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18-05-2015

Zaorálek expresses opposition to refugee quota proposal

The country’s foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, in a meeting with EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, has said that the acceptance of refugees is a decision that needs to be left up to individual EU member states. The minister was expressing opposition to a proposal by the European Commission from last week that mandatory quotas on refugees be introduced across the EU. The European Union is trying to agree on a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem of human trafficking as well as illegal migration, to also try and prevent further tragedy in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of migrants have drowned trying to reach Europe. Mr Zaorálek said that the acceptance of refugees was a decision which needed to be fully up to members in order for the state to accept full responsibility. The minister called the quota proposal an entirely new approach - to some degree, he said, "revolutionary".

Government approves updated long-term energy plan

The Czech government has approved an updated long-term state energy plan putting primary focus on nuclear energy and renewable sources. The news was confirmed on Monday by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in a text message to the Czech News Agency, the wire service said. The strategic document sets the direction for the energy sector for decades. In the message, the prime minister was quoted as saying that "The adopted strategy [was] another step toward low-carbon energy, with nuclear, renewable and secondary sources to be the main sources of electricity generation.” The strategy comprises of six basic scenarios of the long-term development of the Czech energy sector until 2040. The most likely development is that nuclear power will serve as the primary source, followed by natural gas and crude oil, ČTK wrote.

Explosives reportedly found aboard bus from Prague headed for Bulgaria

Hungarian and Bulgarian media report that police on Sunday uncovered explosives aboard a bus from Prague bound for Varna. Pyrotechnic experts reportedly destroyed the material after an anti-terrorism squad was called in. The unspecified material, stored in a tube together with a canister of gas were allegedly found in a suitcase by the bus driver, who stopped the bus because of a smell emanating from the baggage compartment. Bulgaria’s bTV, citing the bus company, reported that the suitcase had been left by a passenger who had a ticket to Bratislava but got off in Brno. Thirty-seven people were aboard the bus when the suitcase was found. Police from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria are investigating.

Wiretaps played in court reveal Nagyová called ex-PM a primitive

Wiretaps played in court have revealed that the former aide and now wife to ex-prime minister Petr Nečas, Jana Nagyová, called him a primitive and other names, the Czech News Agency reports. In phone calls to a friend, she also referred to Mr Nečas' then wife, Radka, as “a cow” and a “hysterical woman”, criticising her for burdening the then prime minister with family problems. Jana Nagyová had an affair with Mr Nečas when she was still his chief-of-staff; they married after his divorce. She is alleged to have ordered military surveillance of his first wife in order to find compromising material, amounting to abuse of office. The scandal surrounding the former aide helped bring down the former centre-right government.

Rath has day to find new defence lawyer

Former MP and regional governor David Rath, on trial on charges of corruption, has one day to find a new lawyer, the judge overseeing his case ruled, after the defendant annulled the power of attorney he had granted his former defence team. The trial is in its final stage; the latest step was described as an effort to try and return to case to the beginning by the regional court spokeswoman. Mr Rath’s case was additionally delayed recently after a biking accident left him injured in hospital. If found guilty, the suspect faces up to 12 years in prison; Mr Rath is alleged to have taken bribes and of having manipulated public tenders. He was caught red-handed in May of 2012 with seven million crowns in a wine box he was carrying.

Kobra strikes in advertising corruption case

The country’s special anti-corruption police unit, known has KOBRA, has uncovered a case of suspected tax evasion in Prague and the region of Central Bohemia, which resulted in at least 24 million crowns in damages. Those are expected to go up after all evidence is gathered. The case has to do with alleged machinations in the field of advertising. The police, in the operation code-named Žralok or Shark, secured property worth 100 million crowns in connection with the case, the spokesman for the anti-corruption unit Jaroslav Ibehej revealed.

Czech rapist arrested in Philippines

Czech national Jaroslav Dobeš, has been detained in the Philippines on an international arrest warrant. The news was confirmed by Czech sources including the ambassador to Manila, Jaroslav Olša. Last year, 24-year-old Mr Dobeš was sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape but evaded justice. In the Czech Republic he went under the moniker “Guru Jára”. The police said he was arrested on the island of Siargao with his close associate Barbora Plašková. Negotiations on the convict's deportation are underway.

Jaromír Jágr retires from international hockey

Czech hockey legend Jaromír Jágr announced his retirement from international competition on Sunday after the national team’s loss to the United States. The Czech squad finished fourth at the Ice Hockey World Championships held this year in Prague and Ostrava. Jágr, who is 43, was named the tournament’s MVP and was named to the All-Star team. The player told journalists that it was time to move on, looking forward to at least one more season in the NHL with the Florida Panthers. Jágr won a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and two World Championships – in 2005 and 2010. His 722 goals lead all active NHL players.

Worlds: Head of IIHF slams players who left ice as showing complete disrespect for competitors

The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel has expressed deep disappointment that members of the Russian hockey team left the ice at Prague’s O2 arena on Sunday showing what he called complete disrespect for Canadian competitors who won the final 6:1. After the blowout, most of the team made a show of leaving the ice without waiting for the Canadian national anthem. Mr Fasel told TASS he had seen nothing like it in more than 29 years he has attended to the championship. Some players - Alexander Ovechkin, Yevgeny Malkin, Viktor Tikhonov and Dmitry Kulikov – reportedly remained on the ice, but Mr Fasel charged that Russia’s head coach and general manager should have been present to stop the others. He added that after he returned from the Czech Republic, the IIHF would review the incident.

Canada crushes Russia at Hockey Worlds in Prague

On Sunday, in the final of the Ice Hockey Championships at Prague’s O2 Arena, Canada declassed defending champions Russia, at one point leading 6-0. Russia was able to score a consolation goal in the third period for a final score of 6:1. Afterwards, the Russian squad made a show of leaving the ice even before the Canadian national anthem was performed. Organizers announced that a new tournament record was set this year in attendance: 64 matches in Prague and Ostrava were visited by a total of 741,690 fans – an average of 11,589 per match.

18-05-2015