Daily news summary

Czech government to debate withdrawal from UN migration pact

The Czech government has reportedly decided not to join the UN migration pact but will formally debate the move this coming Wednesday. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has argued that the agreement fails to distinguish between legal and illegal migration. A decision is expected following the debate.

The Czech Republic, along with 191 other UN member states, in July approved the non-binding Global Compact for Migration, which aims to offer better protection to migrants and refugees.

The document will be officially signed in December, in Morocco. Two other Central European countries, Austria and Hungary, have already withdrawn from the agreement, as have the United States and Australia.

EIB to loan Czechia CZK 11.5 bn crowns to modernise railways

The Czech Republic plans to borrow 11.5 billion crowns from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernise eight railway corridors.

The government will and allocate the same amount towards the project from the national budget. The exact amount of the EIB loan, which will be dispersed in tranches from 2019 through 2025, has not been set.

In total, the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure plans on allocating some 86 billion crowns towards improving the country’s infrastructure next year, with 20.8 billion crowns coming from EU programmes.

Czech soldier and dog trainer killed in Afghanistan laid to rest

The body of another Czech soldier killed in Afghanistan was laid to rest on Wednesday. The funeral took place in his hometown, Prachatice, with full military honours.

Corp.Tomáš Procházka, who was 42 and specialised in dog training, was shot dead on October 22 while returning from a routine mission outside his base in Herat Province. Two other Czech soldiers were injured in the attack.

He was the fourth Czech soldier killed in Afghanistan this year. The first three died in a suicide bomb attack while on a patrol in early August.

Prague café denies racist treatment of Indian comedian

The Indian comedian and actor Vir Das has complained that he and his parents were repeatedly ignored by staff at Café Café in central Prague. He wrote on Twitter, where he has over 7.5 million followers, that they had tried six times to get service but the café did not "really like serving brown people".

The comedian has since deleted the Tweet in question and said he had heard from the owner of Café Café, who apologised for the behaviour of his staff. The owner told the Czech News Agency that it had been a misunderstanding rather than a racist incident.

Trap for bear only catching other animals

A trap set for a brown bear in the Zlín region in Moravia has so far only caught other animals, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. The bear has been roaming around an area of the Beskydy Mountains since September. It has killed a number of sheep, with the latest reported on Tuesday, and has destroyed beehives.

Rangers set a cage trap with honey for the animal but it has only caught a cat and some birds to date. They have also established a photo trap in a bid to monitor the bear’s movements.

České Budějovice woman survives window fall, her child dies

A 26- year-old woman who fell from a window in a České Budějovice housing estate on Tuesday remains in serious condition while her child died at the scene, the Czech news agency ČTK reports.

A police spokesperson said a criminal investigation is underway but declined to release any further details, including the child’s age.

Czech football team gears up for Poland friendly, Slovakia match

Czech national football team coach Jaroslav Šilhavý has announced the squad line-up for upcoming internationals against Poland, in a friendly on Thursday, and against Slovakia, next Monday, in a decisive Nations League match.

There will be no new faces on the Czech squad, which need a draw against Slovakia to remain in play. The line-up will include midfielder Vladimír Darida, who had been recovering from an injury, defender Theodor Gebre Selassie, and goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka.

Weather outlook

Thursday should be cool and cloudy throughout the country, with the exception of the Zlín region, where the sun will make a token appearance. Rain is expected only in the Karlovy Vary and Ustí nad Labem regions. Average daytimes highs should be between 10 to 14 degrees Celsius.