Daily news summary
Czech Cabinet backs proposed new gun law
A proposed new law on gun ownership was approved by the Czech Cabinet on Wednesday.
The proposal aims to fit in with new European Union demands. It introduces two new categories for firearms for which permits will be needed, historic guns and air guns, with the length of permits expected to be shortened compared with the current practice.
The number of bullets or cartridges that can be kept with weapons will also be curbed.
The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) has said that it will oppose the proposed change which has to be approved by parliament.
Jiří Menzel to be honoured at Berlin film festival
Czech film director Jiří Menzel is to be honoured at this year’s Berlin Film Festival this year.
Menzel is to be given the Berlinale’s Camera Berlinale award for his contribution to comedy and the Czech New Wave.
The film ‘The Interpreter,’ in which he acts, will also be given its worldwide premiere at the festival. Past winners of the award have included Clint Eastwood and Sydney Pollack.
Czech EU commissioner scolded for Stork’s Nest comments
The Czech Republic’s EU Commissioner Věra Jourová has been wrapped over the knuckles by the European Union’s Ombudswoman.
She said that in radio interview over the so-called Stork’s Nest affair and on other occasions Jourová made comments which were inappropriate with her post as a European Commissioner and she would have been wiser not to have commented according to Emily O’ Reilly.
The Stork’s Nest affair focuses on alleged abuse of EU subsidies by ANO leader and outgoing Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš. Jourová was an ANO nominated minister before being appointed Czech commissioner.
Czech fine on broadcaster for church fashion tips in heatwave cancelled
The Czech Constitutional Court has cancelled a 200,000 crown fine imposed on commercial broadcaster, Nova, for screening a programme with fashion recommendations for what and what not to wear in church on a very hot day.
The fine was originally imposed by the state Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting and had been confirmed by a previous court ruling.
The Constitutional Court said it believed the fashion recommendations were covered by freedom of expression and could be regarded as ‘infotainment‘.
The original broadcast was screened in 2012 during a heatwave.
Czech Olympic chief Kejval elected to International Olympic Committee
The president of the Czech Olympic Committee, Jiří Kejval, has been elected to the International Olympic Committee. The vote took place in Pyeongchang, where the 2018 Winter Olympics get underway on Friday. Mr. Kejval, who is 50, is the seventh representative of Czechoslovakia or the Czech Republic elected to the IOC.
The COC chief, a former international rower, had been nominated for the post ahead of a similar vote in September. However, Mr. Kejval withdrew his candidature at the last moment after an anonymous letter concerning the abuse of sports grants in the Czech Republic was sent to the IOC.
Two Czechs injured in Taiwan earthquake
Two Czechs were hurt in an earthquake in Taiwan on Tuesday. The man and woman were staying at a hotel in the city of Hualien, which is near the epicentre of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake in the East China Sea.
The pair’s injuries were light and they did not have to be kept in hospital. They are in contact with their families, a representative of the Czech Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan’s capital Taipei told the Czech News Agency.
Over 200 people were hurt in the earthquake, which killed at least four.
Zentiva set for sale in fall
One of the Czech Republic’s biggest pharmaceutical groups, Zentiva, should learn in the third quarter who its new owner is.
French group Sanofi confirmed that timetable for the sale of its European generic drugs businesses, including Zentiva, on Wednesday.
A series of investment groups as well as one pharmaceutical company are said to be interested in bidding.
AP tips Czechs to win four medals at Winter Olympics
Czechs are tipped to pick up four medals at the Winter Olympics being staged in South Korea by the news agency Associated Press.
It sees snow boarder Ester Ledecká winning gold with speed skater Martina Sábliková winning silver in the 5000 metres event. Czech biathlon competitors are also expected to win medals.
In 2014, the Czechs won eight medals of which two were gold and four silver.
The weather on Thursday will be cloudy with some sunny intervals. Snow could fall in the centre of the country. Top temperatures will range between minus one and two degrees Celsius.