The Czech Army will acquire US combat and multipurpose helicopters Viper
and Venom. According to Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar, a combination of
two machines is more appropriate than the purchase of only multi-purpose
Black Hawk helicopters. The helicopters should be available in 2023.
The ministry received two offers for the purchase of helicopters from the US government in late June. The US administration offered either 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for 13.2 billion crowns or eight UH-1Y Venom helicopters along with four AH-1Z Viper helicopters worth 14.5 billion crowns. The price includes maintenance and training of personnel.
The bids were assessed by a committee made up of ministry and army representatives. The contract should be signed by the end of the year.
The Environment Ministry is to receive an additional 250 million crowns
from the state budget next year to fight drought, bringing the
ministry's 2020 budget to 16 billion crowns, Environment Minister
Richard Brabec said following talks with Finance Minister Alena Schillerova
on Thursday. The additional funds are to be used for long-term landscape
changes, the construction of artificial water basins, wetland restoration
and support for water saving projects.
On Monday, scientists from the Czech University of Agriculture, who conducted a study into the possible future impacts of drought on the Czech economy, said that the state should spend at least CZK 25 billion annually in order to contain water in the country’s soil.
Poland has acknowledged it was wrong to proceed with changes to the
Bogatyne city plan, which opened the way for the expansion of the Turów
brown coal mine in the close proximity to the Czech border, the Czech
Environment Ministry said on Thursday.
The unilateral move raised protests from both the Czech Environment Ministry and the Liberec region. According to them, the Polish side did not wait for the conclusion of bilateral consultations on changes to the land-use plan and failed to take the Czech Republic’s reservations into account. The Czech Republic called for an extraordinary meeting on the issue last week.
Despite unfinished negotiations with the Czech Republic, Bogatyne earlier approved a change to the zoning plan, which, among other things, allowed the extension of the mine by 14.6 hectares towards the border with the Czech Republic.
The Czech side had requested information on the impact of the change on water resources, agricultural land and other habitats, as well as air and noise pollution on the Czech side of the border.
The Polish Directorate-General for Environmental Protection should deliver the information before Wednesday, August 28, when the Czech and Polish governments are to hold a joint session in Warsaw.
Police are investigating the vandalizing of the statue of Soviet Marshal
Ivan Konev in Prague 6 which was splattered with red paint on the
anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 21,
The statue was erected in commemoration of the general’s role in helping to liberate Czechoslovakia from Nazi oppression, however Konev remains a controversial figure since he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
His statue has been spray painted in protest on several occasions in recent years.
Two white storks found dead in the Opava region, were killed by the Stutox
II rodent poison recently banned by the government, according to the
results of laboratory tests conducted by the State Veterinary Institute.
The Agriculture Ministry gave farmers the green light for blanker applications of the highly toxic poison against overbred rodents earlier this month, but the government quickly reversed the decision after warnings from environmentalists regarding serious risks to other animals.
Previously it was reported that a number of pheasants and rabbits were also killed by the poison.
Eight fraud suspects from Taiwan wanted by the Chinese authorities have
filed a constitutional complaint against a verdict by the Prague Supreme
Court which would have allowed their extradition to mainland China.
The Taiwan nationals have rejected the accusations as false and argue that deportation to China would put them at risk of torture or even death.
The Interior Ministry has granted them subsidiary protection for the duration of a year. The case will now be reviewed by the Constitutional Court and a final decision on their possible extradition will be made by Justice Minister Marie Benešová.
President Miloš Zeman and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman attended the
opening of the annual agricultural trade fair Země živitelka 2019 in
České Budějovice on Thursday. The largest domestic show of agricultural
equipment, products and animals attracts tens of thousands of visitors
The trade fair is accompanied by dozens of side events focusing on topical issues relating to agriculture such as bark beetle infestation, water management and measures to fight drought.
In his opening speech at the trade fair President Zeman called for common sense in fighting the bark-beetle infestation and opposed efforts to expand the no-go zones in the country’s national parks.
On Wednesday evening, thousands of people attended a protest march in
Prague initiated by Million Moments for Democracy, the organization behind
the largest demonstration in the Czech Republic since the Velvet Revolution
in 1989, which brought an estimated quarter of a million demonstrators to
Prague’s Letná plain in June. Organisers say the event was attended by
10,000 people and served as a reminder of the events of the Soviet invasion
in 1968, the brutal Communist crackdown on protesters in 1969 and as a
protest against the current prime minister and president.
Attendees met on Prague's Wenceslas Square in the evening hours before heading to Hradčany Square in front of Prague Castle.
The march was part of a wider string of demonstrations organized by the group this Wednesday. These were held in 93 sites across the country, including all of the Czech Republic’s major cities.
President Miloš Zeman will meet the new Social Democrat nominee for the
position of culture minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, on Monday afternoon. The
president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček tweeted the information on
Wedensday evening, specifying that the meeting will také place in the head
of state’s Lány residency.
Both President Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš have said that they accept Mr. Zaorálek as the new minister of culture. According to an earlier Castle statement, the president will name the Social Democrat nominee after their meeting.
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