The cabinet on Monday approved a plan for the revitalization of the Czech Republic’s three most underdeveloped and economically disadvantaged regions. The government’s plan aimed at sparking the revival of Karlovy Vary, Ústí, and Moravia-Silesia should require a financial injection of approximately 42 billion crowns in the next three years. The regions have the lowest average wages, highest unemployment rates and the most socially excluded areas in the country.
The ANO party’s large lead over other parties narrowed at the end of June and start of July according to a poll by the STEM agency released on Monday. ANO’s poll preference moved up slightly to 32.9 percent from 32.8 percent a month earlier. Preferences expressed for the Social Democrats strengthened to 13.3 percent from 11.4 percent and for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia to 14.3 percent from 12.7 percent. The right of centre Civic Democrats saw their support slip to 9.1 percent from 9.6 percent. Support for the Christian Democrats slipped to 6.7 percent. Elections to the lower house of parliament are due to take place at the end of October.
Eight people, including the ‘cooks’ and carriers, have been charged in connection with one of the biggest international drugs cases in recent years, Czech Radio’s news server has reported. The charges are in connection with a gang which for decades is alleged to have supplied the Swedish market with pervitin, or methamphetamine. The breakthrough came after Swedish police, alerted by suspected Czech carriers and the fact that some of the drugs appeared to be produced in the Czech Republic, turned to their Czech colleagues. Further investigation resulted in arrests in Prague, the Liberec region, and in Sweden. The gang’s alleged Czech lab was also uncovered, where police say at least 3.5 tonnes of the drug was produced with a value of around one billion crowns.
Two new cases of African swine fever have been confirmed in wild boar in the eastern region of Zlín according to the state veterinary office. The latest confirmations from the office take the total tally of cases to 24 in the area. Strict rules now apply in the area, including a ban on hunting. African swine fever has a high mortality rate amongst pigs but is not believed to be harmful to humans.
Eleven people have been charged with producing and spreading child pornography, according to the National Centre for Combating Organised Crime. The centre’s spokesman said investigations were still continuing. The charges follow a police swoop on suspects in June in which seven people were detained and addresses at 17 locations searched in the Liberec region.
British police say they have arrested two more suspects, as well as the initial Czech and Pole, in connection with alleged smuggling of a record arms haul across the Channel. The Czech and Pole were detained last week after 79 hand guns were found in a specially converted van. Police say they are convinced the guns were going to be used for crime. Two more people have now been detained after a raid west of London with around a dozen more guns found, police said. The Czech and Pole have been detained in custody.
Farmers are warning that an ongoing drought in the Czech Republic could be the worst in the last three years. In spite of occasional storms, the ground is not absorbing rainwater. This has led to South Moravia and large parts of Bohemia looking as parched as the Mediterranean. The government is considering mapping drainage systems across the country with the idea of converting them so that they can retain water locally when needed.
Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková won the Diamond League in London on Sunday reasserted her supremacy over Croatian Sara Kolak snatching victory in the final round with a 68.26m throw. Not only was that her best throw of the year, it was her best throw since winning the Olympic title in the same stadium five years ago. Since then Sara Kolak seriously challenged her position, not only taking her Olympic title in Rio last summer but beating the Czech world record holder and two-time Olympic champion at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne three days ago.
The weather on Tuesday is expected to be cloudy with sunny intervals. Top temperatures, in south Moravia, will reach 28 degrees Celsius.