Czech President Miloš Zeman presented the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, with the Czech Republic’s highest honour, the Order of the White Lion, in Amman on Wednesday. The recognition was given for the king’s opposition to terrorism, and in particular to Islamic State. King Abdullah II is the first Arab head of state to be awarded the Czech honour since the creation of the state in 1993. Zeman invited the king to visit the Czech Republic and encouraged Jordan to base its own embassy in the country. During the visit a memorandum of security cooperation was signed between the two countries. President Zeman is due to end his three day visit to Jordan and fly onto the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.
Jordan and the Czech Republic also signed on Wednesday a memorandum of cooperation on civil nuclear power. The memorandum was signed by the Czech state institute for nuclear research and its Jordanian equivalent. Jordan at the moment has no nuclear plants but is seeking to build both a small experimental test reactor and later a full blown power plant. The country would like to exploit the uranium reserves on its territory. The Czech Republic operates two nuclear power plants.
Speaking on an official visit to Jordan, Czech President Miloš Zeman said that the Czech Republic was willing to play a role in joint operations against Islamic State. Mr. Zeman is in the Middle Eastern state a week after a Jordanian air force pilot was brutally killed by the terrorist organisation and said Czechs needed solidarity with Jordan that was concrete rather than verbal. The president, who is accompanied by a delegation of around three dozen business people, also said the Czech Republic could help Jordan in the area of energy security.
Breakaway members of parliament from the Dawn Party have defended themselves against accusations they are putschists. In a press conference on Wednesday they said they had drawn up plans for a new direction of the party with full knowledge of leader, Tomio Okamura, but he did not want to accept the plans. Members of parliament accused Okuma of trying to rule the party in an authoritarian manner and prevent it opening up to new members. Ten of the party’s 14 members of parliament declared on Tuesday that they would follow the new strategy in defiance of Okamura. They said though they were still willing to meet with him to discuss the situation.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has lost ground in the public’s assessment of him according to a survey by the CVVM agency released on Wednesday. While Zeman still received above average marks for fulfilling his constitutional role and his contact with citizens, his negative ratings for other aspects of his office have worsened. Around two-thirds of those surveyed gave him negative marks for representing the country abroad and just over seven out of 10 said he had failed to safeguard respect for the institution of head of state. The previous survey of the president’s performance was carried out in January 2014.
Mountain rescue workers have resumed their searches in the Krkonoš Mountains after a massive avalanche occurred on Tuesday evening. Attempts were made immediately to search for survivors but with no result. It is not clear whether the avalanche, described as the biggest in the area for 30 years, might have trapped some people. Certain reports suggested initially that three people might have been engulfed by the avalanche but most witnesses say that there were no people at the site.
A court has ruled that judges were wrong to drop criminal proceedings against Prague police officers who worked in their spare time for filmmakers. The Supreme Court said Prague’s Municipal Court was mistaken when it decided last April to abandon charges against some of the officers on the grounds that they had already been dismissed from the police force. One police officer arranged with film makers to send officers to ‘shootings’ across the country so that traffic could be diverted or other arrangements made to help proceedings along. The television and film companies were billed for the assistance.
Czech ice hockey star Dominik Hašek has offered his gold medal from the Nagano Olympics in 1998 to whoever is judged to have contributed most to getting two Czech children out of care in Norway. Former national goalkeeper Hašek said that the wanted to do the maximum to help the children’s mother, Eva Michalková, be reunited with her children, according to a report by Wednesday’s Mladá Fronta Dnes. Her two sons, who were born in Norway, have been placed in care by Norwegian authorities in a case which has provoked a furor of media and political interest in the Czech Republic. Norwegian authorities say they have followed standard procedures.
Speaking on the floor of the Czech lower house, Civic Democrat MP Jana Černochová said that sick deputies should remain at home in view of the flu epidemic that is currently hitting the country. She made the comment after a previous speaker, TOP 09’s František Laudát, displayed hoarseness during a debate on security. Ms. Černochová said she did not want to speak on a microphone on which somebody had just been “sputtering bacteria”.
In tennis, Radek Štěpánek has announced that he will not be fit to take part in the Czech Republic’s first round Davis Cup tie against Australia in Ostrava from March 6 to 8. Czech number one Tomáš Berdych has already said that he will not be available. It is the first time the Czech Republic will be without its two top players for the last five years. Štěpánek was injured in September last year and says that he is still trying to get back to form. Berdych has said he wants to concentrate on his single career and will appear for Davis Cup ties when he can.
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