Some 155 Czech hotels and pensions are taking part in the fourth annual
‘Hotel Night’ promotion that gives big discounts to locals.
More than 2,000 rooms in Prague, Brno, Olomouc, Karlovy Vary, Ostrava and other cities are available through the promotion.
The Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants holds the annual event as a thank-you to locals in heavily touristed areas.
It also aims to show how much the sector benefits the economy and inform locals of job opportunities.
The police have filed charges against a 31-year-old man who was detained
after trying to force his way into the Czech Chamber of Deputies on
The incident happened when the chamber was in session and the man reportedly threatened the guards with a knife. He was apprehended and remains in custody.
The man faces up to four years in prison for violence against a public official. The motive behind his actions remains unclear.
The Czech Republic has become the first Schengen country to stop granting
visas to Chinese nationals.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told journalists the Czech Republic had suspended the issuing of visas on January 29 and Czech visa centres in China were closed until further notice.
The minister also confirmed that negotiations were underway on further measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to this country.
In a related development, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Thursday evening that unless negotiations with partner states to try to get Czech nationals out of Wuhan produced results by Saturday, the Czech Republic would send a government plane for them. The Czech Republic has five Czech nationals in the city who wish to return home.
The Senate narrowly passed a resolution on Thursday urging the government
not to restrict legal gun ownership when implementing the European Union
The resolution, which argues the Czech Weapons Act sufficiently regulates gun ownership in the country, came in response to a petition signed by nearly 100,000 citizens.
Under current legislation, firearms can be licensed to people who have a clean criminal record, pass a gun proficiency test and undergo a medical examination.
Unlike in most EU countries, the Czech Republic allows for the concealed carry of firearms for self-defence.
Luboš Dobrovský, a former dissident who became a senior diplomat after
the Velvet Revolution, died in Prague on Thursday at the age of 87.
Dobrovský was a journalist at Czechoslovak Radio from 1959 to 1968. He left the Communist party after the Soviet occupation and was among the early Charter 77 signatories.
During the Velvet Revolution, Dobrovský was as a Civic Forum spokesman. He went on to serve as defence minister, chancellor to President Václav Havel and as an ambassador to Moscow.
Czech police identified 5,677 foreigners in the country illegally last
year, 685 more than in 2018, officials announced on Thursday.
The majority had entered the country legally and then overstayed their visas. Of this group, police said most were from Ukraine (1,456), Moldova (825), Vietnam (353), Russia (234) or Uzbekistan (199).
The annual Three Kings Collection, organised since the year 2000 by
Catholic charity Caritas, raised a record 130 million crowns this year. The
traditional door-to-door charity drive starts on New Year’s Day and runs
for about two weeks.
It features children dressed as Kaspar, Melichar and Balthazar – the “three wise men”, later known as kings, who according to the Bible followed the star of Bethlehem to find the new-born baby Jesus.
The volunteer “kings” go carolling from house to house, leaving their initials – ‘K + M + B’ – above the door frames as a symbol of blessing.
Charita Czech Republic is the largest non-state provider of social services in the country. Over the past two decades, the processions have in total raised more than 1.4 billion crowns in aid of the needy.
A 31-year-old man armed with a knife was arrested outside the lower house
of Parliament on Thursday.
Police said he demanded to be admitted into the building, where a session was underway, and threatened officers.
No one was injured in the incident. An investigation into his possible motive is underway.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has announced a temporary ban on the
issuance of visas to Chinese citizens due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Online applications have also been halted.
So far, five Czechs in Chinese areas affected by coronavirus have requested assistance returning home.
The possible evacuation of Czechs from China is being negotiated with France and British authorities, Petříček told journalists.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said a temporary ban on incoming flights from China was under discussion.
The head of the Jewish Community in Prague on Thursday received three
cobblestones identified by city authorities as having being made of Jewish
The fragments come from 28. října street in Prague 1, a community official told the Czech News Agency.
Last autumn, Prague City Hall signed a memorandum pledging to remove fragments of Jewish tombstones used as cobblestones in the city centre and return them to the community.
Jewish community of Prague chairman František Bányai said they will be deposited at the Old Jewish Cemetery in the Žižkov district.
Fragments paving parts of Wenceslas Square and the Prague high street Na Příkopě likelty came mainly from a derelict 19th century Jewish cemetery in Chomutov, north Bohemia.
They were used to repair the pedestrian zone ahead of a 1987 visit to Prague by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. A project called ‘Finding the Lost Face of Jewish Cemeteries’ is working with the city to identify the fragments.