Czech morning news roundup: Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Czech biopic passed over for Oscar nomination, V4 meeting in focused on migration, and a Christmas lunch will be held for the homeless in Prague. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 22.12.2021 09:29:00 (updated on 22.12.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

13:55 16-year-old Czech wins Elite Model Look global contest

Young Czech woman Amelie Konselova, 16, won this year's prestigious Elite Model Look contest and another Czech contestant, Alex Hanus, made it to the top five in the men's category. The results of the competition were released online due to the coronavirus epidemic. The Czech Republic has been proven successful in the contest historically. Konselova is the sixth Czech woman to have won this global competition.

Since its establishment in 1983, the Elite Model seeks new talents all over the world. The competition kicked off the career of Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bundchen, and Diane Kruger.

13:01 Zeman invites PM Fiala for New Year luncheon in Lany

President Miloš Zeman has invited PM Petr Fiala for the traditional New Year luncheon to be held in the presidential manor in Lany near Prague on Sunday, January 2, and both statesmen's wives will attend it, too, according to Prague Castle. The tradition was established by Zeman's predecessor Václav Klaus. Spouses of the heads of state and government usually take part in the event. Besides the traditional luncheon with the prime minister, the president usually dines with heads of both houses of the Czech parliament. Zeman, who will deliver his Christmas message on December 26, will meet Fiala after the PM's first New Year address to the nation on January 1.

SPorts Czech NHL players won't go to Beijing Olympics

The stars of the best hockey league in the world will not appear at the Olympics for the second time in a row. While the NHL vowed to keep its pledge allowing players to return to the Olympics, unofficial sources told ESPN that the organization is opting out of Beijing due to surge cases and canceled games, though no official announcement has been made. Current Czech NHL players include the Boston Bruins' David Pastrňák, Jakub Voráček for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Tomáš Hertl of the San Jose Sharks.

international relations V4 members emphasize cooperation with Turkey

Cooperation with Turkey in light of the current migrant crisis was the main point of discussion among the foreign ministers comprising the Visegrad Group (V4) who met in Budapest Tuesday. During a press conference following the meeting, which was also attended by Turkish Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu, the importance of such cooperation was agreed upon by all present, including the new head of Czech diplomacy, Jan Lipavský. Lipavský pointed out the key role that Turkey plays in solving the migration problem with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó calling on the European Union to pay Ankara the promised EUR six billion euros to cover its expenditures for detaining migrants which have reached EUR 40 billion.

CULTURE Czech film 'Zátopek' won't compete for an Oscar

The feature film "Zátopek" by Czech director David Ondříček was not shortlisted for the 2022 Academy Awards in the category of best international feature film. Films from Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Mexico, Norway, Panama, and Spain made it onto the list, released Tuesday night. Eight movies will eventually compete for the awards in the finals. The final nominations will be announced on February 28 and the awards ceremony is scheduled for March 27. The film, which has met with acclaim both at home and abroad highlights the life story of famed Czechoslovak runner Emil Zátopek through a retrospective interview with his most ardent fan, Australian long-distance champion Ron Clarke in 1968.

CRIME Police shelve again complaint by former PM's son

Police have once again shelved the case brought against former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš by his son, Andrej Babiš junior, who claimed he was abducted and taken to Crimea against his will in 2017. The ruling has not yet taken effect and the younger Babiš's lawyer has filed a complaint against it. The younger Babiš told police in January 2018 that his father had him kidnapped in order to prevent his testimony in the Stork Nest farm (Čapí Hnízdo) subsidy-fraud case. Detectives investigated the claim but eventually shelved the case arguing that no criminal act occurred.

The case was reopened after Babiš junior returned to the Czech Republic and was questioned by the police. He has repeatedly said that the Stork Nest farm was his father's project from the very beginning, while he was a figurehead. However, the prosecution of Babiš junior and other members of the Babiš family has already been halted. At present, only the former PM and his adviser Jana Nagyova are facing charges. Both deny any wrongdoing.

travel Czech Railways adding several thousand seats on long-distance trains

Czech Railways will strengthen long-distance train capacity by several thousand seats before Christmas. The carrier will add the majority of reinforced carriers on express lines from Prague to the Ostrava region, eastern Moravia, and further to Slovakia, but longer trains will also travel in other directions from the capital. At the same time, the tracks will set aside backup cars for the operational strengthening of the busiest connections. Reinforced trains will continue to run after the New Year. RegioJet is also preparing for an influx of travel. The rail way is recommending that people book holiday travel on time.

charity Christmas lunch will be held in Prague for the homeless

A traditional Christmas lunch for the socially disadvantaged and homeless will be served in the Franciscan monastery on Jungmann Square in Prague on Dec. 25, organized by the Christian community Sant'Egidio. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Christmas lunch in Prague was held at the Archbishop's Palace in Hradčany and Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague, greeted and administered to those present. He also made an appearance at the Franciscan monastery lunch last year. Organizers of the event invite homeless people to the Franciscan monastery near the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, which is located between Wenceslas Square and Jungmann Square. Lunch guests also receive cookies and gifts collected from donors.

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