News Zeman backs revival of plans to build “Blob” in Prague

10-06-2014 12:17 | Ian Willoughby

President Miloš Zeman says he is in favour of the revival of a project to construct a controversial modern building nicknamed “the Blob” on Prague’s Letná Plain. The futuristic design of a new National Library building by the late architect Jan Kaplický divided opinion and met resistance from some politicians when it was mooted towards the end of the last decade. Speaking on a visit to Liberec, Mr. Zeman said he would try to intercede on behalf of the project. In recent months there have been fresh suggestions that the Blob could be built in Prague, but possibly not at the originally intended site.

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Deputy PM reveals there should be more money for Czech science

25-05-2015 17:20 | Jan Velinger

Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek has said that the government should earmark 28.6 billion crowns for science in 2016 – almost two billion more than allotted this year. Bělobrádek, who is also the minister for science, research and innovation said the government had agreed on financial conditions for the field of science for the next three years. Minister Bělobrádek praised constructive – if tough – negotiations with the Finance Ministry which presents the annual state budget for approval each year. 

Poll: more than half of Czechs exercise at least once a week

25-05-2015 15:47 | Jan Velinger

A new poll suggests that 52 percent of Czechs exercise at least once a week; 30 percent exercise only occasionally or not at all, according to the survey released by Ipsos. Of the 52 percent, the smallest number, 3.9 percent of respondents, said they exercised five to seven times a week; in terms of sports, running matches cycling in popularity among people between the ages of 18 - 26. 

Government again rejects proposed quota on refugees

25-05-2015 13:59 | Jan Velinger

The government has again rejected proposed quotas on refugees saying that the decision should be solely up to individual EU member states. The European Commission recommended earlier that quotas be introduced to try and tackle the problem of migrants fleeing troubled or conflict-hit countries in northern Africa and elsewhere. The government’s position on illegal migration and the problem of related human trafficking has not changed since the EC presented its proposal some two weeks ago. The Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek suggested recently the proposal was revolutionary but in a negative sense. He said the decision to accept refugees needed to be up to individual countries accepting “full responsibility”. 

Unknown assailant fires at Czech police, colleagues, in Kosovo

25-05-2015 13:28 | Jan Velinger

An unknown assailant shot at Czech police serving in Kosovo as part of the so-called Supplementary Police Force. According to the police presidium, four Czech officers together with a German colleague and a translator were travelling in two cars when the front windshield of each of the vehicles was hit. The gun used appears to have been a smaller caliber weapon. No one was struck by the bullets or injured in the incident. Such attacks are relatively uncommon in Kosovo but there were two similar shootings in 2013, one of them fatal. 

Most restaurants in Dejvice open, making use of drinkable water brought in

25-05-2015 13:21 | Jan Velinger

The majority of restaurants in Prague’s Dejvice district opened to customers on Monday despite a shortage of drinkable tap water due to a widespread bacterial infection. Hundreds of people came down with intestinal problems and diarrhea after drinking the water at the weekend. Restaurant owners told the Czech News Agency they were sending out employees for drinking water from cisterns stationed in affected areas. Prague hygiene officer Zdeňka Jagrová confirmed that establishments could open providing they used the clean drinking water provided. 

Presence of bacteria in Dejvice tap water confirmed

25-05-2015 12:24 | Jan Velinger

Prague’s Dejvice district will have to do without drinkable tap water until at least Wednesday public broadcaster Czech TV reported on Monday. Tests confirmed the presence of coliform bacteria which had caused hundreds of people intestinal problems and diarrhea; many visited hospitals at the weekend. The infection is reportedly not serious and can be treated by over-the-counter medicine. More than 50 cisterns with fresh drinkable water have been parked in areas affected. A full list of streets can be found at www.pvk.cz. Residents have been warned to not use the water even for brushing one’s teeth - nor is boiling the water a solution. 

State prosecutor recommends three to four year sentence for Nagyová

25-05-2015 11:56 | Jan Velinger

The state prosecutor has asked for a three to four year sentence in the case of Jana Nagyová (now Nečasová), the former aide and now spouse to ex-prime minister Petr Nečas, accused of abuse of office. The court on Monday examined final evidence; Nagyová is suspected of having used military intelligence to her own ends ie. to spy on the former prime minister’s first wife. Three others are also charged in connection with the case. 

Giro d'Italia: König currently fifth

25-05-2015 08:13 | Jan Velinger

Czech cyclist Leopold König, in the past ninth in the Vuelta, seventh in the Tour de France, is currently fifth in this year's Giro d'Italia. News website iDnes described the cyclist as one of the major new talents of Sky team, saying he had struggled at moments in the race, including a heavy mountain stage, but still improved by five spots in the overall standings. 

Football: Chelsea down Sunderland in what is likely to be last Blues appearance by Čech

25-05-2015 07:12 | Jan Velinger

Premier League champions Chelsea, with goalkeeper Petr Čech, won their last match of the season on Sunday, defeating Sunderland by a score of 3:1. The keeper faced 17 shots in what is likely to be his last match for the Blues; Čech has been allowed to negotiate a possible move with one year left on his contract. The legend, who won numerous honours with Chelsea including the Champions League was replaced as No. 1 in goal this season by Belgian Thibault Courtois. 

Christian Democrats in favour of continued sanctions against Russia

24-05-2015 18:25 | Jan Velinger

The Christian Democrats, at their continuing party congress in Zlín on Sunday condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and rejected the redrawing of the country's borders through military force. In a statement, the Christian Democrats - members of the country's ruling coalition - made clear they were in favour of current sanctions against Russia and were even for a tightening of measures if the situation called for it, to get Russia to change its current course. 

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