In tennis, last year’s women’s singles Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitová has been seeded second for this year’s championships. The number one seed is Serena Williams. In the men’s singles, Tomáš Berdych, a former Wimbledon finalist, is seeded sixth. Kvitová’s number two spot faithfully reflects her place in the current WTA rankings. The top Czech woman player has pulled out of some of the Wimbledon warm up tournaments because of illness.
The manager and players of the Czech Under-21 football team will be following Wednesday nights match between England and Italy with particular attention. Although the Czech team was knocked out of the tournament on Tuesday night, they could be in line for a play-off match for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil,if England proceed in the tournament. The play-off between the two third placed teams of the Olympic place should take place on Sunday.
The annual Czech motorcycle grand prix at Brno appears to be threatened with closure. Plans for the August event to be subsidized by the city council collapsed on Tuesday night. The event’s organizer, Automotodrom Brno, with immediate effect stopped advance ticket sales. The final word on whether the race will go ahead will be given by the Spanish company and race promotor Dorna. Brno originally offered to increase its support to 50 million crowns. The south Moravian regional government had offered 67 million crowns to stage the event but organisers said the conditions attached were unacceptable.
Sentences of up to nine years have been handed down in the so-called Promopro affair, in which a company charged excessive sums for audiovisual services provided to the Czech government during it EU presidency at the start of 2009. The stiffest penalty of nine years was handed down to one of the Promopro company bosses, Jaroslav Veselý, with one of the firm’s main sub-contractors getting the same sentence. They were found guilty of fraud as well as laundering dirty money. Sentences of not guilty were delivered on three government officials involved in organized the EU presidency. The sentences can still be appealed.
From September night trams in Prague will run every 20 minutes rather than at the present frequency of every half an hour. Along with the nine tram routes, six of the busiest night buses will also run more often, Prague’s deputy mayor Petr Dolínek told reporters. In recent years night trams, particularly in the city centre, have been overcrowded at weekends, Mr. Dolínek said. The impact of the increased service will be assessed at the end of the year after a four-month trial period. There are no plans to extend metro services into the night hours.
Hosts the Czech Republic have been eliminated from the European Under 21 Championship in football. The “Lion Cubs” put in an impressive performance against Germany at Prague’s Eden stadium on Tuesday night, coming from behind to draw 1:1 thanks to a goal from Ladislav Krejčí. However, that result in their final group game left them third, outside the semi-final places. The Czechs may not have played their final game in the competition: If England go through to the semi-finals on Wednesday night, they will play the third team in the second group on Sunday for a place at next year’s Olympics in Rio.
The Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, says EU sanctions that cover his stable of racehorses in the Czech Republic represent a breach of horses’ rights. On Monday the Czech Ministry of Finance said the stable could continue functioning but profits it made would be seized as part of sanctions targeted against Russia; any winnings must be put back into its operation. Mr. Kadyrov’s stable was registered with the Czech Jockey Club in 2012. The Chechen leader has been a long-term supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has backed his actions relating to Ukraine.
The Supreme Court in Prague has quashed a decision on the admissibility of the extradition to the United States of three men wanted on charges of collaborating with terrorists. The news was relayed to the Czech News Agency by a spokesperson for the Prague Municipal Court, which had agreed to the extradition in April. The Supreme Court upheld complaints from the accused, who said the US had not provided sufficient guarantees they would not be subject to inhumane treatment. The Municipal Court must now request specification from the US authorities. The US says the three – two are from the Ivory Coast and the other is Lebanon-born with Ukrainian citizenship – attempted to sell weapons and cocaine to its agents posing as Colombian FARC rebels.
The Czech Republic has rejected part of the draft conclusions of a European Union summit on illegal migration, the country’s foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, said after a meeting of EU ministers on Tuesday. Mr. Zaorálek said Prague continued to insist on the voluntary acceptance of asylum seekers and would not agree to a system under which states were allotted a number of refugees on the basis of quotas. The Czech foreign policy chief said he had supported the defence of the EU’s external borders and the creation of a mechanism for returning asylum seekers. Mr. Zaorálek told reporters that Spain, Portugal, the Baltic States and the other Visegrad countries were also against quotas. Under the proposed system the Czech Republic would have to take in 1,300 refugees.
The Czech police’s anti-corruption unit has uncovered counterfeit gold bars in an investigation into VAT fraud of almost CZK 500,000. A spokesperson said more information on the case would be made public at a news conference on Wednesday. The police – who have uncovered the workshop where they were produced – are hoping that drawing attention to the matter will alert people who may have purchased the faked gold bars, which only experts can tell apart from the real thing; they come with certificates and weigh the same as real gold bars.
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