Police are investigating the suspicious deaths of two rare sea eagles in the West Bohemian region near the border with Germany. The dead eagles were found within a week of each other in the Tachov region, the last on December 25, with police now suspecting poison might have been used. The bodies have been sent for tests. The first instance did not raise suspicions since the eagle and a dead fox were found beside each other with the possibility raised that neither survived a fight between them. The rare eagles are known to have bred for more than a decade in the region surrounding the border town of Rozvadov.
The Czech branch of the international consultancy Deloitte expects Czech exports next year to rise by around 6.0 percent. A crucial factor, according to the study, is the expected end of the low crown policy which the Czech National Bank says could happen at the earliest from the middle of 2017. Exporters will then probably be faced with an appreciating and fluctuating local currency. Around 84 percent of Czech export currently head to EU countries with companies facing the challenge of boosting sales in the rest of the world where the prospects could be better, the report says.
A 17-strong team of scientists has left from Brno’s Masaryk University for the Mendel Antarctic research station on James Ross Island. The Czech scientific mission on the island has for several years been studying ice formation and wildlife with regard to climate change. The team will this time round focus on a broader spectrum of plants and microorganisms on the island after previously studying them at selected locations only.
A Czech woman is reportedly among five foreigners detained by police in Cambodia on Tuesday for allegedly producing illegal drugs in the country. As well as the Czech, the nationalities of the others are said to be Ukraine, the US, Finland, and Russia, according to the Khmer Times. The arrests followed a swoop on houses at the weekend where drug making equipment and drugs were found, according to the paper. The Czech woman, who is reported to be 26-years-old, could face a jail sentence of up to five years if convicted.
A Czech man in his mid-20’s died in an accident in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, according to local media reports. The men fell around 300 meters during a descent of Mount Aspiring. He was being accompanied by an Australian who was uninjured. The dead man’s identity has not been given. The route was described as commonly used and the weather conditions fine. Around 30 people have died in accidents over the last 10 years in the popular mountaineering district.
The Czech Ministry of Environment says that it has successfully managed to prevent 18 billion crowns in European Union funding being clawed back by Brussels. The threatened funds were part of the sum earmarked for the 2007-2013 funding period. Brussels already demanded the return of 7.5 billion crowns in 2013 because of the poor administration and processing of projects. The ministry says spending of European cash earmarked for projects to 2020 is well on track with 55 percent of bids expected to be made by the end of this year and around a quarter of the EU funds already allocated.
The first level security alert currently in place in the Czech Republic will last until at least the Spring, according to interior minister Milan Chovanec. The alert has been in place since March 2015 and, among others, calls for stepped up security at power plants, airports, and sites where large number of people gather. The minister said the level one security measures could be in place for the whole of 2017. The ministry had, reportedly, been mulling before the Berlin attack on a Christmas market whether to reduce the security situation to zero from January.
In football, Sparta Prague have boosted their squad with the acquisition of Romanian defender Bogdan Vatajelu. The 23-year-old joins from the club Universitatae Craiova and has signed a three-and-a-half year contract. Local media reports said that Vatajelu was also a transfer target of Italian club Fiorentina. Vatajelu is a product of the Steaua Bucharest youth academy.
In ice hockey, the Czech team in the World Junior Championships being hosted in Montreal lost their second game against Switzerland 3:4 after extra time. The Czechs left it late to get back in the match, losing 1:3 in the middle of the third period. Two goals by Filip Chlapík allowed them to draw level and force extra time. The Czechs won the first group encounter against reigning champions, Finland.