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President Zeman warns of hurdles to Silk Road project

President Miloš Zeman, who is on a four day working visit to China, on Saturday addressed the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

The Czech head of state spoke with enthusiasm about the Silk Road project but said more attention should be paid to the hurdles it could run up against, such as a trade war between the US and Europe and the US and China.

He also cited unfair business practices, citing the company Huawei, which he said was being tarred without any proof.

On the sidelines of the forum, President Zeman spoke briefly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

PM announces change of deputy prime ministers

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has announced that the planned government reshuffle due to take place at the end of the month will also include a change in the posts of deputy prime ministers.

Environment Minister Richard Brabec, who has served as deputy prime minister, will be replaced by two new deputy prime ministers: Finance Minister Alena Schillerová and the newly designated trade and industry minister Karel Havlíček.

Political scientists say the prime minister’s decision indicates a shift towards economic priorities in connection with the slowing of economic growth.

SAS cancelling flights between Prague and Oslo

The Scandinavian airline SAS has announced it is cancelling hundreds of flights scheduled for Sunday due to a pilot strike which entered its second day on Saturday.

The cancellations include scheduled flights from Prague to Oslo and back. Passengers have been advised to keep informed about developments on flysas.com.

The strike is expected to affect over 170,000 passengers this weekend alone.

Experts protest against re-drawn conservation zones for national parks

Experts in the field of environmental protection say that if the proposed conservation zones for the country‘s four national parks are approved in their present form they will file a complaint with the European Commission.

They have tabled 42 reservations to the proposal, saying that precious localities have been placed in zones which would not give them adequate protection.

The Environment Ministry’s plan would see conservation zones redrawn for the next 15 years.

The four proposed zones are no-go zones which would be left to develop as primeval forests, a zone where human intervention would be limited to emergency access, a zone with special protection where farming and commercial forestry activities would be allowed and a zone enabling the development of local communities.

Forman’s Loves of a Blonde to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival

Miloš Forman’s digitally restored Loves of a Blonde is to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

After Ikarie XB 1 and Diamonds of the Night it is the third old Czechoslovak movie to get a screening at Cannes.

Forman’s Loves of a Blonde premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1965. It was later nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe award.

The digitally restored film will be screened in the Czech Republic in June.

March for traditional family values in Prague

Around ten thousand people joined a march for traditional family values in Prague on Saturday afternoon.

The march, which takes place every year, was organized by the association Movement for Life which propagates traditional family values and vehemently opposes abortion.

At one point demonstrators clashed with opponents from the association Kolektiv 115 which came out in defence of liberal values and women’s rights. One person was detained.

Heatwave breaks records around the country

Heat records were broken at 30 out of 150 monitoring stations around the Czech Republic on Friday, the ctk news agency reported.

The highest temperature was recorded in Dobřichovice, near Prague, reaching 28.6 degrees. The oldest Czech monitoring station, in Prague’s Klementinum, which has been active since 1775, recorded a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

The highest temperature recorded on April 26 was 26.9 degrees in 1862.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers and day temperatures between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.