Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib has signed a partnership agreement with the
Mayor of Taiwan's capital Taipei, Ko Wen-je, on economic, trade and
cultural cooperation, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday. Three other
memoranda, including one on cooperation between the cities' zoos, were
signed as well.
Partnership between the cities was agreed upon by the Prague City Hall leadership during a visit to Taiwan last spring, and the plan was then approved by the City Hall assembly at the end of 2019.
Prague previously had a sister agreement with Beijing, but a dispute over a clause regarding the One China policy led to it being terminated by the Czech capital last October.
The Czech Republic ranks seventh in the world in terms of cigarette
consumption according to the online data project Česko v datech. The
ranking was created by dividing the number of cigarettes purchased in each
country by the number of its population over the age of 15. The ratio in
the Czech Republic amounts to 2,428 cigarettes per person annually.
According to a press release by the website, most Czech smokers are
pensioners and up to a fifth of deaths in the country can be attributed to
Andorra topped the list with 6,398 cigarettes per person. However, the authors point out that in the case of the small principality, the data is likely skewed by French and Spanish citizens purchasing cheaper cigarettes there.
The country with the smallest ratio is Brunei with just 10 cigarettes per person annually.
Daria Kashcheeva’s 15-minute long animated puppet movie Dcera (Daughter)
has been nominated for an Oscar in the best animated short category. The
33-year-old Kashcheeva, is a Russian student currently studying at FAMU
film school in Prague.
In an interview with Radio Prague International after she won the student Oscar in the same category in September, she said the Dcera is about the relationship between a father and his daughter, but could also be interpreted as about “relationships between people who are close in general. How one small misunderstanding can influence such relationships for a long time and why it is important to be able to forgive those who are close to us.”
On February 10, when the awards are announced, she will be up against Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver, Kitbull by Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson, Memorable by Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre and the stop-motion short Sister directed by Chinese born Siqi Song.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček begins his three-day visit to
India this Monday. Apart from meeting his Indian counterpart, Dr
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, he will also speak at the multilateral Raisina
Dialogue 2020 conference on Wednesday, attended by senior government
members and officials from across the world.
On Monday morning the Czech foreign minister tweeted that the main goal of his trip is “the development of relations, especially in the economic field”. Mr Petříček will be accompanied by a special Czech business delegation.
He was originally supposed to visit Kuwait as well. However, the official visit was cancelled by Kuwait due to the current heating up of the security situation in the Middle East.
The Ministry for Regional Development will amend its proposal for a new
Building Act, Minister Klára Dostálova told Czech Television on Monday
after a meeting with the head of the Association of Towns and Districts.
The decision comes after heavy criticism from the association, which
primarily represents regional officials, as well as remarks from courts
which studied the proposed legislation.
The ministry says it now intends to cut down on the level of centralisation it originally envisaged. Local building authorities at the district level will be preserved, while public works and large construction programmes will be decided on the state level.
Close to one in five companies was exposed to a cyberattack in 2018, a year
on year increase of around 20 percent, according to new data released by
the Czech Statistics Agency. The most common form of attack was
denial-of-service, wherein the perpetrator floods the targeted resource
with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent
legitimate requests from being fulfilled.
The most endangered entities are the state administration, banks, energy companies and, increasingly, universities. Experts say that the threats that companies face are not only external but sometimes from the businesses’ own employees too.
Councillors at Prague City Hall have voted in favour of raising taxi riding
prices from CZK 28 to CZK 36 per kilometre, the Czech News Agency reported
on Monday. Waiting costs and the starting rate will also be increased. A
new electro-taxi price list will also be set up, with a top rate of a
maximum of CZK 39 per kilometre.
Taxi drivers have been protesting for an increase in rates for some time already. The current maximum rates were established in 2006.
Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Social Democrats Jan Hamáček
says he is ready to recommend fellow party member Kateřina Valachová for
the position of ombudswoman to President Miloš Zeman, although he says
that the nomination is ultimately up to the president, the Czech News
Agency reported on Monday. The President Zeman first suggested Mrs
Valachová for the position on Sunday, but he said he would only nominate
her if Mr. Hamáček agreed.
The news comes after the president’s previous candidate, Helena Válková of the ANO party, announced she will no longer be running for the position after it emerged that she had co-authored an article on “protective surveillance” during the Communist era with an infamous show trial prosecutor from the 1950s.
Consumer prices rose on average by 2.8 percent last year, the highest annual increase since 2012, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Agency on Monday. The most influential factor on the rise of inflation was the growth in housing prices, the head of the agency’s Consumer Prices Statistics Unit Pavla Šedivá told news site iHNed.cz. Another factor was the rise in food prices, and rents. Meanwhile, clothing and shoe prices had a downward trend.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery