Daily news summary

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Ukrainians again make most asylum requests in Czech Republic

A total of 1,475 foreigners applied for asylum in the Czech Republic last year, according to figures released by the country’s Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday. The number was 50 lower than for 2015. Continuing a long-term trend, Ukrainian citizens made the most asylum requests, with just over 500. The Iraqis placed second on the list with 158 asylum requests, a jump of 120 on the figure for 2015. However, the government has since abolished a programme bringing Christian Iraqi refugees to the Czech Republic after a number moved on to Germany and others returned home.

Record 1.35 million cars produced in Czech Republic last year

A record 1,344,000 cars were produced in the Czech Republic in 2016, according to figures presented on Tuesday by the president of the country’s Automotive Industry Association, Bohdan Wojnar. The industry’s output last year was 8 percent higher than in 2015 while the biggest local carmaker, Škoda Auto, recorded a 12.5 percent increase in production. The sector is expected to see further, if slower, growth this year.

Police launch investigation into collapse of sports hall roof

The police are investigating the collapse of the roof of a sports hall in Česká Třebová in East Bohemia as a case of suspected reckless endangerment through neglect, the Czech News Agency reported. The roof caved in during a floorball game on Saturday. The 80 or so people present managed to escape from the structure and only two minor injuries were recorded. The crime being investigated can carry a sentence of up to eight years in prison, a police spokesperson said.

Last man on the moon, US astronaut with Czech roots, dies aged 82

The last man on the moon, US astronaut Eugene Cernan – who never forgot his Czech and Slovak roots – has died at the age of 82. Cernan led the last manned mission to the moon, Apollo 17, in December 1972 and was the last man to stand on the moon. He took a Czechoslovak flag with him and brought back geological samples for Czechoslovakia from the mission but encountered an official cold shoulder from the communist regime when he tried to hand them over on a visit in 1974. Cernan visited Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic several times later and for the last time in 2008. His grandmother’s family came from South Bohemia and emigrated to the US at the start of the 20th century.

Šumava wild boar show excessive levels of radiation

Almost half of the wild boar in Bohemia’s Šumava mountains demonstrate excessive levels of radioactivity, according to the head of food safety section at the State Veterinary Administration, Jiří Drápal. The problem is caused by a type of underground mushroom eaten by the boar that is capable of retaining radiation from the time of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Humans would need to eat around 40 kilogrammes of contaminated meat a year to risk being affected, experts say.

Smooth start for Karolína Plíšková at Australian Open

The Czech women’s tennis number one Karolína Plíšková has progressed smoothly to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. The 24-year-old, who is ranked fifth in the world, overcame Sara Sorribes of Spain 6-2 6-0 at the centre court of the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday. After reaching the final of the US Open last season Plíšková is being talked up as a possible winner in the first Grand Slam of the year.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly cloudy with some sunny spells on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of -4 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is due until at least the end of the week.