Daily news summary
Defence Ministry staff ordered to delete Huawei app from phones
The Czech Ministry of Defence has ordered employees to remove the AirWatch app from service mobile phones made by China’s Huawei, iRozhlas. reported. It is the first step taken by the ministry following a alert from the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency over the potential danger of using Huawei products.
The Chinese telecoms giant has threatened to take the Czech Republic to court if cyber watchdog agency does not rescind the warning.
Some 160 organisations comprising the country’s critical infrastructure have been ordered to review their usage of software and hardware made by Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE.
If US withdraws troops from Afghanistan, Czech Republic will follow suit, says Metnar
The minister of defence, Lubomír Metnar, says that if the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan the Czech Republic will do likewise. Speaking in Saturday’s edition of Právo, he said Prague was monitoring the situation closely.
Minister Metnar said that the US Congress and US Army top brass were opposed to a pullout as long as Afghanistan remained under strong Islamist influence. But if things changed and the US military presence was reduced or ended, the Czech Republic would follow suit, he said.
Minister: Days of “water prosperity” over
The minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, says that this winter may partly compensate for the drought suffered by much of the country in 2018. However, speaking on Czech Television he said large amounts of snow were no guarantee drought would not occur in summer and warned that Czechs would have to prepare for a lack of water.
Mr. Brabec said some municipalities needed to receive supplies of drinking water in February, which was unheard of. The days of “water prosperity” are over, he said.
This week the government announced water management plans aimed at preventing drought becoming a recurring long-term problem.
Poll: Most Czechs do not believe country could defend itself in armed conflict
Almost three-fifths of Czechs are skeptical that the country would be able to defend itself in the case of military conflict, suggests a survey conducted by the CVVM polling agency.
The vast majority of respondents (89 percent) said the state’s sovereignty should be defended at any price.
Some 51 percent of Czechs consider the issue of the country’s defence to be superfluous as in any case its fate would be in the hands of larger powers, the poll indicates. The opposite view was held by 40 percent of respondents.
Sáblíková takes 19th world championships gold
The Czech Republic’s Martina Sáblíková has won the 5000 metres at the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships at Inzell in Germany. With her earlier victory in the 3000 metres, it means it is the fifth time that she has won the two longest races at one world championships.
Sáblíková, who is 31, now has 19 world titles, equaling the record of German Gunda Nieman-Sitrnemann. She is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Czech football top flight returns after winter break
Czech soccer’s first league returned to action on Friday evening after an annual winter break. In the opening games, Dukla Prague drew 1:1 with Baník Ostrava in the capital and Olomouc were beaten 2:1 at home by Jablonec.
After the current round there will be 10 more games until the end of the season. Slavia Prague went into the winter break four points ahead of the title holders Viktoria Plzeň.
Sunday should see rain in the Czech Republic and temperatures of up to 8 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to fall to around 4 degrees Celsius in subsequent days, when snow is also due.