Daily news summary


Labour MP Robinson denies he was Cold War spy for Czechoslovakia

Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson has denied claims that he was a Cold War spy who passed confidential government files to Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s.

The Mail on Sunday reported that there is extensive evidence of this cooperation in files compiled by the stb communist secret service and now administered by the Czech Republic's state security archives.

The files allege scores of meetings with a Czech "handler" between 1966 and 1969. They centre on information about Britain's nuclear deterrent, including its Polaris missile programme, and details about NATO.

Last year the Labour Party denied claims that Jeremy Corbyn had either been a collaborator or an agent of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.

Commemorative ceremony at Terzín

Several hundred people, including war veterans, politicians, foreign diplomats, church dignitaries and cultural figures gathered at Terezín National Cemetery on Sunday to pay homage to victims of the Holocaust.

Speaker of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera warned against indifference, apathy and disinterest in public affairs, saying that these traits created conditions for authoritarian and later totalitarian regimes.

Between 1940 and 1945, close to 200,000 people, mostly Jews, passed through the Terezín ghetto on their way to Nazi extermination camps; 117,000 of them did not live to see the end of the war.

Civic Democratic Party leader condemns party member’s call for Zeman’s elimination

Civic Democratic Party leader Petr Fiala has condemned as “absolutely unacceptable” a vicious verbal attack against President Zeman and a call for his elimination by a regional member of the party.

The attack on Facebook was made in reaction to the president‘s support for a law taxing church restitutions.

Fiala said he expected the regional party branch to distance itself from the statement and take steps to ensure there was no repetition of the incident.

The president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said the Office of the President has contacted the police about the matter.

190,000 Czech pensioners living under the poverty line

Approximately 190,000 Czech pensioners are living under the poverty line, with pensions under 10,000 crowns a month, according to data released by the Czech Social Administration Office.

60,000 thousand pensioners are having to make do with pensions under 8,000 crowns a month.

The poverty line last year was 11,963 crowns per month for individuals living alone. This year it is expected to be higher.

The average old age pension last year was 13,377 crown a month, with men receiving an average pension of 14,697crowns a month and women receiving an average pension of 12,182 crowns a month.

Lake Malawi 11th in Eurovision Song Contest

The Czech indie-pop band Lake Malawi placed 11th in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

The popular band, fronted by singer-songwriter Albert Černý, competed with the song Friend of a Friend.

Lake Malawi scored 157 points from the jury and just 7 from international viewers.

The winner was Duncan Laurence from The Netherlands who got 492 points.

He scored 231 from the jury and 261 from viewers, winning the contest by 27 points.

Italy finished second with 465 and Russia third with 369 points.

Plískova wins Italian Open

Karolína Plískova captured the biggest clay title of her career by beating Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 Sunday in the Italian Open final in Rome on Sunday.

The victory will move Plískova up to No. 2 in the rankings and makes her one of the contenders for the French Open, which starts next weekend. It is the thirteenth title in her career.

Weather forecast

Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with heavy rain in the afternoon hours and day temperatures between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius.