Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are reported to have entered the Czech consulate in the eastern city of Donetsk on Sunday. The diplomatic office has been closed since June. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said on Twitter that what it called terrorists were continuing to capture buildings and that the Czech and Polish consulates had been affected. The Czech Foreign Ministry said, however, that the separatists had looked the building over before leaving it. Meanwhile, pro-Russian rebels were reported to have briefly detained Czech Radio journalist Vít Pohanka near the consulate.
An exhibition of photographs taken by American Paul F. Goldsmith in Prague during the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia is being held in the city. Then a student, Goldsmith was touring Europe in August 1968 and found himself in Prague when the tanks rolled in; on leaving the country he gave his photographs to the AP news agency in West Germany and they were soon seen around the world. He is due to attend Tuesday evening’s opening at the café Krásný ztráty. The exhibition runs until November 9.
The Czech movie Fair Play has been placed on a long list of nominees for this year’s European Film Awards. Written and directed by Andrea Sedláčková, Fair Play explores doping in sport in the final decade of the communist era. It is among 50 films from 31 European countries in contention for various prizes; nominations will be announced in November ahead of an awards ceremony in Riga the following month.
Former tennis star Nicole Vaidišová is set to return to the sport later on Tuesday when she takes part in the first round of an International Tennis Federation tournament in the US city of Albuquerque. The one-time world number seven, who is 25, retired four years ago saying she had lost her love of tennis. Vaidišová said coming back would be a lot harder than starting out in the first place, describing the move as a step into the unknown.
Almost 1,400 illegally held weapons have so far been handed in to the police as part of an amnesty that began in July and runs until the end of the year. However, Milan Prchal of the police’s weapons and dangerous materials department said at a news conference on Tuesday that going by previous experience a larger influx of weapons could be expected towards the end of the six-month period. Most of the arms handed in so far date from WWII, though one person in Brno handed in a quarter of a kilogramme of the explosive Semtex.
In an appeal hearing, a Prague court has increased Roman Janoušek’s jail sentence for grievous bodily harm to four and a half years. In April the controversial businessman had been sentenced to three years in connection with an incident in 2012 in which he knocked down another driver with whom he had become involved in an altercation. He fled the scene and later failed a breathalyzer test. Tuesday’s verdict cannot be appealed. The hit-and-run came days after a newspaper published transcriptions of wiretaps giving the impression that Janoušek held strong influence over politicians and officials in Prague.
A statue of the famous Czech long-distance runner Emil Zátopek has been unveiled at a sports stadium in Zlín, south Moravia. The four-time Olympic champion used to run at the Stadium of Youth and met his wife Dana at the venue. The life-sized bronze sculpture, which is by Radim Hanke, depicts Zátopek running in his trademark pained-looking style and stands metres from the stadium’s 400m track.
The governor of South Moravia Michal Hašek has called a state of emergency in two villages in the Břeclav region where there is a continuing danger of mudslides in the wake of heavy rain. Ten families had to be evacuated in the town of Strachotín over the weekend as a debris flow came dangerously close to their homes. In the town a Dolní Vestonice a mudslide necessitated the evacuation of a campsite. One woman was reported injured and two caravans were damaged. Emergency crews have been working to secure the areas.
Police have charged 18 people with manipulating public tenders in river basin management, the daily Lidové noviny reports. Among those charged are high placed public officials and construction company managers who are suspected of manipulating seven tenders worth over 660 million crowns on work on a stretch of the Vltava River in southern Bohemia.
Police in Liberec pursued a speeding driver going at nearly 200km/h on Monday and were forced to fire several warning shots into the air before making the car draw to a halt. The young woman behind the wheel was on drugs, did not have a driver’s licence and was driving a borrowed car. She also had drugs in her possession. The incident is being investigated.
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