On Thursday evening some twenty-four people from a total of twelve apartments were evacuated from their building by fire fighters after a fire broke out in the evening hours. Eight people suffered from smoke inhalation but there were no fatalities. Two are in serious condition. The fire caused an estimated 800,000 crowns in damages.
The American publishing and financial information company Dow Jones has sold its 23.5 percent stake in the Czech Republic-based firm Economia, to majority German share-holder Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt. The announcement was made on Friday. The amount Dow Jones sold for is roughly twenty million US dollars. Economia is the publisher of the well-known Czech financial daily Hospodarske noviny, as well as the business weekly Ekonom. Remaining shares in Economia are owned by management as well as by the Czech CTK news agency.
Czech ice hockey center Robert Lang helped his team the Detroit Red Wings spark a four goal third period comeback on Thursday to defeat Columbus 7 - 4. The Wings were trailing 4 - 0 early in the last frame but came back to win in part thanks to three assists by Lang to Cleary who scored a hat-trick.
Health officials have uncovered five additional cases of incidence of the listeria bacteria in a number of food products. Incidence of the bacteria in Czech territory was found to be unusually high in December. Also, traces were found in three adults and a baby that died in last month. An inspection team now has found incidence of the bacteria in a number of meat production facilities. In all, seventy-five samples were taken from various products in the region, with a number of producers banned from continuing production until given word by authorities.
Czech authorities have charged a Russian national for endangering an aircraft's safety, which forced the Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Geneva to make an emergency landing on Thursday. The Russian Airbus A-320 landed safely at Prague's international airport, with emergency crews standing by. Of the 178 people on board, including crew, no one suffered injury. The Russian man, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, allegedly tried to force his way into the flight deck, before being overpowered by passengers and members of the crew. The man is now to be held in custody. If found guilty he could face between eight to fifteen years in prison.
Former world number one women's tennis star Martina Hingis is to marry
Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek. The 26-year-old Hingis confirmed
news of her engagement at a media conference at the Gold Coast on
Friday where she is preparing to play the Australian women's hardcourt
championships. Hingis said 28-year-old Stepanek, ranked 19 in the
world, had proposed to her in Prague last month but it was not until
she arrived in Australia that anyone noticed her diamond ring.
Hingis dominated women's tennis in the late 1990s before ankle and foot injuries forced her into early retirement in 2002. She took three years off before making a comeback last year, finishing the season ranked in the world's top 10.
Stepanek will make a comeback of his own at next week's Australian men's hardcourt championships in Adelaide. He reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year but has not played since after suffering injury.
A Czech national wanted by police in connection with a fatal accident in the town of Kladno, near Prague, on Thursday, is reportedly no longer in the Czech Republic. According to police, 21-year-old David Skalkos left for Great Britain on Thursday evening, hours after a vehicle registered in his name was involved in a fatal hit-and-run. The accident resulted in the death of a 14-year-old girl. Czech officials have have passed on information to the British police.
A drunken passenger caused a Russian plane flying from Moscow to Geneva to make an emergency landing at Prague's Ruzyne Airport on Thursday morning. There were fears of a possible hijacking after the pilot reported a state of emergency on board. A spokesperson for Aeroflot has now confirmed that the panic on board was caused by a drunk who made threats and started a fight. The man is a thirty two year old Russian national who was traveling with eight other family members, among them three children. He allegedly threatened to blow up the plane and demanded that it change course for Cairo. He was quickly overpowered by some of the passengers and handed over to the police in Prague. The plane was carrying 168 passengers and everyone on board is reported to be safe and sound. The plane is expected to continue on its flight to Geneva later today.
President Klaus has sent a letter of condolence to the widow of the late US president Gerald Ford. Mr. Klaus wrote that Gerald Ford was an exceptional politician with great foresight and that it had been an honor to meet with him in person. Mr. Klaus praised the late president's contribution to the fall of communism, saying that Gerald Ford started the work that Ronald Reagan later brought to a successful conclusion. His work had a fundamental impact on freedom in central and Eastern Europe and contributed to the fact that the Czech Republic and the United States are close allies today, President Klaus wrote.
The Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats and Greens have signed a
coalition agreement on a centre-right government. The agreement, which
follows weeks of tough negotiations, specifies the future government's
policy programme, its line up and guidelines for cooperation. The Civic
Democrats, who won the June general elections, will hold nine seats in
the 18 member cabinet, the Christian Democrats five and the Greens
four. One post - head of the legislative council - remains to be filled
after the Christian Democrat's candidate unexpectedly rejected the
offer at the last minute.
The government line up has caused controversy within the Civic Democratic Party where some party members are highly critical of the fact that the strongest party had not laid claim to influential ministerial posts. The posts of finance and foreign minister have gone to the Christian Democrats and the Greens respectively. The Prime Minister on Thursday dismissed suggestions that some of his own party deputies were considering boycotting the new government.
It is not yet clear if or when President Klaus will appoint the new government. Its set up is almost identical to the one he rejected earlier this month, expressing reservations both with regard to its line-up and the fact that the prime minister had not secured majority support for it in the lower house. The three-party alliance is one vote short of a majority in the Chamber of Deputies and would need the support of at least one rebel left-wing MP to pass a confidence vote. The Prime Minister has refused to enter into negotiations with the opposition Social Democrats and his party has indicated that it is hoping to win support from individual Social Democrat MPs.