Daily news summary
Smog alerts called off in many parts of Czech Republic
Smog alerts have been brought to an end in a number of regions in the Czech Republic, including Prague and Central Bohemia. However, a fresh smog warning has been imposed in the Zlín region in southern Moravia. Most of the country’s regions were declared to have excessively high levels of dust particles in the air at the end of last week. The authorities in Prague had been considering introducing temporary free public transport in a bid to reduce car numbers but that idea has been dropped. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said the government will consider any suggestions on how to reduce smog put forward by the Ministry of the Environment.
Sobotka rejects Zeman commission nominee over “informing to StB”
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has rejected a nominee put forward by President Miloš Zeman for a commission examining who should be recognised as a member of the anti-Communist resistance during the previous regime. Mr. Sobotka said Mr. Zeman’s candidate Karel Srp had done a lot for independent culture under communism. However, he said, public information showed that Mr. Srp repeatedly informed to the StB secret police. Though a court ruled in 2000 that his name had wrongfully been listed in StB records, former members of the pre-1989 underground say he did indeed inform on them to the secret police.
National Museum to fully reopen after renovation by mid-2020
Prague’s National Museum will be fully reopened following a major renovation job by the middle of 2020. Work on the institution’s main building will stop in October next year for a large exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, National Museum director Michal Lukeš said on Tuesday. He made the comment after showing Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Culture Minister Daniel Herman around the main building, which at present resembles a construction site. He also said a tunnel was being built from the historical building to the nearby former Federal Assembly, which is also part of the National Museum.
Czech Republic saw third highest net gain from EU in 2016
Last year the Czech Republic received some CZK 79.6 billion more from the European Union than it paid into the coffers of the 27-member bloc, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Czech Ministry of Finance. It was the third highest net gain for the Czech Republic since it joined the EU in 2004. The country has obtained more from the bloc than it has paid in for each of the last 12 years.
Thailand deports Czech accused of knowingly spreading HIV
Police in Thailand have deported a Czech man wanted in his native country for knowingly spreading the HIV virus, the AP news agency reported. Zdeněk Pfeifer, who is 49, was arrested on the island of Phuket last week. He is accused of not informing dozens of male lovers that he had HIV; at least three contracted the disease. Mr. Pfeifer could face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty of grievous bodily harm.
Šafářová and Hlaváčková reach semi-finals of women’s doubles at Australian Open
Czech tennis players Lucie Šafářová and Andrea Hlaváčková have separately reached the women’s doubles semi-finals at the Australian Open. Lucie Šafářová, together with US partner Bethanie Mattek Sands, cruised to an easy win against the Chinese-US couple Raquel Atawa and Xu Yifan 6:1, 6:1. Andrea Hlaváčková, who played alongside Peng Shuaj of China, beat the third seeded pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia 7:5 and 7:6.
It should be cloudy in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures reaching up to -2 degrees Celsius. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing point for at least another week.