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15-01-2018

Zeman team to announce TV debate details on Tuesday

Incumbent Miloš Zeman’s team will provide details on Tuesday regarding television debates ahead of the second round of voting in the Czech presidential elections, his spokesman said. Mr. Zeman refused to hold public discussions with other candidates prior to the first round. However, he said after Saturday’s vote count that he would be glad to meet his challenger Jiří Drahoš face to face.

Mr. Zeman suggested the ideal number of debates would be two. His spokesman wrote on Twitter on Monday that “campaigns should be about opinions” and that was how the president’s camp would proceed.

Mr. Zeman received 38.6 percent in the first round. Mr. Drahoš got 26.6 percent but has the backing of a number of defeated first round candidates. The second round takes place on January 26 and 27.

Activist confronting president Zeman during vote given suspended sentence

Angelina Diash, a Ukrainian activist, who disrupted Czech president Miloš Zeman as he voted on Friday afternoon on the outskirts of Prague, has been give a three-month suspended sentence from a Prague court. The court also expelled her from the country for 12 months.

The woman, who belongs to the activist group Femen, stripped off her shirt and ran towards the head of state as he was casting his vote, shouting ‘Zeman - Putin’s slut,' before she was tackled by the president’s bodyguards.

According to her defence lawyer Lucie Hrdá, Diash feels innocent, but accepts the verdict in order to be allowed to return to Ukraine.

Regional leaders back new Brno train station near river

Representatives of the South Moravian Region say a new main railway station should be built near the river in Brno. Explaining the decision announced on Monday, they said that it would be possible to use European Union money to build in that location, while the project would also be completed sooner than in the centre of the Moravian capital. As a second possibility, they suggested a location close to the current station.

The regional politicians’ decision will serve as a recommendation to the government, who will decide on the matter. The Brno city authorities are also due to choose a proposed location for the project, which has been discussed for many years.

Chamber housing Czech crown jewels opened ahead of rare display

Seven senior state and church representatives unlocked the chamber that holds the Czech crown jewels on Monday. The valuable treasures, which are among the symbols of Czech statehood, are only removed from the chamber in Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral on special occasions.

From Tuesday they will be on display at the Vladislav Hall at Prague Castle as part of an exhibition entitled Founded 1918 marking the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia.

The crown jewels consist of a crown that belonged to St. Wenceslas, a royal orb and sceptre and a number of other items.

Case of jailed doctor Barták reopened

The case of jailed doctor Jaroslav Barták has to be reopened after the Supreme Court accepted an appeal he lodged, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday. Mr. Barták was already serving a 12-year prison term for the sexual abuse of female assistants when he was handed eight more years for planning three murders and blackmail while behind bars.

However, the basis for the court’s decision to reopen the case is not yet clear. The reasoning will only be revealed when a regional court delivers the Supreme Court’s decision to participants in the hearing.

Ledecká first Czech to compete in skiing and snowboarding at Olympics

Ester Ledecká will become the first Czech to represent her country in both snowboarding and downhill skiing at the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month. The 22-year-old is regarded as one of the favourites in the snowboard parallel giant slalom, in which she dominates the World Cup.

Only three names have yet been confirmed in the Czech downhill skiing team for PyeongChang. Another 24 skiers have been nominated, with a final line-up due to be announced before next Sunday’s deadline.

Weather forecast

It should be partly overcast with snow in places in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Temperatures of up 2 degrees Celsius are expected. Similar weather is due throughout the week.

15-01-2018