Slavia Prague lost 1:0 in their home game to Chelsea in Thursday’s
first-leg of the Europa League quarter-finals. The Czech team, which is
currently in high-form, held the score level for most of the game. It was
only in the 86th minute that Chelsea wing-back Marco Alonso managed to
score what would end up being the only goal of the game, securing Chelsea a
hard-fought win away from home.
Both Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and British newspapers praised the aggressiveness of the Czech team, which made the away team’s defence sweat.
In Thursday’s second leg, Slavia will have to score at least one goal at Stamford Bridge in order to have any hope of advancing into the semi-finals.
Archaeologists made a surprising discovery while working near a motorway construction site in the vicinity of the Eastern Bohemian town of Chrudim. They found the remains of up to five Neolithic houses, with well-preserved outlines. Archaeologist Jan Musil from the Chrudim Regional Museum told the Czech News Agency on Friday that the discoveries are a textbook example of Neolithic architecture.
Police are investigating a case in the South Bohemian city of Tábor where
a group of thieves used a mace while breaking into a man’s house. The
owner managed to defend himself and the mace was left at the scene after
the robbers ran away. South Bohemian police are currently searching for the
owner of the 50cm long object, whose head is covered in protruding wooden
Czech media have been quick to pick up on the irony that the mace attack took place in Tábor; it was the ancient capital of the mediaeval Hussites and their leader, Jan Žižka, is often depicted holding the weapon in his hand.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has criticized what he describes as the
current splintered state of Czech export promotion. In a statement made on
Friday at the Dubrovnik 16+1 Summit, Mr. Babiš said that state agencies
such as CzechTrade and CzechInvest should merge in order to create a more
effective umbrella group that would support export efforts. The Czech prime
minister likened the current situation to an eternal struggle between rival
The Dubrovnik 16+1 Summit is the 8th meeting of Central, Eastern and Southern European heads with their Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and other business delegates.
The Ministry of the Interior has decided to lower its funding for NGOs
focused on combating corruption, Czech Radio reported on Friday. A total of
CZK 4 million is set to be moved from the ministry’s programme for
preventing corruption into other areas, such as transport security and
drink driving prevention. The ministry has justified its decision on the
basis of a change in priorities. However, a report by Czech Radio
highlights that the government’s anti-corruption strategy for the years
2018–2022 promised to increase funding on anti-corruption projects by 20
NGOs offering free judicial advice are expected to be affected the most. The director of the Czech branch of Transparency International, David Ondráčka, said he believed the move could be the consequence of his organisation’s exposure of politicians’ conflicts of interest and affairs within government parties.
President Miloš Zeman has lashed out at former justice minister Robert
Pelikán for allowing the extradition of Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin to
the United States in 2018. In an interview on TV Barrandov, Mr. Zeman said
that the former justice minister was not supposed to “act like a servile
subaltern official, who panders to a foreign power”.
The statement came following a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which stated that the Ministry of Justice had erred in the decision to extradite Mr. Nikulin before a definitive resolution regarding his asylum application, including a subsequent judicial review, had been made. The former minister has so far refused to comment on the issue.
Yevgeniy Nikulin was arrested in Prague in 2016 on an American warrant. The US Embassy subsequently asked the Czech Republic do extradite the suspect, who is accused of hacking major internet firms.
The Finále Plzeň film festival, devoted to Czech and Slovak film
production, got underway in the west Bohemian town on Thursday evening with
a screening of a documentary called ‘A Journey Like no Other’,
following the footsteps of famous Czech travellers Hanzelka and Zikmund.
The 32nd edition of the festival will offer 124 screenings. Thirty-five films will be competing for the main prize, the Golden Kingfisher, in five different categories. The festival will continue until April 16.
Czech photographer Michal Hanke has placed second in the sports category of
the prestigious World Press Photo Exhibition. He entered the contest with a
photo called ‘Never Saw Him Cry’, capturing the captain of the Czech
Republic Para Ice Hockey team, who has been in a wheelchair since 2003.
The top prize went to U.S. photographer Getty Images photojournalist John Moore for a photo showing a 2-year-old child crying while her mother, a Honduran asylum-seeker, is detained by U.S. border agents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Czech Republic will reinforce its police presence in Serbia by another
five men, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said after meeting his
Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic in Belgrade on Thursday.
Czech police have been assisting Serbia in guarding its border with Bulgaria since 2016 as part of an ongoing operation to fight illegal migration. As of this June, there will be 20 Czech policemen helping to secure Serbia’s border.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’