News Tennis legend Martina Navrátilová celebrates 60th birthday
The Prague-born tennis legend Martina Navrátilová is today celebrating her 60th birthday. Navrátilová, who received political asylum in the United States at the age of 18 and became a US citizen in 1981, won 18 Grand Slam titles in a glittering career. She holds the records for the most singles and doubles titles in tennis’s open era. Navrátilová has been outspoken on a number of political issues, including lesbian and gay rights.
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Czech Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of Prague Miloslav Vlk, 84, has been diagnosed with lung cancer which has metastasized also to the bones; he is due to begin chemotherapy soon, the Czech News Agency and other sources reported on Monday. First signs of the disease reportedly appeared last spring and at around Christmas of 2016 the Cardinal was hospitalised after his condition worsened. The illness was diagnosed this month, following a CT scan and bronchoscopy. Cardinal Vlk is in home care at a parish in Karlín where he is being cared for by the local priest, the website www.kardinal.cz writes.
A smog warning from the Czech Hdyro-Meteorological Institute is still in place for some parts of the Czech Republic. The warning applies for eight regions, including Prague, Hradec Králové, Ústí nad Labem and South Moravia, where where more than double the permissible limit for airborne dust particles have been recorded. People with respiratory diseases and heart condition as well as elderly people and children have been adviced to limit outdoor physical activities. Authorities in Prague have repeatedly appealed to drivers to curb their travels. The regulation limiting the biggest polluters is still in place in the regions of Prague, Olomouc and Central Bohemia.
Women’s tennis player Barbora Strýcová has been knocked out of the Australian Open, after being beaten in the fourth round by the six-time champion and world number two Serena Williams 5:7 a 4:6: The last Czech player to remain in the singles tournament is Karolína Plíšková, who will face Australia’s Daria Gavrilova to fight for a spot in the quarter finals.
Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius.
The Czech Republic should start negotiating with Great Britain over Brexit on its own, without waiting for the European Union, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Sunday in a political debate programme on Czech television, adding that it might take too long for the European Union to adopt a single stand on the issue. Mr Chovanec said the country’s priority was to protect the rights of Czechs working in Great Britain. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has already announced he wanted to meet with leaders of the parliamentary parties in February to coordinate a “national position” on the UK’s exit from the EU.
Two Czechs were killed in an avalanche accident in the Austrian Alps on Sunday. Four tourists from the Czech Republic were caught by the avalanche that struck the Wildgerlostal mountain resort near Salzburg, the Austrian mountain service informed. Two of them managed to dig themselves out of the snow on time. None of the men had proper avalanche rescue equipment with them, the rescuers reported.
Czech Eva Samková has won the gold medal in the women’s snowboard cross event at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah. The 23-year-old Olympic champion has clinched her first victory since last February and currently leads the overall World Cup standings. Michaela Moioli of Italy took silver, while the bronze went to Lindsey Jacobelis of the US.The start of the finals had to be postponed several times due to heavy snow fall and challenging wind conditions.
Fourteen firefighter units had to attend to a fire in an industrial zone near Havraň in the Most region on Sunday. The fire broke out in a factory producing plastic car interior components. Dozens of people had to be evacuated from the premises, but no chemicals were released outside the affected area, police spokeswoman Veronika Hypšlerová told the Czech News Agency. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Damage has been estimated at more than 100 million crowns.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has won the support of twelve regional branches of the Social Democratic Party for defending his post at the party`s national election congress in spring. On Saturday, he was nominated by the delegates at regional conferences in Olomouc and South Moravia. Most of the regional branches, with the exception of South Moravia, have nominated Interior Minister Milan Chovanec to defend the post of first deputy chairman. Mr Chovanec is also supported by the Prime Minister. The Social Democrats' biggest rival in the upcoming general elections in late 2017 will be the ANO Party of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, which has been consistently ahead in opinion polls.
The net profits of the state-run forestry company Lesy ČR between January and November 2016 dropped by 21 percent year on year to 4.75 billion crowns, the company has informed on its website. During that period, Lesy ČR felled 7.42 million cubic meters of timber, which is an increase by 1.8 percent. The company blames the steep drop on lower timber prices. They also say they have been forced to fell poor quality trees because of the ever present danger of bark beetle infestation. The state company owns around half the forests in the country. In 2015 it announced net profit of 5.4 billion crowns.