Hundreds of Vietnamese people from across the Czech Republic staged a protest on Sunday in front of China’s embassy in Prague. With banners that read “Stop China”, “Get Out of Vietnam”, and others, they protested against what they see as China’s intrusion into allegedly Vietnamese territorial waters in the South China Sea. In recent weeks, Vietnam’s government has complained of incidents in which Chinese vessels deliberately rammed Vietnamese ships in an attempt to gain control of parts of the area. The organizers of Prague’s protest told the news agency ČTK that despite living far from Vietnam, they had a duty to defend their home country. There are an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 Vietnamese people living in the Czech Republic, many of them Czech citizens.
The Czech national hockey team faces Sweden in the second game at the hockey world championships in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday evening. The Czechs, who defeated Slovakia 3:2 in overtime in the first game on Friday, will modify their line-up; the first line will feature Hertl and Rolinek alongside the start veteran Jaromír Jágr. Coach Vladimír Růžička also had to replace defenceman Polák who got injured in Friday’s game, and has left for Prague. Instead, Michal Jordán from the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL has been added to the Czech team’s roster.
A monument to the late Czech writer Josef Škvorecký was unveiled in his native town of Náchod, eastern Bohemia, on Sunday. The monument is in the form of a bench with a realistic statue of the writer. Josef Škoverecký, who was born in Náchod in 1924, came to prominence in the 1950s with the novel Cowards which depicted the end of WWII in his town through the eyes of a teenager. He left Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion of 1968 and settled in Canada where he and his wife launched Sixty-Eight Publishers which published books by authors banned in Czechoslovakia. Josef Škvorecký died in 2012.
The Czech Republic would like to see tougher sanctions imposed on Russia over the country’s involvement in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said. Speaking on Czech TV on Sunday, Mr Zaorálek also criticized independence referenda staged by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The voting will not solve Ukraine’s problems, according to the Czech foreign minister who instead called for diplomatic negotiations with the participation of representatives of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions where the referenda are taking place.
A 21-year-old drunk driver killed a 45-year-old wheelchair-bound in a hit-and-run incident in České Budějovice on Saturday night, a police spokeswoman said. The driver was apparently going too fast and hit the man in the wheelchair who was riding on the side of the road, instantly killing him. He then drove off but had another accident later when he drove into parked cars. The 21-year-old driver has been arrested, and faces up to six years in prison.
Some 27 percent of Czech save on food, according to a survey by a Czech discount retail website, skrz.cz. Another 19 percent of those polled said they saved on their free-time activities. They poll also found that ways people try to save money in cities differ from those living in the county; while 38 percent of the former said they saved most on food, 28 percent of the later said they instead saved on their free time. Some 20 percent of the people who took part in the survey said they did not save on anything.
The film Cheatin’ by US director Bill Plympton has won the main award at the Anifilm international festival of animated films in Třeboň. The Brazilian movie entitled The Boy and the World by Ale Abreu received the prize for best animated children film. The award for best short film went to Worst-Case Scenario by Kristjan Holm of Estonia. Some 23,000 people attended screenings at the festival which presented 73 films, organizers said.
Some 8,000 people marched through the centre of the Czech capital on Saturday in support of marihuana legalization, part of the international Million Marihuana March event. Organizers said the number of participants was higher than last year; two people were arrested over for possesing small amounts of dry cannabis, a police spokesman said. Under Czech law, possession or growing of marihuana for personal use is a minor offence; earlier this year, however, the anti-drug unit of the Czech police raided a number of shops offering marihuana seeds and equipment for growing the illicit drug, raising concerns of a more stricter approach towards recreational marihuana growers and users.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Saturday commemorated Romany victims of the Holocaust at the site of the former concentration camp in Lety, in southern Bohemia. Mr Sobotka said his government would not release funds necessary to remove a pig farm, established at the site in the 1970s, and suggested the money be instead used for the education of Romany children. Some 1,300 Czech Romanies passed through the camp between 1940 and 1943; round 330 of them died there, while another 500 were deported to the Auschwitz extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Prague Mayor Tomáš Hudeček, several local mayors and members of the public honoured Czech victims of Communism in Prague on Saturday, the news agency ČTK reported. Mr Hudeček warned against questioning the crimes of Communism, and said the motivation of those who sided with the regime needed to be studied. Some 250 people were executed by the Communist authorities and another 8,000 died in jail. An estimated 250,000 people left the country during the four decades of Communist rule. The gathering took place at a cemetery in Prague’s Motol district where the ashes of dozens of anti-Communist activists were secretly buried in the 1950s and 60s.
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