A group of 27 senators, including Senate speaker Milan Štěch, has said
the government should categorically reject a recent Russian claim that the
nerve agent believed to have been used on a former Russian double agent and
his daughter in the UK could have come from the Czech Republic.
Russia’s foreign ministry at the weekend named the Czech Republic along
with Slovakia, Britain, Sweden, and the United States as possible sources
of the nerve agent used in the attack.
Two Czech government ministers at the weekend refuted the claim, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Stropnický saying the Russian accusation was an example of how information could be manipulated. The government is to discuss the issue on Wednesday.
The state prosecutor’s office has stopped preliminary proceedings
concerning the extradition of Kurdish politician Salah Muslim – detained
in Prague in February on an international arrest warrant, before his was
released within days by a Prague court.
Ankara had sought his extradition, charging he was a terrorist; Kurds see the former PYD leader as a hero.
His lawyer, Mirsolav Krutina, said the decision freed Salah Muslim to leave the EU where he agreed to remain until the decision. He said the decision meant that the case was now at an end.
An opinion piece by Kristofer Harrison, a former Defence and State
Department advisor during the presidency of George W. Bush, has warned that
the Trump administration and also US lawmakers have paid too little
attention to what the author described as Russia’s “meddling” in
The piece was published under Foreign Policy’s Elephants in the Room banner, a blog featuring articles by GOP policymakers and others.
In the blog, the author alleges Russian connections have led the Czech Republic to become what he called an “embarrassing pro-Russia mouthpiece”. The author does not spare the Czech head of state and also rebukes US President Donald Trump for not taking the alleged threat seriously.
President Zeman is widely seen as pro-Russian both in the Czech Republic and abroad: he has repeatedly called for Russian sanctions to be lifted in the past and also drew criticism from various groups after saying in a broadcast that the Russian annexation of Crimea was a "fait accompli."
This Friday will mark 100 days that the minority government of Andrej
Babiš has held power in the Czech Republic despite the fact the cabinet
failed its confidence vote in January.
It will be some five months since the election.
The prime minister in resignation, how has been leading negotiations in a second attempt to form a viable government, has drawn criticism from the opposition parties, who argue that many of the promises being made by the outgoing cabinet – such as rises in senior pensions or reduced train tickets for students and seniors – cannot be kept with the economy expected to slow.
The opposition has also criticised the government for going ahead with personnel changes at ministries.
Mr Babiš has made clear he is working towards forming a second minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats with tacit support from the Communist Party.
Major ski resort operators in the Czech Republic report more than enough
snow on the slopes and expect to stay open until at least Easter and as
late as mid-April.
Ski hills saw renewed interest at the weekend with the return of freezing temperatures, although strong winds in areas forced resorts to close some slopes and lifts. René Hroneš from the ski hill Špindlerův Mlýn told the Czech News Agency that 100 km/h winds had forced some trails and lifts to close, admitting that skiing options were limited to only parts of the resort.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has congratulated Xi Jinping on his
re-election as China’s president; Prague Castle made the text public on
Monday. China's parliament on Saturday unanimously re-elected Xi
Jinping as the country's president and on Sunday voted to amend the
constitution to remove presidential term limits, meaning the leader can
stay on indefinitely, sites such as CNBC reported.
In his congratulations, Mr Zeman expressed the hope that Czech-Chinese relations would deepen in coming years.
The Czech president is one of the main proponents of strengthening economic ties with China.
Czech players for the Philadelphia Flyers made a mark on Sunday in their
match-up against the Washington Capitals. Jakub Voráček picked up a goal
and an assist while Radko Gudas got two assists to help lift the Flyers
over the Caps by a score of 6-3.
Goalie Petr Mrázek, in the news recently for his new Broad Street Bullies mask, turned away 25 of 28 shots.
Respected Czech author and screenwriter Zdeněk Mahler, who penned the
screenplay for the 2011 film Lidice and other feature productions and wrote
dozens of books, died on Saturday at the age of 89. He had been in hospital
in Prague's Střešovice; the news of his death was confirmed by his
family on Sunday.
Producer Adam Dvořák expressed sadness over the news. Mahler was not only a screenwriter but also a musicologist, publicist and also teacher
In football, Czech league leaders Viktoria Plzeň secured a narrow 1:0 away
win against Zlín on Sunday night.
The win leaves Plzeň nine points clear of second placed Slavia Prague with a game in hand. It was the first league win for Plzeň since the start of the Spring half of the season.
Slavia failed to close the gap on Saturday in spite of overhauling a three goal deficit to draw 3:3 in the Prague derby against Sparta Prague.
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