Temperature records were broken across Czechia Wednesday

Plus: Ice cream inspection yields not-so-sweet results, Czech minister resigns over inappropriate behavior, and more headlines for Aug. 17, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 17.08.2022 17:41:00 (updated on 18.08.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

Aug. 18, 2022

crime Customs officers uncover large-scale illegal cigarette production

Customs officers uncovered tonnes of tobacco, millions of cigarettes, and illegal lines for the manufacturing of cigarettes and other tobacco products within two extensive raids at several places in Czechia. The police also uncovered tax evasion worth over CZK 170 million, reports ČTK.

After the first raid, the police detained 14 people and accused them of tax evasion. The other raid uncovered an international group trading in illegally produced cigarettes. The prosecution of 12 suspects has been launched.

elections Babiš would win first, Pavel second round of presidential race

The head of the ANO movement Andrej Babiš would still have the largest share of votes in the first round of the presidential election, but in the second round, he would be defeated by the former chief-of-staff and NATO Military Committee head, Petr Pavel. 

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In the first round, senator Marek Hilšer and former rector of the Mendel University Danuše Nerudová moved to joint third place behind Babiš and Pavel, suggests the Median agency's latest election model.

Extreme weather Temperature records were broken across Czechia

Temperature records were broken in parts of the Czech Republic Wednesday. Previous records were exceeded at 20 out of 160 meteorological stations measuring temperatures for 30 years or more. The warmest temperature was reported in Doksany in Litoměřice, at 34.5 degrees Celsius the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ told ČTK.

According to the CHMÚ forecast, Thursday will be even hotter. Temperatures could reach up to 35 degrees Celsius. The institute warned that in the afternoon temperatures will exceed 34 degrees, including in Central Bohemia

Due to the heat, there is a risk of overheating and dehydration. The CHMÚ recommends that people stay hydrated and limit physical activity around midday and not to leave children or animals in direct sunlight or in parked cars.

EU Czech govt. won’t sue EC over subsidy ruling

The Czech government announced Wednesday that it would not file a lawsuit against the European Commission with the EU Court of Justice over the fine of EUR 3.2 million euros for mistakes in agriculture subsidies, including sanctions for ex-PM Andrej Babiš's conflict of interest.

The fine in the case of the former prime minister amounted to EUR 30,606. The EC imposed sanctions on the Czech Republic on the basis of the results of an audit conducted in 2019. The Commission released its decision in June.

The decision not to sue the EC concerns the sum of more than CZK 80 million (over EUR 3.2 million euros), the Czech State Agricultural Intervention Fund (SZIF) said. The SZIF will retroactively exact the money paid to the Schrom Farms company from the holding Agrofert from Babiš's trust funds.

TECH New law would allow authorities to order the removal of terrorist content

Police officers may be able to order Czech and European internet hosting service providers to disable terrorist content, including footage of a terrorist attack or recordings of executions. The law against the spread of terrorist content, was approved by the government Wednesday, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan.

If the police uncover such content, they will send an order, upon receipt of which the provider will have to remove the content. Rakušan said the new legislation would in no way infringe on personality rights, as it would not target private correspondence, only publicly shared content.

Aug. 17, 2022

Crime Prague metro chase doesn't end well for thief

At the beginning of August, Prague police officers dealt with a series of burglaries on Wenceslas Square, committed by an unknown man. In the course of an hour, the perpetrator broke into a total of four buildings, where he left damages worth tens of thousands of crowns. 

When the police managed to find the man on the street, he ran away, entering the metro at one point and, after a lengthy chase, attempting to climb up an escalator heading in the down direction, and then, after realizing his mistake unsuccessfully trying to run up the stairs. The police, who were able to capture the man due to his wrong turn, released the video on their website.

Politics Czech minister resigns after complaints from female colleagues

The Deputy Minister of the Interior for the Civil Service, Petr Hůrka, resigned after an agreement with Vít Rakušan who said the reason for the minister's resignation was "related to the atmosphere prevailing in his section." Rakušan also admitted that he was forced to address the situation after complaints from several of Hůrka's female colleagues about inappropriate comments and touching. Hůrka has denied that his termination was related to these complaints, saying that he had made the decision to end his service a long time ago.

research Every seventh Czech minor over 12 has sent intimate photos

About one in seven minors over the age of 12 have sent a photo or video of their private parts to another person, suggests research conducted by Median for ESET and the Police of the Czech Republic. About one in five intimate videos or pictures shared by children have been abused in some way. For instance, the intimate content was posted against the minor's will as the child was manipulated, blackmailed, or bullied because of it.

According to Jana Moravcová from the Office of Criminal Police Services and Investigations, perpetrators face up to 12 years in prison for extortion by publishing intimate images. Production and dissemination of footage of intimate parts can be considered as the production of child pornography. In that case, the penalty is up to eight years.

health More than half of ice cream samples substandard

Inspections by the State Agricultural and Food Inspection Agency (SZPI) this year revealed exceptionally high proportions of substandard ice cream and ice for use in drinks, reports ČTK. The results of the inspection were the worst in six years, with 56 percent of ice cream and 75 percent of ice for use in drinks samples not passing inspection.

The presence of Enterobacteriaceae (from the bacteria film to which salmonella belongs) was detected in a number of substandard ice cream samples, most of which were vanilla flavor. Poor production hygiene, lacking sanitation, and failure to uphold manufacturing standards were all culprits behind poor ratings. The inspection noted that the results do not reflect the situation in the entire market as problematic establishments were mainly targeted for inspection.

sustainability Ministry to support circular economy and reduce pollution

The Ministry of Environment will support the circular economy by installing new collection yards and waste sorting lines and will reduce pollution via various projects. The allocated subsidies amount to CZK 3.5 billion.

"With subsidies, we will enable the creation of new re-use centers, collection yards, sorting lines, and we will also, for example, support the construction and modernization of facilities for material or energy use of waste," said the Minister of the Environment Anna Hubáčková.

The Chamber of Deputies elected her to the post of deputy ombudsman in November 2019 and Křeček as the human rights protector, her superior, in February 2020. They have clashed about Křeček's rhetoric about the Roma, the presence of fathers at birth at the time of the epidemic, and children's rights.

government President Zeman met former foreign minister Schwarzenberg

President Miloš Zeman met with the former foreign minister and 2013 presidential candidate Karl Schwarzenberg at the chateau in Lány, the president's spokesman announced on Twitter. Schwarzenberg faced Zeman in the second round of the election for the presidential mandate, in which Zeman ultimately won.

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