A jackal has been shot by a hunter near Kunín in the eastern Moravia-Silesia region. The hunter apparently mistook the animal for a fox. It is the first time that a jackal has been found in the part of the Czech Republic though they have been spotted in the past in South Moravia and in Central Bohemia. The jackal is now set to be preserved and put on show at the local museum in Nový Jičín.
Two Czech children are reported to have been seriously injured in a boat collision off the island of Hvar in Croatia, local media have reported. The two girls, both under the age of ten, are reported to have been airlifted to a hospital in Split in serious condition. The slobodnadalmacia.hr news site says one of them underwent brain surgery and both remain in intensive care.
The remains of the four Czech soldiers killed in Tuesday’s suicide bombing in Afghanistan will be flown back to the Czech Republic on Thursday. The government special is expected to arrive at Kbely airport around 13 pm CET. President Miloš Zeman, Defense Ministry officials and members of the soldiers’ special unit will be present to pay their respects. Flags are being flown at half mast and at noon bells will toll and sirens will sound around the country in their memory. All four soldiers will be awarded medals for bravery in memoriam.
Ten Czech human right groups and NGOs have written an open letter to the prime minister, foreign minister and minister for human rights asking them to renew the country’s commitment to supporting human rights around the world. Among the signatories are Czechs in support of Tibet, the Czech branch of Amnesty International, the Vaclav Havel Library and People in Need. The centre-left government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has been accused of downgrading support for human rights in return for furthering the country’s business interests. Czech and Chinese officials recently signed an agreement on boosting trade, which included a passage saying that the Czech Republic respects the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China and does not support the independence of Tibet.
The Israeli ambassador to Prague Gary Koren is not ruling out a massive ground operation if Hamas attacks from the Gaza Strip do not cease. In an interview for the ctk news agency Ambassador Koren said that while the Israeli government favoured a ceasefire agreement it would not hesitate to protect its citizens. Violence along the Gaza frontier sharply escalated following the abduction and killing of three Jewish seminary students in the occupied West Bank three weeks ago.
Czech consumer prices stagnated in a year-on-year as well as month-on-month comparison in June after rising by 0.4 percent annually in May, the Czech Statistics Office said on Wednesday. The result was influenced mainly by a drop in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. A drop in inflation from 0.4 percent in May was generally expected, but a decrease all the way to a zero level is a surprise, analyst Patrik Rožumberský of UniCredit Bank told the ctk news agency. The board of the National Bank expects that the growth of consumer prices will be near the bank’s 2 percent inflation target for next year.
Details have emerged from the KGB files smuggled out of Russia in 1992 by senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin, which Britain declassified last week. Some of the files relate to an operation code-named Progress in which 15 Russian agents were sent to Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1968 to undermine the Prague Spring pro-democracy movement. They targeted journalists from Czechoslovak radio and television, academics from Charles University, members of the Christian Democratic Party and writers such as Pavel Kohout and Milan Kundera. Operation Progress was launched by then KGB chief Jurii Andropov. The files can be viewed at Cambridge University.
Cabinet members on Wednesday held a minute of silence as a mark of respect for the four Czech soldiers killed in Afghanistan and the government ordered sirens to go off and bells to toll around the country in their memory at midday on Thursday. They will also be awarded medals for bravery in memoriam by the president. The country will not be holding a day of mourning as such. A government plane is to leave for Afghanistan later today to repatriate the soldiers’ remains. Details about funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.
The President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has denounced the Tuesday bombing as a cowardly and unforgivable act that took the lives of innocent civilians, including many children. In a statement published in the Kabul Times the Afghan president said such actions were not compatible with the teachings of Islam. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday.
The Czech solider who was wounded in Tuesday’s terrorist suicide bombing in Afghanistan remains in serious but stable condition, a Czech military source reported on Wednesday. The soldier, who was flown to a US military hospital, has undergone two emergency operations and is likely to remain in Afghanistan for another 10 to 14 days. Four Czech soldiers were killed in the bombing, which also claimed the lives of ten Afghan children and two police officers.
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