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Petříček set to be made foreign minister at end of next week

The Social Democrats’ nominee for minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, should be installed in the post at the end of next week, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO said after a meeting with President Zeman on Tuesday evening.

Mr. Zeman’s spokesperson said that the head of state would meet Mr. Petříček on Thursday. The president refused to appoint the Social Democrats’ previous candidate for diplomatic chief and the party’s Jan Hamáček has been filling the role in a caretaker capacity.

Czech archaeologists unearth Egyptian "custodian of royal affairs"

Czech Egyptologists have discovered the limestone grave of a high-ranking official from the middle of the fifth dynasty, “a custodian of royal affairs” identified as Kaire, whose name had been carved into the wall at the Abusir necropolis.

The Czech research team under the direction of archaeologist Miroslav Bárta has also discovered a halved granite sculpture. In Egypt, it is hoped that the new finds will help boost tourism, which has slumped since the so-called Arab Spring.

Prague Zoo specialists hunt for escaped pet green mamba in Hlubočepy

Police have called in snake capture specialists from the Prague Zoo to help track down a pet green mamba that went missing on Tuesday in the district of Hlubočepy.

Due to the cool weather, the deadly reptile is likely to be seeking shelter in a heated building, experts said. Police were alerted to the situation after a woman, allegedly the green mamba’s owner, sought medical treatment for a snake bite.

Czech Republic sending aid to help victims of natural disaster in Indonesia

The Czech Republic is sending 10 million crowns worth of aid to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami that recently hit Indonesia, Deputy Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said. Dispatching monetary aid above that amount must be approved by the Czech government.

The funds will be sent to Indonesia via local branches of humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross. According to Mr Petříček, the Czech Republic also wants to help rebuild the hardest-hit areas.

Stricter mortgage rules also apply to refinancing

Stricter mortgage rules, in force since October, apply not only to new contracts but also to refinancing existing housing loans, the business daily Hospodářské noviny writes, citing a central bank spokesperson.

According to the report, this is in direct contradiction with what the Czech National Bank governor Jiří Rusnok said in June, taking some commercial lenders by surprise.

National architecture prize goes to Dolní Břežany sports hall

This year's National Prize for Architecture has been awarded to the Sporadical studio for the new sports hall at Dolní Břežany primary school. Judges said the rounded, ellipsoidal building, which mirrors its surroundings, cleverly masks its true dimensions.

More than 160 ateliers with over 200 projects implemented in the Czech Republic between January 2017 and March 2018 had been entered in the 25th year of the competition. The five-member international jury had initially selected 42 finalists.

Plzeň hammered 5:0 by Roma in Champions League

Viktoria Plzeň were beaten 5:0 away by Roma in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday evening. The hosts’ striker Edin Dzeko, who played for Teplice earlier in his career, scored a hat trick in the one-sided encounter.

That result leaves Plzeň with one point after two games. On the previous match day the West Bohemians drew at home with CSKA Moscow, who now top the group after a surprise win over Real Madrid.

Plíšková advances to Beijing Open third round with win over Sasnovich

Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has advanced to the third round of the Beijing Open for the third consecutive year with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

The seventh-seeded Plíšková, who trailed 2-0 in the second set before winning four games in a row, will next play local wild-card entry Wang Qiang of China.

Weather outlook

Thursday should be partly cloudy throughout most of the country, with rain in the forecast only for the region of Liberec. Average daytime highs should be between 13 to 17 degrees Celsius.