News Supreme Audit Office finds only shortcomings, no breach of the law, in military purchases
Investment in new military equipment by the Czech Army over the period of the last five years was marred by shortcomings in project outlines and planning, the country’s Supreme Audit Office has found. According to the audit, the army’s fighting capabilities had nevertheless improved through most of the purchases. Details of the audit were released on Monday by the Supreme Audit Office’s Olga Málková. The country’s Defence Ministry considers important the fact that the bureau found no breach of the law or of ministry regulations. The ministry has also announced that it is working on simplifying and speeding up the process of army acquisitions.
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Women’s tennis player Barbora Strýcová has been knocked out of the Australian Open, after being beaten in the fourth round by the six-time champion and world number two Serena Williams 5:7 a 4:6: The last Czech player to remain in the singles tournament is Karolína Plíšková, who will face Australia’s Daria Gavrilova to fight for a spot in the quarter finals.
Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius.
The Czech Republic should start negotiating with Great Britain over Brexit on its own, without waiting for the European Union, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Sunday in a political debate programme on Czech television, adding that it might take too long for the European Union to adopt a single stand on the issue. Mr Chovanec said the country’s priority was to protect the rights of Czechs working in Great Britain. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has already announced he wanted to meet with leaders of the parliamentary parties in February to coordinate a “national position” on the UK’s exit from the EU.
Two Czechs were killed in an avalanche accident in the Austrian Alps on Sunday. Four tourists from the Czech Republic were caught by the avalanche that struck the Wildgerlostal mountain resort near Salzburg, the Austrian mountain service informed. Two of them managed to dig themselves out of the snow on time. None of the men had proper avalanche rescue equipment with them, the rescuers reported.
Czech Eva Samková has won the gold medal in the women’s snowboard cross event at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah. The 23-year-old Olympic champion has clinched her first victory since last February and currently leads the overall World Cup standings. Michaela Moioli of Italy took silver, while the bronze went to Lindsey Jacobelis of the US.The start of the finals had to be postponed several times due to heavy snow fall and challenging wind conditions.
Fourteen firefighter units had to attend to a fire in an industrial zone near Havraň in the Most region on Sunday. The fire broke out in a factory producing plastic car interior components. Dozens of people had to be evacuated from the premises, but no chemicals were released outside the affected area, police spokeswoman Veronika Hypšlerová told the Czech News Agency. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Damage has been estimated at more than 100 million crowns.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has won the support of twelve regional branches of the Social Democratic Party for defending his post at the party`s national election congress in spring. On Saturday, he was nominated by the delegates at regional conferences in Olomouc and South Moravia. Most of the regional branches, with the exception of South Moravia, have nominated Interior Minister Milan Chovanec to defend the post of first deputy chairman. Mr Chovanec is also supported by the Prime Minister. The Social Democrats' biggest rival in the upcoming general elections in late 2017 will be the ANO Party of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, which has been consistently ahead in opinion polls.
The net profits of the state-run forestry company Lesy ČR between January and November 2016 dropped by 21 percent year on year to 4.75 billion crowns, the company has informed on its website. During that period, Lesy ČR felled 7.42 million cubic meters of timber, which is an increase by 1.8 percent. The company blames the steep drop on lower timber prices. They also say they have been forced to fell poor quality trees because of the ever present danger of bark beetle infestation. The state company owns around half the forests in the country. In 2015 it announced net profit of 5.4 billion crowns.
Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová has advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open, after beating Caroline Garcia of France 6:2 and 7:5. Strýcová will next face the six-time Australian Open Champion and world number two Serena Williams, who knocked out her fellow American Nicole Gibbs 6:1, 6:3. Another Czech, Karolina Plíšková, has also reached the fourth round after beating Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 4:6, 6:0 and 10:8.
The Czech-German declaration, which was signed 20 years ago to the day, enabled the countries to cooperate and to look into the future, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek told the Czech News Agency on Saturday. The significance of the declaration, in which the leaders of both countries pledged not to burden bilateral relations by controversial issues from the past, is still relevant today. Thanks to the agreement, Czech and Germans are not just neighbors, but also significant partners, Mr Zaorálek has said.