Some 20 activists from Germany arrived at the site of a blockade against the logging of bark-beetle infested trees that is currently being held by Czech environmentalists in the Šumava National Park. The German environmentalists are supporting several dozens of Czech activists who have been protesting felling activity in the park for about three weeks. According to the blockade’s spokesman, the German supporters will remain at the site until Sunday or Monday. Some 40 loggers and forrest workers are currently at the site as well. Park management has marked some 5000 trees for felling.
Brno police did not have any information that well-known author Simona Monyová, who was murdered on Wednesday, had in the past been the victim of domestic violence. Her husband is the main suspect in the case. A police spokeswoman said that neither the author, nor anyone close to her, had brought it to the attention of the police that Mrs. Monyová was being abused by him. She added that the city had a unit specifically devoted to the investigation of domestic violence. The 44-year old writer, one of the country’s best-known authors of literature targeted at women, died in her house following a confrontation with her husband, who stabbed her. He was injured in the incident as well and is being treated at hospital. Police are investigating the case and are planning to interrogate the man on Monday, when they expect his condition will have stabilized.
A memorial honoring the victims of a tragic railway accident that took place in 2008 was unveiled in the Moravian-Silesian town Studénka, the site of the tragedy, on Saturday afternoon. More than two hundred, among them relatives and friends of the victims, came to the unveiling, which took place on occasion of the three-year anniversary of the railway accident, in which eight people died and some 95 were injured when a train crashed into a bridge that had collapsed onto the train tracks. Those responsible for constructing the faulty bridge have been charged with causing the accident. A ruling in the case is expected this fall.
A fifteen-year-old boy was killed on Friday afternoon after suffering an electric shock from a cement mixer. He was doing work on a house with his parents in the village of Bystřice, in the Moravian-Silesian region. His mother and father tried to resuscitate the boy with mouth-to-mouth breathing and heart massage. Paramedics then used a defibrillator to revive the teenage boy, however, he died at hospital. Police are investigating the case.
A thirty-two-year-old female driver killed a fifty-four-year-old man, who was crossing the street at a pedestrian crossing. The accident, in which the pedestrian suffered multiple fatal injuries to his head, chest and his limbs, happened at a crossroads in the Moravian-Silesian town of Havířov after midnight on Saturday. The woman, who had overlooked that a pedestrian was crossing the street, faces a prison sentence of up to three years for negligent manslaughter.
Czech tennis player Radek Štěpánek advanced to the semi-finls of the ATP Washington Classic on Friday by eliminating Spanish fifth seed Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-4. Štěpánek, who at 54th in the ranking was 35 spots below the Spanish left-hander, broke Verdasco in the fifth game and never faced a break point, taking the first set on back to back service winners. He will face the American 128th-ranked Donald Young in the final of the tournament, which comes with a 1.4 million US Dollar cash prize.
The Czech athlete Barbora Špotáková came second in the javelin at a Diamond League meeting at London’s Crystal Palace on Friday evening. The Czech, who is current Olympic champion and world record holder, achieved her best performance of the season with a throw of 66.41 meters but still finished behind Germany’s Christina Obergföll. Špotáková’s compatriot Zuzana Hejnová finished fourth in the 400 meter hurdles at Crystal Palace on Friday.
Czech President Václav Klaus on Friday backed anti-gay comments made by his deputy chief of staff, Petr Hájek who said a planned gay pride march in Prague was an event held by “deviant people”. President Klaus “strongly rejected” a demand from two Czech political parties to distance himself from those comments. In a statement, Mr Klaus said he felt “no pride” about the Prague Pride march scheduled for August 14, adding that while homosexuality deserved protection, “homosexualism” did not. The Czech president also said that for him the word “deviant” was neutral.
Embassies of 13 countries on Friday expressed support for the planned Prague Pride gay parade. In a joint statement, the ambassadors of the United States, the UK, Germany, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland said they supported the right of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals to hold a peaceful march through the city to raise awareness of the problems they face. The British embassy, which initiated the joint statement, said it was not related to the position of President Václav Klaus and his aide, Petr Hájek.
Czech police said on Friday they were looking for witnesses in the case of a Brno police gang that between 1998 and 2010 blackmailed local entrepreneurs. Earlier this week, two former and one current police officers, along with three civilians, were charged with blackmail, corruption and organized crime, and placed in custody. The head of the organized crime squad told reporters on Friday the gang would approach businesspeople who were investigated for economic crime, offering to influence the investigation. The police have so far disclosed 17 such cases.
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