Daily news summary
Czech agriculture minister prematurely ends trip to Russia
Czech Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman has prematurely ended his five-day visit to Russia, the daily e15 reported on Thursday. Mr Toman, who was accompanied by a delegation of Czech entrepreneurs, was supposed to fly from Moscow to Kazan on Wednesday, but the Russian authorities prevented him from doing so.
Mr Toman told the daily he was alarmed by the attitude of the Russian side, adding that it raised the question whether Russia was genuinely interested in cooperation with the Czech Republic.
Czech-Russian relations have been strained by a number of incidents in recent months, including the renting out of flats intended for Russian diplomats and the decision of Prague 6 to remove from its premises a statue of the controversial Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev.
Opposition MPs: Government should appeal to China to end human rights violations
A group of opposition MPs have called on the Czech government and President Miloš Zeman to appeal to China to end the violation of human rights and the persecution and killing of political prisoners.
According to the initiator of the petition, Christian Democrat MP Vít Kaňkovský, religious and ethnic minorities in China are being persecuted, and the Czech Republic, as the country’s trade and diplomatic partner, has to face the problem.
Deputies from the opposition Christian Democratic party, the Party of Mayors and Independents and the Civic Democratic Party want to discuss the resolution in the lower house next week.
OKD shuts down another coal mine
After nearly 130 years in service, the coal mine in Lazy located in the Moravian-Silesian Region was closed on Thursday. Its current owner OKD, told the Czech News Agency that further mining would require billions of crowns in investment and was no longer economically viable for the company.
Some 100 miners will remain on location to work on refilling, others have been moved to some of the recently re-nationalised company’s four other mines in the region.
South Bohemia still affected by drought, despite humid weather
Despite a relatively humid and rainy November, some areas in the Czech Republic are still suffering from drought, according to the website InterSucho, which is mapping the current state of drought in the country.
South Bohemia and part of the Pilsen region are the worst affected, with the registered lack of moisture reaching into the deeper layers of soil in places.
According to a long-term weather forecast, precipitation in the next few days should be below-average for this time of year.
Czech police arrest drug smuggling gang
Czech police have arrested 12 people suspected of drug production and drug smuggling, the National Anti-Drug Centre informed in a press release on Thursday. Four of the people have been charged and if convicted, face prison sentences of up 12 years.
The organised group produced dozens of pounds of pervitin, locally-made crystal methamphetamine, and marihuana. The drug, which was smuggled in fire extinguishers, was destined for the Karlovy Vary region, but also for Thuringia and Bavaria in south-east Germany.
More than nine million crowns as well as several weapons were seized during the raids that led to the arrest of the offenders.
Slavia doomed to last place in group after losing 1:3 to Inter Milan in close home game
The Czech football team Slavia Prague lost 1:3 to Inter Milan at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague on Wednesday evening. With third placed Dortmund now five points ahead of the Czech team, the loss means that Slavia is doomed to finish last in the group and not qualify for the spring Europa League.
The game saw Inter take the lead in the 19. minute, but Slavia's Tomáš Souček equalised from a penalty before half time. A deflected shot by Lukáš Masopust in the second half could have seen Slavia go into the lead, but goalkeeper Samir Handanović managed to push the shot out for a corner. Goals by Inter's Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez then sealed the result for the away side in the last 10 minutes.
Friday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with daytime highs between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius.