The new Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, arrived in Prague on Thursday on what is her first foreign trip since her appointment on Saturday. She was welcomed with military honours at Prague Castle by her Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman.
Mrs Čaputová said after the meeting that her visit of the Czech Republic was not just a matter of tradition but a matter real interest in a country, where she had lots of friends. She also said the Czech-Slovak cooperation should continue also within the V4 group, as long as its members respect the rule of law and independent judiciary. The Slovak head of state also invited Mr Zeman to visit Slovakia.
Later on Wednesday, Mrs Čaputová laid flowers at the sculpture of the co-founder of Czechoslovakia, Milan Rastislav Štefánik, and held talks with representatives of the Senate.
The Slovak president is also scheduled to meet Slovaks living in the Czech Republic. In the evening, she is due to attend a concert in her honour at Prague’s Kampa island featuring Czech and Slovak artists.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is attending a European Council summit in Brussels, held talks with outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
Before leaving for the meeting, Mr. Babiš said the Czech Republic would like somebody, who will not propose new migrant quotas and who supports Central Europe, to become the new president of the European Commission.
The Czech PM said he would not discuss with outgoing president Jean-Claude Juncker a European Commission preliminary report that found Mr. Babiš in conflict of interest over the ownership of the Agrofert group. He had previously said he would raise the matter with Mr. Juncker.
Education Minister Robert Plaga handed appointment decrees to 63 new professors at a ceremony at Prague’s Karolinum on Thursday. Most of the newly-named professors, 10 of which are women, are experts in fields of technology, medicine and biology.
Among the well-known names are conductor Leoš Svárovský or Andrej Sukop, head of department of Plastic Surgery at Charles University.
The ceremony was not attended by President Miloš Zeman who says the right to appoint professors should be removed from the head of state, in line with practice in other countries.
Three Przewalski mares have been successfully transported to Mongolia on board a Czech military plane as part of Prague Zoo’s long-term programme to save the endangered species, the zoo said in a press release on Thursday. The Przewalski horse is a rare subspecies native to Mongolia, which became extinct in the wild in the 1960s. Prague Zoo has played a major role in saving the horse, breeding it and returning it to its natural environment.
To date, the zoo has sent 34 horses to a nature reserve in the Mongolian steppe, where they have started breeding successfully.
An escaped cougar is still on the loose in the region of Jindřichův Hradec in South Bohemia. The big cat has been sighted several times since April, most recently this weekend near the villages of Deštná and Rosička.
Local people and tourists have been advised to restrict their walks and keep away from the local forests until the animal is captured. Police have also called on people to report any sightings of the animal, which has most likely escaped from a private owner.
Kristýna Plíšková beat her better known twin sister Karolína in the Nature Valley Classic in the UK city of Birmingham on Wednesday evening. Kristýna, who is ranked 112th, defeated the world number three 6-2 3-6 7-6 when the 27-year-olds faced off in a WTA match for the first time in their careers.
Kristýna Plíšková will face another compatriot, Barbora Strýcová, in the fourth round in Birmingham. The competition was won by yet another Czech, Petra Kvitová, the last two years, but she is currently injured.
Friday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional rain showers and storms. Daytime highs will range between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius.
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