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Muslims to condemn terrorism, attend Catholic mass in Prague

Members of the Prague Muslim community will condemn the recent terrorist attacks in Europe and protest against violence at a demonstration in Prague on Wednesday, the ctk news agency reported. In a gesture of solidarity they will also silently attend a mass in the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord on Prague’s Jiří z Podebrad square, lighting candles and laying flowers outside the church in memory of those killed in terrorist attacks. Some 200 Muslims are expected to attend the event.

President Zeman to attend Rhodes conference organized by oligarch Yakunin

Czech President Miloš Zeman will attend this year's international conference Dialogue of Civilisations in Rhodes, annually held by Russian businessman and close friend of President Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Yakunin. According to the news site parliamentnilisty.cz Mr. Zeman will be the main speaker at the conference this year. The president’s spokesman, Jiri Ovčáček, confirmed Mr. Zeman’s participation, saying his decision to attend the Rhodes conference was influenced by the possible participation of the Slovak and Hungarian prime ministers with whom he wanted to discuss the migrant crisis. The conference will open on September 30th.

Javelin thrower Veselý to get bronze from 2012 London Olympics

Czech javelin thrower Vítězslav Veselý will get a bronze medal from the 2012 Olympic Games in London after a retroactive disqualification of his Ukrainian colleague Oleksandr Pyatnytsya. The 31-year-old Ukrainian was stripped of his silver medal after he tested positive for the steroid turinabol and was ordered by the International Olympic Committee to return it. He was one of four more athletes sanctioned Tuesday by the IOC after retests of stored samples from London and the 2008 Beijing Games. Veselý had originally ended in fourth place, behind Antti Ruuskanen of Finland.

Number of passenger cars increases to nearly 5.3 million in first half of 2016

The number of passenger cars in the Czech Republic has increased by 116,000 to nearly 5.3 million cars in the first half of 2016, according to data of the Car Importers Association released on Wednesday. The average age of passenger cars has also increased, from 14.3 to 14.9 years. Škoda Auto remains the most popular make of car with nearly 1.8 million registered vehicles, followed by Volkswagen and Ford.

Cobra prevented tax evasion of over two million crowns in first half of 2016

Cobra, a special team established to fight tax dodging, has prevented tax evasion to the tune of more than two billion crowns in the first half of 2016, the spokesman of the National Centre against Organised Crime, Jaroslav Ibehej, announced on Wednesday. Nearly 50 percent of that amount was secured by regional teams. The anti-tax evasion squad Cobra was set up in June of 2014. According to the police, the team has prevented tax evasion of up to 6.2 billion crowns since its establishment.

Justice ministry receives some 600 clemency appeals each year

The Ministry of Justice receives about 600 appeals for clemency each year, but has to reject most of them due to the strict criteria set up by President Miloš Zeman. Only six appeals have passed through the ministry so far and two people were granted a pardon by the president. According to the head of the Constitutional Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice, Tereza Krupová, the ministry is currently assessing another appeal that might be advanced to the president. Mr Zeman entrusted the country's Justice Ministry with the right to decide on presidential pardons, except for exceptional cases, at the end of 2013. He pledged to stop giving pardons soon after he was elected, calling them a "monarchistic hold-over."

Some 107 kilometres of Czech highways to be renovated in 2016

Some 107 kilometres of Czech highways will undergo renovation this year, which is about seven kilometres more than in 2015, according to the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate. Some 36 kilometres concern the modernizing of the country’s busiest D1 motorway connecting Prague and Brno. According to the spokesman of the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate, Jan Studecký, around five percent of the country’s highways need to undergo renovation every year to maintain the network in good condition.

Czech soldiers to get four percent pay rise

Czech soldiers and other defence ministry employees are set to get a pay rise of about four percent as of November, according to the Defence Ministry press spokesman Vladimír Javorský. There are currently about 22,000 professional soldiers in the Czech Republic. Policemen, firefighters and state employees also expect to get a pay rise in November and the government has promised a 10 percent pay rise for doctors and nurses in 2017.

Czech Republic returned 1396 foreigners under readmission agreements in 2015

Some 1,396 foreign nationals returned from the Czech Republic to the neighbouring countries in 2015 under readmission agreements, which is an increase by 870 percent on the previous year. The hike is a result of an increased number of detained migrants, who entered the Czech Republic from Austria and Slovakia. Most of the people were also returned to these two countries. In 2014, the Czech Republic returned some 144 foreigners. The Czech Republic in 2016 readmitted 260 foreigners, 224 less than in the previous year.

Twenty-five Czech wines make Vis du Monde publication

Twenty-five wines from the Czech Republic have made this year’s list of the world’s best wines, the Vins du Monde publication, which is released annually by the Union of French Winemakers, the Czech Wine Fund informed on Tuesday. The samples were tested by 130 members of the international jury at the end of February and beginning of March.

Kvitová to face Elina Svitolina in Rio quarter finals

Petra Kvitová has made it to the fourth round at the Olympic Games in Rio, after defeating Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 4:6, 6:4, 6:4 in nearly three hours. In the next round, the two-time Wimbledon champion will face Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who had knocked out the defending champion Serena Williams.