Around 50 members of the 93-member Czech team took part in the opening
ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday.
During the spectacular opening the Czech flag was carried by Eva Samková
and the snowboard cross star is one of two Czech competitors hoping to
defend their Olympic titles from the last Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in
The Czech team at the curtain-raiser were all wearing what have been dubbed Raškovka hats. In the Czech national colours of red, white and blue, they resemble the wool hat in which Jiří Raška won his first gold in ski jumping at the Olympics in Grenoble in 1968.
An air pollution alert has been issued for most of the Moravian Silesian
Region. It is the first time such a smog warning, a regular occurrence in
the relatively industrial region, has been declared this winter.
The level of airborne dust currently seen in Moravia Silesia is such that regulations may need to be introduced soon forcing factories to adhere to certain restrictions. Forecasters say they do not expect the situation to improve soon.
Almost half of Czech teachers are in danger of experiencing burnout
syndrome, suggests a study conducted by the Faculty of Pedagogy at Charles
University in Prague, Czech Television reported. Two and a half thousand
teachers were interviewed for the survey.
The study found that one-fifth of respondents had signs of medium to severe signs psychological problems and were in need of specialised care.
Excessive administration, difficulties with both pupils and parents and the low prestige of a profession that is not paid highly in the Czech Republic were given as reasons for the threat of burnout.
Czech scientist Helena Fulková has succeeded in creating genetically
modified hamsters in Japan, where she is currently based. Ms. Fulková
previously made headlines for cloning mice. The news of her latest
achievement was relayed by her father Josef Fulka, who is also an expert on
Mr. Fulka told the Czech News Agency he rather doubted his daughter would be able to genetically modify hamsters but that she had succeeded in doing so.
Cloning mice and creating genetically modified mice is not done for its own sake but to help understand the fundamentals of biological processes, Mr. Fulka said.
The Czech House at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea was
officially opened on Friday, the first day of the Games. The venue will
host athletes, fans and international visitors for the duration of the
Olympics, which conclude on February 25.
Among the guests at the ceremonial opening were the president of the Czech Olympic Committee, Jiří Kejval, the speaker of the Senate, Milan Štěch, the Czech ambassador to South Korea, Tomáš Husák, and the president of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska.
Ninety-three Czech athletes are taking part in Pyeongchang. The Czech team picked up eight medals, including two gold, at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
President Miloš Zeman says he will not directly support any candidate for
the post of chairman when he appears at a congress of the Social Democrats
the weekend after next. Mr. Zeman, himself a former leader of the party,
made the comment in a TV interview broadcast on Thursday evening.
The president said the Social Democrats were internally divided and at a low ebb. After heading the last government, the party came sixth in elections in October with 7.3 percent backing.
Among the candidates for the post of chairman in the vote are acting leader Milan Chovanec, Jan Hamáček and Jiří Zimola.
Outgoing prime minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš has confirmed that
head of state Miloš Zeman will give him an unlimited period to try and
form a government and will not seek a guarantee that he has 101 votes in
support in the lower house..
Babiš made the announcement after a meeting with the president on Thursday night. He confirmed that the two would next meet on the evening of February 18.
That day the Social Democrats are expected to elect a new leadership which should decide whether to enter into talks about a coalition with ANO or offer an ANO led government support.
Russian Yevgeny Nikulin has lodged a constitutional appeal against an
earlier Czech Supreme Court decision he can be extradited to the United
States and against his continued remand in custody in the Czech Republic.
News of the appeal was reported Thursday by Russia’s TASS news agency. Nikulin has been in custody since October 2016 when he was seized in Prague by police on suspicion of hacking major US companies.
Both the US and Russia have asked for his extradition. The Czech Minister of Justice is expected to rule on extradition.
Foreign investors in the Czech Republic are becoming concerned over the
prospect of the country leaving the European Union, according to the deputy
head of the Association of Industry and Transport, Radek Špicar. He said
one Japanese investor had asked if so called Czexit is on the cards with
the warning that if it happened they would quit the country.
Worries over the Czech Republic leaving the EU have surfaced in connection with party talks over the format of general referenda. ANO leader and outgoing prime minister Andrej Babiš has said that such a question as leaving the EU should not be posed.
Around 80 percent of Czech trade is with other European Union countries with a third of all trade accounted for by neighbour Germany.