World number eight Tomáš Berdych has pulled out of next month's Olympic Games in Rio because of concerns about the Zika virus. Berdych, 30, who fell to Andy Murray in the recent Wimbledon semifinals, said on Twitter his family is his "utmost priority", apologizing to fans who might be disappointed by his decision. More than 20 male players have withdrawn from games over concerns about the mosquito-borne virus Zika, which is linked to brain deformities in newborn babies.
An investigation is underway into a fire that devastated the storage facilities of a private firm near the town of Nymburk on Friday night. Five professional and ten voluntary fire crews fought to contain the blaze in the night hours following a series of explosions on the site. Investigators are now ascertaining what was in the barrels that exploded and what caused the fire in the warehouse. A preliminary estimate of the damage has been set at one million crowns.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has advised Czechs against travelling to Ankara,
Istanbul and southeastern Turkey, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said
following a crisis meeting at the Foreign Ministry on Saturday. Tourists
visiting other areas have been asked to remain vigilant, avoid large
gatherings and crowded places and register with the ministry’s travel
data base. Mr. Zaorálek said the government was closely monitoring
developments and was prepared to take fast action to evacuate Czech
nationals from Turkey should the need arise.
The Czech foreign minister likewise stressed the importance of maintaining stability and a democratic order in Turkey, and expressed the hope that the country would remain a reliable partner.
The ministry has has given several helpline numbers for Czech citizens 0090 323 751 387, 0090 532 375 13 87 or 0090 532 244 45 26.
Czechs with booked package holidays in Turkey will now have to make up their own minds about whether they want to go or not, according to the head of the Association of Czech Travel Agencies Jan Papež. Travel agencies are generally trying to accommodate their clients and many are offering alternate destinations or a different term for booked holidays in Turkey. However it is not yet clear whether tourists who decide to cancel will get their money back. According to Mr. Papež this will depend on whether the Foreign Ministry issues a recommendation for Czechs not to travel to the country. For the present time it has stopped short of doing that.
The construction of new high-rise buildings should in future be restricted to 14 selected localities in Prague, according to a proposed long-term city planning strategy which should go into effect in 2020, Czech Television reported. Among the selected areas, proposed by the Institute for Planning and Development, are Chodov, Roztyly, Vysočany and Liben. The plan is still undergoing debate and has met with opposition from both councilors and the mayors of individual districts.
Reacting to developments in Turkey, President Miloš Zeman has stressed the need to avoid further bloodshed and retain a democratic order in the country, which is a NATO member and a key player in the region, his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the Czech government was monitoring the situation closely and its present priority was to assist Czech nationals in the country. A government crisis committee is to meet at the Foreign Ministry on Saturday afternoon to assess the situation.
A scheduled visit to the Czech Republic by French President François Hollande has been cancelled in connection with the terrorist attack in Nice, the Office of the Czech President reported citing the French Embassy in Prague. President Hollande was due to arrive on July 20, within a tour of five EU member states aimed at strengthening relations within the union in the wake of Brexit. No alternate date for the visit has been set.
The Czech Foreign Ministry says a report on France’s BMF television that a Czech national was among those killed in the Nice attack has not been confirmed, one Czech woman is known to have suffered light injuries. The ministry has also announced that it can arrange for Czechs currently in France who wish to return to the Czech Republic to be taken back on a Slovak government plane.Tourists who wish to do so need to contact the Czech embassy in Paris by 5am, Saturday.
The Czech Football Association has named Karel Jarolím as the new manager of the national football team. The association’s chairman Miroslav Pelta said they had agreed a two year contract with Jarolím, the current manager of Mladá Boleslav, with an option for a further two year extension. Jarolím replaces Pavel Vrba who has signed with a Russian league club following the Czech team’s poor showing at the European Championships in France.
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