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29-01-2018

Czech PM in Brussels for top talks with EU leaders

Outgoing Czech prime minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš is due to take part in a series of meetings with top European Union officials on Monday afternoon and into the evening.

One of the meetings will be with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The talks should focus on the future shape of the EU, including the make-up of various funds and the overall budget, as well as the thorny issue of migration.

The Czech Republic and other Central European countries have taken a stand against quotas aimed at distributing immigrants who mostly arrived in Italy and Greece.

Police investigate alleged attack on journalists at Zeman meeting

Czech police have said they are investigating a scuffle that broke out between supporters of re-elected president Miloš Zeman and journalists at a Prague hotel where the president and fans followed the results. Police said they are investigating suspected breach of the peace. A complaint by one journalist was lodged on Sunday evening.

The incident, which was capture on video and made public, appeared to start when a man collapsed and journalists took pictures. Supporters of the president then appeared to intervene with fists flying.

Journalists said organisers of the event at a Prague hotel did nothing to resolve the issue.

President of Germany congratulates Czech head of state on re-election

The president of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier has followed Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and others in extending his congratulations to the Czech head of state Miloš Zeman who won the election in the Czech Republic at the weekend and will serve a second and final five year term in office.

In his congratulations, President Steinmeier noted that his country and Czechia shared not only historical ties but ties and a commitment to democracy and the lawful state within the European Union and NATO.

Mr Putin congratulated the Czech president earlier, writing that he hoped to continue in successful progress on bilateral and international questions. On Saturday, Mr Zeman defeated challenger Jiří Drahoš by just over 150,000 votes.

Poll: Almost half of votes for Drahoš were “against” the incumbent rather than “for” the challenger

A poll conducted by Kantar TNS and published by public broadcaster Czech TV at the weekend, found that some 47 percent of voters in the second round of the election who backed challenger Jiří Drahoš did so primarily to try and block a second term for the incumbent. Fifty-two percent voted for Mr Drahoš for who he was as a candidate.

The poll found that 77 percent of President Miloš Zeman cast votes “for” the candidate as opposed to 22 percent admitted they specifically wanted to prevent Mr Drahoš from winning the office.

President Zeman won what in the end was a fairly close election, earning roughly 150,000 votes more than his opponent.

Flu epidemic in Prague

Hygiene officers warn that Prague has been on the verge of a localized flu epidemic since late last week. Over the week, the number of children up to the age of 14 who were suffering from flu symptoms doubled.

Outbreaks reach epidemic levels when the numbers of infected reach between 1,600 and 1,800 per 100,000 people. Across the Czech Republic, the number is 1,450 people per 100,000 and 1,300 per 100,000 in Prague.

NHL: Jágr’s time with Flames at an end

Future Hall of Famer Jaromír Jágr was placed on waivers by NHL’s Calgary Flames on Sunday signaling the end of the hockey forward’s stint at the Saddledome.

Other NHL teams were left 24 hours to claim the player by 10 am Monday. The Flames are otherwise expected to announce a mutual parting of ways – either a termination of his contract or by loaning him to another team, the Calgary Sun reported.

Jágr, who turns 46 in February, was dogged by injury during much of his time in Calgary and was limited to one goal and six assists during in 22 contests. The most likely outcome, if he isn’t picked up, is a return to his hometown club HC Kladno, just outside of Prague.

SB Nation on Sunday, meanwhile, published an article online listing five NHL teams who should give the Czech “one more shot”, among them the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won two Stanley Cups, the Montreal Canadiens (where he could reunite on a line with Tomáš Plekanec) and the Vegas Golden Knights.

Weather

Mostly cloudy weather is expected on Tuesday. Daytime highs should reach temperatures of around 11 degrees Celsius.

29-01-2018