The European Commission has accepted the Czech Republic’s objections to some of the EU’s planned new sanctions against Russia, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told reporters on Saturday. Mr Sobotka said the commission’s original proposal could threaten Czech machinery exports to Russia; however, these will now be protected “to the highest possible extent”. The Czech PM also said that if the current ceasefire between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists holds, the planned new round of sanctions could be postponed.
A UK court has granted permission to the parents of five-year-old cancer patient Ashya King to fly him to Prague, according to British media reports. The boy’s case received international attention after his parents removed him from a UK hospital, and applied for treatment in Prague’s Proton Therapy Centre. The family was later detained in Spain but eventually allowed to travel to Prague where doctors at the proton therapy clinic said they were ready to treat the boy. It is believed that the family will travel to Prague early next week.
Only a few dozen voters have so far cast their ballots in a local referendum on gambling ban held on Saturday in Holešov, eastern Moravia, the news agency ČTK reports. Supporters of the ban say it’s unlikely the required 35 percent of voters will turnout out in order of the vote to be binding; they complain that local authorities refused to hold the referendum simultaneously with next month’s local elections when much higher turnout is expected.
Hundreds of historic buildings, churches, technical monuments and other landmarks across the Czech Republic that are not usually open to the public will welcome visitors free of charge during European Heritage Days. In Prague, people have a chance to visit several churches and historic houses in central Prague, the vault and safes of the former Czechoslovak state bank, and other sites. Next weekend will mainly focus on technical monuments and spa architecture. The event, which begins on Saturday, runs until September 14.
Some 17,000 people saw an open-air performance of the opera The Devil and Kate by Antonín Dvořák’s in Prague on Saturday. Performed by the ensemble of the National Theatre and Prague Chamber ballet, the opera was staged at an amphitheatre in Divoká Šárka, a nature reserve in the capital north-western outskirts. Operas were first performed there in the early 20th century, and the tradition was revived in 2005.
The 21st annual Czech International Air Fest is held at the weekend at an airport in Hradec Králové, east Bohemia. Military aircraft from nine countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Croatia are participating in the show, organizers said. Belgium Air Force’s acrobatic team, the Red Devils, are making their premiere at the show this year.
Czech javelin champion Barbora Špotáková won her third Diamond League title at the Van Damme Memorial event in Brussels on Friday night, breaking the meeting’s record with a world-leading throw of 67.99 metres. In her first season after giving birth to her son, the 33-year-old two-time Olympic champion also won the European title in Zurich last month.