Top-seeded Karolina Plíšková rallied from a set down to claim her fourth WTA title by defeating qualifier Lucie Hradecká 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in an all-Czech final of the Prague Open on Saturday. The 14th-ranked Plíšková wasted three match points when she was 5-2 up in the final set. But she served out the match in the following game, converting her fifth match point with a forehand winner.
A group of 30 bikers, including members of the Russian Night Wolves bikers club, are reported to have crossed the Czech border with Slovakia on their way to Bratislava and later Austria. Several members of the Russian Night Wolves are said to have attended Thursday’s remembrance events in Ostrava marking the end of WWII. The Night Wolves, who are said to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, announced their intention to ride through Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Austria and reach Berlin by May 9 to commemorate the victory of Russian troops over Nazi Germany 70 years ago. However the ride evoked controversy and Poland denied them entry. The Czech traffic police said it would closely observe their movements in the country.
Several dozen Star Wars fans joined the first-ever Star Wars parade in Prague on Saturday held to mark Star Wars Day on May 4th. The group wearing Princes Leia, Luke Skywalker costumes and those of other popular characters made their down Wenceslas Square and across Charles Bridge stopping to take photographs with tourists along the way. The procession was co-organized by Czech Star Wars Universe and fan organizations such as the Rebel Legion and the Czech Garrison, one of the "outposts" of the 501st Legion serving the Czech Republic.
The opening of the World Ice Hockey Championship in Ostrava was marked by tragedy. An 18-year- old hockey fan was hit by a train in the early hours of Saturday. According to the news site novinky.cz the incident happened at dawn and the fan who was killed on impact was reportedly a foreign national. The police have not released details regarding his nationality. According to a police spokeswoman the engine driver saw a figure on the rail tracks but was too close to avert a collision.
A memorial to U.S. General George S. Patton who commanded the Third United States Army that liberated Plzeň on May 6, 1945 was unveiled in the town on Friday within six days of Freedom Celebrations. Its unveiling was attended by General Patton's grandson George Patton Waters, representatives of the U.S. embassy and local dignitaries. The city’s mayor Martin Zrzavecký expressed regret that for so many decades it had not been possible to give proper thanks and credit to the US army for liberating the town. During communist rule the role of the US army in liberating west Bohemia was played down.
A Czech trauma team of nine doctors and ten nurses has started providing medical aid after setting up a field hospital in Melamchi, in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. It is treating quake victims with lighter to moderate injuries. The death toll from the devastating earthquake has reached 6,621 and resue teams say they do not expect to find any more survivors.
The Czech national team suffered a 6-5 defeat on home ground at the hands of Sweden in the opener of the Ice Hockey World Championship. Although the Swedish team was up 3-1 at the end of the second period, the Czechs rallied to clinch a 5:5 tie by the end of the game. They lost 6:5 following a shootout. On Saturday evening the team will face Latvia, which suffered 6:1 defeat in its opening game with Canada on Friday.
Czech police say they have registered the presence of several members of the Russian Night Wolves bikers club in the Czech Republic. Several of them reportedly attended Thursday’s remembrance events in Ostrava marking the end of WWII. However no motorcycle convoy has been sighted and it appears that some of the club members are undertaking the ride through Europe by car. The Night Wolves, who are said to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, announced their intention to ride through Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Austria and reach Berlin by May 9 to commemorate the victory of Russian troops over Nazi Germany 70 years ago. However the ride evoked controversy and Poland denied them entry. The Czech traffic police said it would closely observe their movements in the country.
Police in Brno used force and tear gas to disperse a crowd of around 1,500 people who attempted to physically prevent a planned march through the city by the ultra-right Workers Party for Social Justice on Friday. Protesters physical blocked the way of the march booing and shouting “Nazis get out of Brno!” Among those present on the square were city council officials, including the mayor of the Brno-stred district Martin Landa who told the ctk news agency that it had not been possible to prevent the march on the grounds that it was announced as a Labour Day event. The 200-strong march by members and supporters of the Workers Party for Social Justice was partially disrupted but eventually passed through the city. Many of those who attempted to stop them suffered bruises and the effects of tear gas. Hundreds of officers, including police on horseback, were out in force to maintain order.
Around 200 anarchists took part in a protest march through Prague city centre on Friday afternoon. According to the organizers the protest was aimed against war, the political elite and the police force which they accuse of repression against anarchists. The police arrested several people this week in an operation against left-wing radicals who are alleged to have committed arson, including setting on fire several police cars and a police station. The march which set off from Střelecký Island passed through Narodní třída and Karlovo náměstí and ended at Naměstí míru in Prague’s Vinohrady district without incident. It was closely monitored by the police.
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