Defence Minister Martin Stropnický has echoed the sentiments of fellow members in government, the Christian Democrats, saying that a decision by the country's president to attend a military parade in Moscow on May 9 was "not the most fortunate". The event will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. The defence minister told TV Prima that it was necessary to honor those who died fighting against Nazism, but noted that Mr Zeman would be only one of a "few" heads-of-state attending. Democratic leaders are largely staying away as a result of Russia's annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine. The defence minster suggested it would be better if the Czech president followed other democratic politicians' cue. Mr Zeman's spokesman responded to earlier criticism by saying the president had no intention of changing his plans.
Four youths, all around the age of 18, were killed in the early hours of Sunday in a car accident in the region of Znojmo. Three of the four were young men. The driver of the car apparently lost control of the wheel and the vehicle hit a section of concrete wall and then caught fire. The traffic accident is the worst so far this year in terms of fatalities. Normal traffic along the route, connecting Brno and Znojmo, only resumed after four hours.
Thirteen members of the Czech Philharmonic (earlier reports said 16) were injured on a return journey from Austria to the Czech Republic on Sunday - three of them seriously. The accident, which took place near Mistelbach, saw the bus go off the road and crash from a seven-metre slope.The driver had to be rescued by fire fighters using hydraulic equipment. All of those hurt were taken to hospital. The spokeswoman for the philharmonic said that only part of the orchestra was traveling aboard the vehicle; others had returned earlier to continue touring in Poland. In all, some 20 people were aboard the bus; the cause of the accident is not yet known.
A museum dedicated to the Czech Saint Jan Nepomuk was reopened in a special ceremony in the town of Nepomuk in the region of Plzeň on Sunday. The opening was led by Cardinal Dominik Duka. On display for several hours was the reliquary of the saint, one of the most valuable of Czech relics. The museum was established in 1930 but closed in 1950 by the then-communist regime in Czechoslovakia. The museum has four exhibition areas, as well as additional rooms for curators and researchers, the Czech News Agency reported. It will display valuable artifacts as well as Baroque musical instruments.
Czech competitor Gabriela Soukalová came second in this season's final Biathlon World Cup event, the 12.5 kilometre mass start, capping an excellent season. The racer finished 7.1 seconds behind winner Laura Dahlmeier of Germany. Earlier this month, Soukalová won gold and silver medals at the World Championships.
Prague football club Sparta, chasing Viktoria Plzeň, won a key match against visitors Teplice on Saturday to move within two points of the league leaders. From the get-go Sparta created numerous opportunities but failed to score; a regular goal by Lafata in the second half was waved offside. Near the end of the match, Sparta were awarded a questionable penalty. Dočkal took the spot kick successfully. The final score was 1:0.
Meteorologists say that while daily temperatures will be cooler than average in the Czech Republic in the coming days, the upcoming Easter holidays will be fairly warm - around 17 degrees Celsius with little chance of rain. Increased rainfall will come only after the first week of April, forecasters say.
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