In tennis, Czech Radek Štěpanek is through to the final of the Men’s Doubles at the Australian Open together with Canadian partner Daniel Nestor. They beat the Uruguayan-Spanish pairing of Pablo Cuevas and Marcel Granollers in the semi-final 7:6, 6:4. They will face Brit Jamie Murray and Brazilian Bruno Soares in the final.
In football, leading top league Czech football club Viktoria Plzeň has prolonged the contract of current manager Karel Krejčí until the end of June 2018. The current deal was due to expire at the end of this season. Krejčí took over in August last year when the West Bohemian club exited the qualifying round for the Champions League. At the mid-point in the season, Viktoria are currently top of the local league with a three point lead over nearest rivals, Sparta Prague.
Prague’s Estates Theatre will pay homage to composed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Wednesday night on the 260th anniversary of his birth. A concert at the theatre will offer a range of music from the composer’s short by rich life. Guest star will be soprano Simona Houda Šaturova with the National Theatre Orchestra conducted by Rolf Beck. Several of Mozart’s works were premiered in Prague, including the first performance of the opera Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre.
Czech medicinal cannabis producer Elkoplast Slušovice says it will deliver its first consignment of locally grown and produced product in the second half of February. Three similar consignments of 10 kilogrammes should follow by the end of this year. The Czech company signed a contract to supply cannabis to the state drugs authority last year. Use of medicinal cannabis is legal in the country since April 2013. Some local critics say medicinal cannabis is still difficult to find in pharmacies and the price is too high.
A top Czech cancer specialist has said that only around 8-10 percent of cancers are probably caused by genetics. The overwhelming proportion of remaining cases are linked to external factors such as the environment and age, Professor Luboš Petruželka said at a conference on cancer in Prague. Around one in three Czechs eventually suffer from cancer. The professor said that doctors needed to be educated better about the signs of possible cancer. The toolbox of treatments has remained largely unchanged over the past decades, the professor pointed out, making the reduction of external causes one of the most promising routes to follow.
The Czech competition office has started to probe the takeover by Brno City Council of the company behind most of the city’s international trade fairs, Veletrhy Brno. The city council last year bought a 61 percent stake in the fairs company from a Dusseldorf company for 224 million euros. The German company has been running the Brno fairs site and events for 17 years. Brno is particularly noted for its annual engineering and farm technology fairs.
Prague police announced on Wednesday that they had begun criminal proceedings against the former national ice hockey coach, Vladimír Růžička. The Czech news agency, ČTK, reported he was charged on Wednesday with embezzlement. The suspicions date from his time as the trainer of Slavia Prague, where he is alleged to have demanded payments from parents to ensure that their children played. The scandal over the payments erupted in April last year shortly before the World Ice Hockey championships being hosted in Prague and Ostrava. Růžička stepped down from his position as coach for the national team in June. He is currently the trainer for top Czech league team Chomutov.
The northwest Bohemian town of Jácyhmov is celebrating its 500th birthday this year. Events are being prepared throughout the year but should culminate on 19-21 August. The town was created as a result of rich local seams of silver and by 1534 ws the second biggest town in Bohemia with around 18,000 inhabitants. It was also the first town where uranium was exploited and the sole supplier during the early decades of the 20th century. The first radium spa was created there in 1906.
The Czech Banking Association has revised slightly down its economic growth prediction for this year to 2.4 percent from November’s 2.5 percent. It has, however, upped its forecast for 2015 to 4.2 percent. The association sees growth in 2017 rising to 2.7 percent. Inflation, however, will only rise to something near the level of the central bank’s expectations in 2017 when it is expected to average around 2.2 percent.
Czech women’s tennis doubles duo Andrea Hlavácková and Lucie Hradecká have played their way through to the finals of the Australian Open. The pair beat the Chinese partnership of Xu and Zeng 3:6, 6:3, 6:1. The Czech pairing was seeded seventh in the first Grand Slam event of the year. The Czech doubles pairing have already won French and US Open finals.
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