Prague’s Masarykovo nádraží train station was closed on Wednesday morning after a train derailed and came to a stop on a platform around 25 metres inside the station. Three people sustained minor injuries in the incident, which occurred at around 11 PM on Tuesday. Passengers were rerouted to other stations in the capital.
The Czech Republic will oppose a share out of refugees within the EU if it is not allowed to vet those immigrants it is willing to accept from Greece and Italy, the head of immigration and asylum issues at the Ministry of Interior, Tomáš Haišman, said on Wednesday. Haišman said that neither the European Commission or European Council appeared ready to wrap up an across the board agreement on the issue soon and that the issue did not like being raised at a meeting of interior ministers on July 20 either. The government agreed last week in what it described as a gesture of solidarity to accept up to 1500 refugees by 2017, mostly those who are already in Greece and Italy.
The Czech Ice Hockey Association says that its earnings from the recent world championships in May far exceeded its expectations. In the immediate aftermath of the championships, head of the association Tomáš Král said that he expected earnings to be several dozen million crowns. In fact, the first accounting estimate now puts the earnings at around 450 million crowns before tax. Ticket sales, which account for around three-quarters of income, surpassed expectations by around 25 percent.
Czech police have cooperated with forces in seven other countries to crackdown on a gang which was defrauding tax payers across Europe of around 300 million euros in tax revenues, the Europe-wide police cooperation body EUROPOL has announced. The Czech Republic was part of a core investigation team that examined the Value Added Tax fraud. Fourteen people were arrested as part of a crackdown during which 40 sites were searched. The massive fraud involved shipping and selling goods across EU borders without paying VAT.
Czech regions should receive 3.5 billion crowns more in central government funding next year. The increased funding came after finance minister Andrej Babiš dropped his call for the increase to be postponed until 2017. Regions complained that their funding was cut during the economic crisis and centre-right government of former prime minister Petr Nečas. Head of the Association of Regions Michal Hašek said the regions would use the money for much needed investments such as transport infrastructure and old people’s homes.
Nine Ukrainians have arrived in the Czech Republic for medical treatment. Seven were taken to hospitals in Prague after landing on a Czech Army plane at the city’s Kbely military airport on Tuesday. The remaining two are to receive treatment at a teaching hospital in Ostrava as part of the Medevac project. A Czech Interior Ministry spokesperson said the patients were mainly displaced persons from Eastern Ukraine; a number require treatment for injuries sustained due to the conflict in the region.
Controversial former Social Democrat minister and head of the Central Bohemian region, David Rath ended his closing address Wednesday in the trial for which he is accused of accepting bribes to rig contracts. Since Monday he had spoken for around 11 hours. Rath at one stage was threatened with a fine by the presiding judge after referring to photos allegedly showing the judge recovering after a drinking spree. Rath could be faced with a prison term of up to 12 years if convicted. The presiding judge said that the verdict will be given on July 23. Previous co-defendants in the same case have already been sentenced in a separate trail. Rath says he is the victim of a police, judicial and political conspiracy.
The Ministry of Interior has warned that populist anti-immigrant and anti-Moslem organisations will step up their activity and could be expected to try and form an alliance with traditional right-wing groups which have fragmented and seen their activity stagnate in recent years. The warning comes in the ministry’s quarterly report on extremism. As regards left wing extremism, the report highlighted the torching of a police car amid around half a dozen other attacks on police property which followed a clamp down on ‘revolutionary cells’ during April.
The mortality rate during childbirth in the Czech Republic has fallen between 2000 and 2013 to 1.2 per thousand from 2.1 per thousand and is now one of the lowest rates among developed countries, Minister of Heath Svatopluk Němeček announced on Wednesday. He highlighted though the fact that women are now giving birth a lot later with women now on average having their first child at the age of around 28, around six years later than at the start of the 1990s. Older women have a higher risk of complications during childbirth.
The schedule for the opening group games for the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championships were announced on Wednesday. The Czech Republic’s first game will be against championship hosts, Russia, in Moscow’s 12,000 seat ice palace arena on May 6. Sweden will play Latvia in the earlier game from the same group. Group B games will be staged at the second venue of St. Petersburg.
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