A new poll by STEM suggests that the two largest parties in government, the Social Democrats and ANO, made gains among potential voters over the summer months. The survey found that if a national election were held now, the ANO movement would secure 30 percent of the vote, while the Social Democrats would receive 21.3 percent – the latter seeing a two percent increase, the former, three. According to the poll, the Communists would stagnate at 13.5 percent. The rightest parties, TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats, would gain 7.6 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, while the upstart Dawn would not pass the five percent threshold, receiving just 3.9 percent of the vote. The survey was conducted between August 3 and September 10.
The police have learned that a 53-year-old Austrian national who caused a fatal head-on collision on the Czech Republic’s D1 highway in May, was suffering from dementia. The Austrian authorities confirmed the motorist, who drove in the wrong direction on the highway, into oncoming traffic, had been ill. His vehicle crashed head-on into the car of two Slovak women – a mother and daughter – near Brno on May 13th. All three died in the accident.
Dozens of Czech and Polish police are searching for a 60-year-old Czech national near the border in the Bruntál area, suspected of having committed a violent crime of grievous bodily harm. The suspect, whose name is Bedřich Špurny, is considered armed and dangerous and the police have appealed to civilians not to try and stop him themselves. Forty Czech police officers in the night and early morning hours tried to pinpoint the suspect’s location, also with the help of a helicopter and police dogs. Being so close to the border, they enlisted help from their Polish counterparts.
The Chamber of Deputies has extended a Czech fighter jet mission in Iceland from five to nine weeks, in response to the recent annexation of Crimea and the situation in Ukraine, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický revealed. The Czech Republic was asked to prolong the mission of monitoring Iceland’s airspace by NATO, the minister added. According to Mr Stropnický, Russia had increased activity by its air force not far from Iceland’s airspace. Four supersonic Gripen jets and 75 Czech military personnel are to take part in securing Iceland’s airspace from October to December. The cost of the mission will be around 33 million crowns. Earlier the Czech Republic took part in helping guard the airspace over the Baltic states.
Czech paleontologists revealed on Friday the details of the discovery of part of the skeleton of a Mesozoic Plesiosaurus dating back around 75 million years. The discovery was made in Antarctica. Zdeněk Venera, the director of the Czech Geological Survey confirmed the team also uncovered a number of fossils of new species of animals and plants. Over the course of several years, the scientists collected several thousand specimens. The CGS scientists have completed ten expeditions in terrain on the Antarctic Peninsula since 2003.
The unique CV-22B Osprey aircraft landed at the Mošnov international airport in Ostrava on Friday. The unique half-helicopter half-plane, used by the US Air Force special forces, will be displayed at the annual NATO Days and Czech Air Force Days air show, which will get underway in Ostrava on Saturday. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the two-day event.
The Czech Red Cross, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is sending 1600 tonnes of medical supplies to Ukraine. It is already the seventh delivery of humanitarian aid from the Czech Republic to Ukraine. Earlier this year, the Czech government approved 50 million crown in aid to Ukraine for projects aimed at reconstructing health, educational and social facilities as well as infrastructure projects across the country. Czech hospitals have also provided treatment to more than forty injured Ukrainians as part of the Medevac programme of evacuating Ukrainian citizens in need of medical treatment.
The car manufacturer Škoda will resume its production in Russia on Monday, the daily Lidové noviny writes on Thursday. The car manufacturer suspended production in two of its plants, in Kaluga and Nizhny Novgorod, on the 8th of September. Despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which has had a negative impact on the automotive industry in Russia, Škoda’s share in the Russian market in July increased from 3.1 to 4.2 percent on an annual basis.
The Czech Senate on Thursday hosted a gathering against anti-Semitism to raise awareness of the anti-Jewish moods generated by the recent conflicts in Gaza. Head of the Jewish Museum in Prague, Leo Pavlát, warned against media manipulation in covering the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. The participants of the gathering, initiated by Senator Daniela Filipiová of the Civic Democratic Party, called on the president Miloš Zeman and the Czech government to send a clear message that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated.
Czech Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurečka is meeting with representatives of large supermarket chains on Thursday to discuss the issue of food waste as well as ways of supporting Czech producers. The ministry plans to launch a campaign to promote domestic production in mid-October, aimed at reducing the impact of the Russian embargo on EU food exports.
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