Daily news summary
EC vice president Jourová: Poland and Hungary are fragile democracies
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.
Prague square to be renamed after slain Russian opposition leader
Prague City Hall wants to name the Prague square Pod kaštany where the Russian Embassy is located after the murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib told the news site Aktualne.cz that the major parties represented in the Prague City Council have voiced support for the move and a vote could take place in the coming weeks.
Pod kaštany square could be officially renamed on February 27, on the fifth anniversary of Nemtsov's killing. The mayor said he hoped that Nemtsov’s daughter would attend the official ceremony.
Investigators tell Czech Radio: Jan Masaryk could not have been pushed
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.
Thousands respond to call for humanitarian aid to China
Thousands of people from around the Czech Republic responded to a call for humanitarian aid to China made by the Moravian town of Třebíč, donating facemasks, disinfectants, digital thermometers, latex gloves and protective shoe covers, among others.
Třebíč, which was asked for help by its partner city of Yichang, where hundreds are infected with the Wuhan coronavirus, earmarked 100,000 crowns for the purchase of aid and called on the public to help.
The humanitarian aid will be sent to China on several planes in the coming days.
First Czech Comic-Con underway in Prague
The very first Czech Comic-Con, a convention for fans of comic book culture is drawing thousands of fans to Prague’s O2 Universuum centre.
The convention which focuses on sci-fi, fantasy and horror gives fans the chance to meet the stars of their favourite movies and TV shows,among them Ron Perlman, the American actor, who has been in Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim, Brandon Routh, who played Superman in Superman Returns, Danny John-Jules, who plays Cat in Red Dwarf and Ian McElhinney from Game of Thrones.
The convention opened on Friday and will last through the weekend.
Sáblíková wins 3,000 meters race at Calgary World Cup
Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková won the 3,000 meters race at the Calgary World Cup on Friday, strengthening her lead in the overall standings. The three-time Olympic champion covered the track in 3: 54,936, which is her personal best this season.
She beat Antoinette de Jong from the Netherlands by 1.24 seconds. Russia’s Natalja Voronin placed third.
Sunday should be partly cloudy with daytime highs reaching 7 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists have issued a gale-force wind warning for all regions starting at 6pm on Sunday and lasting until Tuesday evening.