In football, Viktoria Plzeň have drawn level on points with Sparta Prague after beating the visitors 2:1 at home on Sunday. The goals came in the second half when Plzeň were down to 10 men after captain Václav Procházky was sent off late in the first half. Substitute Jan Beránek was on target in the 72nd minute for the first goal. Fellow sub Milan Petržela extended the lead eight minutes later. Sparta’s Lukáš Juliš clawed one back in the 90th minute. Sparta still top the Synot league on goal difference.
The Czech National Bank’s low crown policy has helped Czech companies to the tune of 400 billion crowns in the form of higher profits and turnover, the Czech Association of Exporters has said in its estimate of the beneficial effects of the currency intervention. It said exporters had been able to expand in new markets, take on more employees, and boost their competitiveness. The bank launched the policy in November 2013 with the crown kept higher than 27 crowns/euro. The policy looks as though it could now stay in place until 2017.
Czech number one women’s singles tennis player Petra Kvitová lost in the final of the WTA season closing finals in Singapore. She went down against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 2:6, 6:4, 3:6. Kvitová’s game showed patches of the form that allowed her to beat Maria Sharapova on Saturday but both her service and returns let her down at key moments. The WTA finals title is Radwanska’s biggest career win so far. Kvitová previously won the title in 2011 in Istanbul.
In football, Prague club Bohemians 1905 had their first victory of the season at home to Jihlava with a 2:1 win on Saturday night. The Kangaroos, as they are known, are still in the relegation zone just ahead of Synot League bottom club Ostrava. The most anticipated match of the round will be the clash between title holders Viktoria Plzeň and current league leaders Sparta Prague on Sunday afternoon. Sparta have a two point lead which they take to West Bohemia.
Most Czech castles and stately homes will close this weekend at the conclusion of the summer season and what appears to have been a record year. Most expect to announce record visitor numbers for the season. The top draw in the Czech Republic, the Lednice stately home had more than 352,000 visitors by the end of September and expects the full year total to advance to around 400,000. It is opened only at weekends from October. The second placed attraction in the country is Český Krumlov.
The jury at the International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava decided not to pick out a best Czech documentary this year in spite of the 16 entries for their consideration. The jury said on Saturday night that many of the entries did not go beyond works for television and the maker’s statement was not convincing. Two special mentions were made in the section. The best documentary award for Central and Eastern Europe was awarded to Vialy Mansky’s Under the Sun, which tracked the lives of a North Korean family for a year. The world documentary award went to Mauro Herce’s Dead Slow Ahead, which follows a freighter travelling through a barren landscape. The audience award went to Matrix AB, a documentary looking at Czech politician and ANO leader Andrej Babiš, by Vít Klusák.
Seventy prison office staff will from Sunday November 1 be drafted in to help police run the refugee camp at Drohonice na Lounsku. The move follows an agreement between the ministries of interior and justice. The camp for immigrants has space for around 240 inmates and has come under sharp criticism from NGOs for the poor conditions there and the fact that immigrants are being held against their will. It is currently around half full. The prison service help will be offered till the end of February.
The International Documentary Film Festival currently running at Jihlava has screened a film about the only Soviet bloc spy who apparently infiltrated the CIA. The documentary describes the achievements of Czechoslovak spy Karel Kocher. Kocher who worked at the CIA from 1972 after emigrating to the US. Kocher refused to take part in a debate which was organised in conjunction with the screening. A book about his life was published two weeks ago.
Former foreign minister and presidential candidate Karel Schwarzenberg has hit out against what he described as the Czech hysteria about the current wave of immigrants coming into Europe. Schwarzenberg said the reaction was probably explained by Czech pettiness and an inferiority complex. His comments were made during a Prague conference Saturday about the Czech Republic’s place in a globalising world. Schwarzenberg has previously suggested that the Czech Republic should be ready to take many more immigrants and match the generosity of neighbouring Germany on a per capita basis.
The Šumava National Park has opened a wolf observation site at its visitor centre in the town of Srní. Observation of the two adult wolves and four cubs is possible from 300 metre high observation posts. The wolves are enclosed on a 35 hectare site comprising mature forest and rocks. The park hopes that public exposure to the wolves will help erode some of the ingrained prejudices against them. The wolf enclosure opened to the public on Friday.
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