Czech President Miloš Zeman sent a letter to Pope Francis on Wednesday
requesting to extend Cardinal Dominik Duka’s mandate as archbishop of
The president reacted to an initiative of a hundred Catholic laymen who had petitioned Pope Francis not to extend the archbishop’s tenure, criticizing the church for alleged nationalist tendencies.
In his letter addressed to the Pope, Mr Zeman wrote that Cardinal Duka has contributed to removing barriers between the Church and State. He also mentioned Duka’s past as a political prisoner in Communist Czechoslovakia.
Cardinal Dominik Duka, who has been serving as Prague Archbishop since 2010, will have to officially submit his resignation in April, when he turns 75. I tis then up to the Pope whether he extends his mandate.
Freezing temperatures dropped to record lows in the Czech Republic for the
fifth straight night as Arctic conditions around the country continue.
Nearly 40 of 148 measuring stations, which have been in operation for 30
years or more, recorded temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius, especially
in mountainous areas.
The very lowest temperature, minus 25.7 degrees Celsius, was recorded at Orlické Záhoří in Orlické Hory in the northeast of the country. That station there has been in operation for three years.
The current cold snap, which has been caused by cold air from the Arctic, is expected to continue until Friday.
Prague’s Libeň bridge over the Vltava River will reopen to trams and
cars on Saturday after being closed for more than five weeks. Prague
authorities made the decision after checking the temporary reinforcement of
the bridge’s construction.
The bridge was closed for most transport late in January following a report to city transport bosses highlighting the dangerous state of one of its six sections. The bridge as a whole was classified as stage seven, the worst possible on a seven point evaluation.
The Culture Ministry has recently ruled that the unique Cubist bridge from 1928 is not a cultural heritage site. The Prague City Council is to decide at one of its next meetings whether the bridge is to be reconstructed or disassembled and pulled down.
Meteorologists have declared a smog alert across much of the
Moravian-Silesian region on Thursday. The warning applies to Ostrava,
Karvinná and parts of Frýdek-Místek where levels of dust particles have
exceed the permitted limit.
Children and people suffering from heart problems or asthma have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible. Forecasters have also warned that if the situation doesn’t improve, regulations may soon be introduced forcing some companies to limit production. The region of Moravia Silesia has long had the worst air quality in the country and in Europe with local industry, heat plants, and domestic heating contributing to the problem.
The health of the world’s last surviving male northern white rhino, which
belongs to Dvůr Králové Zoo, has considerably worsened, the Czech News
Agency reported on Thursday.
The 47-year-old rhino has been moved to a reserve in Kenya since 2009 as part of an international effort to save the dying breed in its natural habitat.
According to vets, the rhino suffers from a deep infection in his right rear leg and there is not much hope for improvement due to his age.
Czech agricultural earnings fell to 21.3 billion crowns in 2017, which is a
drop by 5.5 percent on the previous year, according to preliminary figures
released by the Czech Statistics office on Thursday.
That figure still represents the third best result since the year 2000, according to the office’s deputy head Marek Rojíček. The best result recorded by Czech farmers to date was in 2014, when agriculture earnings reached 22.9 billion crowns.
Major General Aleš Opata will be appointed the new chief of the General
Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová
announced on Thursday. Mr Opata, who has served as a deputy of the Army
Chief of Staff, will replace Josef Bečvář in the post. His appointment
is scheduled to take place on May 1.
The minister said the first task of the newly appointed Army Chief of Staff, will be reorganizing the army’s management. Among other topics she wants to discuss with Mr Opata will be shortcomings in army equipment.
Prague’s taxi-drivers are planning another protest action on Thursday
against app-base services such as Uber and Taxify. Taxi drivers, who have
to pay the city for their licenses, argue that competition from
ride-sharing services such as Uber is undercutting their business.
The Prague taxi drivers’ association has been pushing for the municipal and national authorities to the different taxi services on an equal footing. A number of protests, which included blocking traffic in the city, took place in February.
The chairman of China’s energy and investment group CEFC Ye Jianming, who
serves as economic advisor to Czech president Miloš Zeman, has been
investigated for suspected economic crimes, Reuters reported on Thursday,
citing an anonymous source.
CEFC, which describes itself as the biggest private company in Shanghai and seventh largest private firm in China, has chosen the Czech Republic for the headquarters of its European activities.
The company was recently refused permission by the Czech National Bank to increase its stake in the Czech-Slovak J&T Financial Group.
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