Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Jan. 18, 2021

Czech Foreign Minister condemns detention of Navalny, call for school children to be tested weekly and Czech Lion Award nominees to be revealed.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane Published on 18.01.2021 08:43:00 (updated on 18.01.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech Foreign Minister among EU politicians condemning detention of Navalny

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek has condemned the arrest of Russian regime opponent Alexei Navalny upon his arrival in Moscow Sunday and said he considers the step politically motivated and wants it to be debated by the EU foreign ministers. "He was arrested over his views, not over what he is formally blamed for. The Russian regime has thereby violated international human rights agreements," Petricek (Social Democrats, CSSD) tweeted. He wrote he will propose a discussion on possible imposition of sanctions at the nearest meeting of the EU foreign ministers. An immediate release of Navalny has been demanded by European Council President Charles Michel.

Calls for schoolchildren to be tested for COVID every week

Schoolchildren should undergo blanket antigen testing for COVID every week if schools reopen after the current closure over the virus, and such testing should also be introduced in plants as a condition for them to keep operating, Czech Medical Chamber President Milan Kubek said. Speaking in a debate on Prima TV Sunday, Kubek criticized the way antigen tests have been used so far. They should be used in situations where it is meaningful and where they are used really effectively, he said. At present, antigen testing is freely available to all who pay for health insurance in the Czech Republic. People can have themselves tested repeatedly, once in five days at the most.

Czech Railways may make cuts due to COVID

Czech Railways could reduce the salaries of approximately 700 of its employees from April, according to Seznam Zprávy. The reason is the losses during the coronavirus crisis, which last year reached approximately four billion crowns. According to company spokeswoman Gabriela Novotná, wage cuts and new measures should last for a year. "The pandemic will end one day. So if we reduce contract wages this year, it will not be forever. The contractual salaries of directors, managers, and other employees, mainly in the administration, are re-adjusted annually with the agreement of both parties. This depends both on the performance of individual employees and in connection with the company's financial capabilities," said Ivan Bednárik, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of ČD. Read more here.

Pic of the day

Nominations for Czech Lion Awards to be announced

Už příští týden v pondělí 18. ledna oznámíme nominace 28. ročníku výročních cen Český lev. Kdo má šanci získat lví sošku...

Posted by Český lev on Thursday, 14 January 2021

The nominations of the annual awards of the Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) will be announced in Prague today. Press voting began last December. The ceremony of announcing the results should take place on March 6 in Dvořák's Hall in Prague's Rudolfinum. It is the 28th Czech Lion Awards with over 300 film professionals evaluating 22 feature films, seven animated films, and 18 short films. Out of a total of 32 documentaries this year, the commission selected 15 films. Academics also voted on ten television productions. 

Freezing temperatures overnight, but milder times ahead

Temperatures fell overnight Sunday with a number of areas well below freezing, for example in Ostrava they measured -20.2 degrees. The influx of cold air will end this week after which the afternoon temperatures could rise to 8 degrees according to Dagmar Honsová from Meteopress. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute reports the greatest frost in Orlické Záhoří in the Rychnov region, where meteorologists measured minus 26.2 degrees at half-past five in the morning. Read the latest weather news here.

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