Daily news summary
US House Speaker Paul Ryan in Prague
The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan is due to arrive in Prague for a two-day private visit.
On Monday he is due to meet for talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and on Tuesday he will address a special session of the lower house before attending a conference on Czech-US relations in the Senate. He will also present an address at Charles University.
The Speaker of the US House is the highest US top official to visit the Czech Republic in nine years.
Czech ambassador to US: expelling Russian diplomats “adequate reponse”
The expulsion of Russian diplomats would be an adequate reaction to the poisoning of a Russian double agent in Britain and a minimal show of solidarity with the country, according to the Czech Ambassador to the US Hynek Kmoníček.
In a debate on Czech Television Ambassador Kmoníček pointed out that the fact that a Russian double agent had been killed in Britain, when there were Russian double agents in other parts of the world, such as the US or Israel, suggested that Russia considered Britain to be a weak link in defence, which was something that the EU should stand up against. Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš, who said on Friday that the Czech Republic was likely to expel a number of Russian diplomats over the incident, is to discuss the matter with Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky and other cabinet ministers on Monday.
EU Commissioner wants more information about Facebook scandal
EU Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Protection Věra Jourová has asked Facebook to provide more information about the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal, particularly, the number of European consumers whose data were misused. The Czech Euro commissioner told the German daily Bild she had expressed grave concern over the situation.
The London-based data analytics firm is reported to have misused data from as many as 50 million users worldwide. Jourová said earlier that the Facebook scandal was not just about data protection breaches, but about a threat to democracy."
Palm Sunday mass celebrated at St. Vitus Cathedral
Christians in the Czech Republic joined millions around the world in celebrating Palm Sunday.
Believers joined a procession re-enacted the entry of Christ into Jerusalem in which they carried branches and sang the Hosanna going from the Church of St. Jiri to St. Vitus Cathedral.
The procession was followed by a mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka.
The celebrations will culminate with a concert by the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra.
Thalia Awards handed out in Prague
The Czech Actors' Association presented the prestigious annual Thalia Awards at Prague’s National Theatre on Saturday night. The awards are given in recognition of exceptional performances in the fields of drama, opera and ballet as well as for lifetime achievement.
Tereza Dočkalová and Daniel Bambas picked up the main prizes in the drama category, the former for her lead role in Ibsen’s Nora, the latter for his performance in the play Beauty. Maida Hundelingová won in the opera category.
Lifetime achievement awards were handed out to actor Petr Kostka, puppeteer Bohuslav Šulc and the founder of the Prague Black Light Theatre Jiří Srnec, among others.
Art restorer Karel Stretti dies at 74
The respected Czech art restorer Karel Stretti has died at the age of 74, the ctk news agency reported. Karel Stretti was the country’s leading restorer of paintings and helped to preserve numerous art treasures both here and abroad.
He was also a respected pedagogue at the Prague Academy of Arts. Stretti was of Italian descent and came from a long line of painters and graphics.
Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with rain showers and da temperatures between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius.