Daily news summary
Minister Šlechtová pledges to increase defence spending budget
Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová, who is attending the security conference in Munich, pledged to increase the defence spending budget to 2.0 percent of the country’s GDP by the year 2024. She made the statement to the Czech News Agency on Saturday. Šlechtová said it would be quite outrageous if the Czech Republic failed to fulfil the target which NATO partners agreed on.
Czech defence spending last year stood at around 1.1 percent of the country’s GDP and according to some experts, it is unlikely to meet the 2.0 percent commitment by 2020.
Police discovers 35 foreigners in lorries heading to German border
Czech police on Friday stopped two lorries carrying 35 foreigners, including 13 children, on the D5 motorway heading towards the main western border crossing with Germany at Rozvadov. According to police spokeswoman Veronika Horková, the lorries came from Romania through Hungary and Slovakia.
The migrants, who most likely come from Eastern Europe, were placed in a detention centre and will be questioned to determine whether they have asked for asylum anywhere in Europe. The drivers of the lorries have also been detained on suspicion of people smuggling.
Annual St. Valentine's pilgrimage takes place in Prague
The traditional pilgrimage to St. Valentine's Day takes place on Saturday at Prague's Vyšehrad.
The tradition was founded after the discovery of the remains of the patron saint of lovers in St. Peter and Paul's Church at Vyšehrad in 2002.
They were probably brought to Bohemia from Italy by Charles IV. Since 2003, a pilgrimage service has been celebrated there each year.
Snow alert issued for south and southwest Bohemia
Meteorologists have issued a snow warning for some parts of the Czech Republic. Heavy snowfall is expected to bring up to 10 centimetres of fresh snow to the south of the country by Sunday morning.
The Šumava mountains in the southwest could see up to 15 centimetres of fresh snow. Drivers have been warned to expect traffic complications and not to set out for the mountains without winter gear.
Olympics: Czech hockey team defeats Canada 3-2 in shootout
The Czech ice hockey team defeated Canada 3-2 in penalty shooutouts in their second group match against Canada at the Winter Olympics on Friday night.
Although Canada won the shots battle by a 33-21 margin, Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz made 31 saves and allowed just one goal in the shootout. Striker Jan Kovář scored the game-winning shootout goal for the Czech Republic.
The Czech team next face Switzerland in the final game of the preliminary round on Sunday.
Snowboarder Ester Ledecká wins surprise gold in Olympic super-G
The Czech Republic has won its first gold medal in the Winter Olympics and its fifth overall.
Czech world champion snowboarder, Ester Ledecká, delivered one of the biggest surprises in Winter Olympics history on Saturday, winning the women’s super-G by the slimmest of margins.
Ledecká, who is the first ever athlete to compete in both skiing and snowboarding at the Olympics, finished with a winning time of 1min 21.12sec to snatch the gold from the the two-time overall World Cup Anna Veith by one-hundredth of a second.
The 22-year-old Czech, who was racing out of the 26th position on skis borrowed from American star Mikaela Shiffrin, had never before finished on podium in an alpine event.
Sunday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional snow showers. Daytime highs will range between zero to four degrees Celsius.