Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš has said he has no evidence that recent
Czech elections were influenced by the activities of British-based company
Cambridge Analytica. But he has promised that the country’s domestic
intelligence service, BIS, will look into the matter.
The claims Czech elections could have been influenced stem from British broadcaster Channel Four. The issue was raised in parliamentary questions in the Czech lower house Thursday by the TOP 09 lawmaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová.
The main focus of the claims surrounding Cambridge Analytica is their use of profiles from millions of Facebook accounts in the 2016 US presidential elections.
The lower house of the Czech parliament on Thursday supported a communist
party proposal that a ban on exporting equipment for Iran’s Bushehr
nuclear reactor be lifted. The vote was on the first reading as the start
of the legislative process.
The ban has been in force for 18 years with the communists seeking to overturn it since 2009. The precise proposal stems from the problems of South Bohemia company ZVVZ Milevsko which had won a contract to deliver air conditioning equipment.
The Czech government took a neutral position on the issue when it came up in Cabinet in March in spite of warnings that agreement to lift the ban might affect relations with key allies such as the United States.
Car production in the Czech Republic dropped by 2.6 percent in the first
quarter of the year.
The country’s bigger car maker, Škoda Auto, increased production by 2.5 percent, to stand at just over 377,000. The biggest drop came from Hyundai where output was down 15,5 percent. Production from the TPCA joint venture fell by 1.5 percent.
The association representing the auto sector said it expects production to pick up over the remainder of the year. The auto sector represents around 9.0 percent of Czech Gross Domestic Product.
Slavia Prague seals cooperation with oldest Chinese football club
In football, Czech top club Slavia Prague has moved to deepen its
cooperation with the game in China.
It has signed a strategic cooperation deal with the oldest Chinese club, Beijing Sinobo Guoan, which plays in the country’s top league. The cooperation covers top professional and youth football.
Beijing Sinobo Guoan was founded in 1951 and was 9th in the league last year. Slavia is owned by Chinese company CEFC. A delegation from the Chinese club have been on a visit to Prague.
News agency Bloomberg has said that the Czech capital Prague could be a
location for the meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un.
Bloomberg included Prague in a list of nine possible locations. It added that Kim’s uncle is ambassador in the country. Other locations included Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Geneva, Warsaw, Ulaanbaatar, Bankok, and Singapore.
The meeting should take place in early June or before according to the US president.
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka has condemned a theatre festival in the Czech
second city, Brno, from featuring the play ‘Our Violence, Your
Violence.’ And as a result the church has said it will not take part in
events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the creation of
In his letter on behalf of other bishops, Duka said the play was a sell out of Christianity and its ideals and an insult to all Czechs and Christians as well as Muslims.
The church says the play, by director Oliver Frljic, involves a scene where Jesus Christ rapes a Muslim woman. The theatre festival has resisted demands the play be withdrawn from the programme.
The Finále Plzeň film festival, devoted to Czech and Slovak film
production, gets underway on Thursday in the west Bohemian town.
The 31st edition of the festival will offer 135 screenings. Fifty-one films will be competing for the main prize, the Golden Kingfisher, in five different categories. The festival will continue until April 24.
A new statue depicting Saint Vojtěch and fellow saints is set to be
unveiled at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague on Thursday evening. The ceremony
will take place at the same time as the remains of exiled Czech Cardinal
Josef Beran are taken out of the crypt of St Peter's Basilica in the
Cardinal Josef Beran, a symbol of resistance to the communist regime, was
exiled to Rome in 1965, where he died four years later. He was buried in
the Vatican because the communist authorities did not approve the return of
his body to his homeland.
The Cardinal’s remains will be flown to the Czech Republic on Friday and will be buried in Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral the next day. The idea for the statue to be placed in the cathedral emerged during the time when Cardinal Beran was still Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Czechoslovakia.
Lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies elected ANO Party MP Jiří Mašek to
head the standing parliamentary commission overseeing the police general
Mr Mašek’s election was criticised by the opposition parties, who say the Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš tries to gain control over the country’s security corps.
The previous head of the commission Zdeněk Ondráček, a former riot police officer who beat pro-democracy demonstrators in Czechoslovakia in 1989, stepped down following demonstrations across the Czech Republic and a motion for his removal.