Wednesday was the hottest day so far this year in the Czech Republic, with
a high of 38.9 degrees Celsius registered in Doksany in the north-west of
the country. It is also the overall Czech temperature record for the month
of June. Record temperatures for June 26 were recorded at 90 percent of
stations that have been active for over 30 years.
Temperatures should cool a little on Thursday and Friday, but the heatwave is likely to return at the weekend, with daytime highs reaching up to 38 degrees Celsius.
Ticket sales for the 54th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film
Festival (KVIFF) began on Thursday morning.
This year’s festival features around 180 films, of which 50 will be world or European premieres. Most films will have several screenings, allowing visitors more opportunities to get tickets.
The main stars of this edition will be Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore and her husband, director Bart Freundlich, who along with the actor Billy Crudup will present his new film "After the Wedding".
Other notable guests include actress Patricia Clarkson, who along with Moore will receive the festival’s Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema, and actor and director Casey Affleck, who has an Oscar, Bafta, and Golden Globe to his credit. He will present “Light of My Life,” which he wrote, directed and produced
The minority coalition government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has
survived a no-confidence vote in the Czech lower house, as expected, with
the support of the Communists and no defections from MPs in ANO or Social
After nearly 17 hours of debate that began on Wednesday afternoon, the actual voting took 20 minutes, with the results in shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Opposition parties had tabled the motion after a preliminary European Commission audit found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest in connection his business affairs.
It was the second time that the Babiš government, which was appointed a year ago on Thursday, faced such a challenge in the Chamber of Deputies.
The aggregate starting price of frequencies in the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz
bands for 5G mobile networks in the upcoming auction will be CZK 6.3
The Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTU) announced the price and published proposed conditions on Wednesday.
The tender is scheduled for autumn while the e-auction should be in January next year. Radio frequency allocations should start using auctioned blocks to launch networks by mid-2020.
Six of the seven board members of the Czech National Bank voted on
Wednesday to keep the benchmark rate unchanged at 2 percent, bank governor
Jiří Rusnok told a news conference.
The central bank had voted unanimously in May to raise borrowing costs for an eighth time in two years. At the policy-setting meeting on Wednesday, one board member voted to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.
The bank’s latest outlook assumes no policy change for a year. Although inflation unexpectedly accelerated in May towards the top of its 1-3 percent tolerance band, Rusnok said the jump had been driven mainly by volatile food prices and so there was no reason to react.
Activists from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace disrupted the
ongoing general meeting of state-controlled utility ČEZ on Wednesday to
protest against the possible sale of the Počerady coal-fired power plant.
Six of some two dozen Greenpeace activists managed to get past security and enter the hall while the meeting was underway. They were carrying banners reading "Stop the Počerady sale" and "Climate change starts here".
Počerady is among the Czech Republic’s biggest coal-fired plants. ČEZ’s supervisory board had rejected a proposed sale of the plant in May 2017. Environmental activists want it decommissioned.
The Council of Europe's anti-corruption body GRECO has singled out the
Czech Republic for its low scores in its yearly report card, euronews
GRECO President Marin Mrčela is quoted as saying the Czech Republic is in a so-called non-compliance procedure.
"In the last round, they received 16 recommendations, and none of them were implemented. No wonder the people are not happy," Mrčela said, referring to anti-government protests in Prague over the weekend that drew over 280,000 people.
Fifteen other countries, including Germany and France, also disregarded the Strasbourg-based human rights body's procedures. Hungary did not authorise the publishing of the GRECO report, an MEP told euronews.
The Czech Supreme Administrative Court has dismissed or settled all 19
complaints it received regarding the elections to the European Parliament
held in late May.
Among the complaints was one filed by Senator Lukáš Wagenknecht (an independent, who ran on the Pirate Party ticket), who challenged the election of MEPs on the ANO ticket of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
He had pointed to Babiš’s alleged conflicts of interest, saying he continued to control media through the Agrofert holding, and thereby improperly funded and influenced their campaigns.
The Court said it is not empowered to assess the allegations and Wagenknecht should address his complaints to the body charged with oversight of political parties’ finances.
Czech police last year seized more of the type of crystal methamphetamine
known locally as pervitin than in 2017.
This despite large-scale production having moved to Poland, Germany and the Netherlands, according to the annual drug report.
The report says 240 small-scale meth labs were discovered in 2018, down 24 from the previous year. Large-scale production of pervetin is controlled by organised criminal groups, dominated by Vietnamese gangs, it says.
Police seized 948 kilograms of marihuana last year in the Czech Republic, about 150 kg less year-on-year. The amount of methamphetamine seized increased to 106 kg.
The National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction has noted a rise in addiction to meth and opioids prescribed for relieving chronic pain.