Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has begun a three-day visit to
Egypt during which he is expected to meet with President Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi. The Czech News Agency reported that meeting would likely take
place on Monday. Mr Zaorálek is visiting with a delegation of Czech
business representatives; meetings are also scheduled with ministers. A
visit to Cairo's Abusir (where Czech archeologists have been active
for some 55 years and have contributed extensively to important finds) has
also been planned.
On Sunday, the foreign minister met with members of the Syrian opposition in Cairo and agreed that utmost effort was needed to end violence in Syria so that refugees fleeing the conflict could return home. Members of the 'Cairo platform' met by Mr Zaorálek include the Syrian actor, director and producer Jamal Suliman who told Czech journalists that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should step down.
Gale or whole gale-force winds are expected in parts of the Czech Republic on Monday, ranging from 70 km/h in lower laying areas in Bohemia and the Czech-Moravian highlands and 90 km/h in the mountains. In places, windy conditions will continue into Tuesday, the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute said.
Work by the renowned contemporary artist and political activist Ai Weiwei has been installed in front of Prague's Veletržní Palác (Trade Fair Palace), run by the National Gallery. The artist, a strong critic of the Chinese government over human rights, is to visit Prague next week to personally present the 12 sculptures entitled Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads. It is the first time Ai Weiwei's work is being exhibited in the Czech capital. The work has been described as criticism of both European military intervention in China in the 19th century and the contemporary art market. It will remain on view until the end of August.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has expressed the conviction that the Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, is dividing Czech society as a means to create an ideal environment for re-election in the next presidential elections. The prime minister suggested as much in an interview for the Czech weekly Respekt. He likened a recent statement the president made about the Kalashnikov as being a non-democratic means of 'ridding' the country of the prime minister to rhetoric used by fascists and white supremacists. In the same article, Mr Sobotka suggested that Mr Zeman may have shifted from the left to conservative opinions as a result of older age.
An accident on the D10 highway on Sunday morning,which left four people with injuries, saw the section of highway closed off for three hours before traffic resumed. The accident took place at the 64th kilometre in the direction of Turnov. One of those injured, the driver of a small truck, was taken to hospital by helicopter, an emergency services spokeswoman confirmed.
Director and screenwriter Ladislav Helge, who was part of the generation that formed the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, died on Sunday at the age of 88. He passed away at an unnamed Prague hospital following a long illness. The news was released by film producer Jaromír Kallista. After the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and during much the Normalisation period, Mr Helge was banned from working in film. In 1977, he began work as a director and scriptwriter at Laterna Magika, where he remained for 15 years. In the mid-1990s he headed FAMU's film directing department for a time following the death of fellow director Zdeněk Sirový.
Montreal Canadiens' defenceman P.K. Subban won the NHL's breakaway challenge in the NHL's All-Stars skills competition on Saturday while channeling Czech legend Jaromír Jágr. On his second attempt, Subban donned a Florida Panthers jersey with the number 68, a wig emulating Jágr's famous mullet haircut, and a Jofa helmet; after taking the shot on Pekka Rinne, he even saluted Jágr-style. Speaking afterwards, Subban said he only got the idea around 25 minutes earlier but that it was a sign of respect to a player he had grown up watching. Jágr, also on the All-Star team, got a clear kick out of the joke and joined Subban on the ice in appreciation.
Speed skater Martina Sablíková clinched her 41st career triumph on Saturday, winning the 1500m race at the Speedskating World Cup competition in Stavanger, Norway. It is the first time she has won the 1500m in the World Cup, ČTK reported. Sablíková won the bronze in the discipline at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Her time on Saturday was 1:55:44.
Czech midfielder Tomáš Rosický came on in the 71st minute to replace Alex Iwobi in Arsenal's FA Cup fourth round match-up against Burnely. It is the first time this season that Rosický has played for his team; he was out of action for some eight months and underwent knee surgery last August. In the 84th minute, Rosický helped create an opportunity for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but the latter shot high. Goalkeeper Petr Čech did not play; David Ospina had goalkeeping duties on Saturday. Arsenal won the match 2:1
Costs of introducing the euro in the Czech Republic would reach some 0.5 percent of GDP and payments to the European Stability Mechanism would reach 34 billion crowns, the State Secretary for European Affairs Tomáš Prouza said at a conference on euro adoption on Friday. The state secretary stressed that the Czech Republic was economically prepared for the euro´s introduction and fulfilled euro-zone entry criteria much better than 11 years ago. A day earlier, the European Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis also said that the Czech Republic was prepared from an economic standpoint to adopt the euro, suggesting the country's entry to the euro zone was now mainly an issue of political will. One of the government´s priorities this year will be to intensify the public debate on euro adoption.
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