Czech number one women’s tennis player, Karolína Plíšková, has announced that she has split with her coach, Jiří Vaněk, who has trained her since 2014. Under his leadership Plíšková won five tournaments, advanced to the US Open finals and reached the fifth spot in the WTA rankings. Plíšková said she would start looking for a replacement coach after the holidays.
The government on Wednesday approved a proposed legislation that broadens the powers of the country’s military police, the spokesman for the government, Martin Ayrer, informed on his Twitter account. Under the proposal, the military police would have the right to use undercover agents, carry out surveillance or use informers. The amendment would also enable military police officers to acquire and process personal data. The bill will now be sent to the lower house for debate.
Milan Štěch was re-elected chairman of the Senate at the upper chamber’s first session since elections to a third of the house last month. The former trade union leader, who has been a member of the Senate since it was established in 1996, was elected despite protests from the Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents, who refused to vote for him due to his signing of the declaration on Czech-Chinese relations issued by the country’s key officials during a visit to Prague by the Dalai Lama.
Bohumil Šimek of the ANO party has become the new governor of the South Moravian region. Mr. Šimek was elected by councillors in a secret ballot on Wednesday. He will replace Social Democrat Michal Hašek, who served two terms in the post. The South Moravian region will be governed by a coalition of the winning ANO party with Social Democrats, TOP 09, Žít Brno and Mayors for South Moravia.
German automotive supplier Robert Bosch in will receive government incentives totalling up to 44 million crowns to expand production and establish a technological centre at České Budějovice. The government approved the plan on Wednesday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka wrote on his Twitter account. According to him, the investment could create up to 620 new jobs. The company plans to invest 2.2 billion crowns to expanding production and expanding its development centre. Robert Bosch is the biggest mechanical engineering company in South Bohemia. Last year it increased its turnover by 23 percent to 18.3 billion crowns.
The two main parties in the government are at odds over the influential position of head of the national association of regional governors. The Social Democrats, who have five governors after recent elections, want their Jiří Zimola (the governor of South Bohemia) to replace party colleague Michal Hašek as leader of the organisation. However, ANO, who have six governors, say they will put forward their own candidate. However, ANO boss Andrej Babiš has not named a nominee.
The Czech Republic’s footballers drew 1:1 with Denmark in a friendly in Mladá Boleslav on Tuesday night. The hosts’ goal was scored by Antonín Barák of Slavia Prague, who was making his international debut, while another newcomer, Jaromír Zmrhal, hit the post. It was the last game of the year for the Czechs, who are fourth in their World Cup qualifying group after a win against Norway on Friday.
The Czech Republic intends to keep its embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus open because it is an effective means of ensuring humanitarian aid in the country, the Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, said on Tuesday after talks with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Mr. Zaorálek said the Czech embassy had particularly good contacts in Syria with the Red Crescent and other organisations, adding that it had helped US citizens in Syria as well as European states which were searching for their citizens. He denied that the presence of the Czech mission helped legitimise the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Sixty MPs have proposed making public defamation of the Czech president a crime punishable by up to a year in prison. The proposal has the backing of deputies from the Social Democrats, ANO, the Communist Party and Dawn. Social Democrat Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka dismissed the idea, saying it would lead to the law being used in political battles; MPs should focus their energies on dealing with other matters, he said. The bill’s drafters say that defaming the president was illegal in the interwar First Republic. It was also banned under the communist regime before being removed from the statute books in the 1990s.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, is not planning to take part in events on Thursday marking the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, SeznamZpravy.cz reported. His spokesman Jiří Ovčáček told the news website that Mr. Zeman would not follow the usual practice of laying a wreath at the spot where the revolution began in 1989 but would “leave that to other politicians”. The head of state is planning to quietly remember the events of that November 17, most likely at his residence at Lány near Prague, his spokesman said.
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