A Czech court has convicted three men, including a taxidermist and an
animal parks owner, of killing critically endangered tigers and illegally
trading in products made from their carcasses.
Prosecutors say the three men had arranged to have tigers killed and their parts processed for sale on the black market to Asian buyers.
The Česká Lípa county court sentenced taxidermist Miloš Hrozínek to three years in prison. Animal parks owner Ludvík Berousek, a member of a famous circus family, got a two-year suspended sentence and a fine. Vietnamese businessman Xuan Vu Le also got a two-year prison sentence.
They were arrested last year after police raids in Prague and elsewhere yielded the body of a recently killed tiger and pelts of other big cats, as well as the bodies of 20 other protected animals.
Some 15 people were injured Tuesday night after a fire broke out in an
apartment building in the Prague district of Holešovice.
Among the injured were four children and three firefighters. Most suffered from minor burns or smoke inhalation. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.
About 45 people were in the building on U Smaltovny street when it was evacuated at about 7:30 p.m.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) is in Paris
Wednesday for a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian,
and the Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Amélie de Montchalin.
Their agenda includes issues of European diplomacy, security and also military operations in Mali involving soldiers from their respective countries.
Mr Petříček is also due to present the priorities of the one-year Czech presidency of the Visegrad Group, which begins in July.
Upon arriving in France this morning, he first went to lay a wreath at a monument to Czechoslovak legionnaires who died fighting with France in the world wars.
The 74th edition of the Prague Spring international music festival wrapped
up on Tuesday evening with a performance by the Toulouse Capitol National
Orchestra, under the baton of its chief conductor, Russian maestro Tugan
The Czech Republic’s largest classical music festival got underway on May 12, offering around fifty concerts.
The opening concert featured the traditional My Country by Bedřich Smetana, performed by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, founded by musicians expelled from Czechoslovakia after WWII who had previously been members of the German Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague.
Tomáš Dvořák, a former decathlon world champion and world record
holder, has announced he will resign as head coach of the Czech Athletics
Federation after this season.
Dvořák, now 47, took over the post in 2009. In a press release, he said he looked forward to less stress in his life, but could imagine staying on as a consultant to the new head coach.
Czech player Markéta Vondroušová advanced to her first career Grand Slam semifinal with a 7-6 7-5 victory over Croatia’s Petra Martic at the French Open on Tuesday. The 19-year-old Czech needed exactly two hours to book a spot in her first career major semifinal. Vondroušová will face Britain’s Johanna Konta for a place in the Roland Garros final.
Another in a series of protests against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and
his appointment of Marie Benešová as justice minister took place in
Prague on Tuesday evening. The organizer Million Moments for Democracy said
around 120,000 people had taken part in the rally, making it the biggest
public protest since the ani-communist demonstrations in 1989.
As well as demanding the removal of both Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Justice Minister Marie Benešová who was appointed just days after the police recommended that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stand trial in a fraud case, the protests’ organisers have called on Mr. Babiš to relinquish all his media assets so as not to continue to influence the free press.
Another demonstration is due to take place on 23 June on Prague’s Letná plain, the venue of the largest anti-regime demonstrations of November 1989.
Czech deputies on Tuesday began debating the alleged conflict of interest
issues of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš outlined in a preliminary report of
the European Commission, which focuses on the granting of EU subsidies.
Mr Babiš told MPs that the draft report amounted to an attack against the Czech Republic and its national interests. He again asserted that Prague would not return any subsidies in connection with the case, which centres on the Agrofert conglomerate he founded.
He also lashed out again at the opposition Pirate Party and the Czech branch of corruption watchdog Transparency International, who turned to Brussels over Babiš’s suspected conflict of interest last year.
The Czech government has started preparing a new economic strategy, which
would lead the country into the year 2030, Industry and Trade Minister
Karel Havlíček said on Tuesday at the annual meeting of industry and
export representatives in Prague.
The long-term aim of the program is to support production with a higher added value as well as implementing changes that will help the Czech Republic to become a leader in artificial intelligence and innovation. The motto of the new policy line will be The Czech Republic: A Country for the Future.