Czech spy agency says it paralyzed Russian spying network
PRAGUE (AP) — The head of the Czech Republic's counter-intelligence service says his agency broke a Russian spying network earlier this year and completely paralyzed its activities.
Michal Koudelka also says the agency known as BIS prevented dozens of Russian and Chinese spies from operating on Czech territory in last five years.
Koudelka's statement Friday comes a day after President Milos Zeman dismissed BIS' annual report.
Czechs rally against PM on Velvet Revolution anniversary
PRAGUE (AP) — Thousands of Czechs have used the anniversary of their country's 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution to rally against Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The protesters gathered Saturday afternoon in front of Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech presidency. They set off on a march to the city's Old Town Square, demanding the resignations of Babis and his ally, President Milos Zeman.
Czech Republic gets foreign minister after migration delay
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's center-left government has a full-time foreign minister in place after a dispute over migration delayed an appointment for months.
Czech President Milos Zeman appointed Tomas Petricek to the post on Tuesday. The 37-year-old Petricek was the nominee of the Social Democrats, the coalition government's junior partner.
India’s president calls for defense cooperation with Czechs
PRAGUE (AP) — India's president says there's a significant potential for cooperation in the defense industry between his country and the Czech Republic.
Speaking in Prague Friday after meeting his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind called on Czech defense firms to come to India to create joint venture companies.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech leaders have paid their respects to three service members whose bodies were transported by military plane to Prague after they were killed by a Taliban suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
President Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Andrej Babis and other government and military officials attended a ceremony on Wednesday at Prague's Vaclav Havel Airport together with the families of the three.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's president has sworn in a new government led by billionaire Andrej Babis for a second time, in a move supposed to end a period of political instability following last year's general election.
The centrist ANO (YES) movement led by Babis won the election in October, but his minority government lost a confidence vote in January and had to resign. Other parties in Parliament have been reluctant to enter a coalition with ANO because of fraud charges Babis faces.
PRAGUE (AP) — A fiery stunt by the Czech president has really stunned journalists this time.
Milos Zeman announced a press conference for Thursday, but instead of briefing reporters, he had two firefighters in protective gear burn a huge pair of red underpants in front of them.
PRAGUE (AP) — The president of the Czech Republic swore in billionaire Andrej Babis as prime minister for a second time Wednesday, a move that could result in the Communist Party having an official role in governing for the first time since the country's 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution.
PRAGUE (AP) — Thousands of Czechs are rallying in the capital of Prague to protest acting Prime Minister Andrej Babis because he is under investigation for fraud and still plans to create a government supported by the maverick Communist Party.
Poland, Czech leaders want more regional unity
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The presidents of Poland and the Czech Republic have called for closer cooperation among central European nations to defend their decision-making powers against pressure from European Union leaders, particularly over migration policies.
Czech President Milos Zeman began his visit to Poland Thursday with a meeting with his Polish host Andrzej Duda.
MOSCOW (AP) — The Czech president has bolstered Russia's arguments that it had nothing to do with a nerve agent attack in Britain that caused international outrage.
Russian officials on Friday welcomed the comments by Milos Zeman that his country produced a small amount of the same type of nerve gas used to poison an ex-spy and his daughter in Britain.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech president says a report by the country's military spy agency shows that a small amount of the nerve agent type used to poison an ex-Russian spy in Britain was produced in a small amount, tested and destroyed last year in the Czech Republic.
Milos Zeman, however, also says that another report by the Czech counterintelligence agency doesn't identify the agent as Novichok but as A230.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's president suggested Wednesday that his country was considering joining the U.S. in moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
But the Czech government, which controls foreign policy, didn't confirm the announcement.
President Milos Zeman spelled out the process of moving the embassy, saying it will take place in three steps: An honorary consulate will be opened in Jerusalem next month followed by other Czech institutions before the embassy's actual transfer.
Talks to form new Czech coalition government to renew
PRAGUE (AP) — The leftist Social Democrats say they have agreed to return to talks to form a new Czech government with populist billionaire Andrej Babis and his political group.
Babis has offered the Social Democrats five ministries, including the coveted interior ministry.
Social Democratic chairman Jan Hamacek said Friday that the proposal is "decent."
PRAGUE (AP) — Thousands of people have rallied across the Czech Republic to protest acting Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The protesters in 20 Czech towns and cities, including the capital of Prague, demanded that the wealthy entrepreneur resign from government.
The centrist ANO (YES) movement led by Babis won a parliamentary election in October, but his minority government lost a confidence vote in January and had to resign.
PRAGUE (AP) — Early elections in the Czech Republic appear to have become more likely after the collapse of talks to form a new government.
In an interview with the Pravo daily on Friday, Andrej Babis, the populist billionaire who leads the centrist ANO (YES) movement said early elections might be an option.
Babis won October's ballot but his minority government failed to win a mandatory confidence vote in Parliament in January and had to resign.
PRAGUE (AP) — Milos Zeman, a leading pro-Russian voice in EU politics, has been sworn in for his second term as Czech president.
Zeman was elected to the largely ceremonial post in 2013 during the country's first direct presidential vote, a victory that returned the former left-leaning prime minister to power. He won re-election in January.
Czech presidential vote seen as test of pro-Russia incumbent
PRAGUE (AP) — Voters in the Czech Republic cast ballots Friday in the second round of the country's presidential election, a runoff between the Russia-friendly incumbent and a scientist-turned-politician who is seen as more Western-oriented.
President Milos Zeman and Jiri Drahos, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, advanced to the second round after none of the nine candidates in the first round two weeks ago received a majority of votes.
Scientist challenges incumbent in Czech presidential runoff
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's presidential runoff vote features the pro-Russian incumbent in a tight race against the former head of the Academy of Sciences.
President Milos Zeman and Jiri Drahos advanced to the second round of voting after none of the nine candidates seeking the largely ceremonial post received a majority in the first round two weeks ago. Zeman won 38.6 percent of the vote to Drahos' 26.6 percent.
Czech government resigns after losing confidence vote
PRAGUE (AP) — The new Czech minority government led by populist billionaire Andrej Babis resigned on Wednesday after it failed to win a mandatory confidence vote in Parliament last week.
Babis submitted the resignation to President Milos Zeman on Wednesday.
Zeman, Babi's ally, accepted it and immediately asked Babis to try to form a new government again. He said he will swear him in as prime minister as soon as in February if he fails to get re-elected as president.
Czech PM facing fraud charges says he might not head govt
PRAGUE (AP) — Populist billionaire Andrej Babis has acknowledged he might not be in the new Czech government even though his centrist ANO movement won October's parliamentary election.
A new minority government led by Babis was appointed in December, but lost a mandatory confidence vote in Parliament on Tuesday. He and other ministers have agreed to resign.
Czech President Milos Zeman said he will ask Babis to form another government.
New Czech minority government fails to win confidence vote
PRAGUE (AP) — Populist billionaire Andrej Babis' new Czech minority government failed to win a mandatory confidence vote Tuesday in the lower house of Parliament and has to resign.
Only 78 lawmakers voted in favor of the government while 117 were against. The loss was expected because the government lacks a majority.
President Milos Zeman, Babis' ally, said he would ask him to form a government again.
Czech president leads voting, but will face runoff election
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman failed to win re-election during the first round of a presidential election Saturday and will face a runoff in two weeks against the former head of the country's Academy of Sciences.
Zeman and Jiri Drahos advanced to a second round of voting because none of the nine candidates seeking the Czech Republic's largely ceremonial presidency received a majority of votes in the first round held Friday and Saturday.
The Latest: Czech president willing to debate challenger
PRAGUE (AP) — The Latest on the Czech Republic's presidential election (all times local):
Czech President Milos Zeman says he is ready to debate challenger Jiri Drahos before the second round of the country's presidential election in two weeks.
Zeman didn't take part in any public debates ahead of the first round vote he won on Saturday but without the majority he would have needed to avoid a runoff.
Anti-migrant incumbent favored in Czech presidential vote
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czechs are electing a new president, and eight candidates are hoping to unseat the incumbent.
President Milos Zeman, 73, is seeking another five-year term in the largely ceremonial post and is the favorite to win the election's first-round vote Friday and Saturday.
Zeman favorite to win 2nd term in Czech presidential vote
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's controversy-courting president is seeking re-election this month in what will be the country's second election in which voters, instead of lawmakers, pick the person to fill the office.
New Czech government led by billionaire Babis sworn in
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman on Wednesday swore in a new minority government led by a populist billionaire whose centrist movement scored a landslide in a parliamentary election almost two months ago.
Andrej Babis' ANO (YES) movement won 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house of Parliament in October. Babis was sworn in as prime minister last week. The new Cabinet has 14 ministers.
Billionaire Andrej Babis sworn in as Czech prime minister
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman swore in a populist billionaire as the country's new prime minister on Wednesday after his centrist movement won parliamentary elections.
Andrej Babis' ANO (YES) movement won 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house of Parliament in October.
Known for his slogan "everybody steals" and resolve to run the state like a company, Babis opposes setting a date for the adoption the euro common currency and rejects the EU's relocation system for migrants.
Former Czech PM Topolanek announces presidential candidacy
PRAGUE (AP) — Former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has announced he is running for in the presidential election scheduled for January.
Topolanek confirmed his candidacy to Czech public television on Sunday. The colorful and outspoken politician is set to say more on Tuesday, the deadline for entering the race.
Czech leader asks election winner to form government
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech president asked Andrej Babis on Tuesday to try to form a new government after the populist billionaire's centrist movement won parliamentary elections.
Babis' ANO (YES) movement won 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house of Parliament earlier in October. Eight other parties and groups won seats, including the anti-migrant and anti-EU party Freedom and Direct Democracy, which finished fourth.
Czech leader to ask election winner Babis to form government
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech president on Tuesday was expected set to ask populist billionaire Andrej Babis, whose ANO movement won parliamentary elections, to try to form a new government.
The office of President Milos Zeman announced the move. The president usually appoints the chairman of the strongest party to head the government as prime minister.
Babis' movement won 78 seats in the lower house of Parliament on Saturday. He needs coalition partners to govern with a parliamentary majority.
Czech leaders clash over sanctions against Russia
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's prime minister has condemned the president's rejection of European Union sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
President Milos Zeman spoke Tuesday in Strasbourg, repeating his stance against the sanctions by saying they don't work. Zeman suggested they should be replaced with a dialogue that might result in some compensation for Ukraine from Russia. He also called Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula irreversible.
PRAGUE (AP) — A smoking ban in Czech bars, restaurants and cafes came into effect Wednesday, putting to an end the Czech Republic's status as one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.
The ban, which applies to inside areas of bars and restaurants as well as public places like cinemas, theaters and sports venues, was approved by Parliament following years of heated debate and signed by President Milos Zeman, a chain smoker.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's president has fired Finance Minister Andrej Babis and appointed his replacement, a move that ends the country's political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka requested that President Milos Zeman fire Babis, one of the richest men in the country, over unexplained business dealings.
Babis denied wrongdoing and initially said he wouldn't resign. Zeman initially refused to fire him, saying he considered Babis a successful minister.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman has used his power to pardon a man convicted of a double contract murder.
Jiri Kajinek was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for the murders he committed in 1993. Kajinek pleaded not guilty.
Tuesday's release of the 56-year-old was criticized by some politicians and legal experts but a majority of the public seemed to agree, according to a recent poll.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman says he is ready to accept a proposal for a new finance minister, a step that will end the country's political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has asked Zeman to appoint Ivan Pilny, the former head of Microsoft's operations in the Czech Republic.
That followed Sobotka's request for Zeman to fire the current finance minister, Andrej Babis, one of the richest men in the country, over unexplained business dealings.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka rejected a proposal for a new finance minister on Monday, prolonging a political crisis centering on the Republic's finance minister.
Sobotka had asked President Milos Zeman to fire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country's richest people, over unexplained business dealings. Babis has denied wrongdoing and says he won't resign.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech presidential office said President Milos Zeman's latest shot at the media was a joke. Politicians and journalists just don't seem to get it.
Before meeting Russia's president Sunday in China, Zeman commented on the presence of journalists, telling Vladimir Putin that they were too numerous and they should be "liquidated." Putin countered that it could be enough to "reduce" them.
Their conversation was captured by a television microphone and posted on social media.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's finance minister says that his centrist movement is offering his deputy to take over his post, possibly paving the way to solving the country's political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka asked President Milos Zeman to fire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country's richest people, over unexplained business dealings. Babis has denied wrongdoing, saying he won't resign.
PRAGUE (AP) — Tens of thousands of people rallied on Wednesday in the Czech Republic's capital and other major cities against President Milos Zeman and Finance Minister Andrej Babis.
The protesters gathered at Wenceslas Square in downtown Prague demanded Babis' firing and Zeman's resignation in the latest development of the Czech political crisis.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's prime minister has backtracked about resigning along with his government, saying Friday that he instead wants to solve a political crisis by firing his finance minister.
PRAGUE (AP) — It's no secret that Czech President Milos Zeman is not a fan of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
But what happened on Thursday surpassed anything that had happened between them in the past and shocked the country.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech leaders met with President Milos Zeman on Wednesday in efforts to resolve a political crisis triggered by the prime minister's decision to resign with his government over the business dealings of the finance minister.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the resignation on Tuesday, saying the minister, billionaire businessman Andrej Babis, had not allayed suspicions that he avoided paying taxes.
PRAGUE (AP) — The new Czech ambassador to Washington says Czech President Milos Zeman's trip to the United States has been postponed due to a tense situation over North Korea.
Hynek Kmonicek told Czech public television Tuesday, a day after he handed over his credentials to Trump: "The North Korean crisis fully dominates the planning of President Trump's schedule."
PRAGUE (AP) — Jiri Drahos, the former president of the Czech Academy of Sciences says he wants to run for president of the Czech Republic next year's election.
Jiri Drahos announced his candidacy on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old Drahos is considered a serious contender to unseat President Milos Zeman from the largely ceremonial post.
Czech president wants to get re-elected without campaign
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman says he is offering continuity and is not planning any campaign ahead of next year's presidential elections.
In his first comments after deciding to run for a second five-year term, Zeman said on Friday he would not participate in any debate with other candidates and also pledged not to attack them.
The 72-year-old says his health is stable and his diabetes and neuropathy are not an issue.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman announced Thursday that he will seek a second five-year term in next year's presidential election.
Zeman, one of the few European leaders to endorse Donald Trump's bid for the White House, made the announcement to 1,000 friends and supporters at the Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech Republic's largely ceremonial presidency.
Czech president, chain smoker, approves smoking ban in bars
PRAGUE (AP) — President Milos Zeman has put to an end the Czech Republic's status of one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.
Zeman, a chain smoker, signed into law on Tuesday a smoking ban in bars, restaurants and cafes after it was approved by both houses of Parliament.
It becomes effective on May 31, which is World No Tobacco Day.
Czechs a step away from smoking ban in bars, restaurants
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic is one step away from losing its status of one of the last havens for tobacco smokers in Europe.
The Senate, the upper house of Parliament, voted 45-12 on Thursday to approve a smoking ban in bars, restaurants and cafes. The lower house gave its green light on Dec. 9.
To become effective on May 31, which is World No Tobacco Day, it needs final approval: a signature from President Milos Zeman, who is a chain smoker.