The anti-smoking bill, which came into effect in the Czech Republic two
years ago, has had a positive effect on people’s health, Minister of
Health Adam Vojtěch told reporters on Thursday.
Since June 2017, when smoking in pubs, restaurants and other facilities was strictly banned, there were fewer people hospitalised with heart attacks or asthma. Experts say the effect of the ban on cancer can be assessed in about ten years’ time.
The National Public Health Institute’s data show that the number of smokers in the 15 to 19 age group dropped by 15 percent between 2017 and 2018. There has also been a drop in the number of young people aged 15 to 24 who start smoking.
Three great white pelicans departed from Prague Zoo on Thursday to join a
flock in London's St. James's Park, near Buckingham Palace. It is
the third time the zoo has sent pelicans to Great Britain.
The first birds were transported to London in 1995 and three others followed in 2013. Two males, Sun and Moon, and a female, Star, who were born in February, are due to join the current colony of three in London on Thursday.
The pelicans were first introduced to St. James's Park in 1664 as a gift to King Charles II from a Russian ambassador.
The exemption of the Czech coal power plant Chvaletice in north-east
Bohemia from EU norms would result in 196 premature deaths over a ten-year
period, suggests a report commissioned by the Czech branch of the
environmental organisation Greenpeace.
Under the new rules approved by EU member states, which will come into force in 2021, power plants in the EU will have to significantly cut the amount of pollutants. The company Sev.en Energy, which operates the Chvaletice power plant, has asked for an eight-year exemption from the norms, arguing that lowering emissions would require inadequate expenses.
A US military convoy, which is passing through the Czech Republic on its
way to a military exercise in Romania and Hungary, has significantly slowed
down traffic on the D1 motorway from Prague to Brno. According to the
traffic police, drivers can expect hour-long delays.
The convoy, made up of around 350 armoured combat vehicles and over 800 personnel, entered the Czech Republic on Tuesday at the Czech-German border in Rozvadov near Plzeň. It is expected to leave the country on Thursday afternoon.
Czechs spent a record sum on betting last year, placing bets worth 249.5
billion crowns. That’s a rise of just over 11 percent on the previous
year. Winnings paid out from bets came to over 218 billion crowns, an
increase of 18.4 percent.
According to the Czech Ministry of Finance, the number of casinos and gaming-machine bars has dropped to roughly 1,800 following the introduction of the new legislation and statutes.
Outgoing Slovak President Andrej Kiska has arrived in the Czech Republic
for his final foreign trip as head of state. He was received by Czech
president Miloš Zeman at Lány Chateau on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Kiska steps down in mid-June to be succeeded by Zuzana Čaputová. The first official visit of the newly elected Slovak president, who will be sworn in on June 15, will also lead to the Czech Republic.
The writer Jiří Stránský died on Wednesday at the age of 87. Mr.
Stránský spent almost a decade in Communist labour camps as a political
prisoner after being found guilty of “treason” in the hard-line 1950s.
He put those experiences into his writings, some of which he also adapted
for the screen.
In the 1990s Jiří Stránský became president of the Czech PEN Club. He was also a life-long devotee of the scouting movement and shared his experiences in talks with young people.
The Czech football goalkeeper Petr Čech lost the final game of his career
on Wednesday night when his club Arsenal were beaten 4:1 in the final of
the Europa League by his former team Chelsea. The 37-year-old made a couple
of important saves when Arsenal were still in with a chance and was seen by
many as their best performer.
Čech holds the record for number of international caps with the Czech Republic and collected numerous trophies and set goalkeeping records during a very successful period at Chelsea.
A shot was fired on the plane of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who
was returning from a visit to Brussels on Tuesday, Czech Television
reported. The bullet came from the service pistol of a member of a police
team guarding Mr. Babiš and the incident occurred while the aircraft was
on the ground.
The matter is now being dealt with by the security service’s inspectorate, which investigates alleged police misconduct. A spokesperson for the agency said the gun had probably been fired accidentally.
Security officers must hand over weapons to the captain before a plane takes off and are required to prove that they are not loaded by pulling the trigger on an empty chamber. However, the officer in question had neglected to ensure there were no bullets in his gun beforehand, iDnes.cz reported.