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Security Committee to discuss divisions surrounding police Thursday

The Czech lower house’s Security Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss recent divisions surrounding the police force, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. The committee’s deputy chairman, Bronislav Schwarz of ANO, said he had convened the meeting at the request of MPs. Mr. Schwarz said it would also be attended by Robert Šlachta, who recently stood down over plans to merge his organised crime unit with the anti-corruption police, the head of the Ostrava branch of the organised crime unit, Jiří Komárek, and state attorney Ivo Ištvan.

Police chief files criminal complaint against organised crime inspector over leak accusation

Czech police president Tomáš Tuhý has filed a criminal complaint against the head of the Ostrava branch of the force’s organised crime unit, Jiří Komárek. Mr. Tuhý made the petition to the body that investigates police wrongdoing, GIBS, after Mr. Komárek on Monday accused him of the “brutal” leaking of information linked to a case. The police president denies the charge and accuses the organised crime inspector of defamation and other crimes. The dispute comes after Mr. Tuhý last week pushed through a divisive restructuring under which the organised crime unit is to be merged with the anti-corruption police.

Poll: Three-fifths of Czechs hope Brits remain in EU

Sixty percent of Czechs do not want to see the United Kingdom leave the European Union, suggests a poll conducted by the Median agency for Czech Radio. In the survey just days before the Brexit referendum 22 percent of respondents said they hoped the British electorate voted to depart from the EU. Concern over the economic impact was the most common reason respondents had for wanting the UK to stay in the bloc.

Two Czechs killed in coach crash in Serbia

Two Czechs were among five people killed in a coach crash in Serbia on Tuesday morning. Eight others were injured in the accident, which occurred when the Slovak-registered bus carrying 29 people went off the motorway at around 3:30 am. The passengers were on their way back from a holiday in Corfu.

ANO leader Andrej Babiš says would prefer to quit politics than go into opposition

ANO leader and minister of finance Andrej Babiš has said he would withdraw from politics if his party was forced into opposition following elections to the lower house of parliament scheduled for next year. Babiš said in an interview with Hospodářské Noviny that he would prefer to go back to business and travel than play at politics in opposition. Polls have consistently given ANO a lead over their nearest rival, fellow government party, the Social Democrats, over the past year. Babiš added in the interview that ANO had been disingenuopus in sealing the current coalition and should have pressed for more seats to reduce the chances of being outvoted in Cabinet.

Zeman receives award from Czechoslovak Union of Freedom Fighters

President Miloš Zeman has been presented with the Order of the Czechoslovak Union of Freedom Fighters for his “long-term support for freedom and democracy”. In a speech at the organisation’s annual congress on Tuesday, Mr. Zeman hit out at what he called the “unelected pseudo-elite”, who regard their views as superior to those of others. The group’s chairman Jaroslav Vodička was recently criticised for allegedly xenophobic comments about refugees in a speech he made at a Lidice memorial.

Willem Dafoe and Charlie Kaufman set for Karlovy Vary

Movie star Willem Dafoe and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman will be the special guests at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the organisers announced on Tuesday. Dafoe, who is known for his roles in The Last Temptation of Christ, Platoon and countless other pictures, will receive the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema. The President’s Award will go to Kaufman, the author of such distinctive works as Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The 51st edition of the Karlovy Vary festival begins on Friday next week.

Hotel to open in Prague’s Dancing House

Part of the Dancing House, perhaps Prague’s most distinctive modern building, is to be turned into a hotel. The four-star Dancing House Hotel will accommodate its first guests in August, the operators said. It will offer 21 rooms, including suites in the towers of the Dancing House, which was designed in the mid-1990s by the world-renowned Frank Gehry and local architect Vlado Milunič.

Czech Republic to face Spain in Fed Cup opener

In tennis, the draw for the Fed Cup will pitch holders the Czech Republic against Spain. The opening tie of the top women’s team competition will be held on February 11 and 12 2017. The Czech Republic will host the tie and be able to choose a surface to their liking and which will discomfort their opponents. Team captain Petr Pála said the draw was not bad given that the team wanted to avoid a trip to the US.

Sáblíková wants to take Olympic time trial cycling rejection to arbitration

Martina Sáblíková will ask the Czech Olympic Committee to intercede with the international Court of Arbitration for Sport in her bid to be allowed to compete in time trial cycling at the Olympics in Rio de Janerio this summer. The speed skater was not included in the starting list for time trial by the International Cycling Union and arbitration is her only hope of reaching the Games. Sáblíková’s coach Petr Novák said he was very disappointed with the situation.