Over 500 food processing plants in the Czech Republic have been closed down for failing to comply with EU regulations. The facilities, mainly beef, poultry, egg, fish and milk processing plants, failed to meet strict hygiene standards and other rules adopted by the Czech government ahead of the country's entry into the EU in May. The EU had issued several warnings that this would happen if EU norms were not met, but many producers failed to comply arguing that they lacked the finances needed.
A Czech humanitarian aid convoy has arrived in Bam, southern Iran where it will spend around ten days helping quake victims. The convoy of three off-road vehicles and nine volunteer workers have brought power generators, medical supplies, disinfectants and water-purification tablets. They will be giving aid directly to the survivors, travelling outside Bam to remote villages. The convoy is being assisted by representatives of the Iranian Red Crescent.
Archbishop Diego Causero is to be the new Papal nuncio in the Czech Republic. He will replace Erwin Josef Ender, who is now working in Germany. Archbishop Causero is the third ambassador of the Vatican to Prague in the history of the Czech Republic. He was previously posted in Syria and Chad and is due to arrive in Prague in mid March.
Austrian anti-nuclear activists have announced their intention to resume border blockades in protest of the Temelin nuclear power plant is southern Bohemia. A spokesman for the Stop Temelin platform in Austria said the next blockade would take place at the Halamky-Gmuend Neunagelberg crossing on January 17th and should last for about three hours, starting mid-day. The main goal of the border blockade is to protest against alleged efforts by the power utility CEZ, the operator of Temelin, to keep a recent technical breakdown secret.
Sunday is expected to be a cloudy day with scattered rain and sleet showers and day temperatures between minus 2 and plus 2 degrees Celsius.
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