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14-05-2017

Czech goalkeeper Čech reaches new milestone with 400th appearance in Premier League

Star goalkeeper Petr Čech reached a milestone on Saturday by making his 400th appearance in the Premier League, a feat achieved by only five other keepers, news site iDnes reported. On the day, Čech’s club, Arsenal, comfortably defeated Stoke by a score of 4:1, with the goalkeeper turning away three shots and allowing only a controversial goal from Peter Crouch. Arsenal are chasing a final qualifying berth in the Champion’s League - one point behind Liverpool, who are fourth.

Zeman compares Silk Road project to post-war Marshall Plan

Speaking at a summit in China on Sunday, Czech President Miloš Zeman called the Silk Road project plan launched by China in 2013 (aimed at significantly expanding Chinese, European and African economic cooperation) the “most fascinating project of modern history”. In scope and significance he compared to the United States’ Marshall Plan which helped rebuild post-war western Europe after WWII. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday pledged 124 billion dollars for the project, formally known as the Belt and Road initiative, with the aim of growing an “open world economy”.

In China, President Zeman and several close aides met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Zeman has met with the Russian leader on numerous occasions in the past, including his last visit to China in 2015. Mr Zeman has previously come out against continuing western sanctions against Russia, imposed after the annexation of Crimea.

Family members, government representatives, public honour memory of Roma interned at Lety camp

Surviving family members, Culture Minister Daniel Herman, human rights minister Jan Chvojka and members of the public took part in a ceremony at the memorial in Lety, South Bohemia, on Saturday honouring the memory of Roma who were interned and suffered or died at the site where a former labour and later concentration camp stood during WWII. Some 500 people were sent on from the camp to Auschwitz. The current government, in its strategic plan to 2020, has pledged to do away with an offending pig farm at the site. Minister Chvojka said that the property had been valuated and that talks with the farm owners would begin within a month. Previous Czech governments made similar promises to remove the farm but failed.

Foundation stone unveiled at memorial to Empress Maria Theresa

The foundation stone for a new memorial to Austrian empress Maria Theresa was unveiled at a park near Prašný most in Prague 6 on Saturday – the occasion of the 300th anniversary of her birth. The ceremony was attended by several dozen people, including Prague’s Mayor Adriana Krnáčová and Prague 6 mayor Ondřej Kolář, who took part in the ceremonial tapping of the foundation stone. Mr Kolář said that the empress, who assumed power under difficult circumstances, deserved a proper memorial in the Czech capital. The site will feature a sculpture symbolizing the period of her reign. The ceremony included a performance by the National Theatre Quartet and ended with a rifle salvo from members of the ‘Habsburg guard’ in period costumes.

Weather

Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Daytime highs should reach around 20 degrees Celsius.

Czech president says some Silk Road-related projects already approved at summit in China

CzechInvest, the Czech Republic’s investment and business development agency, is looking to realise projects worth roughly 60 billion crowns with Chinese counterparts; one deal, Czech President Miloš Zeman revealed on his visit to China, was already set, while another three could be decided within the year. Then, speaking at a summit on Sunday where the president discussed the Silk Road project, Mr Zeman said the Czech Republic had already approved 22 smaller projects while another 16 would be the subject for apparent approval at the upcoming Czech-Chinese Investment Forum. The forum is held in July.

Czech president, at Putin's side, jokes about liquidation of journalists

President Miloš Zeman raised eyebrows on Sunday with a comment just caught on mic ahead of a press conference in China with Russian President Vladimír Putin. Mr Zeman joked that there were too many journalists and that they should be liquidated - reaction to the apparent presence of 'still more' press at the event. His counterpart reacted with a smile and indicated that such measures were not required but that journalists could be "reduced". Mr Zeman's at times hostile view of journalists is well known.

On Sunday, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek expressed a strong objection to Mr Zeman's joke, suggesting that such a discourse was inappropriate with Mr Putin or anyone else. The president's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček, meanwhile, described Mr Zeman's remarks as a mere witticism or bon mot. The president's words have since drawn sharp criticism on the social networks and were slammed by numerous politicians including MEP Pavel Telička who tweeted that the joke was evidence that Mr Zeman's re-election bid did not deserve support.

Similar cyberattacks as Friday's WannaCry may soon follow, say experts

The massive cyberattack in Friday hit some 200,000 internet users in 150 countries, according to Europol. IT experts confirmed that similar attacks as WannaCry are likely to follow, the first as early as Monday. Internet security firm Avast reported 168,878 thousand cyberattacks cases it had helped block worldwide - 492 in the Czech Republic.

14-05-2017