Daily news summary
BIS: China attempts to recruit Czech intelligence agents
China has lately been trying to address and recruit Czech intelligence agents, Ladislav Šticha, spokesperson for the Czech Republic’s counterintelligence service (BIS) said in a debate programme on Czech Television on Sunday.
Mr. Šticha also said the Chinese secret services were particularly interested in information related to the industry. He said they were trying to establish contact with scientists, academics, but also with politicians.
In October this year, BIS director Michal Koudelka warned against China’s activities in the Czech Republic, calling the Russian and Chinese spy services the biggest long-term threat to the country.
One of the men injured by explosion at Semtex plant has died
One of the four men who suffered serious injuries in a blast at an explosives factory in Pardubice on Friday morning has died, the factory’s spokesman told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. Another two remain in a critical condition in Prague’s Vinohrady hospital. Both of them were placed in an intensive-care unit and remain in an induced coma.
The explosion occurred at the Explosia plant, which manufactures the plastic explosive Semtex, often used in terrorist attacks because of its high performance and easy use.
CRIF: 2019 to see record number of businesses close
Nearly 17,000 will cease to exist in the Czech Republic by the end of 2019, according to the estimates of the Czech Credit Bureau (CRIF), which is the highest number in the country’s history.
The first three quarters of this year saw nearly 12,000 companies close, which is only 15,000 more than for the whole of 2018.
At the same time, around new 31,000 companies are expected to be registered in the country in 2019, which is the third-highest number since 1989 and only a two-percent drop on the previous year.
Record furniture makers expect record sales in 2019
Czech furniture makers expect to see record sales and profits in 2019. Production in the Czech furniture sector could climb to over 47.5 billion crowns this year, while sales could reach up to 40 billion crowns, Secretary of the Czech Association of Furniture Makers, Tomáš Lukeš, told the Czech News Agency on Sunday.
According ot the association, up to one third of the country’s furniture market is controlled by global furniture retailers, including Ikea and Jysk. Last year, the profits of the Swedish furniture giant in the Czech Republic increased by 3.5 percent to 10 billion crowns, while Jysk’s profit rose by 13 percent to 3.3 billion crowns.
Hundreds attend procession to Prague’s Vyšehrad cemetery
Hundreds of people took part in a procession to Prague’s Vyšehrad cemetery, on Saturday evening to mark All Soul’s Day, a traditional Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have passed away.
Prague Cardinal Dominik Duka served a mass to commemorate the departed at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Vyšehrad. A prayer service for the deceased was also held at the cemetery, which provides the resting place for dozens of important figures of Czech culture.
Many Czechs are marking Dušičky this weekend by visiting and tending to graves, where they light candles. All Prague’s cemeteries have extended hours, remaining open until 6:00 pm.
Strýcová loses in WTA Finals doubles final
In tennis, Czech player Barbora Strýcová with her Taiwanese partner Hsieh Su-Wei have failed to win the women’s doubles title at the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals in Shenznen.
In the final round on Sunday, the Wimbledon champions were defeated by the Franco-Hungarian duo Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and five minutes.
Monday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional rain showers and daytime highs ranging between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.