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 Austria.
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 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 future.
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.
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 semi-finals in the playoffs of the Czech ice hockey Extraliga start on Wednesday evening with the opening game between the Liberec White Tigers and Kometa Brno.
The other best-of-seven series pits Třinec against Plzeň and begins on Thursday. Kometa are the reigning champions and all four clubs have lifted the Extraliga title at some point in the last eight seasons.
Thursday should be largely bright in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 17 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs in the mid-teens Celsius are also expected in the following days and there will be the chance of rain.
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