Elsewhere in the annual report, the Czech Republic’s counter-intelligence service BIS says seven people left the Czech Republic last year to join some terrorist organisations, such as Islamic State. According to the report, these people were originally from Islamic countries and stayed in the Czech Republic for a short space of time. The report says their return to the country would present serious security threat due to their possible participation in a terrorist attack. BIS recorded only several Czechs sympathizing with radical Islam; most of them were mentally unstable.
Russian and Chinese intelligence officers were the most active of foreign secret service agents in the Czech Republic last year, according to a report the country’s counter-intelligence service, BIS, released on Thursday. The report suggests that China focused on deepening its influence on Czech politics and the economy, while Russia tried to infiltrate the Czech media and internet in order to wage an information war over the crises in Ukraine and Syria. According to the report, foreign intelligence also attempted to disrupt the integrity of NATO and the EU by spreading false information about the institutions.
President Zeman has to apologise to Ferdinand Peroutka’s granddaughter over “Hitler gentleman” claim: court A Prague City court on Thursday upheld an earlier verdict which ruled that President Miloš Zeman should apologize for comments suggesting that the renowned Czech journalist Ferdinand Peroutka wrote an article in which he described Adolf Hitler as a gentleman. The head of state has appealed the previous ruling, maintaining he read the article, though a thorough search of archives by his staff have still been unable to uncover it.
However, the judge also ruled that the president doesn’t have to apologize for his claim that Peroutka was fascinated by Nazism and said that one of his articles was openly anti-Semitic. Peroutka’s granddaughter, who brought the call for an apology, is now considering appealing this part of the verdict.
Around a dozen activists protested against the opening of a consular office of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Ostrava on Thursday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously said that the Czech Republic does not recognize the existence of the Donetsk Republic, one of the separatist republics in Ukraine, and therefore does not acknowledge the office as a diplomatic mission. The ministry’s spokesman, Michaela Lagronová, said on Thursday that they will demand the regional court in Ostrava dissolve the association which founded the consular office.
After a two-month summer holiday, the new academic year started at kindergartens, elementary schools and secondary schools in the Czech Republic on Thursday morning. Around 115,500 children turned up for the first day of school, which was around 1,200 fewer than last year. The number of first grade pupils fell for the second year in a row. Teachers and other staff are receiving a pay rise from this month.
Around one percent of children who started at elementary schools on Thursday are likely to repeat the first grade, according to the non-governmental organisation People in Need. Children from families with low-education levels are most likely to fall behind. Nearly 1300 out of 18,000 first-graders had to repeat class in the school year 2014/2015. According to People in Need’s education expert Daniel Hůle, that trend can be prevented by better pre-school preparation in kindergartens.
One hundred and twenty-six people died on roads in the Czech Republic during the summer holidays, which is the lowest number since 1990, according to traffic police statistics quoted by the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The months of July and August brought 147 road fatalities. This year’s lower death toll was partly due to the mild weather which prevailed throughout most of the summer.
The Czech record label Supraphon will release a collection of all fifteen of Jára Cimrman plays on vinyl records to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cimrman Theatre. The fictional character of Jára Cimrman, known as the greatest Czech inventor, artist, explorer and musician of all time, is extremely popular with Czech audiences. The set of 15 LPs will come out on October 7 in a limited edition of 500 pieces. The theatre in Prague’s Žižkov district recently staged two English language versions of the legendary plays.
Czech car maker Škoda Auto is set to officially unveil its new SUV model, the Škoda Kodiaq, on Thursday evening in Berlin. Škoda Kodiaq is sharing the construction platform with the Volkswagen Tiguan and SEAT Ateca and sports a 4.7-metre long body to accommodate a seven-seat layout. It is set to enter the market early next year, with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines.
The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute has issued a fire warning due to dry weather and high daytime temperatures. Among the areas most at risk are Prague, Central Bohemia, and the Hradec Králové and South Moravia regions. People have been asked not to make campfires and not to use camping gas-cookers and other implements that could increase the risk of a fire breaking out. The warning is expected to stay in place until Sunday, when a cold front should bring rain to the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic’s national football team have won their first game under new manager Karel Jarolím, beating Armenia 3:0 in Mladá Boleslav on Wednesday evening. The goals came from Ladislav Krejčí, Václav Kadlec and Jan Kopic, while it was only the side’s second clean sheet in 26 outings. The match was a warm-up ahead of the Czech Republic’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins against Northern Ireland in Prague on Sunday.
Remnants of medieval wall dating back to 1041 unearthed in Břeclav
Measures taken as over 60 percent of Czech Republic hit by extreme drought
Beer, schnitzel and mushroom picking – unique set of emojis captures Czech soul
Barbora Strýcová, 33, in “best form” ahead of Wimbledon semi-final against Serena Williams
Gene Deitch, Part 1: The Oscar-winning US animator who made Tom and Jerry cartoons in communist Prague