Daily news summary

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Prague Castle welcomes Trump ban on refugees

Prague Castle has welcomed the executive decision by US President Donald Trump to implement a 120-day ban on the entry of refugees; Jiři Ovčáček, the spokesman for Czech President Miloš Zeman, made a statement on twitter confirming his boss's support for the move. He said that Mr Trump, as well as the Czech president, were doing the opposite of what the "EU elites" were doing (in his view, protecting their citizens). The strict measures by the new US president, which include an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria, have come under heavy criticism from numerous aid organizations; the UN Refugee Agency has stated that the need to help refugees has never been greater.

FM: European Union needs own military forces, agreement on common foreign policy and security, or will lose influence internationally

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has stated that unless the European Union begins working intensively on forming its own military forces and begins working on common foreign policy goals and security, it will struggle to retain influence on the international scene. Relying on so-called soft power was no longer be enough, he added, as evidenced by the fact that the EU was not invited to take part in talks Astana, Kazakhstan to try and help resolve the conflict in war-torn Syria. Many EU member states are also members of NATO, committed to coming to each other's aid under Article 5. But there has been criticism that some members have not paid their fair share, not least from the president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Russian skater Medvedeva defends European title and sets new world record in Ostrava

Seventeen-year-old Russian figure skater Yevgenia Medvedeva defended her European title and set a new world record at the European Championships in Ostrava on Friday, defeating the previous record set by Yuna Kim from the 2010 Olympics. Medvedeva tallied 229.71 points for the triumph; NBC News described the champion as "looking like the most dominant women's skater in 30 years". In the competition, Czech skater Michaela Lucie Hanzlíková finished outside the top ten.

PM in favour of health sector investment fund fueled by excise tax revenues from alcohol, tobacco

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has suggested that part of excise tax revenues from alcohol and tobacco could in the future go into a special fund run by the Health Ministry to be used for investment in hospitals. One reason, the prime minister said, was an expected drop in the future in EU funds. The prime minister made clear he wanted to open the issue of how best to invest in the health sector ahead of this year's parliamentary elections.

Group of volunteers searches forest area for sign of missing girl

More than a dozen volunteers set out on Saturday to look for a 12-year-old girl who went missing some two weeks ago in Ústí nad Labem. The group, organized by former actress Michaela Kudláčková, aimed to search a forested area called Střížovický vrch, located not far from the child's home. A friend of the missing girl is also involved, helping search parts of the area both knew well. The search was organized on facebook and had not been coordinated with the police, police spokeswoman Veronika Hyšplerová said.

Snowboarder Ledecká triumphs at Rogla for third time

Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká has won the Parallel Giant Slalom in Slovenia's Rogla on the FIS circuit for the third time in her career. The 21-year-old thus increased her lead at the top of the World Cup standings in the alpine snowboard discipline.

Weather

Sunday should be cloudy with sunny periods and daytime temperatures of around 1 degree Celsius.