Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for July 15, 2021

Tour de France has a Czech connection, Czech Senate committee encourages solidarity with Cuba, an an American firm in talks to buy Avast. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.07.2021 09:58:00 (updated on 15.07.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Czech Republic should express solidarity with Cuba

The Czech government should enhance its support of civic society in Cuba and encourage the EU to respond to the violent suppression of anti-government protests in Cuba, chairman of the Senate foreign committee Pavel Fischer told reporters Wednesday. The committee's comments were a reaction to the mass demonstrations against the authoritarian Cuban regime that began in a number of towns Sunday and are being called the largest in Cuba in over 30 years. Earlier this year Cuba became a member country of the United Nations Council for Human Rights. "Contrary to international commitments, the Cuban regime keeps in prison political prisoners and violates fundamental rights and freedoms," the committee said. Given its experience with Communist rule, the Czech Republic should express solidarity with the countries with a similar fate, Fischer said. The Human Rights Watch says over 150 people ended up over the protests in Cuban prisons. The USA and the EU have asked Havana to release them all.

Tour de France trophies designed by Czech automaker

On July 18, participants of the 108th Tour de France will reach the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Here the winners of the individual classifications of the world-famous cycling classic will receive their trophies. This will be the eleventh time in a row that ŠKODA Design has been designed the trophies made of Czech crystal. The creative designs of Peter Olah, Head of Interior Design ŠKODA AUTO, are transformed by hand into artistic trophies at the Czech crystal glass manufacturer Lasvit over the course of several days. The trophies, which are 60 centimeters high and weigh four kilograms, are made of clear green glass and reference the current design language of ŠKODA models with their signature crystalline shapes. The 108th Tour de France started on 26 June 2021 with the ‘Grand Départ’ in Brest, Brittany. When the peloton arrives at the finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on 18 July, the riders will have covered 3,383 kilometers through France and the Principality of Andorra. 

American company in talks to buy Czech cybersecurity firm Avast

The American software company NortonLifeLock, Inc., formerly known as Symantec, is negotiating the acquisition of the Czech antivirus company Avast, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Wednesday, estimating the value of the transaction at more than eight billion dollars (approximately CZK 173 billion). Avast representatives confirmed the potential deal which would expand the U.S. company’s focus on consumer software. Avast, which is based in Prague but trades in London, makes both free and premium security consumer software such as desktop security and server and mobile-device protection. The company says it has 435 million active users and its 2020 revenue was roughly $893 million.

EC climate proposals present an opportunity to modernize Czech industry

The European Commission (EC) climate proposals are a step towards decarbonization of Europe and a big opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the EC package presented Wednesday also includes concessions to the fossil industry, the Czech Climate Coalition said in a press release. The EC package is comprised of 13 updated or completely new directives and regulations based on which the EU member states are to meet the stricter emission limits by 2030. Hnuti Duha (Czech Friends of the Earth), said the new EC proposals are a big chance to cut record-high Czech emissions of greenhouse gases and clean the air of a country that is "the second-worst in the EU due to outdated heating, coal power industry, and transport." It also said the proposals are an opportunity to modernize the Czech Republic's power and transport industries.

Czech nurse receives five years in prison for lethal injury of baby

A Regional Court in Pilsen sentenced Hana Rettova, 69-year-old a nurse to five years in prison for causing a lethal head injury to a 19-month old Vietnamese baby, who died in Prague-Motol hospital in March 2019. According to the court, the nurse deliberately attacked the child. Rettova argued that the fatal brain swelling was caused by another injury and appealed the verdict. Rettova received a five-year ban on nursing activities outside her family and must pay CZK 360,000 to the health insurance company CZK 1 million crowns to the parents. Rettova was a nurse in the Vietnamese community in Cheb for 20 years. Expert testimony said that Rettova kicked or threw away the baby and called the ambulance only later in the afternoon when the father came and could not wake him up, the plaintiff said.

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