• 06/16/2021

    From Wednesday, Czech tourists are allowed to travel to Bulgaria without any restrictions, granted that they show either a negative coronavirus test, evidence of having received at least one coronavirus vaccine, or a certificate of recovery upon their return, Foregin Minister Jakub Kulhánek announced via his Twitter account.

    If the statement is confirmed, it would mean Bulgaria joining Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia and Hungary in the list of countries to which Czech tourists can travel to largely freely.

    Tourists from Bulgaria will be able to visit Czechia from June 21, provided that they have received at least one vaccine dose.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    There was a 267 percent year-on-year rise in the number of cyber attacks launched at the Czech Republic’s health sector in 2020, according to the newly released annual report of the country’s National Cyber and Information Agency (NÚKIB).

    The agency warns that last year saw the development of a new, large scale trend of ransomware attacks against health facilities. The most serious incident occurred in March of 2020, when the Faculty Hospital in Brno was the target of a ransomware attack that caused millions of crowns in damages and shut down three departments.

    Other targets included the Faculty Hospital in Ostrava, the Regional Hospital in Karlovy Vary, or the Hospital in Benešov.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    Temperatures are expected to reach up to 33 degrees Celsius on Thursday, with sunny and open skies above.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    The number of criminal cases launched by the Czech Republic’s High Public Prosecutor’s Office saw a year-on-year comparative fall by 30,000 cases to a total of 181,924, according to the office’s annual report published on its website on Wednesday.

    According to the report, the main reason behind the fall in crime was the coronavirus epidemic. Furthermore, cases are also believed to have fallen due to new legislation launched in October 2020, which raised the minimum threshold for property crimes from CZK 5,000 to CZK 10,000.

    Despite the fall in crime, the report states that little has changed in terms of patterns of criminal behaviour. Property crimes remain the most common form of criminal activity. The rate of violent crimes stagnated. Meanwhile, the number of reported cyber crimes continued to rise.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    A segment of the Czech economy, particularly industry and related foreign trade, started to recover during the first quarter of 2021, according to the Czech Statistics Agency, which has just completed an analysis of the period. The main reason for the recovery is that industry and foreign trade were largely unaffected by government coronavirus containment measures, unlike a significant segment of the trade and services sectors.

    Despite positive signs in some of the sectors, the Czech economy contracted by 2.1 percent  during the first quarter of 2021, in part due to a fall in consumption connected to lockdowns. Investments were also low, the head of the Czech Statistics Agency, Marek Rojíček, told Czech Television. Meanwhile, one of the main reasons for growth in the industry and foreign trade sectors was the rise in automobile production.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    A quarter century after they were first introduced to the capital’s streets, Prague’s Public Transit Company has announced it will be retiring its T6A5 trams. The tram’s last journey is set to take place on Saturday, June 19, on the nr. 4 line, where it will be used from 8am until 6pm.

    Two T6A5 trams will be kept by the Prague Public Transit Company for use on historic lines, primarily as an attraction for tourists.

    The Tatra T6A5 was designed as a successor to the popular Tatra T3 model. Nicknamed “The Iron”, the tram is known for its angular shape. It is currently used in several Czech and Slovak cities.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    The Czech Republic’s National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB) has issued a warning of an upcoming wave of extortionary campaigns targeting the country’s public and private sectors. The attacks are coming from a group of cybercriminals known under the name “Fancy Lazarus”, which uses the threat of launching a powerful DDoS attack to extort payments in Bitcoin from its victims. Similar warnings were issued by NÚKIB in May as well.

    The state cyber watchdog recommends not replying to the group’s emails. Instead, companies are advised to contact the police or the country’s CERT cyber security coordination team.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    On Wednesday, the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of exclusively using technologies provided by states that have acquiesced to an international agreement on government tenders for the expansion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant. In effect, this means that Chinese and Russian companies are not able to take part in the tenders.

    The vote came just after the government finished setting up its security questionnaire for companies competing in the multibillion crown tender. The document has now been sent to the state owned energy company ČEZ, which is expected to forward it to the respective contenders - France’s EDF, South Korea’s KHNP and the North American company Westinghouse.

    Russian and Chinese companies have also been excluded from the tender by the government.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 06/16/2021

    The Lidice Memorial is to create a digital model of the original village of Lidice, which was razed to the ground by the Nazis in June 1942. The director of the memorial, Eduard Stehlík, said many of the building in one part of the village were already ready.

    From next year visitors will be able to view individual buildings in the spots where they once stood by means of mobile telephones and tablets, Mr. Stehlík said.

    The Germans intended to wipe Lidice off the map for eternity and murdered a large part of the population. The atrocity came in retaliation for the assassination of governor Reinhard Heydrich.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/15/2021

    The Czech government has petitioned the European Union’s Court of Justice to fine Poland EUR 5 million for each day it continues to mine coal from the Turow mine near the Czech border.

    In February the Czech Republic filed a lawsuit against Poland at the Court of Justice, saying that the mine was contaminating water used by Czech communities near the border. The court last month ordered Poland to suspend mining at Turow but Poland has ignored the ruling.

    The two countries are due to begin talks on the matter on Thursday.

    Author: Ian Willoughby

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