Nine of the 18 Northern bald ibises which escaped from Prague Zoo on Tuesday when their aviary was damaged by heavy snow have been re-captured, the head of the zoo Miroslav Bobek wrote on his Twitter account on Friday. The birds have been captured in different parts of Prague, as well as further afield, in Kralupy nad Vltavou and Brandýs nad Labem. The Northern bald ibis is an endangered breed but experts say that the birds are not in imminent danger since they are hardy and capable of finding food under the present climatic conditions. Prague zoo asked the public for assistance in retrieving the bald birds.
In tennis, Czech player Lukáš Rosol lost in the opening match of the Czech Republic’s first round Davis Cup tie against Germany on Friday. He went down 6:3, 3:6, 4:6, 6:2, 3:6 against Germany’s number one Philipp Kohlschreiber. In Friday’s second singles, Tomáš Berdych will face the 18-year old debutant Alexander Zverev. On Saturday, Radek Štěpánek and Jiří Veselý will face Dustin Brown and Philipp Petzschner in the doubles.
Representatives of Prague Castle and the Catholic Church signed a final agreement over the return of confiscated property at Prague Castle on Friday, in the presence of President Miloš Zeman and Archbishop Dominik Duka. Under the settlement, the Church is to receive the Saint George’s Convent and the Mocker Houses, on a condition that it will drop its claims to other buildings at Prague Castle, as it was previously stated in a memorandum signed in the summer of last year. In addition, the Church will also receive the Church of All Saints.
President Miloš Zeman will mark the third anniversary of his inauguration with a celebration at the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle on Saturday, the daily Mladá Fronta reported. This year, over 900 people have been invited, which is almost three times more than in the previous years. The guests will include supporters of Mr Zeman’s presidential campaign and a number of cultural and public figures.
The lower house of parliament has rejected a proposed bill on so-called conflict of interest which would have barred firms with more than a 10-percent stake owned by ministers from taking part in public tenders. The amendment was proposed by an opposition TOP 09 deputy and would directly have hit the business interests of finance minister and ANO chief Andrej Babiš. He previously warned that if deputies backed the amendment, it would put the future of the three-party government alliance in doubt. In the final vote, the Social Democrats of prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka refused to vote in favour of the bill leaving it short of the required number of votes to progress further.
Veteran ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr has tied the legendary Gordie Howe for third place on the NHL all-time list with 1,850 points. The 44-year-old Florida Panthers forward picked up an assist on an Erik Gudbranson goal against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. The Czech currently has 743 goals and 1,107 assists in 1,611 NHL games, which puts him 37 points behind Mark Messier and 1,007 behind Wayne Gretzky.
The Czech economy last year grew 4.3 percent, a revised estimate of the Czech Statistical Office confirmed on Friday. The new data also raised the Gross Domestic Product growth figure for the last quarter of 2015 from 3.9 to 4 percent. The quarter-on-quarter estimate has improved as well. The statisticians in February had predicted a contraction in Czech economy by 0.1 percent at the end of last year but new figures show that GDP remained unchanged.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech could be out for up to a month after sustaining a calf muscle injury following the Wednesday night clash between Arsenal and Swansea. Manager Arsène Wenger confirmed at a press conference on Friday, ahead of the upcoming game between Arsenal and Tottenham, that Čech will be out for ‘three to four weeks, adding that the injury was serious. The 33-year-old might also miss out the preparation matches of the Czech national team against Scotland and Sweden at the end of March.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is to visit Bavaria on March 10-11th. The scheduled talks with his Bavarian counterpart Horst Seehofer are expected to focus on the migrant crisis and cross-border cooperation, in particular plans to improve the rail connection between Prague and Munich and Prague and Nuremberg. The Czech Prime Minister last visited Bavaria in January of this year, noting at the time that the Bavarian stand to the migrant crisis was closer to the Czech stance than that of most other west European states.
The Czech Republic is a transit country for people seeking to participate in the activities of Islamic State, according to a report on home security in 2015 made available by the Czech Interior Ministry. The police registered several cases of IS supporters travelling via Prague airport. Some of the persons were arrested and handed to their home countries for prosecution, the report says. Some of the suspected IS supporters stayed in the Czech Republic for a brief period of time. However, no act of international terrorism was registered last year. The BIS counter-intelligence also focused on individuals who could have been influenced by IS propaganda, such as volunteers who left for the Middle East or advocates of Islamic ideologies. The Cabinet is to discuss the report in the coming days.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
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