Karolína Plíšková defeated Lucie Šafářová in a clash between two of the Czech Republic’s leading female tennis players in Stuttgart on Wednesday. Plíšková won 7-6 4-6 7-5 to advance to round two in the WTA event. Šafářová was out of action with health problems for some time and has yet to win a singles match this year.
A foreign citizen found guilty of stealing a Tibetan flag during a recent visit by the Chinese president is to be deported from the country and banned from re-entry for five years. The man says he will appeal the decision, which was taken in a fast-track court procedure. Police arrested him during a scuffle between supporters and opponents of Xi Jinping on March 28.
President Miloš Zeman has officially declared the dates for regional and Senate elections later this year. The head of state made the announcement at a news conference he gave in Jince on Wednesday during a tour of the Central Bohemian region. The elections to regional assemblies and one third of Senate seats will take place on October 14 and 15; a second two-candidate run-off round of Senate elections will take place the following weekend in constituencies where no candidate got more than half the vote in round one. After Mr. Zeman announced the dates other officials said the elections would actually need to take place a week earlier; Mr. Zeman’s spokesperson said if this were the case, the president would change them.
The number of soldiers deployed alongside police officers in Brno and Ostrava after terror attacks in Brussels is to be reduced by around 100, under a decision by the State Security Council announced on Wednesday. Around 100 armed soldiers have been on patrol in each of the cities since the attacks in the Belgian capital last month, which left more than 30 people dead. Some 350 soldiers deployed in Prague are to remain in the capital.
The Czech Republic has fallen in an international ranking of press freedom carried out by the non-governmental agency Reporters Without Borders. While in the Press Freedom Index for 2014 the country ranked 12th in the world, in the freshly published ranking for 2015 it places 21st. The annual index looks at factors such as media legislation, plurality of opinion, media ownership and violence against journalists in 180 states.
The average price of apartments sold in Prague grew by 8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016, according to figures compiled by a group of developers cited by the Czech News Agency. The average price per metre in the period from the start of January to the end of March was a record CZK 60,517, the survey found. The rise has been attributed to a marked decline in supply; the developers said the number of flats offered on the capital’s property market had fallen 20 percent year on year.
A court in South Africa has refused Czech crime boss Radovan Krejčíř permission to appeal a 35-year jail term handed down in February. The judge said he had not provided sufficient reason for an appeal. The 47-year-old was found guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping and drug dealing. Mr. Krejčíř still has the option of taking his case to a higher court in the country. He fled the Czech Republic in 2005 during a police search of his luxury home near Prague and later became one of the most notorious criminals in South Africa.
The final of the playoffs in the ice hockey Extraliga is tied at 2:2 after Liberec beat Sparta 4:1 at Prague’s O2 Arena on Tuesday evening. Victory for the hosts would have put them within one win of lifting the title in the best-of-seven series. Liberec goaltender Marek Schwarz, who was preferred to usual starter Ján Lašák, made a major contribution to the victory. The series continues at Liberec’s stadium on Friday.
Average mortgage rates in the Czech Republic have reached a new record low. The figure in March was 1.97 percent, down from 2.02 percent the previous month, according to consultants Fincentrum, who have been monitoring the market since 2003 and do not take into account fixed-rate duration. Fincentrum analyst Josef Rajdl told the Czech News Agency that mortgage rates were likely to fall further. He said anybody with sufficient income seeking a loan of up to 85 percent for a longer fixed-rate period who was not now being offered less than 1.9 percent was “at a bad bank”.
The Office of the President has appealed against a court ruling under which it was ordered to apologise to the descendants of Czech journalist Ferdinand Peroutka, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. The court in February found in favour of Peroutka’s granddaughter, who had contested President Miloš Zeman’s assertion that the journalist had succumbed to the Nazi ideology before the war and written a piece entitled Hitler is a Gentlemen. A court spokesperson said the Office of the President had filed the appeal on Monday.