Daily news summary

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Number of new Covid-19 cases lowest in week on Thursday

The number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose by 33 on Thursday, which is the lowest number over the past week, according to Czech Health Ministry statistics. 

The number of registered cases has reached 8,754. 306 people have died and 5,962 have recovered from the disease. Around 150 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, some 30 of them are in serious condition.

Czechs officially join EU plan for climate neutrality by 2050

The Czech Republic has officially joined the European Union’s plan for achieving climate neutrality by 2050, Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec (ANO) said in a letter addressed to the EU executive arm and member states.

The business daily Hospodářské noviny, which has published the letter, notes that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) had repeatedly criticized the same plan, arguing the costs to industry by moving that fast were too high.

Brabec says in the letter that the Czech government supports the 2050 target date but also wants to use nuclear technologies, and argues that the country should receive the greatest possible support from the European budget, as the plan will affect poorer and industrial regions.

In the letter, the government also calls for a cautious approach to the EU’s plans for 2030 – by when emissions should fall by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels. Brabec first wants to evaluate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, Hospodářské noviny adds.

Police prosecuting man who appeared in Czech docufilm for child pornography

Police in Ústí nad Labem are prosecuting a man who appeared in a recent Czech documentary highlighting the dangers posed by online predators, for spreading child pornography and related charges, iROZHLAS reports.

‘Caught in the Net’, which presented youthful-looking adult actresses as 12-years-olds on fake social media profiles to expose online predators, has led to several criminal investigations. The Ústí police studied his Skype communication, including unedited parts recorded during filming.

The other charges against the suspect include establishing illegal contact with a child, endangering the upbringing of young people, and the production and other handling of child pornography. The man co-organized camps, school trips to the countryside, and other children's events.

‘Caught in the Net’ is the biggest box-office documentary in the history of the Czech Republic. Previously, the most popular documentary film was ‘Citizen Havel’ by Miroslav Janek, released in 2007.

Turkey criticizes Czech Senate for condemning Armenian genocide

Turkey has criticised the Czech Senate for passing a motion condemning the Armenian genocide which took place in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs it was a malicious act, given the fact that the motion was approved by a small number of Senators at a time when the whole world is fighting the coronavirus .

The Senate on Wednesday approved the same resolution as the Chamber of Deputies did three years ago, condemning the genocide of Armenians which it likened to Nazi crimes against the Jewish, Slav and Roma populations.

Two historic cottages in Czech national park burn down

Two historic cottages, designated as cultural monuments, burned down in the České Švýcarsko National Park near Rynartice on Friday. Firefighters have declared a third-degree fire alarm.

Dozens of firefighters were taken by helicopter to the site, called Na Tokáni, a popular destination for tourists.

The blaze engulfed the privately owned wooden cottages built in the 1930s. A nearby former Alpine style hunting lodge and cluster of log cabins were undamaged.

Petříček aims to renew joint foreign trips with Czech business leaders in autumn

Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) hopes to renew his regular joint trips abroad with Czech business representatives as of this autumn, he said during an online seminar for exporters on Thursday.

If the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic allows, Petříček wants to start his originally planned trips to Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

He said he always tries to include industry and trade representatives on his foreign trips to help support the export-oriented Czech economy.

Prague consulting with suppliers for automatic operation of metro lines C,D

The Prague Transport Company (DPP) has launched preliminary consultations with potential suppliers of automatic metro control systems for the planned D line and possibly the existing C line.

Automatic operation makes it possible to shorten intervals and respond faster to emergencies. DPP will seek information from eight manufacturers towards setting conditions for a public tender, beginning in July.

Brno to hold postponed Green Beer fest for Maundy Thursday

A green beer festival launched 15 years ago by the Starobrno brewery to mark Maundy Thursday is going ahead after a seven-week delay due to restrictions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In Central Europe, Maundy Thursday, the day commemorating the Last Supper, has long been known as “Green Thursday”, possibly because centuries ago priests wore green vestments to celebrate Easter Mass.

Starobrno has since 2005 brewed a special 13 degree green beer for distribution during Holy Week. This year’s accompanying festival will start on May 29, several days after restaurants and pubs in the Czech Republic can reopen their interiors.

Wind gusts of up to 65 km/h due to hit Czechia on Saturday

Strong winds with gusts of up to 65 kilometres per hour – enough to snap trees and damage buildings – are due to hit the Czech Republic on Saturday, the Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) warns.

Affected areas include much of southern Bohemia, Vysočina, the Pardubice region and parts of the central Bohemian, Hradec Králové and South Moravian regions.

The gusts are expected to last from 2pm to 10pm. During that time, it is best to avoid being outdoors or driving, while windows and loose objects should be secured, the ČHMÚ says.

Weather

Saturday should be relatively cool and cloudy, with occasional light rain likely. Strong winds with gusts of up to 65 kilometres per hour – enough to snap trees and damage buildings – are due to hit much of the country from around 2pm to 10pm.