Hockey’s Tampa Bay Lightning kept playoff qualification hopes alive on Friday by beating the Montreal Canadiens 4:2. The Lightning’s Ondřej Palát picked up an assist in the match. Tampa Bay are a point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last remaining wild-card spot. But the Lightning have only one game remaining while the Leafs have two.
The former CEO of the Czech Republic’s best-known commercial broadcaster TV Nova, former senator and former Euro MP Vladimír Železný, has announced a planned return to TV broadcasting, news site iDnes reports. Mr Železný, iDnes specified, was planning on kicking off a new 24 hour news station with Hungarian businessman Pála Milkovics; the latter would reportedly hold an 85 percent majority share, while Mr Železný would own the rest. According to iDnes, the station, known as Z24, could begin terrestial, satellite and online broadcasting within two-and-a-half months. The news site reported that the former TV magnate had a “plan” how take on public broadcaster Czech TV although, it noted, he had no licence, studio, or news team, yet.
Football midfielder Václav Pilař is eying a possible return to the sport with team Vikoria Plzeň after a long absence due to injury. Pilař, who suffered a long-term knee injury, could make an appearance on the pitch before the end of this season or start in the next, writes news site iDnes. The 28-year-old has a league title with Plzeň, spent two seasons in the Bundesliga and has 22 caps and five goals with the national team. He was one of the better players on the Czech squad at Euro 2012.
Tens of thousands of volunteers are expected to take part in a massive spring clean-up of the Czech countryside this weekend. The rubbish clearance is part of the international campaign Clean up the World. Volunteers are cleaning up rubbish in forests, at the road side, along rivers and pathways. It is estimated that up to 100,000 people could take part.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has sent a condolence letter to his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven following a brutal attack in Stockholm on Friday in which a driver rammed a lorry into people on the street: at least four died. The attack is being investigated as an act of terror. One person, the suspected driver, is in custody. In the letter, Prime Minister Sobotka indicated that it was impossible to give in to terrorist blackmail. The Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, also wrote a letter of condolence to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Czech President Miloš Zeman reserved judgement on Friday on a US missile strike targeting an airbase in Syria until more is known about a suspected chemical attack on Tuesday by the Assad regime on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in which more than 80 people, including children, died. The BBC reported that hundreds had suffered symptoms consistent with reaction to a nerve agent. President Zeman called for an investigation by an independent UN Security Council committee, saying it needed to be determined whether the Syrian Air Force had indeed resorted to the crime of using chemical weapons. He suggested that a failure to comply with an investigation was tantamount to an admission of guilt.
Czech officials offered Sweden their condolences on Friday, strongly condemning an apparent terror attack in Stockholm, in which an assailant drove a lorry into a crowd, killing at least three people. Culture Minister Daniel Herman wrote on Twitter that such attacks must not become normal, while Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek wrote that attacks on innocents had to stop. Other Czech politicians, shocked by the heinous act, said their thoughts were with the victims and their families. Swedish police are searching for a person of interest captured on CCTV.
Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, the leader of the ANO party, has told the site info.cz he will not choose a candidate for the party to support for president, but that the successful candidate would be chosen from an inner-party referendum. No date for a referendum has been set. One name often mentioned as a possible candidate for ANO is Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, but the minister has declined and is heading the party’s candidate’s list in Prague in the upcoming elections to Parliament.
A gold ten ducat coin minted in Czechoslovakia in 1937 featuring the patron saint of Bohemia, Saint Wenceslas, has been bought in auction for a record 550,000 euros (the equivalent of around 14.7 million crowns). Only 34 of the coins were ever produced and not all survived to today. The seller had originally bought the coin in auction in Switzerland for 900,000 crowns, a representative for the auction house said. The authenticity of the coin was verified in comparison to two owned by the Czech National Bank. The ducat is the only one in the series that was ever publically auctioned.
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