The upper-house on Wednesday voted in support of the planned trip of Senate
Speaker Miloš Vystrčil to Taiwan as well as against the interference of
Russia and China in the internal affairs of the Czech Republic.
The latter vote was made in relation to the recent diplomatic incidents connected to the removal of the statue of Soviet marshal Ivan Konev in Prague 6 and China's anger at the planned Senate speaker's visit to Taiwan.
Deputy Senate Speaker Jiří Růžička called the surrounding events that followed the statues removal and the planned trip to Taiwan as unacceptable.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary year since the end of World War
Two, Deputy Senate Chair Senátu Milan Štěch called on the upper-house to
condemn the human rights abuses committed by Nazi Germany during World War
Two and the Armenian Genocide which took place during the First World War.
Both motions passed as did the condemnation of any sort of enthnic or
religious cleansing in all parts of the world.
Motions to condemn the persecution of Christians, mainly those living in countries where they are a minority, did not pass. Neither did the motion by TOP 09 Senator Tomáš Czernin to condemn communist repression activities mainly on the territories of the former Soviet Union.
Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula, who was the head of the country’s
Central Crisis Staff in the initial phase of the COVID-19 quarantine in
March has been offered the position of Government Commissioner for Science
An epidemiologist, Mr Prymula, who has been at the forefront of communications with the media during the crisis and is seen by many as a leading voice in the Czech response to COVID-19, announced earlier last week that he will resign from the Health Ministry at the end of May unless two unpublicised conditions that he gave the prime minister are met. Mr Babiš told iDnes.cz that Prymula and Health Minister Adam Vojtěch had “not been on the best of terms with each other”.
Health Minister Vojtěch told Czech Television that he cannot envision Prymula remaining in his current position, because he does not like his past statements and the fact that Prymula apparently refuses to discuss affairs with him.
Czech President Miloš Zeman named Petr Angyalossy as the new head of the
country’s Supreme Court this Wednesday. Mr Angyalossy said his priorities
will be to speed up court processes, strenghten public faith in the
judiciary and bring about generational change within the court.
The 56-year-old judge had until now been one of the younger members of the Supreme Court. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Masaryk University in Brno and became has been a judge since 1996. He then served in various position in the judiciary of the country's Olomouc Region until becoming a member of the Supreme Court in 2017.
The position of the chairman of the second highest court in the country became vacant in February after the then Chairman of the Supreme Court, Pavel Šámal, was named a member of the Constitutional Court.
The former head of Czech Railways Miroslav Kupec said that there “was
interest” in the media publishing company MAFRA, owned by Agrofert, the
business holding created by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, to be
“most busy” when asked by Czech Radio why the country’s main rail
transport provider issued advertising deals worth CZK 112 million in
MAFRA’s publications in 2015.
Mr Kupec was the director of Czech Railways from September 2018 to June 2019. He said that he was informed “through multiple sources” that the advertising contracts should continue when he was in charge, but said he did his outmost to lower expenditure on advertising.
Czech Railways spent seven times more on advertising in MAFRA publications than in the country’s other similar sized media company the Czech News Centre, Blanka Hejlová from the Department of Marketing Communication and Public Relations at Charles University told Czech Radio’s iRozhlas.
Prime Minister Babiš is no longer in charge of Agrofert, having placed the company in trust funds to avoid accusations of a conflict of interest. However, a European Commission audit did state that there is an ongoing conflict of interest despite the move.
The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) has launched a
new website which details the findings of historians about the political
repressions against Czechoslovak citizens and Czechs living in the Soviet
Union, many of whom ended up being interned in the notorious Gulag labour
Called Čechoslováci v gulagu (Czechoslovaks in the Gulag), the website contains information on popular articles, books, exhibitions and video recordings of discussions linked to the topic.
The institute says it conducted dozens of interviews with witnesses and survivors of victims of Soviet repression and obtained a number of documents, photographs or manuscript memoirs from family archives.
Since quarantine and social distancing rules were put in place in March,
the number of ransomware attacks in the Czech Republic increased by 40
percent compared to the start of the year.
The highest rate of registered cyber-blackmail was in March, with the amount beginning to return to normal rates in April, according to antivirus software company Avast. It seems that ransomware attacks are a global phenomenon during this period, rising by 20 percent worldwide. Ransomware attacks also targeted two Czech hospitals.
Analysts have noted two current major trends. The first are large-scale attacks targeting end users, smaller manufacturers and service businesses. The second ternd is attacks aimed at specific targets such as large companies or institutions from the health, transport and education sectors
The number of patients infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus around the
centre of the outbreak in the Silesian Darkov Mine rose to 119 as of
Wednesday morning, according to the spokesman for Moravian-Silesian
Hygienists Radim Mudra. Out of these 113 are employees of the mining
complex and doctors expect the number of registered infections among their
family members to rise further.
Large scale testing was ordered after the virus was discovered among the miners last week. The mine is already operating under strict hygienic measures, but more are to be put in place after the testing is concluded.
Scientists have carbon-dated a recently discovered cave drawing to be 7,000
years old, making it the oldest in found in the Czech Republic to date. The
drawing is located in the Kateřinska Cave of the Moravian Karst. It is
made up of simple black lines drawn on one of the rocks. It is believed the
rock itself was used for some sort of cult purposes.
The same cave was until now the record holder with another drawing dating back to 4,200 BCE, which was discovered a year ago.