Norway’s Andreas Nygaard has won the annual Jizerská padesátka, a
gruelling 50-kilometre cross-country skiing race held in the Jizerské
mountains, north of Prague.
Nygaard defended his victory in last year’s competition covering the distance in 1:59:08,2. Sweden’s Brit Johansson won the women’s race coming in at 2:16:21,3. Jiří Pliska was the first Czech to reach the finishing line, placing 20th.
Jizerská padesátka is one of the most popular mass sporting events in the country, attracting both professional and amateur skiers of all ages from at home and abroad.
The Czech Republic has two nominations in this year’s Academy Awards.
The puppet stop-motion movie Dcera (Daughter), created by FAMU student Daria Kashcheeva is nominated for an Oscar in the category “best animated short“ and Czech set decorator Nora Sopková has an Oscar nomination for her work on the World War II Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit by New Zealand-born writer-director Taika Waititi.
Dcera has already collected a number of awards, most recently the Short Film Jury Award for Animation at the Sundance Film Festival.
Critics applaud Ms Kashcheeva’s original use of hand-held camera movement, inspired by live-action and documentary films.
Czech lawmaker are planning a fifth firearms amnesty for people who possess
The lower house is expected to approve the amnesty within changes to the gun law, which are being made to bring the country in line with EU regulations.
The head of the defence committee in the lower house, Jana Černochová, argues that weapons amnesties are a more effective means of netting illegal weapons than reprisals.
During the previous four amnesties people returned thousands of unregistered weapons.
The Czech Republic is bracing for gale-force winds in the coming hours.
Storm Sabine is expected to hit the Czech Republic on Sunday evening with
winds of up to 125 km per hour in the mountain regions.
The wind warning, from 6pm on Sunday to Tuesday evening, concerns all regions in Bohemia and parts of Moravia and Silesia where high winds may damage roofs, topple trees and bring down power lines. Emergency services and energy providers are on standby.
Masopust carnival processions – the Czech Mardi Gras celebrations –
kicked off in Prague on Saturday with a flamboyant parade from Hradčany to
Prague will offer several other Masopust celebrations in the coming days. The Karlín Maspust celebrations will take place on February 15, the Žižkov district has scheduled its celebrations for February 25 and the celebrations at Anděl in Prague 5 will be held on February 26.
A ban on direct flights to and from China is now in force in the Czech
Republic. The last flight from China arrived at Prague’s international
airport on Saturday, bringing a number of Czechs who opted to leave the
country due to the coronavirus outbreak.
There were previously twelve direct links a week to four Chinese cities. The ban will remain in place until further notice. Similar bans have been affected by many other countries.
A renewed investigation into the death of Czechoslovak foreign minister Jan
Masaryk is taking into account the results of a study by investigators
Martin Čemák a Jan Špička who claim that Masaryk was not pushed from
his bathroom window in the early hours of that fatal day in 1948.
After analysing the position of the body in relation to the injuries sustained, the investigators concluded that Masaryk must have fallen from the wide ledge at some distance from his bathroom window where someone leaning out would not have been able to reach him. “He fell straight as a candle, facing the building, hitting the ground on his heels,” Jan Špička said in an interview for Czech Radio.
This would suggest that he may have fallen after trying to hide on the ledge or reach another window.
There have been several investigations into Jan Masaryk’s death. Those conducted during the communist regime concluded it had been suicide, one undertaken after the fall of the communist regime claims it was murder.
The vice president of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, has voiced
concerns regarding the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, describing them
as “fragile democracies”.
In an interview for the weekly Der Spiegel she said the so-called reform in Poland had affected all levels of the judiciary and had reached a very dangerous moment, because it could be irreversible. “The Polish reform is being carried out with the help of a crowbar.
In Hungary, this process is more subtle, but broader, because it also applies to the public media," Jourova noted.
Asked if the European Commission has a new strategy to deal with "countries that violate the rule of law," such as Poland or Hungary, the vice president of the EC replied that efforts were being made to solve these problems.