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Zaorálek congratulates Steinmeier on election as German president

The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, has congratulated Frank-Walter Steinmeier on his election as president of Germany. The Czech foreign policy chief tweeted on Sunday that Mr. Steinmeier represented a “guarantee of reason and stability needed in today’s world”. For his part, the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, praised his position on European cooperation and Czech-German relations. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who will take office in mid-March, was Germany’s minister of foreign affairs until last month.

Folk great Jarmila Šuláková dies at 87

The great Moravian folk singer Jarmila Šuláková has died at the age of 87. Šuláková, who was born and passed away in Vsetín, performed with a number of folk groups over a long career. She sang with the Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments from 1952 to 1993, travelling throughout Czechoslovakia and to many corners of the world with the ensemble in full Wallachian folk costume.

Applications for Czech citizenship rising fast

The number of applications for Czech citizenship doubled last year, Czech Television reported. Successful applications were also up, with 3,900 people getting Czech passports in 2016, compared to 2,600 the previous year. The increased interest has led to a slowing of the application process and has come despite the changes that have made the requisite language tests more difficult. The Ministry of the Interior attributes the trend to legislation allowing for dual citizenship, Czech Television said. The most frequent recipients of Czech citizenship are from Ukraine, Slovakia, Russia and Vietnam.

No end in sight to smog alert in Moravian Silesian Region

A smog alert remains in place in the Moravian Silesian Region and no end to the situation is in sight in the near future, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. Dust levels twice the permissible level have been recorded in the region. The worst situation is in the Třinec area, where more some companies have been ordered to reduce their output and people have been encouraged not to use private transport. The Olomouc and Zlín regions have also been hit by smog since Friday.

Czechs beat Spain in first round of Fed Cup in Ostrava

The Czech Republic have beaten Spain in the first round of tennis’s Fed Cup in Ostrava. The Czechs achieved an unassailable 3:1 lead in the best of five tie when Barbora Strýcová, who had lost the opening rubber, beat Lara Arruabarrena 6-4 6-4 on Sunday. The Czechs have dominated the Fed Cup in recent years and lifted the title in November for the third time in a row and the fifth time in six years.

Koukalová takes bronze in pursuit at Biathlon World Championships

The Czech Republic’s Gabriela Koukalová came third in the pursuit at the Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, Germany on Sunday. Koukalová managed to secure bronze despite incurring three penalty loops after problems with her ammunition in her first shooting round. The medal follows her gold in the sprint. Later on Sunday Koukalová’s Czech teammate Ondřej Moravec came fifth in the men’s pursuit in Hochfilzen.

Weather forecast

It should be cloudy with some bright spells in the Czech Republic on Monday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 3 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are then due to climb to 5 or 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the week.