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Babiš backs ANO colleague Stropnický as candidate for president

ANO chief Andrej Babiš says the party’s minister of defence, Martin Stropnický, would be a suitable candidate for president. Mr. Babiš made the comment in an interview for Saturday’s edition of the daily Právo. Mr. Babiš said he himself would be uninterested in the post as it is not “managerial”. Mr. Stropnický, a popular actor and former diplomat, told Právo he regarded the ANO leader’s comment as a gesture of trust but that he was fully focusing on his duties at the Ministry of Defence. The term of the current president, Miloš Zeman, expires in 2018.

Blackout simulation planned for part of Prague’s Metro system on Saturday night  

The Prague transport authority is going to hold a training exercise on Saturday night aimed at improving its response to possible power blackouts in the city’s Metro system. The exercise begins at 1:15 AM and ends at around 8 AM, with bus services to be laid on in place of trains on the C or red line between Nádraží Holešovice and Kačerov on Sunday morning. Smaller exercises of this type have been held in the past two years.

Very hot weather set to return in latter half of next week

Temperatures of above 30 degrees Celsius – and perhaps exceeding 35 degrees Celsius – are expected in the Czech Republic in the second half of next week, according to a regular monthly forecast issued on Saturday by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. Temperatures in the early part of September will be average for the time of year, the forecasters said. The Czech Republic has seen record temperatures set in a series of heat-waves this summer.

Foreign Ministry urges Czechs to avoid parts of Macedonia

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned Czechs against travelling alone in isolated parts of Macedonia because of the dangers posed by criminal gangs of people smugglers. The ministry said people should avoid the Šar Mountains and Macedonia’s borders with Albania and Kosovo. In a post on its website, it also urged caution while travelling on the country’s main motorway to Greece, where increased numbers of migrants presented a crime threat. On Friday police clashed with migrants at Macedonia’s border with Greece.

Over four-fifths of Czechs believe Russian invasion unlikely, suggests poll

Over 80 percent of Czechs don’t believe their country is likely to be invaded by Russia in the next decade, according to an opinion poll by the Median agency for Czech Television. The survey’s findings were published on Friday, the 47th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops. Forty-seven percent of respondents agreed it was a Russian invasion was very unlikely while 36 percent said it was more unlikely than likely. Just under 50 percent of those polled thought Moscow would invade a non-NATO or EU member state within the next 10 years.

First goods arrive at new Amazon distribution centre near Prague

The first goods have been delivered to an Amazon distribution centre at Dobrovíz near Prague. A spokesperson said the internet retail giant would begin sending goods to customers from the new 90,000 square-metre centre in the next month. Amazon has hired around 1,000 staff and will soon begin the process of looking for around 3,000 seasonal workers for its busy pre-Christmas phase, the Czech News Agency reported. Amazon aims to have a permanent staff of around 2,000 at Dobrovíz and corporate offices in Prague’s Dejvice within three years.

Berdych and Šafářová fail to make semi-finals at Cincinnati

Czech players Tomáš Berdych and Lucie Šafářová have exited the Cincinnati Open at the quarter-finals stage. Berdych, who was seeded sixth and lost only six games on his way to the last eight, was beaten 4-6 2-6 by Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine on Friday. Šafářová also lost to a Ukrainian, going down 4-6 6-2 0-6 to Elina Svitolina.