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05-02-2019

Petra Kvitová shares chilling details about knife attack in court testimony

Petra Kvitová has testified at a Brno court in the trial of a man accused of causing her serious injury. The world tennis number two gave evidence for 90 minutes via a camera system so she would not have to face her alleged assailant in the courtroom. Radim Žondra, who is 33, is accused of attacking Kvitová with a knife at her home in December 2016.

The sports star described to the court how the man, who had entered her home after claiming to be a boiler inspector, held a knife to her throat from behind. When she grabbed the weapon with both hands the blade cut into her left hand.

The assault left Kvitová with career-threatening injuries that required major surgery. If found guilty, Žondra faces up to 12 years in jail.

Babiš appeals town's conflict of interest ruling

Lawyers for Prime Minister Andrej Babiš have filed an appeal against a decision by the local authority in the town of Černošice. The deadline for appeals was on Tuesday. Two weeks ago, the council in Černošice near Prague, where Mr. Babiš lives, ruled that the prime minister was in conflict of interest because he continued to control Czech media outlets via the Agrofert conglomerate.

The matter was taken to the Černošice authorities by the Czech branch of Transparency International.

The prime minister is suspected of still controlling the huge Agrofert group despite having formally transferred ownership to trust funds. He denies this. The European Commission is currently investigating Agrofert’s receipt of EU subsidies.

Babiš promises legislation clamping down on puppy farms

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš plans to take action against inhumane commercial dog breeding facilities, iDnes.cz reported. Speaking after a cabinet meeting, the ANO leader said a draft veterinary law due to be discussed by the government later this month would include tighter regulations on so-called puppy farms.

Mr. Babiš said the legislation would define such facilities and ensure minimum standards for dog and cat breeding, as well as dealing with the registration of dog breeders.

The prime minister has not previously raised this subject. However, he has recently appeared on social media holding his own puppy in photos, iDnes.cz said.

Ústí zoo forced to put down elephant

The zoo in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem has had to put down an Indian elephant, a spokesperson said. The female was euthanised on Monday after long-standing problems with its foot left it unable to stand.

The elephant, which was named Kala, was brought from Vietnam to Czechoslovakia in the mid-1980s and was aged 34.

UK Czech music expert Graham Melville-Mason dies at 85

Graham Melville-Mason, a British champion of Czech classical music, died at the weekend at the age of 85, the website KlasikaPlus.cz reported. Professor Melville-Mason was the only non-Czech member of the artistic board of the Prague Spring International Music Festival and headed the UK’s Dvorak Society for Czech and Slovak Music.

He learned Czech on walks with a Czech neighbour in London and spent decades researching and promoting the work of Czech composers internationally.

Febiofest to honour Danish filmmaker Bille August

This year’s edition of the Febiofest film festival will bring the Danish director Bille August to Prague. The maker of such movies as Pelle the Conqueror and The House of the Spirits will receive the event’s Kristián lifetime achievement award. The same prize will go to the veteran Czech actress Jiřina Bohdalová.

The 26th edition of Febiofest will run in Prague from March 21 to 29. A reduced version will then travel to the regions.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be cloudy with some sunny spells in the Czech Republic, with a daytime high of up to 1 degree Celsius. Temperatures are then expected to climb to around 5 degrees Celsius for a number of days.

05-02-2019