Daily news summary
President and prime minister send letters of condolence to Sweden
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has sent a condolence letter to his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven following a brutal attack in Stockholm on Friday in which a driver rammed a lorry into people on the street: at least four died. The attack is being investigated as an act of terror. One person, the suspected driver, is in custody. In the letter, Prime Minister Sobotka indicated that it was impossible to give in to terrorist blackmail. The Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, also wrote a letter of condolence to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.
President reserves judgement on US airstrike, calls for investigation of suspected chemical attack
Czech President Miloš Zeman reserved judgement on Friday on a US missile strike targeting an airbase in Syria until more is known about a suspected chemical attack on Tuesday by the Assad regime on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in which more than 80 people, including children, died. The BBC reported that hundreds had suffered symptoms consistent with reaction to a nerve agent. President Zeman called for an investigation by an independent UN Security Council committee, saying it needed to be determined whether the Syrian Air Force had indeed resorted to the crime of using chemical weapons. He suggested that a failure to comply with an investigation was tantamount to an admission of guilt.
Thousands of volunteers join forces in annual clean-up effort
Tens of thousands of volunteers are expected to take part in a massive spring clean-up of the Czech countryside this weekend. The rubbish clearance is part of the international campaign Clean up the World. Volunteers are cleaning up rubbish in forests, at the road side, along rivers and pathways. It is estimated that up to 100,000 people could take part.
Former TV Nova boss announces return
The former CEO of the Czech Republic’s best-known commercial broadcaster TV Nova, former senator and former Euro MP Vladimír Železný, has announced a planned return to TV broadcasting, news site iDnes reports. Mr Železný, iDnes specified, was planning on kicking off a new 24 hour news station with Hungarian businessman Pála Milkovics; the latter would reportedly hold an 85 percent majority share, while Mr Železný would own the rest. According to iDnes, the station, known as Z24, could begin terrestial, satellite and online broadcasting within two-and-a-half months. The news site reported that the former TV magnate had a “plan” how take on public broadcaster Czech TV although, it noted, he had no licence, studio, or news team, yet.
Football: Pilař eyes comeback after long recovery
Football midfielder Václav Pilař is eying a possible return to the sport with team Vikoria Plzeň after a long absence due to injury. Pilař, who suffered a long-term knee injury, could make an appearance on the pitch before the end of this season or start in the next, writes news site iDnes. The 28-year-old has a league title with Plzeň, spent two seasons in the Bundesliga and has 22 caps and five goals with the national team. He was one of the better players on the Czech squad at Euro 2012.
NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning playoff chances hang by thread
Hockey’s Tampa Bay Lightning kept playoff qualification hopes alive on Friday by beating the Montreal Canadiens 4:2. The Lightning’s Ondřej Palát picked up an assist in the match. Tampa Bay are a point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last remaining wild-card spot. But the Lightning have only one game remaining while the Leafs have two.
Sunday should be cloudy with sunny periods and daytime temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius.