Flood alerts are still in place on several rivers in the Czech Republic as a result of a sudden warming, melting snow in the mountain regions. It has been combined with persistent rain. An extreme flood alert is in place in the north of the country below the Krkonoše, Jizerské and Orlické mountains. Mid-level warnings are in place in the regions of Liberec and Ústí nad Labem. Meteorologists expect water levels to start dropping as of Thursday afternoon.
The average wage in the Czech automobile industry in 2016 stood at 34,820 crowns, which is an increase of 3.7 percent on the previous year, the Czech Automotive Industry Association reported on Thursday. That figure is 30 percent higher than the country’s average salary. High productivity of work and higher added value of products in the automobile industry is one of the main reasons behind the consistent salary growth.
Nineteen people were injured in an explosion at the Polička engineering works on the Czech-Moravian border on Thursday. Three people are in a critical condition with severe burns. A spokeswoman for the local firefighters, Hana Kaizrová, says the first explosion occurred at around 11 a.m. in a production hall, and was followed by a number of others. Thirteen firefighting units were called in to fight the blaze, which is now under control. Police have yet to determine the cause of the explosion and the resulting fire. The company, Poličské strojírny, produces pneumatic systems, elements, and technology for the measurement and pumping of liquids.
Czech actor Jan Tříska will receive the Kristián award for his contribution to world cinema at this year’s edition of Prague’s Febiofest. The famous actor, who lives in the United States, will come to Prague to pick up the award, along with US director Abel Ferrara and UK cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, a close collaborator of director David Cronenberg. The 24th edition of Febiofest, which runs from March 23 to 31, will open with the Czech premiere of Spoor, a new film by Polish director Agnieszka Holland that was partly shot in the Czech Republic.
Slovak Director Matěj Mináč, along with producer Patrik Pašš, are set to receive the Raoul Wallenberg Award for keeping alive the memory of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British man who helped to save 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovak children from the Holocaust. The award is bestowed by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, named after the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during WWII. The award-giving ceremony will take place in Prague on March 14. Matěj Mináč has produced three films about Sir Nicholas Winton, a feature film called All My Loved Ones and two documentaries, The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton and Nicky’s Family.
The ANO party filed a petition on Thursday against the so-called Lex Babiš legislation at the Constitutional Court. The party argues that the conflict of interest bill is unconstitutional as it violates a prohibition on discrimination on the basis of property. The legislation is widely seen as targeting ANO chief Andrej Babiš, who is minister of finance and controls large companies and media outlets. The bill was pushed through Parliament despite a presidential veto. The ANO party has collected over 40 signatures necessary to lodge a complaint at the Constitutional Court. The matter has also been already taken to the country’s highest court by president Miloš Zeman.
Czech veterinarians have confirmed the first outbreak of bird flu in the Pilsen region. A small poultry breeder from the village of Bohy has found 20 dead hens with tests later proving the presence of the H5 virus. Another outbreak has been reported from Dačice in South Bohemia. Overall, there are currently 32 cases of bird flu breaks in the country. While the H5 strain of bird flu is highly dangerous for birds, it has never caused illness in human beings.
Imports of Polish foodstuffs into the Czech Republic declined last year, iDnes.cz reported on Thursday, citing data from the Czech Statistics Office. Polish foods valued at CZK 31.4 billion were purchased by Czech consumers in 2016, down CZK 2 billion from the record level registered the previous year. iDnes said there were various reasons for the fall with the main one being rising incomes in the Czech Republic. Stricter controls may also have been a factor, the news site said. Five years ago the Polish food industry was hit by a scandal when firms were found to be using technical salt; the Czech Republic was one state to which products containing the dangerous substance were exported.
Azerbaijan has issued an international arrest warrant for the Czech Member of the European Parliament Jaroslav Štětina, the news website Blesk.cz reported. Mr. Štětina wrote on Facebook that he and two other MEPs were wanted by the Azerbaijani authorities after serving as referendum observers in the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh earlier this week. According to Blesk.cz, the website kavkasia.net quoted the Azerbaijan prosecutor’s office as saying the three had repeatedly entered occupied territory in the country illegally.