Biathlon star Gabriela Koukalová has returned to training after an
extended period on the sidelines. The 2017 biathlon sprint world champion
missed the Winter Olympics in February due to problems with her calves and
said at the time she could not imagine returning to competition.
However, Koukalová told reporters at the Sportsperson of the Year awards on Friday that she had begun intensive training and would see in a few months what shape she was in. She said coming back was so difficult that she had fainted while training.
A Czech woman detained in Pakistan last January after being caught with
nine kilogrammes of heroin has testified that she visited the country to
study Islam, the Pakistani news site Mera Mirpur reported. The trial of
Tereza H., who is 21, began in March and is expected to conclude soon.
The woman is accused of trying to smuggle the drug to the United Arab Emirates. Mera Mirpur said she had originally confessed but has since amended her testimony.
MP Lubomír Volný of Freedom and Direct Democracy is facing a criminal
complaint of defamation and false accusation for saying Václav Havel had
been “one of the country’s biggest traitors,” iDnes.cz reported. Mr.
Volný made the comment in connection with the seventh anniversary of the
dissident turned president’s death this week.
The legal action has been taken by citizen Martin Pilc, who reported the matter to the police after Mr. Volný attacked Havel in a Facebook post. The MP says he is “looking forward” to the Chamber of Deputies lifting his immunity so he can face trial over the matter.
A Polish miner who suffered serious injuries in a methane explosion at a
mine in Karviná in the Moravian Silesian Region on Thursday remains in a
critical condition. The man has severe burns on more than half of his body.
He is being treated at a hospital in Ostrava, where another miner injured
in the blast and fire is also receiving care.
Thirteen miners, 12 of them Polish, died in the blast, which occurred almost 900 metres underground in the ČSM mine.
Sirens rang out around the Czech Republic in honour of the victims at noon on Saturday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has publicly criticised the minister of
transport, Dan Ťok, who is an appointee of his own ANO party. In an
interview published by iDnes.cz, the prime minister said the transport
chief was “too soft” on his subordinates and needed to be tougher and
more thorough. Mr. Babiš replied in the affirmative when asked whether the
minister needed to fear for his position.
For his part, Mr. Ťok told Novinky.cz that he did not wish to be a clone of Mr. Babiš and that his style was not to shout at people.
The country’s biggest motorway, the D1, has been beset by problems recently and Mr. Ťok was derided by critics for saying they would have been avoided if it had started snowing later in December.
Double Olympic champion Ester Ledecká has been crowned Czech Sportsperson
of the Year. The 23-year-old came first in the poll of sports journalists
by a record margin after stunning the world at the Winter Olympics in
February with gold in both alpine skiing’s super-G category and the
snowboard parallel giant slalom.
Speed skater Martina Sáblíková finished second in the poll, ahead of biathlonist Michal Krčmář in third. Sáblíková took silver in the 5000m at the Winter Olympics while Krčmář earned silver in biathlon sprint.
Condolences and messages of support for the injured and the families of the
victims are pouring in from politicians and members of the public.
President Zeman and Prime Minister Babiš said they were deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy, adding that their thoughts were with the families who had lost loved ones and the miners recovering in hospital.
Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček said the matter must be thoroughly investigated in order to ascertain whether the tragedy was not caused by negligence.
Condolences have also come from EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk.
The mayor of the near-by town of Stonavy has appealed to the locals to tone down Christmas and New Year celebrations, saying this was a time for reflection. Ostrava will dim the lights on dominant buildings in recognition of the tragedy and black flags were hoisted on many buildings in memory of those killed.
A special account has been set up to help the families of the victims.
The National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) which on Monday
released a warning that the use of devices developed by the Chinese
companies Huawei and ZTE could present a security threat has moved to
reassure ordinary citizens that the warning does not apply to them.
The agency which issued the warning on the ground of its own findings and based on information about Chinese espionage activities from the military counterintelligence service said it was aimed at organisations and persons who fall under the state’s cyber security law.
The Office of the Government and individual ministries have been getting rid of the respective equipment since the alert came.