News Russian hacker accused of attacking US targets arrested in Prague

19-10-2016 07:36 | Ian Willoughby

Czech police have arrested an internationally wanted Russian hacker who has allegedly attacked targets in the US, the Czech News Agency reported. The operation was carried out in cooperation with America's FBI. Following his arrest at a Prague hotel the man collapsed and was hospitalised. He is now in custody and a decision on his extradition to the US is awaited.

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Czech Republic targeted by Brussels over emissions tests

08-12-2016 14:10 | Ruth Fraňková

The European Commission has taken legal action against EU member states, including the Czech Republic, for not having done enough to deter or punish carmakers who cheated on emissions tests. The commission has sent a so-called letter of formal notice to seven member states, which now have two months to reply. The commission has targeted the Czech Republic for not having imposed any penalties for the use of illegal software which cheated the emission tests. 

European Commission approves funds for three major infrastructure projects

08-12-2016 14:10 | Ruth Fraňková

The European Commission has approved funding of three major infrastructure projects in the Czech Republic to the tune of 161 million euros (some 4.3 billion crowns). The European funds will be used for modernising a railway connection between Rokycany and Pilsen, to ensure a faster connection between Prague and the German border as well as for renovation of the D35 highway in the Pardubice region which is also used for international transport. 

New exhibition to present Charter 77 spokespeople

08-12-2016 14:05 | Ruth Fraňková

Famous spokespeople of the Charter 77 human-rights manifesto will be presented at a new exhibition that will go on display on Prague’s Václav Havel square (the former plaza of the National Theatre) in January next year. Altogether 44 people took turns in the post of Charter 77 spokesperson between the years 1977 and 1989. At any time there were three of them in case one or two were detained or imprisoned. The open-air exhibition, consisting of sixteen large-scale panels, is organised by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and will be on display between January 20 and 26. 

Czech jobless total falls to 4.9 percent

08-12-2016 14:05 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech jobless total in November fell to 4.9 percent from October’s 5.0 percent, it’s the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008. Altogether, almost 3,500 people were removed from the jobless total, shrinking it to just under 363,000 jobseekers. The number of vacancies offered through local labour offices stood at just over 135,000, which is the highest November total since 2007. The number of long term jobless has shrunk to 40.3 percent from 43.9 percent of the total a year earlier. 

Jana Vildemutzová elected head of the national association of regional governors

08-12-2016 12:22 | Ruth Fraňková

Jana Vildemutzováof the ANO party was elected the head of the influential national association of regional governors on Thursday. The newly elected governor of the Karlovy Vary region will replace Social Democrat Michal Hašek, who failed to defend his position as leader of the South Moravian region. 

Jiří Lang likely to become chief of National Security Office

08-12-2016 11:52 | Ruth Fraňková

Jiří Lang has been put forward as the new head of the National Security Office. The former chief of the country’s counter-intelligence service is set to replace Dušan Navrátil, government’s spokesman Martin Ayrer told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. Mr Navrátil, who was in charge of the counter-intelligence service for the past 10 years, is set to become the government’s coordinator for cyber security. The government should debate the proposal by the end of the year. 

Ministry of Culture approves loan of Slav Epic to Japan

08-12-2016 11:51 | Ruth Fraňková

The Ministry of Culture this week approved the loan of the Slav Epic series of paintings by Alfons Mucha to Japan, the ministry’s spokeswoman Simona Cigánková told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The cycle of canvases by the famous art nouveau painter is set to leave the Czech Republic in February and go on display in Tokyo in March 2017. The ministry has not decided yet whether the paintings will subsequently travel to China. The loan of the Slav Epic has been criticised by restorers, who worry that the paintings could be damaged by transport and local conditions. It has also been opposed by the grandson of the painter, John Mucha. 

Weather

08-12-2016 10:07 | Chris Johnstone

The weather Friday will be overcast with the chance of rain in places. Highest daytime temperatures will be between three and seven degrees Celsius. 

National Hockey League: Pastrňák third-leading goal scorer

08-12-2016 10:00 | Jan Velinger

Czech forward David Pastrňák has continued his scoring streak, racking up his 16th goal in the NHL this season for the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. The Bruins managed to earn a point from the match against the Washington Capitals, losing 4-3 in overtime. Pastrňák, 20, is currently third on the NHL scorers’ list behind Sidney Crosby and Patrik Laine. 

Lawmakers approve 2017 state budget

07-12-2016 18:42 | Jan Velinger

Lawmakers in the Chamber of Chamber of Deputies passed the draft state budget for 2017 which will have a 60 billion crown deficit, 10 billion crowns fewer than the budget this year. MPs passed the proposal as put forward by Andrej Babiš, and downed proposals put forward by the opposition, which criticized the bill for the deficit at a time of economic prosperity. The bill counts on increases in social benefits, pay rises for academics and researchers and, for example, monument restoration. Expected next year are revenues of 1249.3 billion crowns and budget expenses of 1309.3 billion crowns. 

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