Daily news summary

Czech Republic has two nominations in the Oscars

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.

Ban on direct flights to China now in force

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.

Lawmakers planning fifth firearms amnesty

Czech lawmaker are planning a fifth firearms amnesty for people who possess illegally-held weapons.

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.

Mardi Gras celebrations kick off in Prague

Masopust carnival processions – the Czech Mardi Gras celebrations – kicked off in Prague on Saturday with a flamboyant parade from Hradčany to Kampa Island.

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.

Norway’s Andreas Nygaard wins Jizerská padesátka

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.

Czech Republic bracing for wind storm Sabine

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.

Weather forecast

Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with a strong wind and day temperatures between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.