Three-quarters of toys examined by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority in
the first quarter of this year did not meet all the set regulations, the
government agency said on Tuesday. The most common shortcomings were
failure to identify the manufacturer or importer, while some packaging only
contained information in English.
Inspectors imposed fines totalling CZK 1.8 million crowns on almost 300 toy sellers and distributors in the first three months of 2018.
Czech economic growth slowed to 2.3 percent in the second quarter of this
year from 4.2 percent in the first quarter, according to an official
preliminary gross domestic product estimate issued on Tuesday. Analysts had
expected slightly faster expansion in the April to August period.
Czech GDP growth for the whole of 2018 should reach around 3 percent, according to experts. They say that the economy is currently performing at close to its maximum potential.
A lower house commission investigating the controversial privatisation of
the OKD mining company has asked the police to intervene after financier
Zdeněk Bakala ignored a summons to give testimony on Tuesday. Mr. Bakala,
who at one point owned OKD, is based in Switzerland.
Chairman Lukáš Černohorský said that the same laws applied to rich and poor and that the commission had no alternative but to ask the police to ensure that Mr. Bakala testify.
OKD was sold by the state to the company Karbon Invest for a price critics say was far below the market value. Mr. Bakala’s RPG Industries purchased Karbon Invest just a few months later. OKD is now in bankruptcy.
Some 100 tonnes of dead fish have been removed do far from a pond in the
Břeclav region in south Moravia. The carp and silverfish died last week
due to a low level of water, which led to a low concentration of oxygen.
According to the administrator of the fish pond, Oldřich Pecha, the losses
will exceed five million crowns. Nesyt, with water surface of about 300
hectares, is the largest pond in Moravia and one of the largest in the
The drown-out period of hot and dry weather in the Czech Republic is posing a serious danger to aquatic species. Water levels in rivers around the country have fallen and the situation is particularly acute in fish ponds, minor rivers and streams.
Sergeant Martin Marcin, one of the three soldiers killed in a suicide
attack in Afghanistan on August 5, was buried on Tuesday. A flyover of
Czech Army planes took place ahead of the funeral service, which was held
in Sergeant Marcin’s hometown of Chomutov. Army chief of staff Aleš
Opata and Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar were among those in attendance,
while around 300 people gathered outside.
The three Czech servicemen were killed by a suicide bomber while patrolling an area near Bagram Base, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan. The other two soldiers, Kamil Beneš and Patrik Štěpánek, will be buried later this week.
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.
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