Daily news summary
Brexit could impact 100,000 Czechs in UK, says Petříček
The UK’s departure from the European Union would affect a great many Czech citizens living in Great Britain, the Czech foreign minister, Tomáš Petříček, said on Tuesday, iDnes.cz reported. He said Czech estimates put the figure at around 100,000.
Speaking at a meeting of the Senate’s European Affairs Committee, Mr. Petříček said he would regard a possible no-deal Brexit as unfortunate but said the Prague government would also have to plan for such an eventuality.
The minister also said elections to the European Parliament in March would be a test of the resilience of European liberal democracy and the EU as a whole.
Czechs to reopen embassy in Singapore
The Czech Republic will reopen its embassy in Singapore, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is currently on a diplomatic tour of Southeast Asia, said at a special Singapore-Czech Business Forum on Tuesday. The decision came after Mr. Babiš discussed the matter with Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Monday. Currently, the Czech Republic has a consulate in Singapore. Apart from trade relations, boosting cooperation in science is also an important component of the Czech PM’s trip. On Tuesday afternoon he visited Singapore’s autonomous vehicle testing centre CETRAN, where he tried out one of its unmanned vehicles. Meanwhile, the Czech University of Chemistry and Technology has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the local Nanyang Technological University. The Czech prime minister is set to continue his tour with a visit to Thailand today, after which he will travel to India.
Second highest level avalanche alert declared in Krkonoše
Strong winds and persistent snow are causing problems in some parts of the Czech Republic. Roads remain closed in some mountain areas and an avalanche alert just one degree short of the maximum level has been declared in the Krkonoše Mountains in the north of the country.
Maintenance workers have gradually been clearing roads, while power had been restored on Tuesday morning to most homes that spent the night without electricity. Forecasters say temperatures should rise in the coming days.
Policeman who seriously injured motorcyclist cleared
A police officer who caused serious injury to a motorcyclist after blocking his path with a service vehicle has again been cleared of wrongdoing. A Prague appeals court ruled to that effect on Tuesday, confirming an earlier verdict.
Officer Šimon Vaic had been facing criminal charges of grievous bodily harm after driving his car into the path of a motorcyclist, who was at that time banned from driving, in July of last year. He could have faced up to two years in jail and a service ban if found guilty.
Plíšková twins reach round two at Australian Open
Karolína Plíšková has reached the second round at tennis’s Australian Open in Melbourne after overcoming compatriot Karolínu Muchová 6-3 6-2 in little over an hour on Tuesday.
The world number eight’s twin sister, Kristýna Plíšková, is also into round two at the first Grand Slam tournament of 2019. She beat Anna Blinkova of Austria 7-6 2-6 6-2.
Hugely successful football goalkeeper Petr Čech to retire in May
Football goalkeeper Petr Čech has announced that he will retire at the end of the current season. Čech, who is now 36, won four Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League during an 11-year spell at Chelsea, where he also set a number of individual goalkeeping records. He lifted the FA Cup in 2017 with current club Arsenal.
Petr Čech was captain of the Czech national team, making a record 124 appearances over a 14-year period.
Wednesday should see some bright spells and snow in places in the Czech Republic, with temperatures reaching up to 4 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should gradually fall to around freezing point heading into next week.