Czech biathlete Gabriela Koukalová finished fourth in the women's 7.5km at the World Cup in Oslo on Friday, enough for her to clinch the sprint Crystal Globe with a total of 377 points. Germany's Laura Dahlmeier had been on track to take the globe, but a 31st-place finish on Friday – her worst result of the season – erased her advantage. She finished on 373 points - four short of the Czech.
A new poll by the STEM agency suggests that if the parliamentary election were held today, ANO would finish comfortably ahead of other parties to make it into the lower house. According to STEM, ANO would receive 27 percent of the vote and the Social Democrats, who head the current government, just 15 percent. The Communists would come third, with just under 14 percent. The survey projects that centre-right parties such as the Christian Democrats, the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 would finish in the single digits, within striking distance of each other, but pass the five percent threshold needed to make it into the lower house. The Pirate Party would win seats, with 5.5 percent. STAN, considering running together with the Christian Democrats, would pick up just 2.5 percent.
Meteorologists have warned that most of the Czech Republic, with the exception of southern and southeast Moravia, will be hit by up to 70 km/h strong winds. A low-level warning has been issued for most regions and will remain in place from 9 am to 10 pm. Residents have been advised, for example, to secure garden furniture, garden tools and scaffolding as well as to protect greenhouses.
The Association of Regions in the Czech Republic has called on the government to provide regions with funds agreed for bus drivers and transport companies. The chairwoman of the association, governor of the region of Karlovy Vary, Jana Vildumetzová, confirmed the news on Friday after the association’s board meeting, pointing to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s promise the funds would be earmarked. The addenda - approved by the government last year - was to see minimal wages for bus drivers raised by around one-third, to 98.10 crowns per hour (the equivalent of around 3.6 euros).
The police have completed an investigation into an explosion and fire at Unipetrol’s chemical plant in Záluží in the area if Litvinov in August 2015 which saw the facility shut down for repairs for almost one year. Police are recommending that two people be charged for endangering the public; the investigation suggests that the individuals in question, employees at the plant, could have limited the scope of the accident had they followed safety procedures in time. More than 40 fire fighting units, counting some 500 fire fighters in all, were called to the scene to put out the blaze; in the investigation, the police interviewed more than 100 people.
The leadership of the Christian Democrats and the STAN party of mayors and independents are meeting in Lipnice nad Sázavou over two days to discuss joining forces in the parliamentary election in October. Both sides expect a decision on the matter after this weekend. Stan leader Petr Gazdík stated that there were no policy or financial barriers preventing the two parties from co-operating; the idea of the two parties running as a coalition has been under discussion since December. The Christian Democrats are the junior party in the current government.
The inhabitants of Libava near Olomouc who live in the vicinity of the Libava military site have been warned not to drink tap water which was found to contain higher than permitted levels of uranium. Large supplies of bottled water have been made available. The warning is particularly pertinent for children and pregnant women. Experts are now conducting a detailed analysis of the water and assessing possible health risks. The military has promised to provide a more advanced water-cleaning facility for the region which would resolve the problem.
Czechoslovak WWII veteran Juraj Strauss has died at the age of 100, Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky announced on Twitter. Strauss fought at Dunkerque with the motorised battalion of the Czechoslovak independent defence brigade. After the war Strauss completed his university studies and became a physician. He later headed the virology department of the State Health Institute and took part in a World Health Organisation project within which children in Kenya were inoculated against measles. In 1983 he was decorated with a state award for helping to eradicate measles in Czechoslovakia. Juraj Strauss will be buried at Brevnov cemetery in Prague on Tuesday.