The members of an expedition called Tatra Around the World have been
detained by police in Iran for filming with a drone in an area where
filming is prohibited.
The head of the expedition, Marek Havlíček told Czech Radio on Saturday, the group had been unaware of the fact that filming was prohibited in the area and attempts to clear up the matter were hampered by a language barrier since none of the officers questioning them spoke English, Russian or German.
The trip around the world in a specially adapted Tatra T 815 truck is expected to take three years, covering 270,000 kilometres across 70 countries and five continents. However the expedition’s progress has been slowed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Greenpeace has filed a criminal complaint against the mining company OKD
and its management on the argument that it failed in its duty to protect
public health in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to Greenpeace the company made a serious error of judgement when it failed to suspend operation at the Darkov Mine in Karviná after an outbreak of COVID 19 among its employees. The company has not so far commented on the development.
To date 385 people have tested positive for coronavirus at the Darkov Mine, among them 253 miners and company employees and 125 relatives. Among the infected employees are 19 Polish commuters. The remaining seven are people from other companies who regularly conduct maintenance in the mine.
During a routine road check on the D55 motorway in the Zlín region,
customs officers discovered a truckload of mixed waste from Italy, for
which the driver failed to produce the necessary documentation.
According to Dušan Janiš, a spokesman for the Customs Office for the Zlín region, the waste included waste from hospitals including syringes and other used material, which given the coronavirus pandemic could be considered as “hazardous waste”. The matter is being investigated.
The Czech Republic has received an analysis of its pension system from the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which it requested
last year in view of pending reform. The report is to be published at the
end of June.
Labour Minister Jana Maláčová from the ruling Social Democrats said she was pleased with the outcome, which confirmed the ministry’s own conclusions. She said the OECD analysis and recommendations made would be discussed by the pension commission at the end of June.
The government has listed pension reform among its top policy priorities, but has been criticized by the opposition for dragging its feet on the matter.
Czech journalist Jiří Hanák, an early Charter 77 signatory, died on
Friday at the age of 82. He won several prestigious awards during his
career, including the Ferdinand Peroutka and Opus Vitae prizes.
Hanák was sacked as editor of the magazine Reportér during to so-called normalization period after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and forced to do menial work.
In January 1988, he started writing for the samizdat newspaper Lidové Noviny, where he remains after the Velvet Revolution.
Hanák later helped develop the weekly magazine Týden and severed as editor of newspaper Svobodné Slovo, and as a commentator for the daily Právo, before returning to Lidové Noviny in 2016.
The Czech government has decided to expel two Russian diplomats, giving
them 48 hours to leave the country, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced
The move follows on bogus information that a Russian agent was sent to Prague in March to kill elected Prague officials using the poison ricin.
Babiš and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said the bogus plot stemmed from a dispute between Russian embassy staffers.
One had fed false information to Czech intelligence services that the other was targeting Prague’s Lord Mayor and district mayors who had taken symbolic steps angering the Kremlin.
The weekly Respekt wrote in April that Andrei Konchakov, deputy director of the embassy's Russian Centre for Science and Culture, had brought ricin into the Czech Republic from Russia.
The lower house of Parliament has approved the rules for the national
census to be conducted next year. MPs added a provision to the
government’s proposal, according to which Czech citizens and permanent
residents could continue to indicate voluntarily whether they profess any
religious faith. The bill now goes to the Senate.
The national census is held once every 10 years. One of the novelties of the next one, to be carried in late March 2021, is that people will answer fewer questions than in the past, as statisticians will obtain partial data from various registers.
The online census will last 14 days, after which surveyors will visit households in person over a 24-day period. Participation is compulsory. Only households that do not complete an online questionnaire will be surveyed in person.
Among the questions included in the 2011 national census since dropped include asking whether the household has hot water, a private bathroom, and an internet connection, and the occupants’ level of formal education.
Aircraft from European Union countries can again land at all airports in
the Czech Republic as of Friday. This means that restrictions limiting
arrivals to airports in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary and Pardubice
have been lifted, but border controls will be maintained until the end of
The Cabinet justified the resolution saying there is a greater threat of coronavirus spreading through airline travel than by car or railways. The government said police should carry out checks at airports in a flexible manner, in line with developments.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic rose to 3.6 percent in May, up
0.2 percentage points from the previous month, Minister of Labour and
Social Affairs Jana Maláčová announced on Friday. At the end of last
month, 266,144 people out of work, a rise of 12,104 from April.
Maláčová said thanks to state aid, employers laid off or furloughed far fewer workers than anticipated, given temporary closings of businesses due to emergency measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
She said the majority of people who recently started looking for work had been employed mainly in the services, catering, tourism, hotel and transport sectors. Although the Czech unemployment rate is at a two-year high, it remains among the lowest in the European Union.