The oldest woman in the Czech Republic, Greek-born Evangelia Čarasová, died on Friday at the age of 109. She had been living in Osoblažsko in the very east of the country for over six decades. Born in February 1904, she was one of over 10,000 Greeks who were admitted to Czechoslovakia after fleeing the civil war in Greece at the end of the 1940s. Though she understood Czech, she only spoke Greek.
Despite the fact he will turn 42 during the Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi in February, the ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr says he does not rule out also representing the Czech Republic in the following Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. Jágr told the Star-Ledger newspaper that people had laughed when he said he would play at the World Championships in Prague in 2015, but that was now just a year away. The Kladno-born legend has just scored his 690th NHL goal, tying with the great Mario Lemieux on the league’s all-time scoring list.
Former Czech national team manager Karel Brückner has turned down the chance of taking the helm at the club Viktoria Plzeň. Brückner who recently turned 74 led a Czech team featuring the likes of Pavel Nedved and Karel Poborsky to the semi-finals of Euro 2004 but has not worked since 2009. Plzeň offered him the job following the news that Pavel Vrba, who has led the club to unprecedented success, will become national team boss in January.
Daytime temperatures in the next four weeks should hover around 0 degrees Celsius, which is normal for the time of year, the Czech Hyrdro-Meteorological Institute said in a monthly forecast issued on Saturday. However, the next week should see above average temperatures around 3 degrees Celsius, the forecasters said, adding that rainfall would also be relatively low.
The police on Friday arrested a suspect in Plzeň allegedly behind an anonymous bomb threat. The 34-year-old man, who reportedly is suffering from psychiatric problems, called Czech Airlines on Friday morning, stating that terrorists armed with a bomb were on board a flight from Frankfurt to Prague’s Václav Havel airport. The Foreigners’ police as well as emergency crews and pyrotechnics experts were called to the scene. The plane landed at around 10:40 am; the identities of all 144 passengers were checked and investigators have conducted a search of the aircraft. The running of the airport was otherwise unaffected.
The police in Zlín have concluded an investigation into a methanol poisoning case dating back to September 2012. Bootleg liquor containing the deadly chemical methanol claimed the lives of 47 people. Thirty-one suspects in the region have been charged, seven of whom face charges of having endangered the public, a crime which carries a 20-year sentence. The police believe three people were behind the production of bootleg liquor: a man who produced the deadly mix and his accomplice, both of whom were based in central Bohemia, and the main distributor who operated from Zlín. In total, more than 70 people are charged in the case.
Prague’s Municipal Court sentenced a 59-year-old man (charged with killing his ex-wife using methanol he poured into a bottle of vodka) to 11 years in prison on Friday. Although the couple were divorced, they lived in the same home. The suspect claimed he never intended to hurt anyone but had mixed in the methanol out of curiosity. The prosecution maintained he committed the murder, which took place in March, hoping it would be linked to methanol poisoning which claimed more than 40 lives in the Czech Republic last year. The suspect has appealed the decision.
The Civic Democrats in Prague and the Plzeň region elected new leaders on Thursday. Filip Humplík became the new head of the party’s Prague branch after he received more votes from party delegates than former environment minister Tomáš Chalupa. The previous Civic Democrat leader in Prague, Bohuslav Svoboda, has been nominated for the national party leadership. In the Plzeň region, former justice minister Jiří Pospíšil was re-elected to head the Civic Democrats there for another two years.
The Social Democrats under Bohuslav Sobotka who is leading talks on trying to form a new government, will rely on deputy chairwoman Alena Gajdušková to lead a work group examining possible changes to the country’s Church restitution law. Other members will be named over the next few days. The Social Democrats would like to revise legislation overseeing the return of property and reparations to church groups. The party would also like to see historic property at Prague Castle to be excluded. But the party faces tough negotiations not only with potential coalition partners, the Christian Democrats, but also representatives of the Church who reached agreement with the former Nečas government.
An investigation by the anti-corruption police unit uncovered no proof of corruption or other wrongdoing in the financing of Jan Fischer’s presidential campaign. Mr Fischer, the finance minister in the current interim government, came under suspicion after unpaid debts were resolved quickly following his naming to the cabinet in July. The case was shelved by the state prosecutor overseeing it, Jan Lelek, after the police failed to produce evidence a crime was committed. He told the Czech News Agency he expected the police would do the same.