The first cases of bird flu in the Czech Republic have been declared after a gap of around 10 years. Cases have been confirmed in swans in the Znojmo area in South Moravia and also at two poultry farms in the region. The H5 version of bird flu has been confirmed, which according to the State Veterinary Service is not a threat to humans. Even so, checks are being made on people who were in contract with the infected poultry. The minister of agriculture has said that cases of bird flu could have been expected in the country since most neighbouring states had already announced cases.
Prague’s High Court has confirmed not guilty sentence on three civil servants but stiffened sentences on a series of businessmen involved in the so-called Promopro case that marred the Czech Republic’s EU presidency at the start of 2009. The Promopro company was awarded a highly lucrative contract to perform audio visual services for the Czech Republic during the presidency without any competitive tender. One of the businessmen involved was given a three-and-a-half year sentence where he had only had a suspended sentence. The highest penalty was a prison sentence of nine years.
The court appearance of the first Czech accused of seeking to prepare a terrorist attack has been set as February 8 in the west Bohemian city of Plzeň. The 21-year-old was seized by Turkish police in January last year and was suspected of wishing to join Islamic State in Syria. He was later returned to the Czech Republic. He could face a jail sentence of 12-20 years if found guilty
Fire brigades attended 16,650 fires in the Czech Republic last year, according to the national service. That’s around 3,500 cases less than 2015. One hundred and nine people died in fires, six less than the toll for the previous year. But the material damage in 2016 was a lot higher coming to a total of around 3.2 billion crowns.
Six Czech police left for Bulgaria and Italy on Wednesday. They will contribute to frontier protection on the Serbia border and on the island of Lampedusa as part of the EU’s Frontex service. Another 40 Czech police left for Macedonia on Monday as part of an ongoing series of missions. Last year Czech police sent 157 experts to eight countries to help deal with the immigration crisis.
The Czech film director Jan Hřebejk has completed shooting on a new trilogy of films that share the umbrella title Zahradnictví (Garden Store). The first of the three movies, Rodinný přítel (Family Friend), will be released in late April. As with his previous works, including the hugely popular Pelíšky (Cosy Dens) and his latest film Učitelka (The Teacher), the project sees Mr. Hřebejk collaborate with screenwriter Petr Jarchovský. The new movies focus on a Czech family in the WWII, post-war and early communist years.
The Czech Republic has been hit by heavy snowfalls that are expected to continue until Thursday. Forecasters say that up to 50 centimetres of snow could fall in mountainous areas, while low-lying areas could get around 7 centimetres. Snowdrifts may form and ice is expected on roads in some parts of the country on Wednesday night. Czech Radio reported that only one lane on the country’s biggest motorway, the D1, was open in the Vysočina region.
The weather on Thursday will sunny with the chance of some snow showers during the day. Daytime temperatures will range between minus one and minus five degrees Celsius.