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Czech reaction to INF Treaty crisis

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has expressed regret over the decision of the US to withdraw its obligations under the INF or Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in response to Russia’s material breach and Moscow’s decision to respond in kind. He expressed the hope that the two countries would use the six-month period that the formal withdrawal period lasts to go back to the negotiating table and reach agreement. Babiš said the world today faces too many global problems to return to the era of the Cold War and a new arms race.

Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said he hoped there was still time to reverse the decision, but stressed that the ball was now in Russia’s court. Along with its NATO allies the Czech Republic has repeatedly called on Russia to adhere to its obligations under the INF treaty.

The INF, or The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. The treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometres) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometres).

Half of suspect Polish beef deliveries traced

Half of the suspect beef deliveries from Poland have been sent back to the country or seized and destroyed, the Czech Veterinary Authority said on Saturday.

According to earlier reports some 300 kg of suspect beef from a Polish slaughterhouse where sick cows were butchered were exported to the Czech Republic.

One hundred kilograms of the meat was reportedly sent back to Poland at the request of a Polish tradesman. The Czech authorities said some of the meat had already been sold to customers or delivered to restaurants and school canteens.

The Czech Union of Meat Processors has urged its members to avoid using Polish meat products until the case has been cleared up. Likewise the public has been advised to check the origin of meat products and focus on domestic produce.

The consignments of suspect Polish meat were delivered to four cities: Prague, Varnsdorf, Nový Bydžov and Kostelec nad Labem.

According to the European Commission suspect Polish beef deliveries were traced in 14 EU member states.

Czech religious orders celebrate World Day of Consecrated Life

Men and women from Czech religious orders joined millions of others the world over in celebrating the 23rd World Day of Consecrated Life traditionally marked on February 2nd.

The event is not just a celebration of consecrated life within these communities but an opportunity to deepen public understanding of people with a vocation and increase awareness of what life is like in a religious order. Pope Francis traditionally celebrates the event with a mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

There are close to 100 religious orders in the Czech Republic, 63 for women, 31 for men.

Petr Pithart inducted into Lawyers Hall of Fame

Lawyer and former senator Petr Pithart was inducted into the Lawyers Hall of Fame on Friday at a gala ceremony of the Lawyer of the Year awards.

The event is organized by the Czech Lawyers Chamber which annually selects the best attorneys in different legal branches.

Petr Pithart, who served as Czech prime minister in the last two years of the common Czechoslovak state, was honoured for his lifelong contribution to Czech law.

Other personalities previously inducted into the Lawyers Hall of Fame include the late Ombudsman Otakar Motejl, the head of the Constitutional court, Pavel Rychetský and lawyer Dagmar Burešová.

Over five million Czechs on Facebook

The number of Czechs on Facebook has reached 5.3 million, with a six percent increase registered in 2018. The majority of users are aged between 13 and 35 and 2.7 million of all users are women, according to statistics released by AMI Digital.

Facebook was launched 15 years ago and today has billions of users worldwide. 1.4 billion people are on Facebook daily, 2.2 billion at least once a month.

Eva Samková wins world snowboard championship in Utah

Czech snowboard champion Eva Samková added a world championship snowboard cross title to her list of accomplishments on Friday as she triumphed in the women's Snowboard Cross final at the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Solitude Utah, beating British rider Charlotte Bankes for the gold.

Gold medallist at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and a two-time World Cup crystal globe winner, Samková took top spot in the qualifiers on Thursday before winning her quarter and semi-final heats on her way to the big final medal showdown.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be overcast around the country with rain or snow showers and day temperatures between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.