News Food Inspection Office issues cherry tomato warning
The Czech Food Inspection Office has issued a health warning with regard to cherry tomatoes imported from Morocco which may cause indigestion, vomiting and stomach cramps. The warning comes from the French authorities where 16 people suffered severe indigestion problems after consuming this particular brand of cherry tomatoes. According to the Food Inspection Office over 50,000 kilos of these tomatoes were imported to the Czech Republic. They are being sold in the Kaufland, Billa and Penny Market chains. Potentially contaminated batches were sold after April 20th.
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January 26 marks two years to the day since Miloš Zeman’s triumph over rival candidate Karel Schwarzenberg in the country’s first direct presidential elections, the Czech News Agency noted on Monday. In the second-round in the election in 2013, Mr Zeman secured some 55 percent of the vote (or some 500 thousand more votes) in the run-off against the former foreign minister. Later on the day, the president-elect pledged to represent all Czechs, not just those who cast their ballot for him, but critics charge Mr Zeman has since pursued a style of leadership which has been largely divisive. Others suggest divisions have remained since the election, with the president in the past claiming that supporters of Karel Schwarzenberg had still not come to terms with his defeat.
The country’s Supreme Court has upheld an earlier ruling which classified a machete attack by four Romany assailants in a bar in Nový Bor as attempted murder. Three people were injured in the attack in 2011, with one man almost dying, and the four received sentences ranging from five to 17.5 years in jail. Afterwards, the incident sparked anti-Roma protests in northern Bohemia. The decision by the Supreme Court was reached in December but only made public now.
Heavy snowfall at the weekend saw pyrotechnics experts sets aside work at the damaged Vrbětice munitions plant in Moravia until the weather improves. A police spokesman said that plans for all munitions to be transferred to a new site by the end of January remained on track, barring further weather complications. The site saw a massive explosion in October last year which claimed two lives. Additional uncontrolled explosions followed and the site has since been guarded by the military to prevent injury or further deaths.
The mountain rescue service in Jeseníky Mountains has called a third degree avalanche alert on a five point scale. Relatively mild temperatures, strong winds and up to thirty centimetres of fresh snow over the weekend are reported to have created a highly unstable layer of snow on many slopes. Skiers have been warned not to take risks or stray from marked trails.
A forum on anti-Semitism opens in Prague on Monday as part of two days of remembrance events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The forum Let My People Live, organized by the European Jewish Congress, will address the danger of growing anti-Semitism, the role of the media in shaping public opinion, the role of politicians in combating xenophobia and legislative measures against intolerance. In the evening there will be a gala reception at Prague’s Municipal House. On Tuesday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a commemorative ceremony will be held at the site of the Terzin ghetto, north of Prague. The commemorative events in the Czech Republic will be attended by around 500 foreign guests including two presidents, around thirty heads of parliament and cultural figures.
The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka has stressed the need for interreligious dialogue as a means of diffusing the tension in Europe in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Speaking on a visit to Belgium, the cardinal said dialogue was the way to greater understanding and tolerance but noted that at a time of heightened emotions attempts at such dialogue often failed. He said that some of the public exchanges he had heard at home showed a basic lack of understanding of both Christianity and Islam.
The Czech Helsinki Committee has called for better conditions in Czech prisons. The committee has given MPs in the lower house a list of problem areas which it says should be given consideration in the process of drafting amendments in the law on prison service. Among the improvements suggested are the right to a shower daily, better quality food and a radio in every cell.
Anti-nuclear organizations in Upper Austria have jointly filed a complaint against Czech plans for the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant by another two reactors, the APA news agency reports. The news was confirmed by Upper Austrian Environment Minister Rudi Anschober who said that all possible steps would be taken to prevent the project. Anti-nuclear organizations on the Czech side –South Bohemian Mothers Against Temelín, the Civic Initiative for Environmental Protection and Calla – have also filed a complaint against the State Institute for Nuclear Safety for approving the expansion plans. For the present time the project has been put on hold for financial reasons.
The Food Inspection Office has issued a health warning about a sesame paste sold on the Czech market which was found to contain salmonella bacteria. The product, sold under the name Alnatura Tahin Bio Sesammus, sells in the Globus supermarket chain.
Petr Václav's social drama "The Way Out" (Cesta ven) won the fifth annual Czech Film Critics’ Awards on Saturday night, picking up prizes for Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay. Klaudia Dudová, who is not professionally trained, won the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of a young Roma woman seeking security and a better life. The award for Best Documentary went to director Martin Dušek and producer Kamila Zlatušková for their story about people who customize cars, "Into the Clouds We Gaze" (K oblakům vzhlížíme). The award for Discovery of the Year was given to Jiří Mádl for his directorial debut "To See the Sea" (Pojedeme k moři).