Daily news summary


British daily names Czech activist Mikuláš Minář a ‘Rising Star’ of 2020

British daily The Times of London has named Czech activist Mikuláš Minář, founder of the ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ initiative, as among the most interesting personalities to watch in 2020.

The ‘Million Moments’ initiative has since last April held a series of protests calling for Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) to step down over alleged EU subsidy fraud and a conflict of interest confirmed in a Brussels audit.

The Times’ “Rising stars: Twenty faces to look out for in 2020” list also includes Hong Kong protest organiser Jimmy Sham, Spain’s 14-year-old Princess Leonor, and Valérie Pécresse, president of the Île-de-France regional council, which includes Paris.

Brno’s only mosque again defaced, police investigating death threat

Police are investigating the defacing of the only mosque in Brno upon which someone spray painted, “Do not spread Islam in the Czech Republic! Otherwise we will kill you”.

The mosque, which opened in 1998, has been defaced numerous times, Muneeb Hassan Alrawi, head of Muslim communities in the Czech Republic, told the ČTK news agency.

Alrawi said they are taking the death threat seriously.

Czech officials warn Polish bird flu epidemic may spread

The Czech Veterinary Office (SVS) has warned poultry farmers and meat importers of the possible spread of an ongoing bird flu epidemic in neighbouring Poland.

The warning came after Polish authorities reported a fifth outbreak of the H5N8 strain of avian flu. Hundreds of thousands of birds could already be affected.

The SVS has asked poultry farmers to limit their contact with livestock and report any signs of abnormal behaviour. Avian influenza has been detected in five farms in Poland in recent weeks.

The last European bird flu epidemic was in Germany in 2017. At that time, 40 farms were affected and nearly 100,000 birds had to be culled.

SŽDC: Railway accident deaths rose 8 percent in 2019

Last year 247 people died in railway accidents in the Czech Republic, up 8 percent year-on-year. Most casualties were pedestrians, a Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) spokesman told the ČTK news agency.

Following a spate of lethal train accidents involving motorists last summer, the SŽDC announced plans to install a new CCTV system at selected railway crossings and, by 2023, erect barriers at most of the country’s big roads.

Strong wind warning in effect Saturday for Prague, other regions

Wind gusts of 60 to 75 kilometres per hour are expected on Saturday to hit Central Bohemia, including Prague, as well as the regions of Vysočina, Pardubice and South Moravia.

The strongest winds will come in the evening, predicts the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ), which is suggesting people secure their windows and take extra caution when driving.

2019 second hottest year in Prague since 1775

Last year was the second hottest recorded at Prague’s Klementinum observatory since 1775, when systematic temperature measurement began there.

The average temperature of 12.6 degrees Celsius for 2019 was 0.2 degrees cooler than the record year of 2018, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ).

This past summer was the hottest in 58 years, with average temperatures of 19.5 degrees Celsius, some 2.5 degrees above the norm for June through August.

Weather outlook

Sunday should be cloudy or overcast throughout the country, with light snow likely in the mountains. Average daytime highs should range from 0 to 4 degrees Celsius.