Last year was the second warmest in the Czech Republic since 1961,
according to data published on Wednesday by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological
Institute. The daily average temperature in 2019 was 9.5 degrees Celsius,
which was 1.6 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.
The hottest year since 1961 was 2018. The years 2014 and 2015 are tied for third hottest year in almost six decades.
The Supreme Court in Olomouc has increased the prison sentence of a man who
brutally attacked tennis star Petra Kvitová in her apartment in 2016.
Thirty-four-year-old Radim Žondra’s term has been increased from eight
to 11 years. He had been initially found guilty of grievous bodily harm but
at the request of the state prosecutor the crime was requalified as
burglary, which carries a higher sentence.
When Kvitová tried to defend herself from her knife-wielding assailant she sustained career-threatening hand injuries that required major surgery.
Wednesday is the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Czechoslovak
Hussite Church. It broke away from the Roman Catholic Church at a time when
the latter had lost influence due to its links to the pre-1918 Habsburg
The Czechoslovak Hussite Church, which was established on January 8, 1920, traces its tradition back to the 15th century Hussite reform movement.
It was the second largest faith group in the country, with over half a million declared members, in a census in 1921. At present it has around 40,000 members.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic is not at present
considering withdrawing its troops from Iraq. Speaking on a visit to
Olomouc, Mr. Babiš confirmed an earlier statement from the General Staff
of the Czech Army that none of the country’s soldiers had been harmed
during overnight rocket attacks on two US bases in Iraq.
A Czech Ministry of Defence spokesman said no Czech soldiers had been stationed at the bases.
Iran said the strikes had been in retaliation for the killing last week of its military commander Qassem Suleimani.
A spokesperson for the Czech Army said its troops had halted exercises and were remaining at their bases, adding that it would await a decision on how to proceed from NATO command.
Almost 40 Czech soldiers are taking part in a NATO mission in Iraq and five Czech police officers are serving as instructors in Bagdad.
Prague police have detained a 38-year-old man suspected of raping and
robbing a 56-year-tourist on Christmas Day.
The man had approached the woman in the Palmovka district early on December 25 with an offer to help her find the bus to her hotel. When crossing through a park, he forced her at knifepoint to perform oral sex.
Police had circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, who was apprehended in Prague 8 thanks to an anonymous caller. They say he has previously been convicted of a violent crime.
The ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ initiative long calling for Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš’s ouster has announced another wave of protests
and events starting in late February.
Under the banner ‘Relay for Democracy’, the group plans to host a protest/debate every week in a city in a different Czech region, with the last in Prague.
The aim is to highlight important national and local issues and Babiš’s alleged corruption and conflicts of interest.
‘Million Moments’ founder Mikuláš Minář told reporters Tuesday even more important than seeing Babiš resign is the country’s future.
“Therefore, our main goal for the next two years is to work with democratic parties to win the parliamentary elections”, he said.
Czech senator Lukáš Wagenknecht (independent, for the Pirates) has called
on central banks in Austria and Germany to examine loans provided to the
Agrofert conglomerate founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO).
Wagenknecht is hoping to learn more about how Agrofert operates since Babiš was compelled under Czech law to place it in trust funds, the news site Neovlivní.cz reports.
European Commission audits leaked to the press have found Babiš in conflict of interest because he continues to exert influence over Agrofert, despite placing it into trust funds in 2017.
Wagenknecht wants to determine whether Agrofert gave false or contradictory information to German and Austrian banks regarding beneficial ownership of the conglomerate.
The senator noted that in a Slovak register Babiš is listed as the controlling entity of Agrofert and its end beneficiary.
Czech soldiers deployed in Iraq will remain stationed there despite rising
tension since the United States killed Iranian general Qassim Soleimani
last week, the Ministry of Defence confirmed on Tuesday.
The Czech Army currently has around 40 soldiers and police officers in Iraq mainly working to train Iraqi security forces to fight against the ISIS militia. Increased security measures will be taken in coordination with NATO allies, a ministry spokesman said.