Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych beat world number one Novak Djokovič 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 at the Rome Masters on Friday, to reach the tournament’s semifinals. Berdych, seeded sixth, was one set down and was losing 2:5 in the second set but made a remarkable comeback, winning five games in a row. In the third set, Berdych converted his fourth match point, scoring only his second career win against the Serbian player. Berdych will play either Rafael Nadal or David Ferrer in the semifinal.
The 19th international book fair and literary festival Book World Prague is underway. The event brings together writers and publishers from around the world including US author Robert Fulghum and British writer Stephen Clarke. Slovakia is the festival’s guest of honour this year with a series of programmes dedicated to Slovak literature. The Book World Prague 2013 goes on until Sunday.
President Miloš Zeman has refused to appoint literary historian Martin C. Putna a university professor. Mr Putna, a teacher at Prague’s Charles University, is one of the president’s most vocal critics, and supported Mr Zeman’s rival for the presidency in January’s vote. The rector of Charles University has demanded an explanation from the president’s office; for his part, President Zeman said he would only reveal his motivation in court. Mr Zeman has come under criticism from some Czech politicians over his decision.
In an operation in Czech border areas, customs officials have confiscated fuel imports worth 3.5 million crowns, a spokeswoman for the customs said. The inspections took place on Thursday and Friday when officials checked all fuel transports crossing the border to the Czech Republic for documents proving VAT had been paid. Tax evasions on fuel imports annually cause losses of between five and eight billion crowns, according to the customs’ estimates.
The European Commission has approved Czech company Agrofert’s acquisition of German bakery chain Lieken AG, the commission said in a statement on Friday. Lieken, Germany’s leader in bread making, was previously owned by the Italian company Barilla; the sale was closed in February. Agrofest Group, owned exclusively by Mr Andrej Babiš, is the largest Czech agriculture and food holding.
A major EU-wide survey ranks the Czech Republic as a relatively tolerant country to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. The poll, conducted by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights among 93,000 people in the bloc’s member states plus Croatia, found that around 26 percent of gay people have faced attacks or violent threats due to their sexuality which is the same share as registered in the Czech Republic. Another 20 percent of those surveyed said they had been discriminated against at work or when looking for a job; in the Czech Republic, 10 percent of LGBT people said they faced such discrimination.
Heavy storms are expected to hit western Czech Republic on Friday evening, meteorologists have warned. The storms could be accompanied by strong winds and hail. The warning applies to the regions of Karlovy Vary, Plzeň, central and southern Bohemia and western parts of the Ústí region. Torrential rain could cause local flooding, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute said, and asked people in the likely affected areas to secure doors and windows on their houses.
Undeclared horsemeat has once again been found in products sold in the Czech Republic, this time in canned meat from Latvia. The Czech authorities were alerted by German inspectors, who found this particular product to contain up to 87% of horsemeat. According to the Czech food inspection agency, the products do not seem to be harmful, but since no horsemeat was listed on the label, they will have to be taken off the shelves. Some 144 cans were imported to the Czech Republic, meant for Russian specialties shops.
Czech ice hockey forward Roman Červenka is leaving the NHL, where he played for Calgary, and returning to the Continental League (KHL) to play for Saint Petersburg, his agent Aleš Volek told the CTK news agency on Friday. Červenka, 27, who played for Calgary in the past season, has signed a three-year contract with St. Petersburg. Červenka is returning to the Continental League after a year-long pause. Before joining Calgary, he played for the KHL's Omsk for two years. He played 39 games for Calgary Flames, scoring nine goals and securing eight assists.
Thomas Maria Messer, who headed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for more than 27 years, died on Wednesday in New York at the age of 93. Messer, who was born in Bratislava, moved to Prague when he was four years old. He left Czechoslovakia to go to the United States on a study grant sixteen years later, in September 1939. He enlisted in the American army during the Second World War and served in Europe, but returned to live in the U.S. afterwards. Mr Messer became the director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1961, and is credited with acquiring a number of large and important private art collections as well as facilitating the opening of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, the Guggenheim Foundation’s first international location.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur