Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for August 25, 2021

Rift opens between Prime Minister and President over wiretapping, Zeman predicts NATO return to Afghanistan, new cybersecurity center opens in Prague. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.08.2021 09:58:00 (updated on 25.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Rift opens between Babiš and Zeman over wiretapping claims

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said he did not inform President Miloš Zeman that he had stopped wiretapping of people close to the President by Czech counter-intelligence. Babiš also denied that Zeman’s chief of staff Vratislav Mynář was present at their meeting on the matter. Babiš’s statement was a direct contradiction of Zeman’s recent claims. Zeman told the press that BIS counter-intelligence chief Michal Koudelka ordered wiretapping of people close to him several years ago, including his financial advisor. Zeman noted that, as he has no mobile phone, the wiretapping was in essence an attempt to monitor him personally. Zeman said he asked the Prime Minister to put a stop to the wiretapping, and that Babiš assured him he would do so, but the Prime Minister described Zeman’s account of events as “nonsense”.

NATO will need to return to Afghanistan, warns President

Czech President Miloš Zeman has predicted that NATO forces will need to return to Afghanistan, adding that the situation there is a "fiasco". The President made his remarks during a meeting of Czech ambassadors withdrawn from abroad for their annual conference. Zeman called for a reform of NATO in light of its failings in Afghanistan, claiming the Taliban will soon build a new hub for terrorism financed by the sale of opium. Zeman predicted a wave of terrorist attacks in the future as a result of the Afghan takeover. “Let us not trust the Taliban,” he said. “They will tell lies, cheat, and prepare to carry out new terrorist attacks.” Zeman claimed the Czech Republic should base its foreign policy on economic considerations, citing the exclusion of Russian and Chinese bidders from the Dukovany nuclear tender as an example of bad diplomacy.

SentinelOne announces research and development center in Prague

Cybersecurity provider SentinelOne has announced the launch of a new office and innovation center in Prague. The new location will be focused on product development, complementing the brand’s existing R&D centers around the world. SentinelOne anticipates the creation of 100 new jobs at the Prague center over the next 12 months, leveraging the Czech Republic’s technical talent in the IT engineering field. The Prague center will drive SentinelOne’s engineering activities throughout central and eastern Europe, and is expected to bolster the Czech economy with a wide variety of technical career opportunities. SentinelOne provides AI-powered prevention, detection, response and hunting cybersecurity technology within a single autonomous platform.

New Tesla Model Y arrives in the Czech Republic

A new car from innovative carmaker Tesla, called Model Y, is being introduced into the Czech Republic. The first Czech customers will receive their ordered vehicles in the coming days, with prizes starting at CZK 1,724,490. Model Y is the second compact model made by the California-based brand, after Model 3. The electric Model Y is expected to be supplied in the “Long Range” variant, which can travel 507 kilometers on a single charge, with a maximum speed of 217 kilometers per hour. A more powerful Model Y version will be available to order for CZK 1,874,490 crowns, but these cars will not be delivered to customers until next year. All Model Y vehicles are manufactured in Shanghai, but after the opening of a new "gigafactory" in Berlin, cars to be delivered to the Czech market will be made in Germany.

Ondřej Kúdela back in Czech squad for World Cup qualifier

Following the conclusion of a ten-month UEFA ban for alleged racism, Czech defender Ondřej Kúdela has been recalled to the Czech national football team facing Belgium in a World Cup qualifier next month. Kúdela was banned from international competitions in April following alleged racist abuse towards Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara during a Europa League tie, in an incident which made international headlines.. The ban meant Kúdela missed out on the Czech Republic’s run to the quarter finals in the European Championships held this summer. With the Czechs facing a stern test in Belgium, coach Jaroslav Šilhavý welcomed Kúdela’s return to the team.

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