The forest fire that broke out high up on Ještěd Mountain in the north of
the country has been brought under control. Twelve firefighter units were
called to the blaze, which threatened to spread due to strong wind. The
emergency services have also employed a helicopter to contain the fire.
The incidence of fires rose sharply over the past weeks to the drown-out period of drought. In July, fire crews were called to 2,700 fires, which is the highest number in 12 years.
Czech humanitarian organisation People in Need has launched a campaign to
release the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov from Russian prison.
Photos are to be shared on Instagram with a call for the release of the
filmmaker. People in Need will then print them and send them to the prison
where Sentsov is jailed.
Oleg Sentsov, who is 39, was arrested in 2014 during a protest against Russia's annexation of Crimea. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail by a Russian military court in 2015 on charges of terrorism.
The filmmaker has been on hunger strike since May 14, saying he will stop only if all Ukrainian political prisoners held on the Russian territory are released. Politicians and other public figures all over the world have been campaigning for his release.
Josef Vojáček has been appointed head of the state-owned forestry company
Lesy České republiky. Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman announced the
news at a press conference on Monday. The former head of Military Forests
and Farms was selected out of 11 candidates who took part in an open
Mr Vojáček will replace Daniel Szórád in the post, who was sacked in May over his inability to deal with the calamitous impact of bark beetle infestation which has plagued Czech forests since 2016.
The Czech Republic’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal Ostrava, has
posted a profit of 3.2 billion crowns in 2017. It is an increase by 1.9
billion crowns on the previous year.
The results were mostly affected by higher financial yields due to the sale of share in daughter companies, the company’s spokeswoman Barbora Černá Dvořáková told the Czech News Agency on Monday.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, is looking to sell its Czech unit and some other assets by the end of the year in order to win EU antitrust clearance to acquire a troubled Italian peer Ilva.
For China, the Czech courtship was an unqualified victory, the U.S. daily
New York Times wrote on Sunday. The article, which focuses on the change in
Czech-Chinese relationships during Mr Zeman’s presidency, says “China
had won a sure friend in Europe, an American military ally and a country
once seen as a bulwark for liberal democracy in a strategically important
The article says “Mr. Zeman, a well-known smoker and drinker, has rejected Havel-era support for the Dalai Lama and its close ties to the government of Taiwan,” and points out that Mr. Zeman was the first Czech leader to visit China in nearly a decade in 2014.
The past weekend has proved to be the most tragic on Czech roads since the
beginning of summer holidays, with thirteen people killed in traffic
accidents in the space of 48 hours.
Among the victims were six motorcycle drivers, three cyclists and one pedestrian, the head of the traffic police Tomáš Lerch told the Czech News Agency on Monday. The road death toll traditionally worsens during summer holidays. Police ascribe it to the heat, which causes tiredness and a lack of concentration.
The Czech grain harvest is expected to drop by 7.5 percent on the previous
year, hitting an overall yield of 6.3 million tonnes, according to
preliminary data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Monday. It is
third lowest figure over the past ten years.
The harvest of poppy seeds will also be affected by this year’s prolonged period of drought, dropping by one fourth on the previous year to 15,000 tonnes. The harvest of rapeseed, on the other hand, is expected to increase by over 12 percent to 1.3 million tonnes.
Several firefighter units are trying to extinguish a blaze that has broken
out at a waste sorting facility in Kutná Hora, just 50 kilometers out of
Prague. The fire has already spread to a nearby field.
A third degree fire-alert is in place, a spokesman for the fire service Jaroslav Gabriel told the Czech News Agency. Several firefighters, who are trying to prevent the blaze from spreading to a nearby hall, have collapsed as a result of the intense heat.