The Czech team tied 1:1 against Switzerland at the Fed Cup semifinals in Lucerne on Saturday. Barbora Strýcová won the first point with a surprisingly easy victory against Timea Bacsinszky 6:0 a 6:2, but Karolína Plíšková failed to capitalize on the advantage, losing to Viktorija Golubic 6:3, 4:6, 4:6.
A 27-year old German student is being investigated in Sweden on suspicion of having tried to blackmail the Czech government with threats involving an unspecified toxic substance, Swedish media reported citing state attorney Henrik Söderman. No further details were given. Swedish, Czech and German police are reportedly working on the case together with the FBI. In 2014 someone threatened to spread the Ebola virus in the Czech Republic if the government did not pay one million euros. It is not clear if the Swedish investigation pertains to this case.
An estimated 70,000 people around the Czech Republic joined Lets Do it!–International Clean-up Day on Saturday. The volunteer event took place in 2,000 towns and villages for the third time. Lets Do It! is a civic-led mass movement that began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people united together to clean up the entire country in just five hours. Since then, Let’s Do It! has spread to 112 countries and 13.8 million people have joined in to clean up illegal waste.
Generation 21, which initiated the relocation project for 150 Christian refugees from Iraq has expressed disappointment with the outcome. The NGO was criticized by the government for mismanagement in particular in underestimating the process of selecting the refugees for relocation. The NGO said it had not been asked to return financial contributions from sponsors. The project was financed largely with the help of private sponsors, individuals, churches and a British charity organization. Four million crowns have been put to use so far. Forty of the 89 refugees who came to the Czech Republic remain and are getting help with integration.
The center-right party of Mayors and Independents (STAN) elected Petr Gazdik its leader at a party conference on Saturday. He ran for the top post unchallenged and received 133 votes from the 144 delegates present. Gazdik led the party before the election of Liberec governor Martin Půta to the post in 2014. Půta resigned several weeks ago after facing charges of corruption. He is a strong advocate of greater powers for municipalities.
Two of the three pupils who were involved in one of the worst cases of aggression at school in recent years have been expelled. They were caught on camera abusing and bullying their teacher at a Prague school in January 2016. According to their schoolmates the bullying went on for months. The teacher eventually had a breakdown in class and later died in hospital. The headmaster was sacked for not addressing the issue. The third student who was reportedly involved has received milder punishment. The school authorities have maintained that the teacher’s death was not linked with bullying. The cause of her death however remains unclear.
The Czech Republic will shortly readmit a group of 20 Christian refugees from Iraq who gave up their asylum here and moved to Germany two weeks ago, the Czech Interior Ministry said. According to Interior Minister Chovanec they will now have the status of illegal migrants and will be placed in a detention centre. Another five members of the group remain in Germany since they are close family members of a man who has already been granted asylum there. The refugees originally came to the Czech Republic within a relocation project for 150 Christian families at risk from Iraq. Another 16 members of the group were detained by Czech police on Thursday as they also tried to move to Germany. They have once again asked for asylum in the Czech Republic. The relocation project was deemed a failure by the government and has since been scrapped. Of the 89 refugees who came here 49 have either attempted to move to Germany or returned to Iraq.
The trial of American national Kevin Dahlgren who is suspected of killing four of his Czech relatives in 2013, is to open at the Brno Municipal court on May 5th. The 23-year-old suspect fled from the Czech Republic in 2013 shortly before the bodies of four of his relatives were found in their home in Brno-Ivančice. He was extradited to the Czech Republic by the US late last year. If convicted Dahlgren faces a potential life sentence .
The police officer who went on a car-smashing spree in Prague’s Vinohrady district after getting drunk has apologized for his behavior and promised to cover the 2 million crown damages incurred. The 46-year-old officer and former instructor at the police academy crashed 51 cars parked along Prague’s Vinohradská street, ramming one vehicle after another with his SUV. Tests revealed more than one per mille of alcohol in his blood. It later emerged that he was uninsured.
A drunk Czech lorry driver reversed half a mile back down Britain's busy M6 motorway, criss-crossing lanes and putting dozens of others at risk, the Daily Mail reported. The 56-year-old –driver was jailed for six months for dangerous driving and being drunk at the wheel. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and will have to take a test to get his license back, the paper says. Formánek pleaded guilty to both charges before being sentenced at Stafford Crown Court last month.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’