The Czech Ministry of Transport on Friday asked drivers to keep winter tyres on their vehicles. Czech drivers are legally obliged to use winter tires until the end of March but the ministry said they should wait before replacing them with summer tyres as a spell of cold weather is expected in April.
All presidential candidates filed their campaign accounts to the Czech Senate on Friday afternoon as required by law, the news agency ČTK reported. President Miloš Zeman was the last to file his documents which show his campaign owes three million crowns. His spokeswoman said all debts would be settled next week with contributions from his sponsors. Around six million is reportedly owed by another candidate, Jan Fischer. The deadline for filing the accounts expires on Saturday. The Senate’s mandate and immunity committee will have the accounts audited by a private firm; the candidates are also obliged by law to release the documents to the public.
The police in Jihlava on Friday charged two men, aged 20, with the brutal murder of a 15-year-old schoolgirl. Another 18-year-old man has been charged with assisting the murderers and failing to report the crime. The police believe the girl came to apartment of one of the men willingly last Friday night; for reasons yet to be established. She was overpowered and thrown out of the window. The girl survived the fall so the men dragged her in again and strangled her. They later dumped the body at a waste disposal site outside the town where it was discovered earlier this week. The two 20-year-old men, who were placed in custody, face up to 20 years in jail while their 18-year-old accomplice could land a 4-year sentence.
Top Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych will miss the Davis Cup quarterfinals against Kazachstan next weekend. The 28-year-old player, ranked sixth in the world, said he could not play due to a shoulder injury he suffered during his US tour. The defending champions Czech Republic will rely on Radek Štepánek, who returns after a two-month break caused by neck surgery, along with Lukáš Rosol, Jan Hájek and Ivo Minář.
Some 84 percent of Czech would like to decide on important local issues themselves rather than leave the decisions to elected politicians, according to a new poll by the CVVM agency released on Friday. Nearly 60 percent of people would also like to apply the same principle to issues of national importance. However, most of those polled said they would leave decisions concerning legislation and international treaties to politicians.
In a breakthrough ruling, a court in Prague has ordered an insurance firm to pay clients the full price of a package tour cancelled because the travel agency had gone bankrupt, the daily Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Friday. Despite the fact the agency had been insured, the Generali insurance firm only paid the clients 58 percent of the price, arguing the travel agency had been “under-insured”. But the court ruled the clients were entitled to full reimbursement. A spokeswoman for the insurance company said the firm was going to appeal the verdict.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the case of a missing Czech businessman believed to have been abducted in southern France in March of this year. Interpol officers on the case say 72-year-old Tomas Vlach who travelled to France to close a real estate deal was most likely abducted by the Czech clients he was dealing with. One of the men arrested reportedly met Vlach at Nice Airport on March 7. His family last heard from him when he confirmed having arrived safely in France but he never made it to his hotel. Another missing Czech entrepreneur disappeared under similar circumstances in 2008 and there has been no trace of him since.
28-year-old student Milan Bruncvík is set to become the first Czech to take part in the annual Oxford – Cambridge university boat race in the UK on Sunday, the news agency ČTK reported. Mr Bruncvík, who studies engineering at Cambridge University, is a former European rowing champion and competed at two Olympic Games. The oarsman said he was looking forward to the race which for him was a dream come true.
The Czech Helsinki Committee for Human Rights has criticized conditions for inmates in police custody. In a report released on Friday, the group says that inmates are forced to stay in small cells, do not have enough space for their daily open-air exercise, and cannot wash themselves frequently enough. The report notes the Czech prison system is underfinanced. In reaction, deputy justice minister Daniel Volák said the report was compiled before New Year’s presidential amnesty when prisons were overcrowded. Mr Volák said the situation has since improved.
Production of beer increased 2.7 percent year on year in 2012, according to the Czech Brewers’ Association. The increase was driven by higher consumption and export of radlers. Consumption of radlers, popular among young people, reached 434.000 hectolitres in 2012, while consumption of traditional brews dipped slightly. There is also increasing demand for beer in cans and plastic bottles.
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