Daily news summary
Azerbaijan issues international arrest warrant for Czech MEP Štětina
Azerbaijan has issued an international arrest warrant for the Czech Member of the European Parliament Jaroslav Štětina, the news website Blesk.cz reported. Mr. Štětina wrote on Facebook that he and two other MEPs were wanted by the Azerbaijani authorities after serving as referendum observers in the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh earlier this week. According to Blesk.cz, the website kavkasia.net quoted the Azerbaijan prosecutor’s office as saying the three had repeatedly entered occupied territory in the country illegally.
ANO party files complaint at Constitutional Court over “lex Babiš”
The ANO party filed a petition on Thursday against the so-called Lex Babiš legislation at the Constitutional Court. The party argues that the conflict of interest bill is unconstitutional as it violates a prohibition on discrimination on the basis of property. The legislation is widely seen as targeting ANO chief Andrej Babiš, who is minister of finance and controls large companies and media outlets. The bill was pushed through Parliament despite a presidential veto. The ANO party has collected over 40 signatures necessary to lodge a complaint at the Constitutional Court. The matter has also been already taken to the country’s highest court by president Miloš Zeman.
News site: Imports of Polish foodstuffs fall as Czech incomes rise
Imports of Polish foodstuffs into the Czech Republic declined last year, iDnes.cz reported on Thursday, citing data from the Czech Statistics Office. Polish foods valued at CZK 31.4 billion were purchased by Czech consumers in 2016, down CZK 2 billion from the record level registered the previous year. iDnes said there were various reasons for the fall with the main one being rising incomes in the Czech Republic. Stricter controls may also have been a factor, the news site said. Five years ago the Polish food industry was hit by a scandal when firms were found to be using technical salt; the Czech Republic was one state to which products containing the dangerous substance were exported.
First outbreak of bird flu confirmed in Pilsen region
Czech veterinarians have confirmed the first outbreak of bird flu in the Pilsen region. A small poultry breeder from the village of Bohy has found 20 dead hens with tests later proving the presence of the H5 virus. Another outbreak has been reported from Dačice in South Bohemia. Overall, there are currently 32 cases of bird flu breaks in the country. While the H5 strain of bird flu is highly dangerous for birds, it has never caused illness in human beings.
Matěj Mináč to receive Raoul Wallenberg award for his films about Nicholas Winton
Slovak Director Matěj Mináč, along with producer Patrik Pašš, are set to receive the Raoul Wallenberg Award for keeping alive the memory of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British man who helped to save 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovak children from the Holocaust. The award is bestowed by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, named after the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during WWII. The award-giving ceremony will take place in Prague on March 14. Matěj Mináč has produced three films about Sir Nicholas Winton, a feature film called All My Loved Ones and two documentaries, The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton and Nicky’s Family.
Jan Tříska to receive Febiofest award
Czech actor Jan Tříska will receive the Kristián award for his contribution to world cinema at this year’s edition of Prague’s Febiofest. The famous actor, who lives in the United States, will come to Prague to pick up the award, along with US director Abel Ferrara and UK cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, a close collaborator of director David Cronenberg. The 24th edition of Febiofest, which runs from March 23 to 31, will open with the Czech premiere of Spoor, a new film by Polish director Agnieszka Holland that was partly shot in the Czech Republic.
Friday is expected to be mostly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius.