Czech seventh seed Tomáš Berdych was booed off Hisense Arena on Sunday after a bad tempered fourth-round victory over Nicolas Almagro at the Australian Open. Berdych refused to shake hands with the Spaniard after he won the match 4-6 7-6 7-6 7-6 and set up a quarter-final with Rafa Nadal because he felt the 10th-seeded Almagro had deliberately blasted a return at his head during the fourth set.
The Vietnamese minority in the Czech Republic is celebrating the arrival of the Lunar New Year –the Year of the Dragon. The arrival of the New Year is traditionally celebrated as a family holiday in the privacy of people’s homes or Vietnamese restaurants. New Year’s Eve celebrations took place at the SAPA Vietnamese open air market in Prague on Saturday. With a population of over 17,000 the Vietnamese community is the country’s third largest minority.
Railway transport in the north of the country was disrupted for most of Sunday morning after a train hit a fallen tree and derailed. No one was reported hurt in the incident. Czech Railways said train traffic between Liberec and Pardubice was fully restored by 11 am. The line between Železný Brod and Harrachov, was also closed for several hours as maintenance workers cleared fallen trees from the tracks. Czech Railways secured a replacement bus service for passengers.
Police are questioning a 26-year-old man who on Saturday brutally murdered his mother and grandmother. The incident happened in a housing condominium in the town of Česká Lípa. Despite the fast arrival of emergency services both women, aged 60 and 80, succumbed to their injuries. Both had multiple knife wounds and were bleeding severely. The motive remains unclear.
Two Czech artists - Roman Švejda and Lukas Gavlovský - are creating a heart-shaped wax sculpture in honour of the late president Vaclav Havel. The sculpture is being made from the thousands of candles that people lit in Vaclav Havel’s memory on the city’s main square. The sculpture is being made at the Trafačka cultural centre and many people have voluntarily turned up to help the artists. A heart is considered to be symbolic of the late president since he often added a small heart to his signature to illustrate his life-long motto "Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred."
Dozens of Czech cinemas may have to close down in 2013 because they are not ready for digitalization. As of 2013 films for cinema screenings will only be available in digital format and according to the Czech Statistical Office only a quarter of the country’s 470 cinemas are equipped with the respective technology. Many cinemas in the smaller towns and cities have not been modernized for financial reasons.
Prague’s Masaryk Railway Station was closed for over two hours on Sunday due to a hoax bomb threat. Police evacuated the premises shortly after mid-day and explosives experts with sniffer dogs searched the grounds. Ten trains were delayed in consequence. Police are now searching for the hoax caller.
Second seed Petra Kvitova blasted into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday when Russian Maria Kirilenko retired with a leg injury after the first game of the second set of their third round match, having lost the first 6-0. Kvitova had torn through the first set in 34 minutes and then broke Kirilenko in the first game of the second before the 29th seeded Russian walked to the net and shook hands with the Czech. Kvitova will next play either former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic or Vania King in the last 16.
Over 1300 Czechs have received a warning from the police regarding theft of their personal data by hackers. Commercial TV Nova, which aired the story on Friday evening, said the theft occurred in an attack on the US security firm Stratfor in late December and the stolen information allegedly includes people’s bank account numbers. People whom it concerns have been asked to contact their banks and not open suspicious-looking mails which could contain viruses. This is the first time ever that the police has contacted so many people on an individual basis rather than issuing a mass warning.
A fire is reported to have destroyed large parts of St. Sebastian Hotel in the Chomutov region. The fire was reported at around 11 am on Saturday and although six fire brigades fought and eventually contained the blaze most of the roof and the upper floor were completely destroyed. There were only six guests in the building at the time of the fire and all were evacuated in time. No injuries are reported. Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Restaurant tells visitors to “clear their plates” or pay a 50 crown fine for wasting food
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’