Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for April 29, 2021

EU to vote on sanctions against Moscow, Czech Republic donates oxygen to Covid-hit India, and Czech scientists discover a new genus of frog. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 29.04.2021 09:41:00 (updated on 30.04.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

European Parliament to vote on sanctions against Russia

High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell told MEPs that Brussels won't accept further intimidation by Moscow. His remarks come on the heels of Russia's decision to expel diplomats from Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia after those countries expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with Prague. Romania also announced plans to expel a Russian diplomat. At a Wednesday debate, MEPs proposed that coordinated steps be taken by the EU as a whole. A draft resolution to impose further sanctions on Russia that will be put to a vote on Thursday, has enough support to pass. Prague has accused Moscow of orchestrating a 2014 explosion at an ammunition depots, adding to the long list of tensions between the European bloc and Russia which include the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and recent Russian war games near the border with Ukraine. ČTK

Czech Republic will donate 500 oxygen tanks to help Covid-hit India

The Czech Republic has approved the donation of 500 oxygen tanks to India which is facing a surge in numbers of new Covid cases. The donation, along with Austrian aid, should arrive in India early next week, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tweeted Wednesday. Last week, the Czech PM discussed the serious situation in India with Czech Ambassador to India Milan Hovorka and his counterpart in the Czech Republic Hemant Kotalwar. Czech firefighters will buy the oxygen tanks and transport them to Vienna. Earlier this week India reported a record high numbers of 3,293 Covid-related deaths with more than 360,000 newly infected. Overall, the novel coronavirus has claimed over 200,000 lives in India. ČTK


EU Parliament designates a new space agency in Prague

The EP approved on Wednesday the launch of the new European space program as an umbrella program for all of the EU's current space activities. The new program widens the operation and scope of the Prague-seated GSA space agency. The Prague-seated agency's enhanced tasks will require an increase in its staff, from the current 200 to up to three times as many. "With this agency, the Czech Republic is reaching the top of space technologies, which would be coordinated from there," said Czech MEP Evžen Tošenovský. The change, which EP representatives and EU member states preliminarily agreed on last year, still requires formal confirmation by the Council of the EU. ČTK

Film production in the Czech Republic in 2021 to reach pre-pandemic levels

Based on data from the Czech Film Commission, film projects in 2021 in the Czech Republic will reach pre-pandemic levels. Due to robust film incentives, 2019 was record-breaking year for the Czech film industry, with CZK 9 billion (EUR 347 million / USD 420 million) in foreign investment flowing into the country. Large projects for Amazon, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ZDF, and Sky are underway including the continuation of two of the largest projects ever shot in the Czech Republic to date: "Carnival Row" and "The Wheel of Time". Over half a dozen additional projects are currently in production including the Netflix feature film "Spaceman" an adaptation of the novel by Czech writer Jaromir Kalfar, and CIA thriller "The Gray Man," with Ryan Gosling.

Czech-led team discovers new frog genus in Congo DR

A team led by Czech scientist Vaclav Gvozdik has discovered a new genus of Hyperoliids, a large family of sedge and bush frogs, in the rainforest of Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Czech Academy of Sciences, of which Gvozdik is a member, said Wednesday. Named "Congolius" the frogs are an example of convergent evolution and live only in central Congo, south of the Congo River, the research showed. Gvozdik previously made several breakthrough discoveries in Africa, such as a forgotten crocodile species in Congo and two new species of critically endangered frogs in Cameroon. ČTK

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