Daily news summary
Veterinarians inspect third possible case of bird flu in Czech Republic
Veterinarians are investigating what may be a third case of bird flu in the Czech Republic, after a poultry breeder near Ivančice in South Moravia discovered two dead specimens at his farm, spokesman of the State Veterinary Service Petr Pejchal told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. Minister of Agriculture on Wednesday confirmed the outbreak of Avian Influenza in the Czech Republic. Tests have shown that it is the H5 strain, which doesn’t pose threat to people.
Authorities investigate death of prisoner over apparent drugs mix up: report
Authorities are investigating how a prisoner at Prague’s Pankrác prison died after apparently being given medicine destined for another inmate. The daily Právo said the case is already being scrutinised by the state prison service and the wider inspectorate covering state security and emergency services, GIBS. The paper reports that the inmate was apparently given methadone, a substitute for heroin, which was meant for another prisoner with a similar name. He later fell into a coma and died.
Activists call on government to approve law on social housing
Dozens of organisations, experts and public figures have called on the government on Thursday to approve draft legislation on social housing and send it on to the Lower House. Štěpán Ripka of the Platform for Social Housing has warned that the new law won’t be approved before parliamentary elections if the government fails to take immediate steps. According to Labour Minister Michaela Marksová and Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka, the current compromise proposal stands a fair chance of being approved by October.
Human rights minister backs retailer over black model
The Czech minister for human rights has reacted to a storm of criticism sparked by the retailer Lidl’s use of a black male model for clothes on one of its advertising leaflets. The model sparked a wave of racist criticism and comments about the retail chain on social networks, including a mock set of Klu Klux Klan pyjamas for sale. The retailer said it saw no reason to change the advert, adding that it was the 21st century and the Czech Republic was part of a multicultural Europe. Human rights minister Jan Chvojka of the main government party, the Social Democrats, said he did not normally shop at Lidl but would now make a special effort to buy the clothes in question as a gesture of solidarity.
Temporary monument to Charter unveiled in Prague
A temporary memorial to mark the anniversary of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto was unveiled in Prague 6 on Thursday at a place where dissidents Václav Havel, Ludvík Vaculík and Pavel Landovský were arrested by the Communist secret police 40 years ago while trying to bring the text to the Federal Assembly. The memorial, designed by students from the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Arts in Pilsen, consists of old post boxes where people can reach for their own copy of Charter 77 manifesto. It will remain in place until the end of the month.
Sales of passenger cars up by 12.5 percent in 2016
Sales of new passenger cars in the Czech Republic rose by 12.5 percent last year, the Car Importers Association announced at a press conference on Thursday. Close to 260,000 vehicles were sold in the country in 2016 and the number is expected to rise even further this year. Škoda Auto remains the leader on the domestic market with a 30 percent market share. Last year, its sales increased by over 11 percent to 82,000 vehicles.
Friday will be mostly cloudy with occasional snow showers. Daytime temperatures are expected to drop as low as -9 degrees Celsius.