Russia bears full responsibility for the collapse of the INF treaty
(Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), which contributed to peace and
security on the European Continent for 30 years, Czech Foreign Minister
Tomáš Petříček told journalists on Friday in response to the US
The United States formally withdrew from the Cold War-era nuclear missile pact with Russia after giving Moscow six months to come into compliance with it. Petříček said the Czech Republic supported negotiations on a new, ideally broader treaty that would replace it.
The INF, or The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. The treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometres) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometres).
The Ministry of Justice has apologized to Czech Radio’s investigative
journalist Janek Kroupa for having illegally wiretapped his phone for a
period of over five months in 2011 and 2012 in connection with an
investigation into suspected corruption involving the purchase of Pandur
armoured vehicles for the military.
The police wiretapped Kroupa and several other top officials in order to ascertain who had leaked information from police files on the case.
The ministry was ordered to apologize by the Supreme Court which ruled that it had overstepped its powers and that journalists could only be wiretapped in exceptional cases.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has announced that in order to improve its
services to the public it has introduced the post of “Ombudsman for
Consular Services“ as of August 1.
The ombudsman will monitor the quality of consular services provided, deal with complaints and help find solutions to existing problems. The office will also be open to suggestions as to how to improve consular services for the public.
The post has been set up on a temporary basis for the course of the summer and will be made permanent if it proves useful.
Greenpeace is protesting against the Environment Ministry’s decision to
grant approval for extended mining at the Bílina coal mine until 2035.
Greenpeace claims the decision goes against the Czech Republic’s international commitments stemming from the Paris Climate Agreement and would like to see it overturned.
The Environment Ministry counters that it did not grant approval as such, merely issued a recommendation in favour of an extension on condition that the Bílina Coal Mine fulfils 31 environmental requirements. A final decision will be made by the Czech Mining Authority.
Diplomats from 11 countries will take part in the Gay Pride parade
traditionally held within the Prague Pride festival due to begin on Monday,
Michael Vlček from the Canadian Embassy told journalists.
The diplomats will march under the banner Diplomats for Equality. The heads of 16 diplomatic missions also signed a joint proclamation in support of equal rights for the LGBT community.
The ninth edition of Prague Pride will be held from August 5 -11 and will offer over 140 different events including concerts, debates and street happenings.
For the first time this year the LGBT rainbow flag will be flown at the city’s Town Hall in support of the festival.
An exhibition marking 100 years of Czech Egyptology opened at Prague’s
Carolinum on Thursday. The exhibition titled Between Prague and Cairo
highlights the beginnings of Czech Egyptology in the first decides of the
20th century, the work of the Czech Egyptology Institute(CIE) and
excavation work in Egypt and Sudan.
The CIE focuses in particular on two specific historical eras of ancient Egypt: the Old Kingdom and the Late Period.
Czech Egyptologists have made a number of significant discoveries in Egypt, unearthing the tomb of an Egyptian dignitary dating back to the end of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom and most recently revealed the identity of an ancient Egyptian queen at a pyramid complex in south Saqqara near Cairo.
Czechs are increasingly acquiring exotic animals as pets or status symbols,
the news site novinky.cz reports, citing data from the Czech Environmental
There are presently 173 tigers registered in the country, of which only forty are located in licensed zoos, the remaining 133 tigers are in private ownership. Of the 236 lions registered, 26 are in zoos, the rest in private ownership,78 leopards of which 43 are in private hands and 135 pumas of which only three are held in zoos.
Snakes and exotic birds are also increasingly popular, with 236 rattlesnakes and 200 cobras registered with the Czech Environmental Inspectorate.
Doctors have registered 121 new cases of HIV in the first six months of
this year, according to the National Reference Laboratory for HIV/AIDS of
the State Health Institute in Prague.
Last year the number of infected persons registered was 208 - the lowest in seven years. According to the lab’s data there are currently 3488 persons registered HIV positive in the Czech Republic, of which 3010 are men. 653 persons have developed full-blown AIDS and 307 have died of AIDS.