Czech Railways has a female train driver for the first time since the 1980s, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday. The only woman driver working on the Czech Republic’s dense rail network passed the necessary test last week and after training will take over the controls for the first time in the middle of April. The freight operator ČD Cargo also has one female engine driver.
Czech President Václav Klaus met NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Their talks were dominated by the issue of the Czech Republic’s military presence in Afghanistan, with Admiral Stavridis reiterating NATO’s request for more soldiers to be sent. The Czech Parliament is set to vote on a proposal to increase the number of Czech soldiers there by around 10 percent. However, the planned troop increase could be blocked by the left-wing parties in the lower house. There are currently 535 Czech troops in Afghanistan; the government wants to send 55 more.
Vítkovice have completed the line-up for the semi-final playoffs in Czech
ice hockey’s Extraliga. The north Moravian club overcame Sparta Prague
3:1 at home on Monday evening to win the best-of-seven tie 4:3 on games.
That result sets up something of a grudge match against Slavia Prague in
the semis, with Vítkovice’s coach Alois Hadamczik not on good terms
his opposite number at Slavia, Vladimir Ruzicka. The other Extraliga
semi-final features Pardubice and Liberec.
Meanwhile, Marian Jelínek is to stay on as manager of Plzeň next season. The club came first in the Extraliga in the regular season, but were knocked out in the playoff quarter-finals.
The driver of a road repair truck shot dead the driver of a car in Sokolov, west Bohemia on Tuesday. After an argument the road worker produced a pistol from the cabin of his lorry and shot the motorist several times before kicking him and telling him to stand up, a witness told TV Nova. The two men are believed to have known one another. Afterwards the road worker waited for the police, who arrested him on their arrival.
The Czech and Slovak prime ministers discussed a number of topics in the Czech town of Sezimovo Ústí on Tuesday. Among the main items on the agenda of talks between Jan Fischer and Robert Fico was energy security, in particular the planned completion of a nuclear power station at Jaslovské Bohunice in Slovakia. The two leaders also spoke about road and motorway construction, and their states working together in the European Union and NATO. Mr Fico said relations between Slovaks and Czechs were better than they had been when the two nations were part of one country.
A new channel named Retro Music Television began broadcasting in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The first video on the station, which plays both Czech and foreign hits from the 1960s to the 1990s, was for Depeše by Marta Kubišová. Retro Music Television, which will be on air 24 hours a day, was set up by a group of people who were involved in the establishment of the Óčko music station. It promises themed programmes dedicated to genres like soul and hits from films.
After 160 years, Czech Post is to discontinue its telegram service on Wednesday. Czech Post says that following the advent of mobile phone text messaging and email, the number of people who send telegrams in the Czech Republic has dwindled to a few dozen a month and maintaining the service is no longer viable. However, telegrams will not disappear completely; Telefonica O2 says it will continue to offer a version of the service.
The mass production of meta-amphetamine in illegal laboratories remains the biggest single problem faced by the Czech police when it comes to drug crime. The head of the police’s anti-drug force, Jakub Frydrych, told reporters on Tuesday the situation was partly caused by the availability of over-the-counter medicines containing pseudo-ephedrine, which is used to make meta-amphetamine. Mr Frydrych said the Czech Republic continued to be Europe’s biggest producer of the drug; he added that the difficulty of securing convictions was a bigger issue than the actual number of illegal labs. Last year 314 labs were uncovered by the police; in 2008 the figure was 434.
Slavia Prague football club have parted company with manager Karel Jarolím after a string of poor results. Jarolím was at Slavia for five years and oversaw one of the most successful periods in their modern history, when they opened a new stadium, won the Czech league two years running and reached the Champions League for the first time. However, this season Slavia have failed to challenge for the title and currently lie in eighth place. The club’s management first threatened to sack Jarolím before later offering to keep him on for the rest of the season; in the end the coach himself decided to quit. He has been replaced by František Cipro.
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