In tennis, No 2 seed Petra Kvitová reached the semi-finals at the Dubai Championships on Thursday, after defeating Viktória Kužmová of Slovakia 6-4, 6-0. The two-time Wimbledon champion will face Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei for a place in the final after the world No 31 upset Karolína Plíšková in the preceding match.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will take part in the EU-Arab League summit,
which is set to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh on February 24 and 25, the
government office informed on Thursday.
The two-day summit is set to be the first official meeting of all the EU and Arab League heads of state. Among the topics on the agenda will be climate change, regional conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and the fight against terrorism.
The Czech Prime Minister is also set to attend bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of several African countries, which are members of the Arab League.
Around one third of the Czech Republic has very low or extremely low levels
of underground waters, Environment Minister Richard Brabec said on Thursday
at a discussion organised by the Institute for Politics and Society.
The situation is particularly bad in central Moravia and Polabí in Central Bohemia. In many places, water towers have to be filled from water tanks.
Mr Brabec said this year’s abundance of snow had no effect on the current drought which has been affecting the Czech Republic for five consecutive years.
Government Commissioner for Human Rights Martina Štěpánková will step
down from her post at the end of March, Czech Radio reported on Thursday.
The information was confirmed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who said the
government will announced an open competition for the post.
Mrs Štěpánková was appointed to the reinstated post of Human Rights Commissioner in June 2018. She will also step down as deputy in charge of managing the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government.
The Prime Minister said he himself would remain in charge of the Government Council for Human Rights, which has recently come under criticism for lack of action.
Two trucks transporting 46 tonnes of humanitarian aid will depart for eastern Ukraine from the Czech Republic on Monday. The convoy, heading to the town of Sloviansk near Donbas, will be carrying hygiene supplies, warm clothes and roof covering for people living on the frontline. It is organised by the Krnov branch of Caritas Czech Republic and Ukraine Initiative in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Cinematographers’ Association handed out their annual awards in Prague on Wednesday evening. The prize for Best Camera in feature film went to Tomáš Sysel for the movie Toman, while Marek Dvořák won the award for Best Camera in TV film for the film Dukla 61. Miroslav Fojtík, who shot hundreds of reports and live recordings for Czechoslovak television, was recognised for his life-time contribution to cinematography.
Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tomáš Petříček, launches his
official visit to the United States on Thursday, when he is due to meet
with the National Security advisor to Donald Trump John Bolton and USAID
chief Mark Green.
On Friday, Mr Petříček is scheduled to meet with his American counterpart, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. The Czech prime minister’s meeting with President Trump at the White House in March will be high on their agenda.
According to the Czech Foreign Ministry, the visit aims to support strengthening bilateral relations and to follow up on last year’s visit of then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Prague.
The White House has officially confirmed the visit of Czech Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš to Washington. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania
will receive Mr Babiš in the White House on March 7.
The invitation came on the first day of a visit to Washington by Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček, who is due to discuss bilateral and global issues with the U.S. secretaries of state and defence, and President Trump’s national security advisor.
Cybersecurity issues – not least concerning those the Trump Administration says are presented by using products of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and allowing implementing 5G infrastructure – are high on the Czech agenda.
Billionaire Daniel Křetínský’s Czech Media Invest (CMI) has sold the
Polish radio station group Eurozet it bought last year from French concern
Lagardère in a move that has angered Poland’s ruling Law and Justice
PiS called the sale of Eurozet a threat to the pluralism of Polish media amid reports that one of the buyers, the Czech company SFS Ventures, is linked to or funded by Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, who supports Polish opposition media.
SFS Ventures bought a 60 percent share. Polish media group Agora, whose assets include the Gazeta Wyborcza daily, bought the remaining 40 percent share in Eurozet. The majority owner of SFS Ventures is Sourcefabric Ventures, a leading developer of open source tools for news media.