A group of 25 refugees from Iraq, who refused asylum in the Czech Republic, are moving to Germany, the Czech Television reported on Saturday. The refugees came within a resettlement programme for 150 Christian families from Iraq, organised by the NGO Generation 21. They had been staying in the Okrouhlík recreational centre near Jihlava, but this week they unexpectedly asked for the return of their passports. In reaction to the situation, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec on Friday temporarily suspended the resettlement program of the Christian families at risk. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has welcomed the move, saying that it was necessary to better asses how serious was the migrants' intention to stay in the Czech Republic.
Over 4,000 people took part in the 16th annual demonstration against abortion, the so-called March for Life, in Prague on Saturday. The event was organised by the Movement for Life of the Czech Republic. The participants marched through the centre of Prague to Wenceslas Square, where they were met by Prague Archbishop, Cardinal Dominik Duka and the bishop of Pilsen František Radkovský. The number of pregnancies terminated in the Czech Republic has fallen significantly; while almost 150,000 abortions were carried out in 1970, last year that figure was down to 21,000.
Popular Czech actor and mime artist Boris Hybner died on Saturday at the age of 74. The actor passed away after a short and sudden illness, the spokesman for the National Theatre Tomáš Jelínek has confirmed on behalf of the actor's family. Mr Hybner starred in a number of roles in film and on television. In recent years he also worked as a teacher at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Czech export to the United States in 2015 increased by 13.6 percent year-on-year, to 91.8 billion crowns, according to an analysis carried out by the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts in the Czech Republic. Sales to the US amounted to 2.5 percent of total exports, and exceeded exports to Russia or China. The growth rate of exports to the United States was nearly twice as high as the growth rate in total exports from the Czech Republic, which increased by 7.5 percent.
Ivan Bartoš has been elected chairman of the Czech Pirate Party at a congress in Olomouc, replacing the current leader Lukáš Černohorský. The 36-year-old Bartoš has been a member of the party since its establishment in 2009 and headed the party between the years 2009 and 2014. He stood down after the Pirate Party did poorly in elections to the European Parliament in May 2014. The grouping, which has over 430 members, promotes free sharing of information and internet privacy. At the moment, the Pirate Party has four seats at Prague City Hall and 29 deputies in municipalities across the Czech Republic.
The winner of the 2016 Prague Half Marathon is last year's champion Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru from Kenya, who covered the 21 km distance in a personal record of 59 minutes and 20 seconds. The first woman to reach the finishing line was Violah Jepchumba with a new track record of 1:05:51. The best Czech contestant was Jiří Homoláč,who covered the track with the time of 1:03:40. The Prague Half Marathon holds IAAF Gold Label Road Race status and is managed by the same organization that holds the Prague Marathon in May. Some 11,500 participants from around the world took part in its 18th edition.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who is on a week-long working trip to the United States, is set to make a stop-over in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday on his way from the East to the West Coast. Mr Sobotka will meet with the state's governor, Mark Dayton, as well as with the representatives of the Czech expatriate community. There are around 85,000 people of Czech origin living in Minnesota. The Czech Prime Minister and his delegation will continue to San Francisco, where he is also set to meet with US filmmakers to discuss incentives for foreign film productions in the Czech Republic.
Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová teamed with Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States have advanced to the doubles final at the Miami Masters tournament. The third seeded duo defeated China's Xu Yi-Fan and Zheng Jie by a score of 6:2, 6:1. In the final the Czech-American pair will face Timea Babos of Hungary and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakshtan.
The Social Democratic Party will most probably take out a loan to cover the contractual fine of 337 million crowns it was ordered to pay lawyer Zdeněk Altner, the head of the party’s deputies’ group Roman Sklenak told the ctk news agency. According to the Prague Municipal Court the party must pay the money within three days of receiving the court’s verdict in writing. The dispute related to Altner’s services in another court case over the ownership of Lidový Dum, the party’s long-time headquarters in Prague. Altner won the case and was paid 17 million crowns for his services by the party but later asked for more on the grounds of an agreement that his reward would amount to 10 percent of the value of the property. The 337 million crown contractual fine is the result of interest building up over the past 16 years. The verdict is a blow to the Social Democrats whose annual budget has been around 200 million crowns in the past few years.
A court expert who appeared as a witness in the hit-and-run case of wealthy businessman Roman Janoušek has been charged for allegedly giving the court a grossly distorted report. Janoušek who was sentenced to 4.5 years recently had his jail term rescinded on health grounds after undergoing brain surgery. Janoušek is said to have been one of the most influential businessmen in Prague with links to top politicians and Prague City administration.