After three years of service, the Czech military's air advisory team
has finished training Iraqi forces in the use of Czech made L-159 attack
jets. The last training unit returned home on Saturday evening, the Czech
News Agency reports, citing the press office of the country's general
staff. The Czech Air Force is set to continue supporting its Iraqi
counterparts, but in a more limited function.
The Iraqi Air Force ordered its first L-159 jets in 2014. They were used successfully in combat against the Islamic State.
The amount of drug overdoses in the Czech Republic has experienced a year-on-year decrease, according to the country's Institute of Health Information and Statistics. The Czech Republic is also the EU member state with the lowest rate of overdoses resulting in death. Statisticans registered 89 deaths, around a quarter of which were the results of suicides caused by pill overdose. Other major causes of overdose deaths in the country are through the use of methamphetamine and opioid drugs.
The consolidated profit of the country's third largest company,
Agrofert, sank by 63.5 percent to CZK 1.67 billion in 2018, the
holding's press spokesman Karel Hanzelka told the Czech News Agency on
Friday. He said the main reason behind the decrease in profits are losses
in Agrofert's chemical and food production segments, this mainly due
to reduced performance of the affiliated German bakery group Lienken.
The holding was founded and majority owned by current Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš until 2017, when he agreed to put his shares into a trust fund following the passing of a law that seeked to prevent a possible conflict of interest known as 'Lex Babiš'. However, a recently leaked European Commission preliminary audit found that he still has influence on the company and warned of a possible conflict of interest.
American filmstar Julianne Moore was awarded the Crystal Globe at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday. The screening of After the Wedding, the new film which features her in one of the leading roles, kicked off the festival. KVIFF President Jiří Bartoška, as well as its artistic director Eva Zaoralová, were also honoured in the opening ceremony. On Sunday, attendees can look forward to catching a glimpse of another Oscar holder, Casey Affleck, who will personally present his directorial debut Light of My Life.
Prague's gay pride march, Prague Pride, will take place on 10 August,
the Czech News Agency Reports. The march, which has been taking place
annually since 2011, will be the closing event of the week long LGBT
Festival that starts on 5 August. At least 30,000 people are expected to
take part this year.
Organisers Prague Pride are advocates for the legalisation of gay marriage, which is currently being debated in the Chamber of Deputies.
In an interview published in Mladá fronta Dnes, President Miloš Zeman
expressed serious doubt about whether Michal Šmarda will replace the
current Culture Minister Antonín Staněk. Mr. Šmarda was officially
proposed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, but he is a nominee of the Social
Democrats, who stress their coalition treaty right to have five ministers
in the cabinet. They have threatened to resign from government if the
change does not go ahead. President Zeman, went on to say that even if the
party were to exit the coalition, he does not expect Andrej Babiš’s
government to fall. Instead he said it would only lead to a cabinet
reshuffle, with the government being supported by the Freedom and Direct
The president’s plan is now to reconcile the current culture minister with Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček by hosting a meeting between them in his Lány country residence on July 12.
The latest Public Opinion Research Centre (CVVM) poll shows the ANO party
of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would win 29 percent of the vote if
elections were held now, up a percentage point since May.
The Pirate Party would get 17 percent of the vote, up 3.5 percentage points since the last poll.
In third place are the Civic Democrats (15 percent), in fourth are the Communists (9 percent) and in fifth are the Social Democrats (7.5 percent) – all of which have lost about 2 percentage points in support.
The CVVM poll was collected from 8 to 17 June, more than a week before the anti- Babiš demonstration at Letná Plain that drew nearly 300,000 protestors.
The far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy party gained 1.5 percentage points since May, at 6.5 percent.
At or below the 5 percent threshold needed to enter parliament were the Christian Democrats (5 percent), Party of Mayors and Independents (4.5 percent), Top 09 (3 percent) and Greens (1 percent).
President Miloš Zeman is due to discuss naming a new Minister of Culture
on Tuesday with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Social Democrat
Party leader Jan Hamáček.
The current minister, Antonín Staněk, had announced in late May he would step down. He did so under pressure following protests among cultural official and figures.
They had objected to Staněk sacking the heads of the National Gallery in Prague and Museum of Art in Olomouc – without giving a proper explanation for his decision.
Thus far, President Zeman has refused to accept Staněk’s resignation and to appoint the Social Democrats’ candidate, Michal Šmarda.
The president argues Staněk should not be punished for revealing alleged economic malpractice at the Ministry of Culture.
Czech authorities said on Friday they had detected 14 cases of
salmonella-infected poultry from Poland in the past month.
In total, some 21 tons of infected meat were discovered. This includes two cases of Czech-produced meat.
Earlier this year bad Polish beef ended up in 11 countries, including the Czech Republic. In response, authorities here implemented blanket checks on imported Polish beef.
The mandatory controls ended in late March, after Warsaw guaranteed no cattle meat unfit for human consumption would reach the market.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia