Daily news summary

Czech PM Babiš pledges support for territorial integrity on Ukraine visit

The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, visited Ukraine on Tuesday. After attending the launch of a Czech-Ukrainian enterprise forum, Mr. Babiš held talks with the country’s prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk. Following both engagements in Kiev he reiterated the Czech Republic’s support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

Mr. Babiš later told Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that the Czech Republic condemned Russian aggression in the east of the country and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The Czech leader also invited Mr. Zelensky to a meeting of the Visegrad Four in Prague.

Eight injured in explosion at waste disposal facility

Eight people were injured on Tuesday when there was an explosion at a waste disposal facility at a Hamr na Jezeře in the north of the Czech Republic. Two of those injured are in a critical condition. Around 10 rescue workers also need to be examined after coming into contact with an unknown substance, a spokesperson for the rescue services in Liberec said.

The mayor of Hamr na Jezeře said it appeared that sulphuric acid has leaked into the atmosphere.

Farmers expect rise in commodities sales this year

Czech farmers say that sales of eight major agricultural commodities should rise by almost CZK 2 billion this year to reach over CZK 90 billion. More cereals and potatoes have been harvested this year but the rape crop was down on 2018.

The Agricultural Association of the Czech Republic said the overall sales figure for this year should be above the average recorded since the year 2000.

Student protest ends as Charles U. agrees to address climate change

Charles University students who for several days blocked the rectorate building have agreed to end their occupation strike. They also withdrew their demand that Rector Tomáš Zima resign immediately.

Following a three-hour meeting on Monday evening with the protesters, the Academic Senate agreed to adopt a resolution that Charles University would proactively address fighting climate change, ČTK reports.

Zima has been in the spotlight in recent weeks for his role in establishing a Czech-Chinese Centre at Charles University, where some events seem to have been funded by the Chinese Embassy. The Academic Senate has agreed to review Zima's mandate and seek climate neutrality by 2022.

Major renovations of Karlovy Vary’s Thermal hotel begin

Major renovation work has begun on the Thermal hotel in Karlovy Vary. The building will be closed from January until mid-March because of the renovations, which will cost CZK 580 million.

Work on some parts of Thermal was launched in November. The building, which dates from the 1970s and hosts the Karlovy Vary film festival every year, belongs to the Czech state.

Nedomanský becomes second Czech inducted into hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto

Retired forward Václav Nedomanský has become the second Czech to be inducted into ice hockey’s Hall of Fame in Toronto. The other Czech to have received this accolade was goaltender Dominik Hašek, back in 2014.

Nedomanský, now 75 and living in California, was a member of the Czechoslovak world championship winning team in 1972 and scored 163 goals in 220 games for the national side.

He later fled from communist Czechoslovakia and arrived in Toronto via Switzerland. It was not until Nedomanský was 33 that he began his career in the NHL, with stops at the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

After his active career, Nedomanský initially worked as a coach, in Schwenningen and Innsbruck. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he worked as a scout in Europe for the Los Angeles Kings.

Strýcová parts company with coach after best season of career

Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová has parted company with her coach, David Kotyza, after two years. The 2019 season was the most successful of the 33-year-old’s career as she won the doubles title at Wimbledon and also reached the semi-finals in singles at the All England Club. She is currently world women’s doubles number one.

Strýcová announced the split from Kotyza on Instagram on Tuesday after defeat in the doubles final at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with temperatures of up to 10 degrees Celsius in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Similar weather is expected for the following days.