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Czechs among states to block EU criticism of US embassy move in Israel

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania this week blocked a joint declaration by the member states of the European Union criticising the US for transferring its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Czech News Agency reported. The moved, decided by President Donald Trump, will take place on Monday.

The EU has long advocated a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Israelis see Jerusalem as their “eternal and undivided” capital but the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as the capital of a future state.

Social Democrats poll on coalition with ANO to run till mid-June

An internal referendum of the Social Democrats on whether to go into government with ANO will run from May 21 until June 14, party officials said. The results will be published on June 15. Chairman Jan Hamáček said that prior to the vote the names of the party’s nominees for the five portfolios the Social Democrats should get in the cabinet will be announced.

ANO leader Andrej Babiš says if the Social Democrats do not approve a coalition of the two parties one option could be early elections to take place in May next year at the same time as elections to the European Parliament.

If a deal between ANO and the Social Democrats is signed, their minority coalition would likely be supported in key votes by the Communist Party, who would be playing a role in government for the first time since 1989. For their part, the Communists say they would not back a government that expanded US military missions abroad.

No A trains stopping at Muzeum Metro station this weekend

Trains will not stop at the Muzeum station on the A (green) line of the Prague Metro system all weekend due to repairs. The relevant part of the station has been closed to allow for the replacement of tiles and lighting, a Metro spokesperson said.

Repair work has been going on in the A line section of Muzeum since last year, causing the closure of first one platform and then the other. It should be fully open again from this autumn.

Rock musician Ivan Král turns 70

The Prague-born rock musician and songwriter Ivan Král turned 70 on Saturday. Král emigrated to the United States with his family in the 1960s and became involved in New York’s punk scene in the following decade, performing with an early incarnation of Blondie and becoming bassist with the Patti Smith Group. He later played guitar with Iggy Pop.

In the 1990s Ivan Král released solo albums with some success in the Czech Republic and produced a number of Czech musicians. He continues to reside in the US.

Czechs beat Belarus 3:0 at ice hockey worlds

The Czech Republic beat Belarus 3:0 at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Denmark on Friday evening. It was the Czechs’ fourth victory in the tournament but the first in which they took maximum points. All three goals, from Libor Šulák, Roman Horák and Michal Řepík, came in the first period. Goaltender Pavel Francouz achieved his fifth shutout for the national team.

That result leaves coach Josef Jandač’s team third in Group A at the worlds. Their next game is against France on Sunday.

Kvitová overcomes Plíšková to reach Madrid final

Petra Kvitová has reached the final of the Madrid Open. The two-time Wimbledon winner overcome compatriot Karolína Plíšková in the semi-finals 7-6 6-3. Kvitová is aiming to become the first woman to win the tournament three times.

The 28-year-old, who triumphed in the Prague Open last weekend, will face Dutch player Kiki Bertens in the final.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be quite bright in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius. Next week should start in similar fashion though rain is forecast from Tuesday until the following weekend.