Daily news summary
Smog continues to plague some parts of Czech Republic
A smog warning from the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute remained in place on Monday for some parts of the Czech Republic. The warning applied for eight regions, including Prague, Hradec Králové, Ústí nad Labem and South Moravia, where more than double the permissible limit for airborne dust particles have been recorded. People with respiratory diseases and heart condition as well as elderly people and children have been advised to limit outdoor physical activities. Authorities in Prague have repeatedly appealed to drivers to curb their travels. The regulation limiting the biggest polluters is still in place in the regions of Prague, Olomouc and Central Bohemia.
Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of Prague Miloslav Vlk to undergo treatment for cancer
Czech Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of Prague Miloslav Vlk, 84, has been diagnosed with lung cancer which has metastasized also to the bones; he is due to begin chemotherapy soon, the Czech News Agency and other sources reported on Monday. The first signs of the disease reportedly appeared last spring and at around Christmas of 2016 the Cardinal was hospitalised after his condition worsened. His illness was diagnosed this month, following a CT scan and bronchoscopy. Cardinal Vlk is in home care at a parish in Karlín where he is being cared for by the local priest, the website www.kardinal.cz writes.
Euro MP Ježek sceptical Czech Republic, on its own, could negotiate better terms on Brexit
Czech Euro MPs for ANO, Pavel Telička and Petr Ježek, have criticized Interior Minister Milan Chovanec for his statement on Sunday that the Czech Republic could begin negotiations with Great Britain over Brexit on its own rather than waiting for the European Union. At a press conference, Mr Telička called the idea “foolish” while fellow MP Ježek expressed doubts the Czech Republic alone could negotiate better terms than Germany or France. The EU has maintained that negotiations with Britain to leave should be conducted by EU members together.
Supreme Audit Office says allotted 9.4 billion crowns did not improve state of environment
The Supreme Audit Office reports that 9.4 billion crowns allotted by the Environment Ministry from European and state funds in the years 2013 – 2015 did not improve the state of the environment. The news was confirmed by the bureau’s spokeswoman Olga Málková. The audit office says the ministry failed to assess the suitability and effectiveness of some projects. The ministry denies that the subsidies did not bring improvements.
Euro MP Mach re-elected head of Free Citizens’ Party
Euro MP Petr Mach was re-elected the head of the Free Citizens’ Party at the weekend, gaining 301 of 487 votes from party members. About half of the party’s members took part. Two people, economist Martin Pánek and home schooling consultant Irena Steinhauserová ran against the chairman, picking up 128 and 58 votes, respectively. In December, Mach, 41, resigned as chairman over differences in the direction of the party, not represented in the Czech lower house. The division was over whether leaving the EU should be the sole signature aim of the party or one of several. The latter position was advocated by Mr Mach.
Czech tennis player Plíšková reaches quarterfinals at Australian Open
Karolína Plíšková, a US Open finalist last year, has advanced to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, beating Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-3. The Czech faces Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, next.
Meanwhile, Barbora Strýcová was knocked out after being beaten in the fourth round by the six-time champion and world number two Serena Williams by a score of 5:7, 4:6.
Tuesday is expected to be cloudy; daytime temperatures will remain well below zero, at around -4 degrees Celsius.