In tennis, Czech Lucie Hradecká has created a major upset in the first grand slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open, by knocking out fifth seed Ana Ivanovic. Hradecká had to play in the qualifications to get into the tournament. The Czech lost the first set 6:1 but stormed to a 3 game lead in the second and eventually took that 6:3. She rounded off the 90-minute match with a 6:2 win in the third set. There were also first round wins for Tomáš Berdych, Karolína Plíšková, and Lukaš Rosol.
A miner died at a mine in Karviná in the Moravia-Silesia Region on Sunday while repairing the hydraulic system on a mining shearer, a machine that cuts coal from the coal-face. The tragedy occurred at about 750 metres below the ground. The man, aged 44, was dead on arrival at a mine rescue centre, a spokesman for the mine’s operator, OKD, told reporters. Eight people died in mines owned by OKD, the country’s only producer of black coal, in 2014.
The opening of a new Metro station in Prague in early April will result in the most changes to the city’s public transport system at one time since 2012, the news website iDnes.cz reported on Monday. When an extension of the A (green) line from Dejvická to Motol is launched, around 80 bus and 14 tram connections should follow different routes, while some new routes will be created and others discontinued, iDnes.cz said, quoting Ropid, the operator of Prague’s public transport system. Town Halls in Prague’s districts have until February 6 to question the proposed changes.
Scores of mainly young people lit candles at the tomb of Jan Palach in Prague’s Olšany cemetery on Sunday, which was the eve of the anniversary of his death from self-immolation in 1969. The event was co-organised by people who previously held a demonstration against the Czech president, Miloš Zeman. One of them, Martin Přikryl, told the Czech News Agency that Palach had died for ideals that were more current today than they had been some years ago, highlighting what he described as passivity towards the Czech government’s positions on international issues.
“Virtual turbulence” involving the exchange rate will not influence the economic policies of the Czech government, says the prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka. Mr. Sobotka was reacting to the fact that the country’s currency the crown has weakened to 28.50 to the euro. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, he attributed that development to what he termed “wild speculation”. The prime minister said his government’s policy would help the Czech National Bank to achieve its inflation target of 2 percent.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, says the budget of the country’s BIS intelligence service will be increased by tens of millions in the coming years. Mr. Sobotka made the comment on Czech Television on Sunday, following speculation that the BIS might get a cash boost of around a billion crowns in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France. The cabinet is on Monday due to discuss draft legislation that would increase the intelligence service’s powers, including giving it access to information on the clients of banks and on owners of telephone numbers.
The popular Ostrava-based folk singer Jarek Nohavica began a tour of venues in Prague on Saturday night with a sold-out show at the city’s La Fabrice. The musician is playing a series of 12 dates in the capital and plans to perform different sets and welcome different guests each night. The final concert is at Forum Karlín on January 28.
Czech officials report an increase in poaching last year. While in the whole of 2013, 86 cases were investigated, in the first 11 months of 2014 the figure was 90, a spokesperson for the police presidium told the Czech News Agency. However, a representative of the Bohemian-Moravian Hunters’ Union, Martin Horálek, said that problem was in fact far more widespread. Mr. Horálek said in most cases poachers killed animals for meat, which they sold directly to restaurants.
An unusual ceremony by modern standards will take place in Prague on Sunday evening when the president of Mongolia, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, will receive an official welcome at the city’s Main Train Station, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported. After arriving in a separate carriage on a EuroCity train from Berlin, the head of state will be welcomed by President Miloš Zeman’s head of protocol and other officials before a meeting with his Czech counterpart on Monday.
The West Bohemian City of Plzeň has officially launched its year as European Capital of Culture 2015. One of the main events marking the launch on Saturday was a “symphony of bells” in the city’s churches at 17:30. Other events being planned as part of the ongoing three-day festivities are a show on the main square náměstí Republiky involving a large video mapping project, acrobats, musicians and other artists. An extensive exhibition dedicated to legendary, locally-born animator Jiří Trnka also began on Saturday.
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