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21-03-2015

Czech military prepared for "provocations" during US convoy transfer

The Czech military has singled out areas in the country which could see "provocations" or protests during a US convoy transfer at the end of March. The almost 120 vehicle strong convoy, returning from a NATO exercise called Operation Atlantic Resolve in the Baltic states, will travel through six countries to a military base in Germany. The deputy chief of staff of the Czech armed forces, Frantíšek Maliněnský, indicated that the army was ready for potential protests. Defence Minister Martin Stropnický has expressed embarrassment over the wave of opposition to the planned transfer, expressed, for example, by Communist Party legislators. The NATO exercise in the Baltic states was to show unity and commitment to security to reassure NATO members increasingly nervous over Russia's intervention in Ukraine. The convoy in the Czech Republic will follow three separate routes before regrouping in an outer Prague district and heading to Plzeň and the Czech-German border.

Christian Democrats call on president to reconsider Moscow visit

The smallest party in the ruling coalition, the Christian Democrats, have called on President Zeman to reconsider a planned visit to Moscow marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Mr Zeman accepted an invitation by the Kremlin to attend, saying a failure to do so would be an insult to the 150,000 Russian soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia. Many EU heads-of-state will not be attending in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea and continued intervention in Ukraine. Christian Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek said his party viewed the visit as inappropriate under the circumstances of Russian intervention and alleged himan rights violations. The president's spokesman has already responded, making clear the president had no intention of changing his plans. Other leaders who have confirmed attendance in Moscow on May 9 include North Korea's Kim Jong-un - on his first foreign visit.

Czech mountaineer dies in High Tatras

A Czech mountaineer has fallen to his death in the High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia while a fellow climber suffered serious injuries. The two were climbing in a popular area known as the Lomnický Shield. The men were spotted in a valley below early on Saturday by Polish climbers. A helicopter with medical help was dispatched to the scene and the survivor was taken to hospital. The cause of the accident is not yet known.

Poll: Trust in president goes up

A new poll conducted by the CVVM agency suggests that trust in the president has improved slightly from the previous month, with 47 percent compared to 44 in February. By contrast, trust in the government dipped somewhat, from 49 percent to 45. Local officials - mayors - enjoy 64 percent support, regional officials 45 percent and regional governors, 44. Parliament traditionally fares the worst: lawmakers in the lower house received just 32 percent backing, while the Senate had 33.

Police find remains of man who may have been one of five who held up Brinks truck in 2006

The police this week uncovered the remains of an as yet unidentified man who may have taken part in a famous unsolved hold-up of a Brinks armored van near Brno in 2006. Then, five armed men wearing police uniforms stopped the van and made off with 77 million crowns. The body found buried on the property could be that of Robert Hickl, according to members of the anti-organised crime unit. TV Nova said DNA tests are underway. The property where the body was found belongs to a company owned by Robert Dolíhal, long-suspected by the police in the case, TV Nova said.

Sixth newborn this year left in babybox

A baby boy became the sixth newborn in 2015 to be left in one of the country's babyboxes. The newborn was left at the monitored facility in Havlíčkův Brod on Friday evening. The boy is in good health and had been given the name Zdeněk, the founder of the system Ludvík Hess revealed. One hundred and eighteen newborns have been given up at babyboxes since the system was introduced: 47 boys and 71 girls. The system acts as a safety valve to ensure that children can be left - unharmed - when mothers feel they have nowhere else to turn.

Internet trolls no match for football's Petr Čech

A number of news and sport websites have taken note of recent tweets by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech, known for witty responses to internet trolls. The Bleacher Report reprinted his response to a provocateur who asked the keeper if he had any advice on being a benchwarmer (the star goalkeeper was replaced by Thibault Courtois as number one in goal at the start of the season). Another troll asked what it was like to be No. 2 to Handanovic on the national squad. Čech's zinger? Can someone tell him pls? Samir Handanovic is Slovenian.

21-03-2015