One of the last surviving members of WWII airborne Czechoslovak commandoes, Robert Matula, died in his Canadian home in Victoria on Tuesday, aged 93. Robert Matula, a native of Radvanice near Ostrava, was airlifted to the Nazi-occupied Czech territory in September 1944 as part of the Operation Wolfram and fought the German army until the end of the war. He left Czechoslovakia again after the communist coup in 1948 and settled in Canada ten years later. In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in recognition of his war-time actions.
Some 25 mediaeval stone blocks from Prague’s oldest bridges –Charles Bridge and its predecessor Judith Bridge – were removed from the Malá Strana bank of the Vltava River on Wednesday. They were taken to Prague City Museum where they will be featured in an exhibition. The stones were first found several years ago on the bottom of the river and placed on the riverbank during a recent renovation of Charles Bridge.
The police on Wednesday arrested a 42-year-old man who allegedly attacked two people in Jablonné nad Orlicí, in the north east of the country, killing a six-year-old boy. The police said the man entered a house with the two people inside. A 60-year-old woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries while the boy died after 90 minutes of resuscitation attempts. The motif of the crime remains unclear.
Medical tests on Wednesday confirmed that the Czech national team’s Petr Čech and Tomáš Rosický did not suffer serious injuries in last night’s game against Greece at the EURO 2012 tournament in Poland, and might be fit for Saturday’s match. The team captain, midfielder Tomáš Rosický retired at half time of the Czech side’s 2:1 win against Greece with an injury of his Achilles’ tendon while goalkeeper Petr Čech complained about problems with his shoulder joint. The Czech team’s doctor said chances were high of both players appearing in Saturday’s key game against the hosts Poland.
Members of the Czech national football team expressed disappointment over some of their fans’ hostility towards team coach Michal Bílek and striker Milan Baroš, the news agency ČTK reported on Wednesday. Defender David Limberský said he didn’t understand why some fans whistled at the coach and the striker after Friday’s game against Russia as well as ahead of the game against Greece on Tuesday. Milan Baroš is one of the team’s most prolific strikes but he last scored last November against Liechtenstein. Many fans also dislike his frequent dives and discussions with the referees.
Meteorologists on Wednesday warned against a heightened flood risk in the Moravian-Silesian and Zlín regions in the north-east of the country. Heavy rain is expected to hit the area later on Wednesday and continue until the following morning; up to 60 millimetres of precipitation is expected over the course of 24 hours which might swell local rivers. Meteorologists have therefore advised people to follow the latest news and drive carefully.
The Supreme Administrative Court has upheld the justice minister’s decision to sack Vlastimil Rampula from the post of Prague High State Attorney, invalidating a ruling by the Prague city court which reinstated him in office. The Supreme Administrative Court reviewed the case following a cassation complaint from Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil who sacked Rampula in July of last year for allegedly dragging his feet on corruption cases involving politicians. The case will now return to the Prague city court.
The lower house on Tuesday approved the government’s foreign missions plan for the next two years. The plan envisages a reduction of troops in Afghanistan and a gradual change of focus from military operations to training of local security forces. The Czech army will maintain 539 troops in Afghanistan next year and 340 in 2014. A maximum of ten soldiers will remain active in Kosovo within the KFOR mission and three soldiers will serve in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Around 40 soldiers will serve in NATO command structures around the world.
The lower house has voted to strip Public Affairs deputy Otto Chaloupka of parliamentary immunity opening the way for criminal prosecution. Deputy Chaloupka is suspected of having forced his assistant to surrender 20,000 crowns from his monthly paycheck to him every month. Chaloupka denies the charges.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has refused to extend the accreditation of three Russian tourist agencies citing low credibility. The names of the agencies have not been released. The ministry denies or fails to extend accreditation in cases where an agency does not fulfill the respective criteria or violates their conditions such as providing false information. There are currently 168 Russian travel agencies which arrange trips to the Czech Republic. Approximately 80 percent of Russian tourists visit this country within a package tour. The Czech consulate in Moscow issues around half a million visas a year.
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