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Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 5:10 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 5:09 AM
PRAGUE — 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.
However, with almost all ballots counted by the Czech Statistics Office, Zeman had 38.6 percent of the vote, a commanding lead over Drahos' 26.6 percent.
A former diplomat, Pavel Fischer, was a distant third with 10.2 percent. Songwriter Michal Horacek finished fourth with 9.2 percent, ahead of physician Marek Hilser, who had 8.8 percent. The three pledged their support to Drahos in the runoff.
Zeman congratulated Drahos and said he was ready to debate him before the Jan. 26-Jan. 27 runoff. Zeman didn't take part in any debates ahead of the first round of voting.
"Mr. Drahos said that he would like to meet me face to face. I am happy to oblige him," the president said.
Election officials said voter turnout was 61.9 percent in the preliminary election. Drahos called on all those "who want a change" to cast ballots in the runoff.
"The final is still ahead of us, and that's what matters," Drahos said.
Zeman, 73, was elected in 2013 during the country's first direct presidential vote, a victory that returned the former left-leaning prime minister to power. As president, he has become a strong anti-migrant voice and major pro-Russian voice in European Union politics.
A chain smoker with a soft spot for alcohol, he was one of the few European leaders to endorse Donald Trump's bid for the White House.
Drahos, 68, is seen as more western-oriented and firmly supports the country's EU and NATO membership.
The previous two presidents of the country created in 1993 when Czechoslovakia was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus, were elected by Parliament.
Under the Czech Constitution, the president picks the prime minister after a general election, one of the office's key responsibilities.
The president also appoints members of the Central Bank board and selects Constitutional Court judges with the approval of Parliament's upper house.
Otherwise, the president has little executive power since the country is run by a government chosen and led by the prime minister.
Zeman was considered a more pro-European than his euroskeptic predecessor Klaus, but in recent years has used every opportunity to attack the EU, and has proposed a referendum on the country's membership in the bloc after Britain decided to leave.
He also has become known for strong anti-migrant rhetoric that won him support from the populist right. He has divided the nation with his pro-Russian stance and his support for closer ties with China.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 7:42 AM
— Two weddings and a baby -- the royal family continues to grow as Princess Eugenie announces she’s engaged to be married this year.
Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter will walk down the aisle to marry her long-time boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank.
Princess Eugenie, 27, is the daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.
The announcement was posted on the royal family’s Twitter account Monday morning.
The Duke and Duchess of York are delighted to announce the engagement of Princess Eugenie to Mr. Jack Brooksbank. pic.twitter.com/ct45JvDfbq— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 22, 2018
The royal couple became engaged in Nicaragua in early January and will marry this fall at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, the same location for the upcoming nuptials for the queen’s other grandchild, Prince Harry and his fiancée, Meghan Markle, the Telegraph reported. Prince Harry and Markle will be married on May 19.
Princess Eugenie and Brooksbank began dating in 2011. They had met while skiing in Switzerland.
The princess is Prince Andrew and Sarah’s second daughter and is eighth in line to the throne, the BBC reported.
While Princess Eugenie works as a director of the contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth, Brooksbank was a nightclub manager and is currently the UK brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, a company co-founded by George Clooney, Sky News reported.
The BBC reported that Princess Eugenie will keep her royal title, Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York, after marriage, but she could take his surname.
As for the baby, Prince William and Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their third child, due in April.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2018. pic.twitter.com/jOzB1TJMof— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 17, 2017
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
— At least eight people have died after deadly winds blew through Europe.
Two firefighters are among the victims of the hurricane-strength winds that damaged buildings and tore trees from the ground, the BBC reported.
Travel was delayed due to the storm.
Germany’s Deutsche Bahn stopped running trains on Thursday, but restarted long-distance runs on Friday, according to media reports.
The storm is being considered one of the strongest storms to hit the country in 11 years, CNN reported.
Amsterdam’s air traffic was shut down after two of three terminals were closed when roof plates were blown off the building, CNN reported.
In other parts of Europe, users posted photos of damage to social media.
Shipping containers blown over in #Nederland this morning as a severe #windstorm counties to affect the country. Video; @cosmompolitanbe #extremeweather #severeweather #storm pic.twitter.com/86X2zXS61e— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) January 18, 2018
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:34 AM
SYDNEY — A wallaby hopping down a highway is not something you see everyday, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday in Sydney, Australia.
The marsupial found its way onto the road, making drivers wonder what they were seeing as they crossed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, ABC News in Australia reported.
Early morning motorists must have thought they were still dreaming when they spotted a #Wallaby on the #HarbourBridge. See all the footage of his daring adventure on @9NewsSyd @9NewsAUS. pic.twitter.com/t2dP9GpsXb— Kate Creedon (@KateCreedon9) January 15, 2018
Some described the animal as a kangaroo, including traffic controllers with the Transport Management Center.
“Traffic controllers had quite a surprise early this morning when we saw a kangaroo making its way down lane No. 8 of Sydney Harbour Bridge, coming from the north side,” Dave Wright told ABC News.
“It basically continued to hop, making its way from lane 8 all the way over to lane 1 ... down the Cahill Expressway and down to Macquarie Street,” Wright said.
Officers were able to corner the animal which turned out to be a male adult swamp wallaby. It was taken to a vet who checked it out. It had a few scratches on its face and hind legs, but had no major injuries, 9 News reported.
Some believe the wallaby may have come from a nearby golf course, but groundskeepers and golfers said they’ve never seen a wallaby or kangaroo on the course before, 9 News reported.
Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 8:33 AM
— A reporter apparently never heard the saying about not working with animals or children, but thank goodness he didn’t, because we wouldn’t have the Friday laughs some may need.
Alexander Dunlop was supposed to do a quick standup about England’s Banham Zoo’s annual counting of the park’s animals.
But it didn’t go as planned.
Brave lemur fans can have a “lemur encounter” and get up close and personal with the wild animals.