Czech firefighters have had to deal with an increased number of fires over
the past few days, a spokeswoman for the Czech fire corps told the Czech
News Agency on Thursday.
On Wednesday, firefighters were called to assist in 131 fires, which is three times the average.
The upsurge in the incidence of fires has been blamed on the prolonged lack of rain the Czech Republic in recent days.
Prague will be hosting an international conference on cyber-security at the
beginning of May, deputy foreign minister Aleš Chmelař said on Thursday.
The event will be attended by representatives from the EU and NATO but also
by experts from Australia and Japan.
A debate about security of information and communication technologies was triggered in the Czech Republic by a warning by the National and Security Information Agency in connection with Huawei products at the end of last year.
The Prague Roman Catholic Archbishopric has filed criminal charges against
a priest accused of the sexual abuse of a child, the news outlet Deník N
reported. Archbishop Dominik Duka removed the priest from service at the
weekend, the Czech New Agency said.
An alleged victim of the priest in question, Jiří Kylar, said in a statement that Cardinal Duka, who is the head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, had begun to feign a forceful response to the issue of sex abuse in recent days.
Mr. Kylar, who was 12 at the time of the alleged abuse, said his case had been made public last September and nothing had been done for months.
The head of the Czech counterintelligence service, Michal Koudelka,
received a top award from America’s CIA last month, Lidovky.cz reported
on Thursday. Mr. Koudelka was presented with the George Tenet award, which
recognises international cooperation, at CIA headquarters in Langley,
Virginia in early March, the news site said.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also attended the ceremony, which took place on the eve of a visit he made to the White House. Mr. Koudelka described the prize as the highest bestowed by the CIA.
Czech President Milos Zeman has twice refused to promote the head of the Security Information Service (known in Czech by the acronym BIS) to the rank of general and has been critical of the agency’s work.
The Czech police have handed over two Iraqis arrested on terror charges to
their Austrian counterparts. Czech migration police detained the pair at
Prague airport a week ago. They are wanted over alleged membership of a
terror cell with an Iraqi man arrested in Vienna over unsuccessful train
attacks in Germany. Austrian officials said they were suspected of links to
Islamic State militants. The pair did not contest their extradition to
The man arrested in Vienna is accused of carrying out two attacks late last year. In one a high-speed train hit a steel cable stretched across tracks between Nuremberg and Munich.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will not support the Czech
Republic’s Motorcycle Grand Prix in Brno this year, Czech Television
reported. Officials say that the organisers did not fulfill the necessary
conditions to receive state funding.
The organisers are already suing the ministry over the fact that last year they received CZK 39 million in funding rather than the CZK 100 million they had applied for.
However, the country’s biggest motorsport event is set to get financial backing from the Ministry of Regional Development this year. Talks are also taking place over funding from the Brno city authority.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, emphasised cooperation between the
Visegrad Four and Austria in a meeting with his Austrian counterpart,
Alexander Van der Bellen, in Vienna on Wednesday. Mr. Zeman said that his
host had been neutral on the Czech president’s idea of a new canal
linking the Danube, Elbe and Oder rivers.
Mr. Van der Bellen said the Czech Republic was Austria’s most important partner in Central Europe, adding that the two states enjoyed excellent cultural and economic ties. He said his country was concerned about Czech plans to expand the Temelín nuclear power station in south Bohemia.
MP Václav Klaus Jr., who was recently expelled from the Civic Democrats,
will remain the chairman of the lower house’s education committee. The
committee’s members rejected the party’s nominee to replace Mr. Klaus,
Martin Baxa, in a vote on Wednesday.
Under an agreement on the division of posts in the current Chamber of Deputies, the chairmanship of the education committee belongs to the Civic Democrats.
The party’s leader, Petr Fiala, said the situation represented a break with custom in the lower house.
Bark beetle infestations in the Czech Republic are likely to get worse,
experts from the Czech Agricultural University said at a news conference.
In a report, the scientists said that such infestations have been isolated
in the past but would appear in synchronized form on large territories in
The university’s Tomáš Hlásny said intervention would need to be targeted at areas where it could prove effective. In some places harvesting infected trees is not economically efficient, he said.
Seven of the country’s 14 regions are currently suffering infestations. The problem was at its highest level in two centuries last year.
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