Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has confirmed that security in the Czech Republic has been increased at embassies, airports as well as Czech branches of Air Products, the American firm which was targeted in a terrorist attack in France on Friday. The firm has branches not only in the capital but in Brno and Děčín. Attacks on Friday took place in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait, leaving scores of dead. In response, Czech travel agencies are allowing customers bought package holidays to Tunisia to change destinations: CK Fischer said 80 percent who had prepaid holidays had already done so. The Czech Foreign Ministry is reportedly treating the attack in Sousse, Tunisia, as an isolated incident but some analysts suggest the attacks, which bear the hallmarks of IS or Isil as it is also known, were possibly coordinated. The Guardian notes the attacks come close to the first anniversary of the terrorist organisation's declaration of a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
Police have charged a 21-year-old woman with the murder of her newborn in Mníšek pod Brdy near Prague. The suspect was arrested on Friday, a day after the baby's body was found in a plastic bag in a garbage container. The police were reportedly tipped off. If found guilty, the woman faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison or an exemplary sentence.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, on an official one-day visit to France, marked the 97th anniversary of the founding of the Czechoslovak armed forces on Saturday at a memorial site in Darney, where some 6,000 Czechoslovak legionaries swore allegiance to the emerging Czechoslovakia on June 30, 1918. In a short speech, Mr Sobotka said that Darney was of key importance for Czech statehood. Dozens of Czech and French soldiers as well as WW II veterans attended the ceremony.
The renovation of Prague's Libeň bridge - years in the planning - will begin next April and will cost roughly two billion crowns, the Czech News Agency reports. The bridge is in poor condition and traffic is restricted. Prague's Technical Road Administration,overseeing the project, is to sign a contract with the winner of the tender in October or November. The renovation project should take about two years to complete.
The number of Czech tourists planning an immediate return from Tunisia following Friday's attack in Sousse is minimal, Jan Papež, the spokesman for the Association of Czech Travel Agents has said. He stressed that only around 30 out of 3,000 Czechs vacationing in the North African country had expressed the desire to return home early. Neither is the country's Foreign Ministry considering sending a special government jet. The Czech Republic's ambassador to Tunisia, Jan Vyčítal, is due to visit the site of the deadly attack and to also inform Czech vacationers about the security situation in local areas and resorts.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said the Czech Republic has increased security measures in areas in response to terrorist attacks on Friday in France, Tunisia and Kuwait which claimed dozens of lives. The prime minister made the statement on Saturday during an official one-day visit to France. He said the steps taken were standard procedure following similar incidents and that he would meet with the interior minister soon to assess the situation. He did not otherwise elaborate on the steps taken.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has called terrorist organisation Islamic State "a cancer which had spread", following Friday's attack on a seaside holiday resort in Tunisia, in which a gunman killed 38 people including Tunisian, British, French, and German nationals. The group later claimed responsibility. The president stressed that the organisation had already spread to Libya and now Tunisia and that it was not "a tumour which could easily be cut out". Speaking during a regional visit in the Czech Republic, Mr Zeman said the organisation needed to be hit at its centre. The Czech president voiced the opinion that IS could not be defeated by Arab countries and US and allies' air strikes alone. Islamic State, or Isil, has held large swathes of Syria and Iraq since last year.
Czech President Miloš Zeman apologised on Friday that an article allegedly
titled "Hitler Is a Gentleman" which he ascribed to journalist
Ferdinand Peroutka had not been found. He made clear he would not apologise
for his words about the legendary journalist. Peroutka (1895-1978) was a
prominent Czechoslovak democratic journalist during the interwar period. He
was imprisoned by the Nazi regime in 1939-1945 and left the country after
the 1948 communist coup and later worked for Radio Free Europe. He died in
the United States. Peroutka´s granddaughter, Terezie Kaslová has filed a
complaint against Mr Zeman, demanding an apology.
The dispute over Peroutka goes back to a speech at a Prague conference on the Holocaust last January, in which Mr Zeman spoke about intellectuals' failures in face of crises such as the rise of Nazism. The president claimed the said article was written for Presence, a prestigious political magazine. Experts have said the article did not exist.
Prague Castle remains to be the most visited site in the Czech Republic, according to figures put together by Czech Tourism agency. Prague castle attracted some 1.8 million tourists last year, while Prague Zoo, which was placed second, was visited by nearly 1.4 million people. Among the other top 10 most visited landmarks is Prague's Old Jewish quarter and the Petřín tower, as well as the newly opened museum of brewery in Pilsen.
Czech Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický said Friday that some voluntary formula for registration for military service combined with an obligatory period of basic exercise might be the way forward for the country. Stropnický was addressing the question of across the board registration for military service which the government said in April that it counted on reintroducing from 2017. The registration together with medical examinations would allow the state to estimate how many citizens it might be able to call up in an emergency. The lower house of parliament’s defence committee has since come out against across the board registration for service. The minister unveiled a survey showing around two-third of Czechs are in favour of the reintroduction of basic military service.
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