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Czech Republic faces billion dollar arbitration over health deal: report

The Czech Republic is facing another arbitration action brought by the company Diag Human of around one billion US dollars, the newspaper Lidové Noviny reported on Monday.

The complaint was lodged in November and is based on the bilateral protection of investment agreement between the Czech Republic and Switzerland according to information given to the paper by the Ministry of Finance.

Diag Human has been conducting a drawn out series of legal actions against the Cech Republic over a blood plasma deal it sealed with the state in the early 1990s. It was already awarded 327 million crowns in 1997.

2008 regional studies cautioned against subsidies for controversial Stork’s Nest

Reports prepared for the Central Bohemian subsidies authority a decade ago highlighted risks connected with supporting the Stork’s Nest project, iRozhlas.cz reported on Monday. The prime minister in resignation, ANO leader Andrej Babiš, is facing charges of abusing subsidies in connection with Stork’s Nest.

The 2008 studies said that some items in the construction project’s budget were overpriced and that the applicant was unclear, concluding that providing support for it would not be appropriate.

Mr. Babiš and ANO party colleague Jaroslav Faltýnek are accused of wrongly acquiring CZK 50 million in European Union subsidies in connection with Stork’s Nest. They say the charges are politically motivated.

Respekt: Zeman lobbied for Nikulin extradition to Russia

The weekly Respekt says that President Miloš Zeman has pushed for Russian alleged hacker Yevgeny Nikulin to be extradited to his native country.

Monday’s edition of Respekt said it had information that Mr. Zeman had twice met with the Czech minister of justice, Robert Pelikán, to lobby for Mr. Nikulin to be handed over to the authorities in Russia rather than to the US, where he is facing charges of hacking the computers of major internet companies including LinkedIn.

The Russian, who is 30, is wanted in Moscow on charges of stealing less than CZK 50,000 from a bank account.

He was arrested in Prague in 2016 on the basis of an Interpol arrest warrant requested by the American government.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told Respekt his preference is for Mr. Nikulin to be handed over to the Americans but said he had no influence on Mr. Pelikán’s decision on the matter.

Spending watchdog castigates ministry over support for children’s charities

The Ministry of Education had no clear goals or methods for evaluation cash given to charities working with children and young people between 2014 and 2016.

That’s one of the conclusions of the state spending watchdog, the Supreme Audit Office, in a report published on Monday.The watchdog investigated 67 projects supported over the period to the tune of 509 million crowns.

It found the ministry had no overall target for what it was doing. In addition, it also acted in a non-transparent way and broke its own support guidelines when allocating money.

The ministry said it had acted transparently and added that new general criteria had been put in place in 2015.

Prague taxis gather for latest anti-Uber protest

Taxi drivers assembled in Prague on Monday for further protests against services such as Uber. Scores of taxis converged at Strahov Stadium in the afternoon before driving into the city centre, where they caused cojsiderable traffic holdups.

On Thursday and Friday last week hundreds of taxi drivers drove through central Prague in demonstrations that they said were aimed at making clear to the government their grievances about Uber and similar services, which they regard as unfair competition.

No repeat of medals success for Vítková and Krčmář on Monday

The Czech Republic’s two medal winners so far at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have missed out on chances to reach the podium again. Veronika Vítková came third in the biathlon sprint for the Czechs’ first medal on Saturday but could only come seventh in the pursuit event on Monday.

It was a similar story for Michal Krčmář. He took silver in the men’s biathlon sprint but finished way down the field in the pursuit after making numerous errors in shooting.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly overcast with some sunny spells in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 1 degree Celsius. Snow is forecast for the second half of the week.