Police have arrested a man who they suspect killed two pedestrians in a hit-and-run incident near Vodňany in south Bohemia in the early hours of Sunday, a police spokesman said. Among the victims is a 26-year-old woman and a man whose identity remains unknown. The police have asked members of the public for information on any missing persons who might have been in the area at the time of the accident.
In related news, the Communist party has made the most expensive election promises, according to a study by the IDEA institute and the daily Lidové noviny. Two weeks ahead of an early general election, the Communists promise, among other things, to lower VAT rates, to introduce minimum pensions, and excluded medicines from VAT, which would costs at least 91.5 billion crowns. The Christian Democrats, meanwhile, promise to take steps that would cost 48 billion while the pledges of the Social Democrats to voters would cost the state budget 43.5 billion, the study says. The right-of-centre Civic Democrats would need less than 7.2 billion to fulfill their campaign promises.
Czech jockey Josef Váňa announced retirement after a fall in Sunday’s Velká pardubická steeplechase. The 60-year-old legend, who has achieved eight victories at the Velká pardubická race in his career, said he had been planning to retire next year but the fall at the race’s penultimate obstacle made him change his mind. He last won the Czech Republic’s best-known horse race in Pardubice in 2011.
Students of Prague’s Czech Technical University have finished third in Solar Decathlon, an international architectural competition organized by the US Department of Energy. The jury appreciated the Czech team’s design of an energy-efficient building, entitled AIR House, for its simplicity. The Czech project won the architecture category of the competition, one of ten aspects included in the overall classification.
The Social Democrats maintain a large margin over their competitors, according to a poll by the TNS Aisa for Czech TV released on Sunday. The survey suggests that the party would receive 28 percent of the vote, followed by the Communists and the Ano group, each with 12.5 percent. The conservative TOP 09 party would win some 11 percent of the vote, the Civic Democrats 6.5 percent and the Christian Democrats 6 percent. The poll suggests that the populist Dawn of Direct Democracy would receive 5 percent of the vote, just enough to enter the lower house.
Czech hurdler Zuzana Hejnová has been European Athlete of the Year. The 26-year-old Czech runner who specializes in 400 metres hurdles, has won all her races this year including the World Championships and all seven Diamond League events. Hejnová was crowned along with Ukraine’s high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko who won the title in men’s category, at the European Athletic Awards ceremony in Tallinn on Saturday night.
Cameron Kerry, the younger brother of the US Secretary of State John Kerry, is in the Czech Republic searching for his family’s ancestors. Mr Kerry, who arrived with his wife on Friday, is set to visit the town of Horní Benešov, in the northeast of the country where his grandfather was born. Cameron Kerry told the news website novinky.cz it was ironic that while he himself converted to Judaism, his grandfather, Fritz Kohn became a Catholic before moving to the United States in the early 20th century.
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
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