Good Morning Prague

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Here’s what’s happening in Prague and the rest of the world today:

The Headlines:

  • Czech News: The Czech Health Minister resigns after financial discrepancies were found by an audit.
  • Czech News: Škoda Auto promises wage growth of its employees in the Czech Republic by 15% in 2 years.
  • UK News: KFC in chicken hell as they close more than half of their 870 branches due to supply chain issues.
  • World News: Beijing fumes as American steals the thumb of one of its models on display in the Terracotta Army.
  • Sports: Czech Hockey team steam into the Quarter Finals of the Winter Olympics after 3-2 win over the USA
  • Sports: Chelsea go close to beating Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, with Messi breaking his duck against the Blues.

Analysis:

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The Czech Health Minister, Jitka Sosnovcová, resigned yesterday after an audit found financial discrepancies to the tune of 67 million crowns.

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The audit revealed huge issues with the sourcing of medical supplies, deliberate job distribution, and ignorance of wage limitations. The inspectors also accused the institution of lacking internal spending controls and gross financial mismanagement. The minister was accused of gross negligence towards the post and has resigned her position with immediate effect in order to limit the fallout.

“This step aims at providing the maximum scope for a thorough investigation of the serious facts mentioned in the report of the Supreme Audit Office and to prevent the negative media pressure that the State Health Institute and the Ministry of Health might be exposed to in connection with its further stay in office” – Ministry of Health spokesperson.

Source: Novinky.cz

 

Škoda Auto promises wage growth of its employees in the Czech Republic by 15% in 2 years.

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Škoda Auto, one of the largest employers in the Czech Republic with more than 30,000 employees has promised to raise the salaries of its staff and implement a new bonus system in an attempt to retain key talent and attract skilled workers.

The average working wage in Škoda Auto amounted to 40,557 crowns last year, about 10% more than in 2016. Today’s offer from Škoda is already the second offer in the framework of collective bargaining. The first offer was categorically rejected by the trade unionists. The company offered salary increases of around 14 percent over 27 months. At the beginning of negotiations, trade unions announced they demanded a wage increase of 18 percent in total. The first offer of the company was marked by the trade union leader Jaroslav Povšík as “kick in the ass”.

The increases begin in April this year.

Source:  Ceskenoviny.cz

 

KFC in chicken hell as they close more than half of their 870 UK branches due to supply chain issues.

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An American team of executives from KFC’s stateside headquarters are being parachuted in to help solve the distribution crisis that has left hundreds of chicken shops closed with tons of meat unused.

Senior executives have already started to arrive in London to meet with bosses at its UK headquarters to discuss the disaster which is said to be costing the food giant in the region of £1million a day. Some of the chain’s 450 stores remain shut today, with reports of it taking up to a month until all 900 restaurants are back open for business.

It was claimed last night  KFC which has 24,000 workers in the UK, was warned by the GMB Union last October that switching from Bidvest Logistics to DHL could cause problems.

Source: Daily Mail

 

Beijing fumes as American steals the thumb of one of its models on display in the Terracotta Army.

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Chinese authorities are demanding exemplary punishment for an American man who allegedly stole a terracotta warrior’s thumb while it was on show at a Philadelphia museum.

According to reports in US and Chinese media, Michael Rohana, 24, was attending a pre-Christmas party at the Franklin Institute when he went through an unlocked door into the Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition.

Using his smartphone as a torch, Rohana allegedly entered the exhibition at about 9.15pm on 21 December, embraced one of the ancient sculptures, and took a selfie before appearing to snap off a chunk of its left hand and pocket it.

Museum staff did not notice the absent digit until 8 January. Five days later, having tracked down the suspect through surveillance footage and credit card transactions, investigators went to Rohana’s home. “Rohana admitted … he had stashed the thumb in his desk drawer,” China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

Source: Novinky.cz

 

Czech Hockey team steam into the Quarter Finals of the Winter Olympics after 3-2 win over the USA.

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(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) — Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Koukal scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States from the Olympics with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round a day earlier and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

“It’s tough when it comes down to the shootout,” U.S. captain Brian Gionta said. “It’s tough to swallow.”

Source: ceskenoviny.cz

 

Chelsea go close to beating Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, with Messi breaking his duck against the Blues.

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Lionel Messi, perhaps the greatest player to ever walk planet earth, had never scored against Chelsea in eight attempts. As if something as trivial as that would ever bother him, the little maestro finally broke his duck.

He finished with his customary class and composure, and it did not seem to bother him one bit that it was against Chelsea. His 75th minute strike protects Barcelona, giving them the comfort of an away goal after cancelling out Willian’s rasping effort 62 minutes in.

Chelsea had gone close with Willian hitting both posts with scintillating shots, and indeed it was Chelsea who looked more potent going forward. For all their build-up play, Barca could not work their way through the well-organized defense of Chelsea.

But, Barcelona, with five European Cups, are a vengeful bunch. They are responded to Willian’s goal, stepping it up to protect their unbeaten run in this season’s competition and head into the second leg as clear favorites.

Source: The Sun

 

On This Day:

1437 – James I of Scotland is assassinated.

1916 – World War I: In France, the Battle of Verdun begins.

1925 – The New Yorker publishes its first issue.

1972 – The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.

Image result for LUNA 20

Births:

1791 – Carl Czerny, Austrian pianist and composer (d. 1857)

1924 – Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean politician

1986 – Charlotte Church, Welsh singer-songwriter and actress

Image result for CHARLOTTE CHURCH

Deaths:

1437 – James I of Scotland (b. 1394)

1471 – Jan Rokycana, Czech bishop and theologian (b. 1396)

1974 – Tim Horton, Canadian ice hockey player and businessman (b. 1930)

Image result for TIM HORTON

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