Daily news summary

PM: Explosion at munitions depot caught the authorities unprepared

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has admitted there is no legislative framework for dealing with emergencies such as the devastating explosion at the Vrbětice munitions depot in Moravia. Speaking to journalists during a working visit to the affected region the prime minister said that the emergency had caught the authorities unprepared. This is an exceptional situation, unprecedented in the country’s modern history, and it has shown gaps in our legislation that need to be filled, Mr. Sobotka said. The prime minister said there were no emergency plans which could be put in place for the transfer of munitions untouched by the blast and no alternate grounds where they could be moved. The devastating explosion at the Vrbětice depot took place on October 16th and almost a month later pyrotechnics still don’t have the situation fully under control. The army is now guarding the site and should help with clean-up work. The munitions belonged to a private company which had leased the storage site.

Minister Mládek heads trade mission to Japan

Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek is heading a Czech trade mission to Japan, the ctk news agency reports. Mr. Mládek is accompanied by representatives of some twenty companies from the pharmaceutical, engineering and food sectors seeking to find new business opportunities in Japan. The trade ministers of the two countries are expected to sign a memorandum on cooperation in the field of nuclear power and an agreement on cooperation between their state agencies in support of exports Jetro and CzechInvest. Japan is the second biggest foreign investor in the Czech Republic, after neighbouring Germany.

Human rights minister slams Duchcov coalition

The minister for human rights and minorities, Jiří Dienstbier of the Social Democratic Party, has slammed party representatives in the north Bohemian town of Duchcov who last week entered into a coalition with the ultra-right Workers Party. The party has been one of the main organizers of anti-Romany protests in the town of Duchcov. In a debate on commercial TV Prima, Mr. Dienstbier said he deeply regretted that any Social Democrat would enter into a coalition with a party that incites racial hatred which he said was a flagrant violation of the Social Democrats policy program and the values it upheld. Mr. Dienstbier said he agreed with the prime minister’s suggestion that the local branch of the Social Democrats should be scrapped and the persons in question expelled from party ranks.

Patient placed in isolation on suspicion of Ebola

Strict security measures are in place at Prostejov Hospital which on Saturday admitted a patient suffering from a fever, diarrhea and vomiting. The man is recently back from Nigeria and doctors have ordered tests for Ebola as well as other infectious diseases. The patient remains in isolation. Doctors say Ebola is unlikely, but all security measures ordered by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the deadly disease are in place.

Tennis: Czech Republic beats Germany to win a third Fed Cup title in four years

The Czech Republic claimed its third Fed Cup title in four years after Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitov8 beat Angelique Kerber of Germany7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 in the opening reverse singles match on Sunday. Her hard-won victory gave the Czechs an unassailable 3-0 lead against Germany on the indoor hard court of Prague’s 02 Arena. The Czechs won their first title as an independent nation in 2011 and retained the trophy the following year. Czechoslovakia won five times, including three straight from 1983-85.

Krkonoše Rally ends in tragedy

A tragic accident brought the Krkonoše Rally to a premature end on Sunday. One of the drivers, thirty-five year-old Miloš Vagner, lost control in a sharp turn of the road and hit a barn. He died at the site of the accident. His navigator Petr Gross was airlifted to hospital in serious condition.

Javelin champion Barbora Špotáková elected Athlete of the Year

Czech javelin champion Barbora Špotáková has been elected Athlete of the Year for the seventh time in her career. Another representative of the same discipline, javelin thrower Vítěslav Veselý came second and 400m runner Pavel Maslák came third. The Czech decathlon champion Jiří Sýkora was elected Newcomer of the Year and the title Coach of the Year went to the javelin legend Jan Železný.