The media group Mafra, which is part of the Agrofert conglomerate built up
by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, is taking over the Bauer Media publishing
house in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to a joint press
release issued by the said companies. The acquisition price was not made
Bauer Media produces tabloid titles, lifestyle and women’s magazines.
The prime minister was forced to put the Agrofert conglomerate into a trust fund in order to comply with a strict new conflict of interest law.
The Czech Interior Ministry has proposed sending 50 million crowns in aid
to Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Chad as part of the country’s policy of
helping countries of migrant origin.
The money is to be used to improve the countries’ infrastructure, build houses for migrants who wish to return home, clean water facilities and health care.
The projects are to be overseen by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the NGO Caritas Internationalis.
The government is to debate the proposal at its regular session on Wednesday.
The regional court in Plzen has sentenced a Bulgarian national to three
years and four months in jail for sending hoax terrorist threats to
Pakistan in an effort to secure the release of a young Czech woman held for
The young man sent emails with the hoax threats to two Pakistani media outlets.
He later defended himself in court saying he had acted rashly and would not have committed any attacks.
A court psychologist concluded that the man had no aggressive tendencies and was emotionally unstable.
On his release he is to be extradited from the country and banned from returning for a period of eight years.
The regional court in Olomouc has convicted three young men of arson for
setting on fire a historic wooden church in the town of Guty, Silesia last
The youths were sentenced to nine, eight and three and a half years in prison, with the lowest sentence served to the young man who committed the crime just before coming of age. All three have appealed the verdict.
The Roman Catholic house of prayer dating back to 1563 was one of the best preserved wooden churches in the country with priceless interiors and paintings from the first half of the 16th century. It was completely destroyed by the fire.
The International Monetary Fund has revised down its estimate for global
economic growth by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent, for this and next
The growth estimate for the Czech Republic in 2018 was also downgraded to 3.1 percent from a previous forecast of 3.7 percent. The growth estimate for 2019 is currently at 3.0.
The head of the Tibetan government in exile Lobsang Sangay has warned that
either the democratic world will change China or China will change the
The Tibetan prime minister in exile said at the Forum 2,000 conference in Prague that China had no interest in introducing democratic reforms and used business interests to make inroads into Europe and win support from some of its leaders.
He said US President Donald Trump recognized this and praised his tough line against the Chinese leadership.
Lobsang Sangay said China presented a worse threat to Europe than Russia.
Europe now faces a crucial decision –either to stand with the US and try to reform China or see China slowly gain control of parts of Europe, the Tibetan leader in exile concluded.
Prague Castle will host a Chinese Investment Forum from October 15 -17.
The president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, told the CTK news agency the forum will be attended by some 250 guests from China, up to 150 guests from CEE countries and roughly 100 guests from the Czech Republic.
Mynář said President Zeman would be attending Tuesday’s gala evening.
After Chinese investments in the Czech Republic failed to meet expectations, the aim of the organizers is to make the forum more business-oriented and result driven.
The Czech intelligence service BIS played a big part in helping to identify
and disconnect Hezbollah servers in the Czech Republic, other EU member
states and the US, the agency’s head Michal Koudelka said in a press
statement for the ctk news agency.
The cyber espionage group running them operated fake Facebook accounts in order to hack computers and acquire information.
It had been under surveillance since 2017.
Oyub Titiev a staunch defender of human rights in Chechnya, who has been in
detention in Russia since January of this year, is the winner of the 2018
Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, the Council of Europe Parliamentary
Assembly announced on Monday.
Other nominees shortlisted were young Cuban democracy and human rights
activist Rosa María Payá and prominent democracy and human rights
defender in Bahrain Nabeel Rajab who is currently also imprisoned.
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the PACE in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.