Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Feb. 12, 2021

Germany imposes temporary border controls, Czech gun maker acquires a U.S. legend, and Czech archaeologists make a one-of-a-kind discovery. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.02.2021 09:28:00 (updated on 12.02.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

TRAVEL: Germany to tighten border controls due to virus variant

The German government decided Thursday to temporarily reinstate border controls along its southeastern border after deeming the Czech Republic and parts of Austria as  “mutation areas” due to their high number of variant coronavirus cases, German news agency dpa reported. The temporary border controls and certain entry restrictions will start Sunday at midnight. Travelers coming from certain areas of Austria or the Czech Republic will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test in order to enter Germany, a requirement that will present a challenge for thousands of cross-border commuters

HISTORY: Archaeologists reveal oldest writing system among Slavs to be Germanic runes

The oldest archaeologically proven script of Slavs is not Glagolitic, as was believed, but the old Germanic runes. These have been found on an animal rib bone uncovered near Břeclav, South Moravia, together with Slavic pottery, Brno's Masaryk University said. Czech archaeologists found the inscribed bone in 2017 and recently applied the new genetic and radiocarbon dating methods to determine the bone dates to around 600 A.D, The text is in Elder Futhark runes, the script used by the German-speaking population of Central Europe from the second to seventh century. Until now, the Glagolitic, which the ninth-century Christian missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius brought from the Byzantine Empire to Moravia, was considered the oldest script of Slavs.

BUSINESS: Czech gun maker to acquire legendary U.S. gun manufacturer

Czech arms maker Česká Zbrojovka (CZG) said Thursday it will buy the legendary US gun manufacturer Colt, including its Canadian unit. “CZG shall acquire a 100 percent stake in Colt for upfront cash consideration of $220 million (180 million euros) and the issuance of 1,098,620 shares of newly issued CZG common stock,” the Czech company said in a press release. The takeover is subject to approval by market regulators, but CZG said it wants the deal to be completed in the second quarter of the year. “We are proud to include Colt, which has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the US Army for over 175 years, in our portfolio,” said CZG board chairman Lubomír Kovařík.

COVID: Closed districts to be guarded by 580 police

The observance of new restrictions in the Czech districts of Cheb, Sokolov and Trutnov, where the government has barred people's entries and departures as of Friday over soaring COVID-19, will be checked by 580 police at 80 places, Deputy Police President Martin Vondrášek said. He told a press conference that the districts would not be sealed off absolutely. He said people should travel across the closed district borders only if urgently needed and in harmony with the exemptions as declared by the cabinet. The police have agreed with the Military Police on the latter's assistance in the checks if needed, and may use this opportunity next week.

SPORTS: Sparta Prague football club changes logo

Sparta Prague football club has changed its logo and other visual elements. The red background in the circle has been changed to black, and the circular text with the club name been has been moved into two lines at the bottom. The central S has been changed from black to white.Other elements were simplified. The new logo took a year and half to develop. It will appear on all future shirts and souvenir items. The visual concept was created by the Go4Gold agency, which in the past collaborated with the Sparta hockey club and the Czech Ice Hockey Association. The previous logo had been introduced in 1993.

SCHOOLS: Students can access digitized libraries until summer

Students, teachers, and scientists will have access to digitized documents of selected Czech libraries until the end of June, Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek and Association of Booksellers and Publishers head Martin Vopěnka agreed. The online documents can be read but not copied or downloaded. The state will pay CZK 80 million to the publishers in compensation for the unsold books that will be available online, the ministry said. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Czech digital libraries were accessible online to students last spring and then from the autumn.

CRIME: Head of Zeman’s office facing EU fraud charges

Police have accused the head of the  President’s Office, Vratislav Mynář, of damaging EU financial interests, the Presidential Office announced. The case apparently relates to subsidies for a boarding house in Osvětimany. In 2011, the Olomouc Regional Council Office accorded the European subsidies of CZK 6 million to Mynář’s Clever Management for the construction of the boarding house. After a check of the financing, in which some inconsistencies were found, the office asked the police to investigate the subsidy. Mynář said it is an artificially constructed case with a political background. President Miloš Zeman will not dismiss Mynář, Zeman's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said.

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