The Czech national football team beat Malta 4:1 away on Friday night in their pen-ultimate qualifier for the World Cup in Brazil 2014. Following their recent defeats by Armenia and Italy, however, the Czechs have lost all hope of qualifying for the final tournament next year. The Czech team was hoping to secure second place in their group which would under certain circumstances secure them a spot in the qualification’s play-offs. But the results other qualifiers on Friday mean that even if the Czechs end second in the group, they won’t reach the playoffs. The Czech national side travels to Bulgaria next week for their last qualification game.
This year’s tourist season has been the best in last five years, the news website ihned.cz reported on Saturday, quoting several travel agents. Despite the ongoing unrest in Egypt, one of the most popular destinations for Czech tourists, the travel agency zajezdy.cz reports an annual 4-percent increase in sales. The Alexandria agency, which specializes in package tours to Egypt, sold between 5 and 10 percent tours to that country between May and October. The Fischer travel agency, meanwhile, sold 30 percent more tours to Greece, Turkey and other destinations.
Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman has reopened the case of a former communist prosecutor who faces charges of abuse of power. Mr Zeman canceled a decision by prosecutors in Mělník who stopped the prosecution of the 85-year-old man over his involvement in a 1950s campaign against independent farmers, a spokeswoman for the supreme state attorney said. The man allegedly ordered the forcible removal of several farmers’ families from their communities. In total, the communist authorities relocated between 3,000 and 4,000 families in the campaign
Police in Teplice have arrested a man suspected of having made three bomb threats in the north Bohemian town, a police spokeswoman said. The man allegedly called the emergency line in the early hours of Saturday, and said bombs would explode at three different locations, including a supermarket. The police searched the sites and also started searching for the caller who was arrested soon afterwards. He was reportedly heavily drunk, and faces up to two years in prison.
Czech investigators fail in uncovering serious economic crime due to insufficient expertise, Prague Supreme State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová told the daily Lidové noviny on Saturday. The case of former managers of the Mostecká uhelná firm, sentenced earlier this week by a Swiss court to jail for fraud, showed that Czech investigators and prosecutors are no match for their Swiss colleagues, according to Ms Bradáčová. The attorney told the paper that a special analytical centre should be established whose experts would analyze money transfers, the activities of offshore companies, and suspicious book-keeping.
Prague’s Smetana Embankment in the centre of the city closes for cars on Saturday, in the final installment of a pro-pedestrian campaign. Passers-by have a chance to see films as well as art and design exhibits in the area between 8 AM and 10 PM. The campaign, entitled Embankment lives, started in mid-September; organizers say they want people to experience one of Prague’s busiest areas without cars, and ultimately turn a section of the embankment into a permanent pedestrian zone.
Police on Saturday continued to search banks of the Vltava in Prague for missing body parts. Earlier this week, police found a human foot, part of a leg a torso while on Friday, another torso was discovered on the river bank in Smíchov. Some 40 officers on Saturday searched more stretches of the river from city centre downstream till the Vltava’s confluence with the Berounka in Prague’s southern suburbs. A police spokeswoman said the search would continue on Sunday.
Remarks by President Miloš Zeman have hurt the Czech Republic’s relations with Arab countries, the Palestinian ambassador in Prague Djamal Muhammad Djamal said on Friday. Ahead of his trip to Israel this week, Mr Zeman suggested the Czech embassy should move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Speaking after a meeting with the Czech president, the freshly appointed Palestinian ambassador said he had asked the president to make steps to mitigate the impact of his words. For his part, Mr Zeman said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would only occur after a peace deal is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.
A fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas will have to pay a fine of 118,000 US dollars for major breaches of security measures which caused a massive explosion in April. Fifteen people died and hundreds of others were injured as a result of the blast in a town where the vast majority of inhabitants claim to have Czech heritage. Some 350 buildings were also destroyed and a 27-meter wide crater has formed. The Czech government gave approximately 200,000 dollars to the people of West, most of the money was meant to rebuild the local Sokol building.
Prague City Hall will demand an apology from the National Geographic Channel over a report which officials say harmed the city’s reputation. The TV channel ran a story about Prague last November as part of its Scam City series. It showed the Czech capital as a haven of crime, drugs and prostitution. However, the Czech police probed some of the allegations shown in the report, and found the documentary was fake and manipulated. Prague councillor Lukáš Manhart told the news website idnes.cz on Friday the City Hall would ask the TV channel to provide an explanation and an apology in the form of a new report. He said the city would consider taking legal measures if the station refuses to deal with the issue.
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