The Czech Republic is stepping up pressure on Canada for the country to lift visa-requirements for Czech nationals. Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Schneider told Monday’s edition of Hospodarske noviny that the Czech side had conditioned its ratification of CETA – the EU’s free trade agreement with Canada – on the lifting of visa restrictions for Czechs. Canada re-imposed visa requirements for Czech nationals in 2009 in the wake of a wave of Romany asylum seekers from the Czech Republic. In 2012 Canada tightened its asylum law, but said it had to test the impact of the new legislation for at least a year before making changes to its visa policy. The Czech Foreign Ministry is hoping for a positive response from Canada within a couple of months at the latest.
A 24-year-old Czech woman was murdered in the US city of Chicago at the end of last month, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Friday. The woman was reportedly stabbed and strangled to death in her apartment on the night of June 24. The homicide is under investigation by the Chicago police; however, it has affected the Czech community in the city and even led to disputes at the Czech general consulate in Chicago after one of its employees was fired for having provided unauthorized information. The Czech ambassador to the US, Petr Gandalovič, is set to visit the city at the end of July in an attempt to calm the situation.
The Czech Justice Ministry Friday filed extradition request to the US embassy in Prague for US citizen Kevin Dahlgren who is wanted in the Czech Republic over four murders, a spokeswoman for the ministry said. The request was filed a day after the ministry received the respective documents from Brno prosecutors. Twenty-year-old Kevin Dahlgren is suspected of murdering a four-member family he was staying with in Brno in May. He then fled to the US where he was detained upon arrival and has since remained in custody.
The Czech Pirate Party has asked the Czech Interior Ministry to offer
political asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden who leaked
details of the U.S. Prism mass surveillance programme to the press. The
party sent the outgoing Interior Minister Jan Kubice an open letter asking
the ministry to publicly condemn the U.S. surveillance practices and
the public that the Czech intelligence services are not involved in
Snowden, a former CIA contractor, confessed that he had revealed details of the top-secret Prism programme of the US government, including the monitoring of Internet and phone communication, to the media. The U.S. State Department has accused him of espionage and theft of official documents. Snowden is presently in a transit area of the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow and has applied for political asylum in over 20 countries.
A species of north American insect, known as azalea sawfly, has been registered in the Czech Republic, possibly the first country in Europe, the State Phytosanitary Administration said. The authorities warned growers of azaleas of the insect which can cause serious damages to the plants’ leaves, and asked them to report any occurrences of the sawfly.
The family of American national Kevin Dahlgren, who is suspected of murdering four relatives in the Czech Republic, has hired top US lawyer Theodore Simon to represent their son. Mr Simon was one of the lawyers instrumental in securing freedom for American student Amanda Knox and has handled celebrity cases. Last week, Kevin Dahlgren avoided arrest in the Czech Republic after the murders were discovered but was detained upon arrival back in the US. His lawyer has said a bail decision should be taken next week. The Czech Republic is preparing an extradition request, although the United States rarely extradites its citizens.
The police are investigating the murder of four people in Brno. The suspect is a young American known on social networks as Kevin Dahlgren, who reportedly resides in Brno and had offered his services as an English teacher. His whereabouts are presently unknown. The police have warned the public that he is dangerous and very likely armed. Detectives have asked the public for help in tracing the suspect but have not released any details regarding the possible motive of the crime or the identity of the victims. According to Tyden magazine the victims were an older couple and their two sons, both musicians. The suspect was reportedly a relative who lived with them for close to three weeks.
Thursday marks 140 years since the birth of Antonín Čermák, once mayor of Chicago and a native of the town of Kladno near Prague. One of the most famous Czech-Americans, Tony Cermak was the mayor of Chicago from 1931 until 1933, when he was assassinated. A school in Prague 6 was renamed at a ceremony on Thursday in honor of his achievements.
The Czech government will give four million crowns (about 200,000 US dollars) to the people of the town of West in Texas, where fourteen people died and dozens of houses were destroyed as a result of an explosion last week. The Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg made the announcement in Brussels on Tuesday, saying that most of the money will be used to rebuild the Sokol building in the town, where three-quarters of inhabitants are of Czech descent.
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“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
‘The fat lady sings’: Prague’s State Opera marks restoration to former glory with gala concert
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal