Last year’s national census has confirmed that Prague currently has more inhabitants than in any previous period in its history. According to the results, the current population is 1,272,690 people – 104,000 more than a decade ago. The information was revealed on Monday by the head of the census in Prague Eva Vojtová. According to the official, a rise in the number of foreign nationals moving to the city had contributed most to the numbers; foreign nationals, including Slovaks, Ukrainians and Russians, reportedly make up 14 percent of Prague’s residents. Out of the country’s 14 districts, the census revealed that Prague has the largest aging population.
Police in Trutnov, North Bohemia, have revealed that an explosive device uncovered at a small local hotel and restaurant in Mladé Buky last November was fully functional. Trutnov police are continuing to investigate key details in the case, including possible motives. In November 2011, the device was found and reported by the site’s owner. The site and nearby area had to be temporarily closed off when it was removed by specialists.
Police investigators have detained a 45-year-old man in the Brno area on suspicion of car theft; three BMW SUVs, believed to have been stolen in Vienna and worth seven million crowns, were found in his garage, South Moravian police chief Tomáš Kužel said. A BMW X5 and a Škoda Superb, which may also have been stolen in Austria, were also confiscated at the scene; if found guilty, the man could face up to eight years in prison.
Organisers have confirmed that American hard rock band Metallica will perform in Prague for the first time in four years during the European leg of their current tour. The concert is to take place on May 7 at an arena in the city’s Vršovice district, Petr Novák of Live Nation confirmed. The opening act is to be a French hard rock group called Gojira (the Japanese name for the sci-fi movie monster Godzilla). Metallica will reportedly play material from the famous ‘black album’ to mark the 20+ years since its release. The album features some of the group’s best known material including the songs Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters.
Petra Kvitová remains in contention for the Australian Open title and world number one ranking after beating Ana Ivanovic to reach the quarter-finals. The Czech second seed, who has a chance of replacing Caroline Wozniacki at the top of the rankings, won 6-2 7-6 (7-2) at Melbourne Park. Kvitová will next play China's Zheng Jie or Sara Errani of Italy.
Czech defenseman Tomáš Kabrle spent 12 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs but on Saturday he ‘returned’ to Toronto in a new jersey – that of traditional Toronto rivals the Montreal Canadiens (the defenseman was dealt to Montreal in December in exchange for fellow Czech player Jaroslav Špaček, after spending only part of the season in Carolina). Montreal won the game 3:1, scoring two in the 3rd period: Montreal’s opening goal followed a shot by Plekanec which bounced off the glass to Rene Bourque who put it away.
Railway transport in the north of the country was disrupted for most of Sunday morning after a train hit a fallen tree and derailed. No one was reported hurt in the incident. Czech Railways said train traffic between Liberec and Pardubice was fully restored by 11 am. The line between Železný Brod and Harrachov, was also closed for several hours as maintenance workers cleared fallen trees from the tracks. Czech Railways secured a replacement bus service for passengers.
Prague’s Masaryk Railway Station was closed for over two hours on Sunday due to a hoax bomb threat. Police evacuated the premises shortly after mid-day and explosives experts with sniffer dogs searched the grounds. Ten trains were delayed in consequence. Police are now searching for the hoax caller.
Two Czech artists - Roman Švejda and Lukas Gavlovský - are creating a heart-shaped wax sculpture in honour of the late president Vaclav Havel. The sculpture is being made from the thousands of candles that people lit in Vaclav Havel’s memory on the city’s main square. The sculpture is being made at the Trafačka cultural centre and many people have voluntarily turned up to help the artists. A heart is considered to be symbolic of the late president since he often added a small heart to his signature to illustrate his life-long motto "Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred."
The Vietnamese minority in the Czech Republic is celebrating the arrival of the Lunar New Year –the Year of the Dragon. The arrival of the New Year is traditionally celebrated as a family holiday in the privacy of people’s homes or Vietnamese restaurants. New Year’s Eve celebrations took place at the SAPA Vietnamese open air market in Prague on Saturday. With a population of over 17,000 the Vietnamese community is the country’s third largest minority.