After centuries, wild horses may return to the Czech landscape. Fourteen Exmoor ponies from Great Britain were shipped to the Czech Republic last week to be released in a former military area in Milovice, in Central Bohemia. The project, initiated by the organisation Česká Krajina or Czech landscape, along with the Academy of Sciences, aims to gradually introduce the horses into the Czech landscape. I spoke to Miroslav Jirků of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and I first asked him what made the Exmoor pony the ideal horse for the project:
Czech diplomats are currently involved trying to return 62 Czech children in the care of British authorities to their parents. That figure was given to the daily Mladá Fronta Dnes by the head of the Brno-based International Office for the Legal Protection of Children. Zdeněk Kapitán said the care orders were made regarding the children of the some 100,000 Czechs now living in the country. The office is dealing with the case of around 145 Czech children worldwide.
Officers from West Yorkshire say they have arrested a 35-year-old Czech man in connection with the 2008 theft of over 800 bronze plaques bearing the names of Holocaust victims at the National Cemetery in the town of Terezín. The man was stopped for a regular road check and when officers ran his details through the Police National Computer they discovered a European Arrest Warrant had been issued in his name. The man was taken into custody, where he remains pending extradition proceedings. Two other men are wanted in connection with the said crime which caused damages of 1.7 million Czech crowns.
The Czech authorities have confirmed earlier reports of the death of a British national who went missing during a stag weekend in the Czech capital on November 15. Karl Law, 34, disappeared on November 15 during a visit to Prague with 12 others; his body was recovered from the Vltava River last Sunday. His identity has alreday been confirmed by Great Britain’s Foreign Office.
Five-year-old British cancer patient Ashya King received a final dose of
proton beam therapy on Friday, concluding his six-week long treatment at
Prague’s Proton Therapy Centre, doctors at the facility said, adding that
the boy has coped well with the treatment and is now able to eat and sit by
himself and move his hands. The patient is now set to return to Spain for
rehabilitation. The physicians are optimistic about the boy’s prognosis
but said they would only be able to say whether the treatment has been
successful in several moths’ time.
Ashya King’s story received international attention after his parents took him from a UK hospital in August without his doctors‘ consent. They took him to Spain where they were arrested before being allowed to come to Prague for the special treatment.
Britain is refusing to pay the Czech Republic the equivalent of 100 million crowns in unemployment benefits paid out to Czechs who previously worked in Great Britain, Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova Tominova told Czech Radio on Friday. Czechs who worked in Britain for years but retained their “centre of interest” in the Czech Republic were entitled to unemployment benefits if they failed to find work after returning home. Since they paid taxes in Britain the Czech Republic is entitled under European law to demand a refund of those benefits. The respective advisory committee of the EC has ruled that Britain must repay the debt, but London claims the decision is not legally binding. The Czech Republic wants to coordinate its steps with Poland and Slovakia whom Britain also owes money for the same reason.
People in Scotland are heading to the polls on Thursday to vote on independence from the UK. Only residents of Scotland are eligible to participate in the referendum, regardless of their nationality, which means that thousands of Czechs can also cast their ballots. But being excluded from a crucial decision on their nation’s future is frustrating for Scottish expats in the Czech Republic.
The UK’s ambassador to the Czech Republic since the summer, Jan Thompson adopts a relatively informal approach that includes driving what must be the country’s only 1969 Škoda with diplomatic plates. Prague is Thompson’s first posting as ambassador and follows stints in conflict zones around the world as well as post-tsunami Thailand. When she visited our studios, I first asked if there had been any particular standout moments in her career to date.
The Czech Embassy in London is hosting a celebration in honour of Sir Nicholas Winton’s 105th birthday on Monday. Sir Nicholas is expected to attend the event together with some of the 669 children whose lives he saved in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport. His daughter, Barbara Winton, will present a new biography of her father called “ If it's Not Impossible…” exploring the motivation and early experiences that led him to save young lives when others looked the other way. There are around 6,000 people in the world today who owe their lives to Sir Nicholas Winton, descendants of the children whose lives he saved. An exhibition of photographs on Prague’s Kampa Island also maps Sir Winton’s brave deed.
Czech President Miloš Zeman and the former British prime minister Tony Blair had an informal meeting at Lany chateau outside Prague on Saturday evening. According to the president’s spokesman they debated the European Union and the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Blair also took part in an economic forum in Prague on the future of Europe and its competitivness. The two officials last met two years ago in London.