Petra Kvitová got defending Fed Cup title holders the Czech Republic off to a winning start in the Fed Cup final at Prague on Saturday. In the opening tie, the Czech women’s number one came back from losing the first set to Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2:6. She triumphed in the second 6:1 and took the final third set 6:1. Maria Sharapova came back to draw the tie 1:1 with a 6:3; 6:4 win against Karolina Plíšková
The Czech weather office warned of high winds Sunday which could reach speeds of up to 110 km/hour on Sunday. The warning applies from 9 am in the morning to 9 pm at night. Wind speeds will be capable of breaking off branches and causing trees to fall, the office said. The warning applies to all of Bohemia and western parts of Moravia
Current Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický has been designated to lead the Prague section of the ANO party. Stropnický’s designation was approved at a special meeting in which 142 out of 169 party representatives approved of the move. The choice must be given final approval of the party at its national level but this is expected to be almost a formality. Stropnický will replace Radmila Kleslová who stepped down from the position on October 27. At Saturday’s meeting ANO party leader Andrej Babiš said the Prague party had been divided within and subject to attack by traditional parties which disliked it as a newcomer on the political scene.
Czech Police said on their website that they already stepped up security precautions on Saturday night following the attacks in the French capital. Increased vigilance is being undertaken at shopping centres, at international airports, and at the French embassy, the police said. As well as criminal police, officers from the special squad combatting organised crime are also involved. In cooperation with security services, all information is being gather and analysed but at this stage there is nothing to suggest a Paris-style attack could take place in the Czech Republic, the police said.
In football, the Czech Republic beat Serbia 4:1 in a friendly on Friday night. The Czech team struggled with possession in the first half at Ostrava but nonetheless opened the scoring with captain Tomáš Sivok finding the net. In the second half, the Czechs looked more comfortable and Tomáš Necid made it two from the penalty spot. Goals followed later from substitutes Ladislav Krejči and Ondřej Zahustel.
Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Saturday that the country ‘s security council would be convened in emergency session from 1600 hours in the afternoon in Prague in reaction to the Paris attacks. At least 120 were reported killed in a series of attacks in Paris on Friday night. Minister of the Interior Milan Chovanec said on Czech Television that there was no reason to believe that Czechs were among the victims or that there was any immediate threat of such attacks in the Czech Republic.
The lower house has given its final approval to a government-proposed hike in gambling taxes. The proposal, which still requires approval from the Senate and president, should see betting taxes climb from the current 20 percent to 23 or 28 percent depending on the type of gambling. Daily taxes on slot machines should also rise by around a third. The tax hike should bring an extra 2 billion crowns to state coffers.
The foreign ministers of the Višegrad Four and six Balkan states on Friday signed an agreement in Prague on the establishment of a Western Balkans Fund which is to boost regional cooperation. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek who hosted the meeting said the migrant crisis must not destabilise the Balkans since the region’s stability was crucial for the stability of the entire continent. The establishment of a Western Balkans Fund was proposed four year ago by the Czech Republic which is a strong supporter of integrating the Balkans into the EU. The fund, to which all the Višegrad Four states have made a contribution, will be based in Tirana, Albania.
The Czech Republic wants Britain to remain part of the EU, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told visiting British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Friday. The bilateral talks in Prague focused largely on Britain’s demands for EU reform which would enable it to remain part of the alliance. The Czech prime minister said his country was ready for a pragmatic debate on the proposed changes but stressed that the basic principles of the union, such as freedom of movement and equal rights of EU citizens, should not be abandoned.
Unknown perpetrators vandalized the Brno mosque on Thursday night pouring motor oil on the façade and doors of the building, the CTK news agency reports. Security cameras reportedly show two persons, a man and a woman, pouring something on the walls and door of the mosque before making off. The incident is being investigated by the police.