Daily news summary
Czech PM welcomes outcome of EU summit
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has welcomed the outcome of the EU summit and the compromise choice of Germany's Ursula von der Leyen as the nominee for European Commission president.
Following three days of tortuous negotiations in Brussels, in which the Visegrad Four states fiercely opposed the nomination of the EC’s first vice president and the European Socialists Spitzenkandidat Franz Timmermans, Prime Minister Babiš said that he appreciated the compromise solution reached and the fact that the choice of candidates for key posts had received close to unanimous support.
The Czech Prime Minister said Ursula von der Leyen was an experienced conservative politician who understood Central Europe and the Visegrad region which would facilitate future negotiations. He said he hoped her nomination would be confirmed by the European Parliament and that Czech MEPs would support her.
Five Czech universities found Association of Research Universities
Five Czech universities have founded a new Association of Research Universities. The aim is to share research infrastructure and take part in more international scientific projects.
The founding members are Charles University, Czech Technical University and the Institute of Chemical Technology, all based in Prague, along with Masaryk University in Brno and Palacký University in Olomouc.
They hope to improve the position of Czech universities in international competition and change how they are financed.
Poll: voter support for ANO down since April
The ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would win elections to the lower house of Parliament with 32.5 percent of the vote, down by 1.5 percentage point since April, according to the results of an opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency, published on Wednesday. The Pirate Party is up by 4.5 percentage points since the last STEM survey with 15.6 percent of the vote, closely followed by the centre-right Civic Democrats, with 13.1 percent.
The Freedom and Direct Democracy Party finished in the fourth place, followed by the Communist Party, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats.
Czech Jewish community recorded 347 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018
The Czech Federation of Jewish Communities recorded 347 anti-Semitic incidents, which is more than in the previous years, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday.
While physical attacks and discrimination remain uncommon, the incidence of anti-Semitic hate speech on the Internet is on the rise. Nearly 93 percent of all cases reported happened on the Internet, mainly on extreme right and anti-liberal websites.
According to the report, the Czech Republic still remains a relatively safe country in comparison to other central and western European countries.
Documentary filmmaker Helena Třeštíková joins Oscar Academy
Czech documentary film director Helena Třeštíková has been invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the annual Academy Awards, known as The Oscars.
The Academy this year invited altogether 842 new members from 59 countries, including the singer Lady Gaga and actress Elisabeth Moss and director Christopher Miller. Czech actors and stuntmen Ladislav Lahoda and Pavel Cajzl were nominated to join the Oscar Academy’s Members-At-Large category.
Night temperatures dipped below zero in some parts of Czechia
Night-time temperatures dropped below zero in some parts of the Czech Republic. The lowest temperature, minus 2.3 degrees Celsius, was recorded at Jizerka in the Jizera Mountains in the north of the country. Freezing temperatures were also registered in the Šumava Mountains in the south west and in Krušné hory in the north-west.
Thursday is expected to be mostly sunny with daytime highs ranging between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius.