The country’s diplomat tasked with boosting Czech innovation and research, Ludek Moravec, has told the Czech News Agency that while the Czech Republic does not lack quality infrastructure or excellent scientists, greater awareness of the country’s capabilities is needed. He made the statement a week before taking up his post in Washington. A number of memoranda cover Czech-US cooperation in scientific research; what was important, the diplomat stressed, was that existing opportunities be used to the fullest. Mr Moravec, who is 37, previously worked in the security, research and education department of the Interior Ministry.
David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, will meet with Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek in Prague next Tuesday. The Brexit secretary will travel to the Czech capital after a second round of talks with the EU, the Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed. In a statement, it said that the Czech Republic supported a balanced deal based on rights equality, and stressed that it was important to uphold excellent mutual ties even after Great Britain’s departure from the EU.
President Miloš Zeman on Friday nominated former dissident and former Jazz Section head Karel Srp to join the Council of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. His nomination needs to be approved by the Senate. Earlier this year, Mr Srp was rejected by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka as the president’s nominee for a commission examining who should be recognised as a member of the anti-Communist resistance during the previous regime. At the time, the prime minister praised Srp for having done much for independent culture under communism. However, he said, public information showed that the candidate had repeatedly informed to the StB secret police. A court ruled in 2000 that his name had wrongfully been listed in StB records, but former members of the pre-1989 underground maintain Mr Srp had informed on them during the former regime.
A video of Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Čech warning players not to lift a trophy in the International Champions Cup in Shanghai has gotten wider attention online, to the delight of Arsenal fans. The cup, awarded in the pre-season tournament, was won by the Gunners in their defeat of Bayern Munich on penalties. Both the British and Czech press described Čech, who was captain for the match, as admonishing the players for wanting to lift a trophy in a tournament which was, in effect, meaningless. Arsenal last won the Premier League in 2004, and are aiming to rebound after finishing fifth last season.
Officials seized almost 9,000 fake brand-name items during a raid at Prague’s Vietnamese market, Sapa, this week, a customs official confirmed on Friday. According to the calculations, the items represented potential losses equalling a total of almost 14 million crowns (the equivalent of just under 540,000 euros). Fake goods seized carried the logos of a number of international brands including Adidas, Gucci, Ray-Ban and Rolex.
Footballer Patrik Schick’s agent Pavel Paska has revealed that all cards are on the table concerning the player’s possible transfer from Sampdoria, suggesting the Czech forward could still sign with any of several clubs, including Juventus, Liverpool, Rome or Inter Milan. According to the Italian media, Inter has expressed significant interest in the 21-year-old forward. It was widely expected that Schick would sign with Juventus until a medical this week revealed a potential cardiac issue. Paska denied it was a heart condition as had been reported by some media. The player was taking a five-week rest holiday ordered by the doctor following what his agent described as a “gruelling season”. Italian football website Calciomercato.com reported that Schick could reach a deal worth 30 million euros (paid over two years) with Inter provided he passed a medical with the club.
The Senate approved a ban on fur farms after a two-hour debate on Thursday. The ban, which still has to be signed by the president, should take effect from the end of January 2019. At the moment, around nine such farms, mostly raising mink and foxes, are present in the Czech Republic. The owners can claim compensation from the state. Opponents of the ban warn that illegal farms could be created where the state has no oversight over the animals’ welfare. Some 46,000 people signed a petition against fur farms in the Czech Republic.
Senator Jaroslav Kubera of the Civic Democratic Party has collected enough signatures among his colleagues from the upper chamber of parliament to be able to run for president, the news site idnes.cz reported on Thursday. Ten signatures were needed to support his candidacy, while he collected fifteen. Kubera, who has been a mayor of Teplice since 1994 and a senator since 2000, said he would leave his decision to run for the post until the very last moment.