The coach of the Czech hockey team, Josef Jandač has introduced changes, shaking up the first line and replacing David Pastrňák with Vladimír Sobotka ahead of the team's game against France at the Ice Hockey World Championships. Sobotka joins Plekanec and Voráček on the first line, a clear move to boost the national squad's offense moving forward.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has made clear he wants a proposal putting forward a successor to outgoing Education Minister Kateřina Valachová by the end of next week. The minister stepped down over an investigation involving her deputy and the head of the Czech FA for possible fraud, a matter in which she herself was not implicated. Valachová's last day in the post is May 31.
Defense Minister Martin Stropnický and Justice Minister Robert Pelikan will top the ballot list for ANO in Prague in this year's parliamentary elections, scheduled for October, a spokesperson confirmed. The third spot on the ballot will be the head of Prague's Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) Věra Adámková. All three are heavy-hitters for ANO, a movement or party often described as well positioned to win the national election this autumn. A recent scandal and government crisis surrounding its head, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, however, could affect ANO's chances.
Prague's international airport will introduce random checks beginning on Monday which will allow officials to check luggage for any trace of chemicals used in explosives; the move is a step to increase overall security. Internationally, explosives are suspected of having brought down airliners in at least one recent case: a Russian plane disintegrated above the Sinai in Egypt 2015; no passengers or crew survived. A local branch of Islamic State claimed responsibility. Terrorism was suspected and in the investigation traces of explosives were found. Travelers to and from Prague have been recommended to use easy-to-use locks on their luggage to prevent damage during checks.
The opening concert of the 72nd Prague Spring International Music Festival, a performance of Smetana's My Country by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim, received a standing ovation and several minutes of thunderous applause on Friday. Smetana's My Country traditionally opens the highly-respected festival each year. The festival this year is offering almost 50 performances – recitals, early music concerts as well as contemporary and experimental music.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš has defended the choice of Alena Schillerová as his successor in the post of finance minister should he be recalled from office. Babiš said that Schillerova, who is presently his deputy, is a skilled professional who would ensure a smooth transition and her nomination would mean a quick end to the government crisis. The choice of Schillerová for the post of finance minister was criticized by Foreign Minister Zaorálek of the Social Democrats who expressed doubts as to whether she would take an impartial stand and not try to influence the Financial Administration in conducting an investigation into Andrej Babiš’s finances.
An elderly woman in the town of Zlin sustained serious injuries after approaching an elephant’s enclosure in the circus grounds and attempting to feed one of the animals. The elephant picked her up by the strap of her handbag and carried her up over the fence into the enclosure. The strap broke before the animal put her down and the sixty-eight year old woman fell from a height of about two meters. She was reportedly taken to Zlin hospital with serious injuries. Police are investigating the incident which happened at a time when the outer fence to the circus grounds was being fixed and no measures were taken to prevent people walking through.