Special veterinary conditions have been imposed on the whole of the Zlín district after more cases of African swine fever. The special zone previously applied to a restricted area surrounding the site where the fever was confirmed in the first two cases two weeks ago. Four cases of the fever, which is not harmful to man, have been confirmed with 17 animals having died. In response, Russia widened an existing pan on pork imports from the Czech Republic to smoked and canned meat.
The Ministry of Finance has announced that work on reconstruction of Karlovy Vary’s famous Thermal Hotel will be delayed. Reconstruction of the hotel should have originally started at the end of the ongoing film festival, where the hotel is the main focus for events. Now, however, it looks likely to start at the end of the year. The ministry says that complications have occurred due to the designation of the hotel as a cultural site which means that the tender procedures for work must change. The hotel complex is owned by the finance ministry.
Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka is due to meet with Egyptian president Abdale Fattah el Sisi on Tuesday in Budapest as part of a regular meeting of the Visegrad Four group. The meeting should discuss the situation in the Middle East and North Africa as regards the threat of terrorism and migration. A bilateral meeting between Sobotka and el Sisi should also broach the issues of energy security and economic, cultural and education cooperation, according to the Czech government. Hungary has taken over the presidency of the four nation V4 grouping also including Poland and Hungary.
A team at the Brno-based Global Change Research Institute is offering daily updates on the drought situation in the Czech Republic online. The institute specialising in climate change, part of the Czech Academy of Sciences, has established a seven scale drought ranking with detailed maps offering a picture of the situation nationwide as well as in individual districts. The map is likely to be crucial for farmers. Last week large parts of South Bohemia and South Moravia were described as having extreme or exceptional drought conditions.
Czech prisons are overcrowded and unable to offer the stipulated space to inmates. At the end of June there were 1,831 people in custody or facing charges more than the prison service could ideally hold, according to justice ministry figures. The total prison population was 22,794 at the end of June, up from 22,502 at the end of 2016. The numbers have been rising at a slower pace in recent months. Media reports suggest a reorganisation of the prison system creating two types of prisons in place of four has complicated the situation.
Czech tennis player and former Wimbledon finalist Tomáš Berdych has slipped to 15th from 14th place on the mens’ world ranking at the start of the Wimbledon tournament. Frenchman Gael Monfils, finalist in the weekend’s Eastbourne tournament, leapfrogged over the Czech into 14th place. Berdych played an exhibition tournament at Hurlingham as his Wimbledon warm up and could therefore not pick up any points.
Czech ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr’s contract with the Florida Panthers has not been renewed ahead of the new season, meaning he must find a new club. The Panthers announced that the club regretted that it was seeking a new direction which did not include the 45 year old Czech. Local media say the new coach, Bob Boughner, did not see Jágr as part of the future set up. Jágr had wanted to stay on in Florida. He remarked on his Twitter account last week that he had no responses from approaches to various clubs.
The movie based on the life of politician Milada Horáková who was executed by the Communists after a show trial in the hardline 1950s is in post-production and will premiere on October 31st of this year. The film’s director, producer and scriptwriter David Mrnka spent nine years working on the project. Milada Horáková is portrayed by the Israeli-American actress Ayelet Zurer. American actor Robert Grant plays her husband. The screenplay is based on materials provided by Horáková’s daughter Jana Kánská.
Andrej Babš’ ANO party is maintaining a strong lead over its political rivals, according to a survey conducted by the TNS agency. According to the outcome, ANO would now win general elections with 33.5 percent of the vote, followed by the centre-right Civic Democrats with 11 percent and the Communist Party with 10.5 percent. The Social Democrats would come fourth with 10 percent of the vote. TOP 09 and Tomio Okamura’s SPD would get 7.5 percent each. The alliance of Christian Democrats and Mayors would only get 7.5 percent together and would thereby fail to win seats in the lower house for which they would need 10 percent support as a coalition.