The Pittsburgh Penguins, with goalie Tomáš Vokoun, have advanced to the next round of the NHL playoffs. They did so by defeating the Ottawa Senators on Friday by a score of 6:2. Ottawa managed to clinch only one win the best-of-seven series. Vokoun has been very solid in Pittsburgh’s run; on Friday he stopped 29 shots. The Pens will face the winner of the Bruins-Rangers series next; Boston has a stranglehold in that series, leading 3:1.
The leader of the opposition Social Democrats, Bohuslav Sobotka, said on Friday that his party will not give an official recommendation on how its Prague branch should proceed following the collapse this week of the coalition at City Hall between TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats. He stressed that the next move was up to TOP 09, adding that his own party needed to act in the interest of its voters, saying that a coalition was not a priority. TOP 09 joined forces with the Social Democrats this week to oust Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and two Civic Democrat councillors from office; negotiations on a possible coalition between TOP 09 and the Social Democrats have already begun, sources said.
Six thousand members of the Sokol athletics organisation met in Roudnice nad Labem on Saturday to take part in calisthenics exercises at the local stadium before heading to the famous mountain in Bohemia known as Říp. The hill has a key place in Czech legend, referred to as the first place the Slavs settled. On Sunday, members of Sokol, many from chapters abroad, will hold a parade through the town to mark the 120th anniversary of the patriotic sports movement.
Police on Friday night conducted checks at bars, night clubs, strip clubs, and gambling venues in the area of Prague’s Wenceslas Square. A special police unit, together with the municipal police, also patrolled all three lines of the city’s metro system; over the course of the evening sixteen people were detained – one on the suspicion of carrying false identification. Another was wanted by police state-wide, while one had illegal drugs on his person. Nine of those detained were foreign nationals. In all, officers checked the IDs of 240 people and looked into more than 30 venues.
Josef Koller, an actor at the City theatre in Zlín will exhibit part of an extensive Lego collection during the upcoming 53rd Zlín Film Festival for Children and Youth. Koller became interested in the famous building block system as an adult, ČTK reported, adding the actor had dedicated two rooms in his home to the hobby. His collection will be exhibited at a local shopping mall; the film festival opens on Monday.
Some 2,000 worshippers attended a service held by the Orthodox Church Patriarch Bartholomew in Mikulčice, Moravia, on Saturday. The site is linked to the medieval Christian missionaries SS Cyril and Methodius. Organisers had expected up to 10,000 visitors to come but some were evidently deterred by adverse weather conditions. The liturgy, in which a dozen of Orthodox Church dignitaries took part, was held to mark the 1,150th anniversary of the arrival of SS Cyril and Methodius in Greater Moravia from Thessaloniki, then the Byzantine Empire. Pilgrimages to Mikulčice take place annually in honour of the two saints who created a special script for Slavs and translated basic Christian texts into the Slavic language.
Czech recipients of EU subsidies have secured some 425 billion crowns which represents over 53 percent of the funds earmarked for the Czech Republic in the period between 2007 and 2013, the Czech Regional Development Ministry said on Friday. Czech authorities have approved EU funding for more than 41,000 projects worth around 666 billion crowns; if passed by the European Commission, the Czech Republic will receive some 83 percent of the earmarked funds.
On the second day of his official visit to Poland, Czech President Miloš Zeman proposed to merge the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges. Speaking at a Polish-Czech business forum in the Polish capital, Mr Zeman said the merger would establish a strong, Warsaw-based central European exchange that would better compete with other exchanges. The head of the Prague exchange, Petr Kobliha, said negotiations had been underway for several months to connect the region’s various exchanges.
A US citizen suspected of murdering four people in Brno was arrested at Washington airport on Thursday evening shortly after arriving on a flight from Vienna. Czech police chief Leoš Tržil said the suspect had already been charged and the Czech authorities were preparing a request for his extradition. The man known on social networks as Kevin Dahlgren is believed to have killed his distant relatives – an older couple and their two sons – after spending three weeks with them in their home in Brno. The motive for the crime remains unclear. There has been speculation that the suspect may be suffering from a serious mental disorder.
Czech javelin champion Barbora Špotáková has given birth to a son. The baby boy, Špotáková’s first child, was born in Prague on Friday morning, and has been named Janek. The 31-year-old two-time Olympic winner said she was very happy and felt a mix of euphoria and responsibility. The boy will bear the surname of his father, Lukáš Novotný. Barbora Špotáková is planning to return to athletics in October to prepare for the European Championships 2014.
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