The Czech Republic have reached the final of football's Under 20 World Cup in Canada, after beating Austria 2:0 on Wednesday. Tomas Micola and Martin Fenin both scored within the first 15 minutes and the Czechs managed to hold on to that lead until the final whistle. They will face either Argentina or Chile in Sunday's final, which is taking place at 9:15 pm CET.
The Prague city hall has signed a contract with a construction company which is to carry out renovation work on Prague's historic Charles Bridge worth some 222 million crowns (around 10 million USD). The works are to last for three years but the bridge will remain accessible to pedestrians throughout the time, however in a restricted manner. The renovation, which will include better insulation and new gas lighting for the bridge, is scheduled to start in mid-August. Earlier this month a ceremony was held in Prague to celebrate the bridge's 650th birthday.
The daily Lidove noviny writes that police in Croatia are prepared to arrest Czech entrepreneur Tomas Pitr - who fled the country to avoid serving a five-year prison sentence for tax evasion - and to hand him over to the Czech authorities. The Czech daily Pravo wrote on Wednesday that Mr Pitr was staying on the Adriatic coast. Czech police have been searching for Mr Pitr since European and international warrants were issued for his arrest last month when he failed to report to prison. The 36-year old Mr Pitr - believed to be one of the Czech Republic's richest men - has lodged an appeal against his sentence with the Supreme Court.
At least seven people were killed and sixteen injured in a traffic accident involving a Czech coach and a lorry in the south of Hungary early on Thursday morning. According to the Czech Foreign Ministry, the bus was carrying 32 Romanian migrant workers. One of the two Bulgarian drivers was also injured. Reportedly, no Czechs were on the bus.
The Czech Senate has recommended that a network of contact spots called "Czech Point" be launched on January 1st next year, a couple of months earlier than originally planned. The network is meant to enable people to obtain extracts from the land registry and the commercial and criminal registries at their local post offices and town halls, rather than having to travel to centralised bureaus in regional capitals. The network is to include some 1,300 town halls and 2,000 post offices around the Czech Republic. Thirty Czech Point spots are already operating in a pilot project.
The leader of the opposition Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, says his party is considering three potential candidates ahead of next year's presidential elections. He says former anti-communist dissident and first post-communist foreign minister, Jiri Dienstbier, is among the three. However, Mr Paroubek would not disclose the two other names. He says his party will not nominate its own candidate but will wait for the centre-right parties to field their candidates first.
Petr Nedved will leave the National Hockey League (NHL) to play next season with Sparta Prague in the Czech Extraliga, the team announced on Thursday. A knee injury finished the 35-year-old centre's 2006-2007 season with Edmonton Oilers and he became an unrestricted free agent. The 2006-2007 NHL campaign was disappointing for the second overall pick in the 1990 NHL entry draft, as Nedved scored only two goals and had 10 assists. In 982 games, Nedved scored 310 goals and had 407 assists in spells with seven NHL teams. During a labour dispute that wiped out the 2004-2005 NHL season, Nedved played for Sparta, notching 22 goals and 13 assists in 46 games.
The Irish low cost carrier Ryanair says it will operate regular flights from the Czech Republic's second city Brno to the Spanish city of Gerona, 100 kilometres from Barcelona, as of the end of October. Flights will be dispatched from Brno four times a week on Boeing 737-800 aircraft able to carry up to 189 passengers. At present, Ryanair operates daily flights from Brno to London.
A June survey by the CVVM polling agency suggests that almost two thirds of Czechs are opposed to the construction of a US radar base in the country. On the other hand, over a quarter of those polled were in favour of the facility being built in the Czech Republic. Almost three quarters of Czechs, according to the survey, would like to have a referendum on the issue.
Police on Wednesday said they were launching a nationwide hunt for a convicted sex offender who disappeared from a psychiatric unit in Dobrany near the city of Pilsen. Twenty-six-year-old Michal Fikar, who has been convicted of rape and assault, was receiving treatment at the unit for alcohol abuse and sexual deviance before he absconded. Police have warned that he could be a danger to the public.