Russian rebels.

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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. 

Petra Kvitová out of French Open

27-05-2016 18:09 | Chris Johnstone

Czech top woman singles player Petra Kvitová has been eliminated from the French Open in the third round. Kvitová lost 0:6, 7:6, 0:6 to US player Shelby Rogers, Rogers already knocked out Czech Karolína Plíšková in the first round. Kvitová’s form has been indifferent since the start of the year with the player only recently recruiting a new trainer.

Last year’s Czech finalist Lucie Šafářová also lost to Australian Samantha Stosur 3:6, 7:6, 5:7 and Barbora Strycová lost on Friday at the French Open despite taking the first set against the second-seed Agnieszka Radwanska. The match included an exciting exchange between the opponents which saw both slip to the ground before Strycová won the point. The final score was 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-2. 

Lawyer Klára Samková faces possible action over anti-Islamic comments

27-05-2016 15:35 | Chris Johnstone

The Prague Bar Association and state prosecutors have said they are looking into controversial comments by lawyer Klára Samková. Samková compared Islam during a seminar in the lower house of parliament on May 18 to Nazism and Communism. The comments prompted a walk out by the Turkish ambassador and representatives of other Islamic countries attending. The bar council says it is examining whether the comments were in conflict with its ethical code and the prosecutor for Prague 1 into whether they represented a criminal offense. Samková later suggested the Turkish ambassador should be expelled from the Czech Republic. 

Passenger train derailment causes disruption

27-05-2016 15:34 | Chris Johnstone

Train chaos has been caused after part of an empty passenger train derailed between Prague’s main train station and the suburb of Vršovice. Many local and long distance train services out of the capital have now been switched to other stations because of the closure of the key lines. Delays are expected to continue throughout the day before the problem can be dealt with. 


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