Czech police report sharp increase in illegal immigration in 2021
15:00 Bear spotted on the loose near Prague again
Municipalities on the eastern outskirts of Prague near Stará Boleslav today warned residents that a bear was on the loose in the area. The warning comes weeks after a bear was spotted in the wild at the same location near the Czech capital. Local authorities now say the bear’s presence has been verified and the forests are being sought out by hunters. The bear was seen this morning between the villages of Konětopy and Čečelice. Police and forest authorities in the Czech Republic have been informed and people are asked not to enter local forests. Find out what to do if you encounter a bear in the wild here.
13:15 Large pervitin drug gang dismantled by Czech police
A Czech-Vietnamese gang producing large amounts of pervitin (methamphetamine) has been busted by Czech police. The gang operated primarily in northwestern Bohemia, selling drugs in the Czech Republic and Germany. Members of the group face up to 12 years in prison. Drug police said they simultaneously raided six separate production sites across the Czech Republic, with one large-scale facility discovered in the westernmost part of the Karlovy Vary region. The operation, dubbed Metha, resulted in the seizure of seven kilograms of crystal meth, as well as one kilogram of heroin and approximately CZK 3 million in cash.
13:00 Rare manuscripts from the National Library are exhibited in the Klementinum
The Klementinum in Prague presents rare manuscripts from the Czech National Library in a three-day exhibition starting today. 18 original manuscripts that have not been seen for many years, such as the Velislav Bible and the Dalimil Chronicle, are on display. Velislav’s Bible is considered the most flamboyant pictorial manuscript of Central Europe. The manuscript contains 178 of its original 200 pages. The Chronicle of Dalimil is also richly illuminated. The manuscripts on display are considered priceless, dating back to the medieval history of the Czech lands. Another exhibition on the life of Saint Ludmila is also open in the Klementinum until January 30.
12:05 Freight train collision near Přerov causes train carnage
A collision of two freight trains at the Prosenice station in the Přerov region led to the derailment of three wagons. No one was injured in the incident, according to the Railway Inspectorate, but the damage amounted to CZK 21 million. The collision caused chaos on the line from Přerov to Ostrava. The collision is currently being investigated on suspicion of general negligence. The incident happened late Thursday evening. Replacement buses have taken over train services between Prosenice and Lipník nad Bečvou, although traffic is expected to begin to resume one lane at a time this afternoon.
12:00 Police report sharp increase in illegal migration in 2021
Last year, Czech immigration police recorded 11,170 foreigners entering the country illegally, up more than 50% year-on-year. 4,077 more people entered the Czech Republic illegally than in 2020, and the number was the highest since 2008. Failure to adhere to anti-pandemic restrictions by some arrivals is thought to be partly responsible for the high number , but a migration crisis may also have played a role; for example, many more Afghans have been detected this year than before.
A significant increase was also recorded in the number of migrants seeking to reach another country via the Czech Republic: most people in this category were from Afghanistan or Syria. The majority of illegal immigrants were already residing in the Czech Republic. Most of the illegal immigrants detained at international airports (also Schengen entry points) were of Ukrainian, Russian or British origin.
Politics The Fiala government wins the vote of confidence
The new Czech government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala won a vote of confidence in the Czech parliament last night after a marathon 21-hour debate dominated by critics of the new regime. All 106 MPs from the five-party coalition voted for confidence in Fiala’s government, giving them a majority in the 200-seat chamber.
All 87 deputies present from the opposition parties ANO and SPD voted against the motion of confidence. Seven deputies did not participate for health reasons. After the vote, former prime minister and new opposition leader Andrej Babiš approached Fiala to shake his hand in congratulations. Babiš’s move came after he strongly criticized the new government for making promises he considers unrealistic.
sport Krejčíková reaches Sydney tennis final
Czech tennis star Barbora Krejčíková has qualified for the final of the Sydney International Tennis Competition. Last year’s French Open winner collected seven match points to win her semi-final against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 0:6 6:4 7:6.
Krejčíková now has the chance to win the fourth major title of his career. The 26-year-old will face the winner of today’s other semi-final between Spain’s Paula Badosa and Russia’s Darja Kasatkin. The former Czech winners of the Sydney tournament are Petra Kvitová, Jana Novotná and the great Martina Navrátilová.
cyber security The Czech Republic registers more cyberattacks than the world average
The Czech Republic recorded more cyberattacks than the global average last year. Czech companies suffered 1,000 attacks in 2021, while the global average was 900. Last year saw a sharp increase in the number of cyberattacks, up 50% worldwide according to the Checkpoint security.
Attacks have focused on educational and research institutions, which have seen a 75% increase. Government and military organizations were the second largest target, with a 47% increase. They were tracked by communications companies, internet service providers and medical organizations. The spike in attacker activity came in December after a specific vulnerability was revealed in the Log4J logging utility.
Dukovany Industrial developments for a new nuclear project
The American company Westinghouse, one of the contenders for the construction of a new nuclear reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, has signed memorandums of understanding with seven companies to eventually bring the company’s AP1000 reactor to the Czech Republic. Westinghouse is one of three companies still in the running to build the new reactor, along with French company EDF and South Korean company KHNP.
Westinghouse is signing memorandums of understanding with Czech companies to ensure that, if chosen to undertake the reactor work, the benefits will accrue to the local economy. The company’s AP1000 is a two-loop pressurized water reactor designed to reduce the need for large cooling towers and other expensive equipment. The AP1000 does not require an operator in the event of a design accident such as a ruptured cooling line, as it relies on natural forces such as gravity and natural circulation to prevent the core from overheating.
Czech beer Budweiser beer brand celebrates UK success
Lager brand Budweiser has announced record sales in Britain in 2021. The Czech beer brand’s popularity has grown in Britain following a marketing refresh which has seen Budweiser focus on quality and heritage Czech lager beer. Budweiser has proclaimed itself the flagship of the “Czech Republic of beer” in the UK.
Those who live in the Czech Republic may have their own favourites, but in Britain Budweiser stands as the best example of Czech beer. The company recorded a 38% growth in sales volumes in the UK in 2021. 80,000 hectoliters were sold, the equivalent of 16 million 500ml bottles. Budweiser markets itself as “one nation, not one company beer” in the UK.