The Ministry of Agriculture as of April will have enhanced powers to
regulate timber harvesting and afforestation if necessary to minimize
damage by the ongoing bark beetle calamity.
President President Miloš Zeman signed into law an amendment to the Forestry Act, saying it has become clear that existing extraordinary measures are insufficient, his spokesman told the news agency ČTK.
The bark beetle infestation affecting spruce forests throughout the country in 2018 was said to have been the worst in the past 200 years.
Due to the ongoing infestation, the country’s largely coniferous forests are facing extensive felling of trees, which could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles.
The Czech Republic is no longer the most attractive country in the Central
and Eastern European region for German investors.
According to a survey by the German-Czech Chamber of Industry and Commerce released on Wednesday, Estonia now tops the list of 15 countries.
The Czech Republic, now ranked second, had held that spot for three consecutive years. Poland placed third.
The main contributors to the decline in attractiveness are a lack of qualified people and weak vocational education, investors surveyed said. Growing labour costs, lack of transparency in public procurement and corruption are also worrying.
Milan Badal, a priest and personal secretary to Cardinal Dominik Duka of
Prague, has died at the age of 62.
He had long worked as the head of External Relations the Prague Archbishopric and was known for making some controversial statements and criticism of Islam.
Badal was secretly ordained under Communism and entered the Dominican Order.
The Czech Republic has ended blanket checks on beef imported from Poland.
The change means that companies accepting deliveries of beef from Poland
are no longer required to carry out tests for salmonella. The Czech
Ministry of Agriculture said Poland had provided guarantees that it had
done all it could to prevent meat from cattle unfit for human consumption
from reaching the market.
Earlier this year bad Polish meat ended up in 11 other countries, including the Czech Republic. Despite the end of mandatory testing Czech state veterinarians will maintain an increased level of controls on meat imports.
The Czech national soccer team lost 3:1 to Brazil in a friendly game in Prague on Tuesday night. The home side opened the scoring in the 37th minute thanks to David Pavelka’s first international strike. However, Brazil stepped up the tempo in the second half. Robert Firmino drew the visitors level not long after halftime and substitute Gabriel Jesus added a brace in the final 10 minutes.
The police have concluded an investigation into a case of alleged
corruption involving the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš. Mr. Babiš
and members of his family are facing prosecution on suspicion of wrongfully
acquiring CZK 50 million in European Union funds in connection with
Stork’s Nest, a conference centre and hotel near Prague.
A spokesperson for the Prague state attorney’s office said an investigation into one individual had been separated from the rest of the case. Media outlets have reported that this likely refers to Andrej Babiš Jr., who previously said in an interview that he was taken out of the country against his will at a time when the spotlight was on the prime minister over the affair.
The news site Neovlivni.cz reported that the police would recommend that Mr. Babiš be summonsed to appear in court in person over the matter. The billionaire leader of the ANO party denies any wrongdoing and says the whole affair is part of a political campaign against him.
The Regional Court in Brno has sentenced Radim Žondra to eight years in
jail for a brutal knife attack on the Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová. The
33-year-old was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and unlawful entry
over the incident, which occurred at Kvitová’s home in December 2016.
Presiding judge Dagmar Bordovská said that the two-time Wimbledon winner’s testimony had proven crucial in the case. Earlier in the trial Kvitová had told the court that Žondra, who claimed to be a boiler inspector, had held a knife to her throat. When the 29-year-old grabbed the weapon, the blade cut into her left hand, leaving her with career-threatening injuries that required major surgery.
Kvitová, who fell in the world rankings in the wake of the attack, is currently taking part in the Miami Open, where she is in with a chance of becoming women’s number one for the first time in her career.
The Czech singer and dancer Daniel Nekonečný has died at the age of 52.
The flamboyant showman was found dead at his home in the Prague district of
Řeporyje, the site Blesk.cz reported. Police are investigating the cause.
Nekonečný, whose real name was Konečný, was a member of the band Laura a její tygři and later formed his own outfit Šum svistu before going solo. He also acted in films and TV series.
The prominent Czech-American Fred Malek has died at the age of 82. The
Washington-based American Friends of the Czech Republic, of which he was
chairman, said in a statement that he had passed away on Sunday.
The Illinois-born Mr. Malek was one of the most successful US businessmen of Czech origin, having been president of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines. He also served as an advisor to four American presidents and was a noted philanthropist.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events