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Zeman opens Czech-Chinese Business Forum in Shanghai

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, opened the Czech-Chinese Business Forum in Shanghai on Tuesday. In an opening address, he called on entrepreneurs to show courage, which he said was key to winning trade deals.

Mr. Zeman highlighted a 20-percent rise in Czech exports to China and 20-percent growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Czech Republic in the last year.

It is the Czech president’s fourth visit to China since 2014, reflecting his drive to boost ties with the world’s most populous state.

Ministry cuts growth forecast for this year and next

The Ministry of Finance has cut its forecast for expansion of the Czech economy this year. While in July officials said gross domestic product appeared set to grow by 3.2 percent, they have now revised that figure to 3.0 percent.

Similarly the ministry had previously predicted GDP growth for 2019 of 3.1 percent but now says 2.9 percent is more likely.

The Ministry of Finance says it regards Brexit, increased protectionism and Italy’s economic problems as the greatest threats to the Czech economy.

Pirates win cross-party backing for marijuana bill

The Czech Pirate Party have won support from MPs from other groupings for a bill to allow people to grow marijuana for their own usage, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. The Pirates have the signatures of around 40 deputies for an amendment which would make it legal to cultivate and process up to five hemp plants, the news site said.

Leader Ivan Bartoš says the party will submit the bill for discussion in the Chamber of Deputies at the end of the week.

At present possession of the equivalent of five marijuana plants or less is considered a misdemeanor under Czech law.

Ukrainian deputy detained at Prague airport

Ukrainian parliament deputy Andriy Lozovoy was detained at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport on Monday for paying with counterfeit euro banknotes at one of the airport’s duty-free shops.

The 29-year old Ukrainian, who is deputy chair of the opposition Radical Party, was released eight hours later.

According to Lozovoy, he was a victim of currency swindlers, who gave his assistant fake cash at an exchange office in Kiev.

Prague restaurant facing fine for banning children

A Prague restaurant is facing sanctions after barring children from its premises, Czech Television reported. The Stodola House eatery in the city’s Jižní Město placed a sign outside saying under 18s were barred.

However, the Czech Trade Inspection Authority has adjudged the move to be age discrimination, which is illegal. The agency says it also discriminates against parents who would like to bring their children into the restaurant.

The owner of the business in question says he has the right to decide who enters his premises, while customers can decide if it is the kind of spot they would like to visit.

Earlier this year the Trade Inspection Authority imposed a CZK 5,000 on a hotel that barred children under the age of 10.

Real Madrid arrive for game against Viktoria Plzeň

Real Madrid, one of the world’s most famous football teams, have arrived in the Czech Republic for a Champions’ League game against Viktoria Plzeň on Wednesday night. Real’s stars touched down in Prague on Tuesday afternoon before taking a team bus to Plzeň.

Real beat the West Bohemians 2:1 in Madrid in a previous group game two weeks ago. The Spanish giants have won the Champions’ League for the last three seasons, a feat never before achieved, but have recently been through a turbulent period that included the sacking of their coach.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly bright in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 15 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to remain in the teens in the following days, though rain is forecast at the weekend.