News Strong winds, rain hit state-owned forests hard
Strong winds and heavy rainfall in the Czech Republic have caused extensive damage to forestland belonging to the state-owned forestry firm Lesy ČR, affecting an estimated 150,000 cubic metres of wood. The amount represents 2 percent of wood felled annually in state forests. Forests in the areas of Moravia-Silesia, Zlín and Olomouc were the hardest hit, Lesy ČR has revealed. The financial cost has not yet been tabulated.
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The number of registered cases of HIV infection in the Czech Republic at the end of June was 2,783, according to Miroslav Hlavatý of the organisation Red Ribbons, who cited data from the National Reference Laboratory for HIV/AIDS. Some 484 of those patients had developed AIDS, he said. The number in November last year was 2,567. Mr. Hlavatý said the latest figures showed that the infection rate was not declining but was on the contrary still very strong and on the rise. Of those registered with HIV around six out of seven are men.
Police in Hradec Králové are appealing for clients of a prostitute accused of offering unprotected sex despite knowing she had HIV to come forward, iDnes.cz reported. The woman, who is 27 and went under the name Niky69, has been charged with attempted grievous bodily harm and spreading an infectious disease and could face up to 12 years in jail if found guilty. A police spokesperson promised the clients discretion and warned that if they did not undergo medical tests they were threatening not only their health but that of their partners.
The state agency that manages the Vltava river, Povodí Vltavy, has begun marking out areas on reservoirs as safe zones for swimmers, Czech Television reported. The move follows a relaxation in the regulations last year that allowed motor boats and water scooters in places where they were previously banned. This has led to increased clashes, while a woman was killed earlier this summer when she was hit by a water scooter at Orlík Dam, Czech Television said. However, critics say the number safe zones planned – 16 – is insufficient.
Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has again criticised Interior Minister Milan Chovanec’s demand for an extra CZK 3 billion in next year’s budget to increase police numbers and fight terrorism, iDnes.cz reported. For his part, Mr. Chovanec says the money should mainly go toward technical equipment and has already been approved by the cabinet. Mr. Babiš on Saturday accused Mr. Chovancec of populism, saying that the battle against terrorism should be fought by means of the secret services, not by increasing the number of police officers on the streets. The latter tweeted “Are we really going to have a political fight within the government regarding terrorism?” The two ministers have had a number of public spats.
Temperatures and rainfall in August should be average for the time of year, according to a regular monthly forecast issued on Saturday by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. Next week should be the warmest of August with daytime highs of around 25 degrees Celsius. The last week of the month should be the coolest, with temperatures of about 23 degrees Celsius expected.
The reigning Czech football league champions Viktoria Plzeň have got off to a wining start to the 2016/2017 season, beating Jilhava 2:1 away. The title-holders came from behind to draw level before Jan Kopic earned them all three points with a fine strike. Plzeň on Tuesday visit Quarabag of Azerbaijan for the second leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie. The first leg ended 0:0.
Forecasters have warned of storms in the Czech Republic on Sunday. They are expected to bring heavy rainfall and hailstones of two centimetres in diameter and should be particularly heavy in Moravia and the eastern part of Bohemia, though warnings have been issued for all parts of the country. Regions including South Bohemia, Pardubice and Vysočina should be affected from around 8 am on Sunday, while Prague is expected to not be so badly affected.
Some 140 students have signed up to Charles University’s Czech language summer school, which is being held this year for the 60th time. The course, which is organised by the Institute of Czech Studies at the institution’s Faculty of Arts, runs from Saturday until 25 August. Students are divided into four levels at the summer school, which also focuses on Czech literature, history and culture and has a rich accompanying programme.
Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has ruled out delaying the introduction of new electronic cash registers connected to a tax authority database, iHned.cz reported. The ANO leader had been considering a call to postpone rolling out the system from the Chamber of Commerce. However, Mr. Babiš now says the project will go ahead as planned, with the first phase – involving hotels and restaurants – going live on December 1. Trial operation will start a month earlier. Opponents say the electronic cash register system, which makes it compulsory for businesses to supply information on sales online in real time, will overly complicate the lives of restauranteurs and retailers.
A pedestrian has died after being hit by a police vehicle in the Ostrava, a spokesperson for GIBS, the agency that investigates possible wrong-doing by members of the police force, said on Saturday. The incident occurred after 10 pm on Friday in the Svinov district of the north Moravian city. The pedestrian, who was 60, suffered multiple serious injuries and died on the spot.