Daily news summary
Czech intelligence chief Koudelka receives top CIA award
The head of the Czech counterintelligence service, Michal Koudelka, received a top award from America’s CIA last month, Lidovky.cz reported on Thursday. Mr. Koudelka was presented with the George Tenet award, which recognises international cooperation, at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia in early March, the news site said.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also attended the ceremony, which took place on the eve of a visit he made to the White House. Mr. Koudelka described the prize as the highest bestowed by the CIA.
Czech President Milos Zeman has twice refused to promote the head of the Security Information Service (known in Czech by the acronym BIS) to the rank of general and has been critical of the agency’s work.
Prague Archbishopric files charges against priest over child sex abuse
The Prague Roman Catholic Archbishopric has filed criminal charges against a priest accused of the sexual abuse of a child, the news outlet Deník N reported. Archbishop Dominik Duka removed the priest from service at the weekend, the Czech New Agency said.
An alleged victim of the priest in question, Jiří Kylar, said in a statement that Cardinal Duka, who is the head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, had begun to feign a forceful response to the issue of sex abuse in recent days.
Mr. Kylar, who was 12 at the time of the alleged abuse, said his case had been made public last September and nothing had been done for months.
Committee rejects US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights
The lower house’s Foreign Affairs Committee has supported the Czech Foreign Ministry’s disapproval of the United States’ recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The head of the committee, Lubomír Zaorálek, said on Thursday that such a move could set a dangerous precedent for other countries, such as Russia and China, concerning their territorial claims.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that the Czech Republic considered the Golan Heights to be Israeli occupied territory, in line with the common European position and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Czech firefighters report sharp rise in number of fires
Czech firefighters have had to deal with an increased number of fires over the past few days, a spokeswoman for the Czech fire corps told the Czech News Agency on Thursday.
On Wednesday, firefighters were called to assist in 131 fires, which is three times the average.
The upsurge in the incidence of fires has been blamed on the prolonged lack of rain the Czech Republic in recent days.
Czech children’s classic Journey to Prehistory digitally restored
The Karel Zeman Museum in Prague has completed a project of digitally restoring three films by the legendary Czech director and animator, museum co-founder Ondřej Beránek announced on Thursday. The last film to be digitally restored was the Zeman’s 1956 children’s classic called Journey to Prehistory.
The joint project of the Czech Film Foundation, the Karel Zeman Museum and Czech Television, called Restoring the World of Fantasy, was launched in 2014. The other two films restored within the project are Invention for Destruction and The Fabulous Baron Munchausen.
Ryanair introduces 16 new lines from Prague in summer
The budget airline Ryanair has launched operation on 16 new lines from Prague in its summer flight schedule. The latest announced lines include for instance Zadar, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Marrakesh.
According to Ryanair representative Denise Barabas, the new lines should improve Prague’s accessibility and support the increase of tourism in the Czech Republic.
The Irish low-cost is the third largest air carrier in the Czech Republic after Czech Airlines and Smart Wings. It currently operates 31 routes from Prague airport.
Friday is expected to be partly cloudy with occasional showers towards the evening. Daytime highs will be ranging between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.