The European Commission has agreed to postpone the deadline by which the
Czech Republic must respond to the Commission’s first draft audit on
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ suspected conflict of interest until
September 2, Czech Radio reported.
The European Commission originally set the deadline for the beginning of August, but the Regional Development Ministry requested a month-long extension, arguing that the audit was complex. According to the EC’s preliminary findings the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest and the Czech Republic may subsequently have to return some 450 million crowns in EU subsidies paid to the Agrofert business conglomerate he founded.
Former world number 1, Ivan Lendl, who coached Alexander Zverev to his only
major title at the ATP Tour Finals last November, has announced that their
cooperation is over, effective immediately.
One of the most successful partnerships in the annals of tennis ended on a sour note, with Zverev accusing Lendl of not devoting himself properly to the job and Lendl saying Zverev’s off-court issues prevented him from working in a way that was consistent with Lendl’s philosophy.
The Senate has passed a draft law that would make it easier for the
children and grandchildren of exiles from Communist Czechoslovakia to
obtain Czech citizenship.
The legislation pertains to descendants of Czechs stripped of their Czechoslovak citizenship prior to 1989. Applicants must provide documentation detailing when and how their parent or grandparent lost their citizenship in order to be eligible.
The bill, which went through several readings in both houses of Parliament, must be signed by the president to become law.
According to the Interior Ministry, the change in law could lead to applications from hundreds of people, including families of former Czechoslovak citizens living in crisis-torn Venezuela.
Czech police last year detained 4,992 foreigners in the country illegally,
254 more than in 2017. As in previous years, Ukrainians comprised the
largest group, according to a Ministry of the Interior report.
Nearly 1,500 Ukrainians were detained by the police in 2018. Large numbers of Moldovans, Vietnamese, Russians and Georgians illegally in the country were also detained.
Most had entered the country legally but exceeded their permitted stays or had expired visas, the Interior Ministry said. Some have done so repeatedly.
Czech military police have taken four people into custody in connection
with the death of an Afghan commando and terror suspect beaten while in
NATO custody. A state prosecutor said they face charges for failing to
report a crime.
The Afghan commando, Wahidullah Khan, was accused of killing a Czech soldier in October 2018 in one of many insider attacks by Afghan forces on NATO troops last year.
He allegedly opened fire on a group of Czech soldiers at Shindand air base, a facility in Herat Province in western Afghanistan. That attack killed Cpl. Tomáš Procházka and wounded two other Czech soldiers.
At the time, Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) rejected that Czech soldiers were responsible for Khan’s death. The Defence Ministry has declined to comment on Thursday’s arrest of four people.
The Czech Republic currently has 345 soldiers in Afghanistan. So far, 14 Czech soldiers have been killed there.
The Czech police unit charged with combatting organised crime (NCOZ) has
released its annual report outlining developments in the sector. Among
other things, it points to a rise in cybercrime and tax fraud using bogus
‘chains of companies’.
Reported incidences of cybercrime increased by 1,161 to 6,815 last year it said. Most related to bogus online shops and ‘phishing’ attacks, where sites extract and exploit users’ data and accounts. It also noted a slight increase in the spread of extortionate ‘ransomware’.
The NCOZ report noted high levels of tax evasion and fraud among Vietnamese and Chinese businesses, which it said often use “chains of companies” to mask transactions. It said there had also been a rise in such financial crime by Slovak-owned entities, particularly among employment agencies.
It further noted an increase in confiscated forgeries of ID cards and papers especially from Romania, Poland and Lithuania. The illegal employment of foreigners in the Czech Republic brings with it organised criminal gangs, the report said, noting Ukrainians represent the largest number of foreigners here illegally.
Twelve young opera singers have advanced to the finals round of Plácido
Domingo's annual Operalia competition, now underway at the Czech
National Theatre in Prague.
The finalists, selected from 40 young singers from across the globe, will compete for prizes of up to USD 30,000 each in the final-round concert on Friday evening.
The general competition awards first, second and third prizes for male and female singers, while just two prizes are bestowed to a man and a woman in the zarzuela division.
Friday’s final-round concert will be live-streamed on medici.tv as well as via Operalia’s Facebook page, and will feature the finalists performing alongside an orchestra conducted by Domingo himself.
Groundwater levels remain at the lowest average points since the 1960s,
according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, despite the heavy
rain of recent days.
Soil drought afflicts nearly two-thirds of Czech territory with no relief in sight.
Meteorologists say sustained rain and isolated thunderstorms will only raise humidity levels in the upper soil strata, and only in certain areas.
Syphilis cases are on the rise throughout Europe, the European Centre for
Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has warned.
In the Czech Republic, ECDC data show a 70 percent increase in reported cases between the years 2010 and 2017, the last year for which complete data is available.
Despite the rise in reported cases, the Czech rate of infection is less than half the European Union average.
Some 30,000 syphilis cases were reported in the 28 EU Member States in 2016, when the average incidence rate was 6.1 cases per 100, 000 people.