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29-10-2018

The Guardian: Communist secret service spied on Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump and his then-wife Ivana were the target of an extensive spying operation conducted by Czechoslovakia’s communist secret service, (StB) together with “friends” from the KGB, The Guardian reported in its Monday edition.

According to The Guardian, the StB first opened a file on Trump following his marriage in 1977 to his first wife, Ivana Zelníčková. The operation was run out of Zlín, the provincial town in south-west Czechoslovakia where Zelníčková was born and grew up. Ivana’s father Miloš regularly gave the StB information about his daughter’s visits from the US and on his celebrity son-in-law’s career in New York. Zelníček was classified as a “conspiratorial” informer. His relationship with the StB reportedly lasted until the end of the communist regime.

The StB’s interest in Donald and Ivana intensified in the late 1980s, after Trump let it be known he was thinking of running for president, The Guardian wrote.

Suspect in Kvitová attack goes on trial

The suspect in the Petra Kvitová attack has gone on trial at the regional court in Brno. The 33-year-old man is charged with assault over a knife attack in 2016 on the two-time Wimbledon champion.

The attacker gained entry into her Prostějov apartment by posing as a maintenance worker. He held a knife to her throat and in the scuffle to break free Kvitová suffered deep cuts to her playing left hand. She was rushed to hospital for surgery and it took her over five months to recover.

If found guilty, the man could face up to 12 years in jail. Kvitová herself was not present at the hearing.

Ten injured in bus-lorry collision

A bus collided with a Polish lorry near the town of Řehořov in the Jihlava region, on Monday, injuring ten people, three of them seriously. The others suffered medium to light injuries.

The Icom Transport company bus turned on its side into a ditch, complicating rescue work. Due to heavy fog helicopters were unable to take off so rescue workers had to rely on ambulances alone. The lorry driver was uninjured. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Central bank likely to hike interest rates for fourth time in succession

The central bank is likely to increase the basic interest rate to 1.75 percent at a meeting of the bank‘s board on Thursday, according to financial experts.

The National Bank last raised the basic interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.5 percent in late September.

The board has raised interest rates by 25 basis points at the three rate-setting sessions since June, citing economic growth, inflation and wage development.

Prayer for Marta wins Hit of the Century poll

The 1968 protest song Prayer for Marta, by Jindřich Brabec a Petr Rada, made famous by singer Marta Kubišová, has won Czech Radio’s Hit of the Century poll.

The winner was announced at a concert on Old Town Square marking the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia at which Czech and Slovaks pop singers and bands performed the most popular songs of the past century.

Česká písnička by Karel Hašler placed second and Škoda lásky, the famous beer barrel polka by Jaromír Vejvoda, came third.

Efforts to capture brown bear continue

Rangers have set up photo traps to try to locate a brown bear that has been attacking sheep and destroying beehives in mountain villages in the Zlín region.

A manual trap with honey set up some time ago has proved ineffective. There are now plans to try to try to sedate the animal with the use of a tranquilizer gun and transport it to a temporary residence at a local zoo.

A zoo in Belgium has already expressed interest in taking the bear.

Weather forecast

Tuesday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.

29-10-2018