Czech morning news roundup: Monday, November 8, 2021

Babiš contacted by police over D1 driving affair, iPhone users face large-scale cyber attack, Czech billionaire poised to buy English football club. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 08.11.2021 09:28:00 (updated on 08.11.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Lead story Andrej Babiš contacted by police over driving video

Czech police have called on outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to explain a video in which he drives along the newly reconstructed D1 motorway and explains the repair works to viewers. The video has led to accusations that Babiš was driving without fully concentrating, as he repeatedly looked at documents to which he was referring while talking to the camera.

Babiš said the police have contacted him over the matter, claiming he was driving slowly and looking at the road although he did look at papers "for two or three milliseconds." The reconstruction of the largest Czech motorway began in 2013, and turned into an ongoing saga as work was delayed by three years and deadlines missed twice.

Technology Czech iPhone users hit by large-sale hacking attack

Thousands of Czech users of Apple iPhones have been targeted by an extensive phishing attack campaign over recent days. Several Czech telephone numbers have been sending out SMS messages prompting users to update their login details to the Apple ID service via a fake login page. Entering the demanded credentials can see users lose control of their device as well as personal information, files and data.

Cybersecurity company Eset, which made the attack public, is urging iPhone users to act with caution and to watch out for minor details in any text messages they receive claiming to come from Apple. The attackers are using fear and panic to prompt users to respond, so it is important that iPhone owners remain cool and calm. If users have already provided their personal credentials to the attackers or are worried they may have done so in the past, Eset recommends contacting the Apple Support website immediately.

Sport Czech billionaire poised to buy large stake in famous English football club

Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský attended West Ham United’s 3-2 victory over Liverpool taking them third in the English football Premier League on Sunday amid talks to buy a significant stake in the club. Křetínský sat in the directors’ box for the game as a deal worth £150 million (CZK 4.4 billion) nears completion.

Křetínský is already the co-owner and president of Czech giant Sparta Prague, and questions have been raised about whether UEFA rules will allow for his continued ownership of Sparta given UEFA rules barring majority ownership of more than one European club by a single individual. Yet the billionaire’s anticipated arrival at West Ham is being warmly welcomed by fans, with West Ham already bearing a distinctively Czech streak as some of the Czech Republic’s top international stars play at the London Stadium.

Weather Coldest October in five years recorded in the Czech Republic

Measurements from Prague’s Klementinum, taken as representative for the country, showed that this October was the coldest seen in the last five years in the Czech Republic. The average monthly temperature in October this year was 11 degrees in Prague, which ranks it as the 57th coldest October ever recorded throughout 247 years of constant temperature monitoring at Klementinum.

According to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the highest average daily temperature of 17.9 degrees was measured on October 20, while the lowest, 6.1 degrees, was measured on October 25. The warmest October on record was in 1795, with an average monthly temperature of 13.8 degrees, followed by the years 2001 and 1811. The coldest October ever recorded was in 1905, with an average temperature of 5.6 degrees, followed by the years 1786 and 1881.

Business Becherovka loses profits as sales fall in Covid year

Popular Czech spirit brand Becherovka recorded significantly reduced profits in the last financial year, the company's CEO announced. The poor performance was attributed to the widespread closure of bars and restaurants as a result of the Covid pandemic for much of the year, as well as a lack of tourists visiting the Czech Republic.

The Jan Becher Pernod Ricard company's sales fell by CZK 124 million compared to the previous year, while its profits before tax fell by almost half, to CZK 122 million. The volume of Becherovka produced also decreased, down to 5 million liters from 5.4 million liters the year before.

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