Five rhinos resettled in Rwanda from Czech Zoo | AFP

Five critically endangered eastern black rhinos were on Monday successfully relocated to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park after a long journey from the Czech Republic.

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‘No winners’ as hundred mushers brave tough Czech sled dog race

A hundred mushers and ten bikers from 11 countries battled frost and snow at a five-day sled dog race in the Czech Republic, which organisers call one of the toughest in Europe. The 23rd year of the Czech Long Trail has attracted mushers from countries across Europe — including Austria, Croatia, Germany the Netherlands and Serbia. Mushers can choose one of two tracks — 300 kilometres with five stages and an elevation topping 9,000 metres or 200 kilometres with four stages and an elevation of 7,000 metres. In Czech, the race is called Sedivackuv long — bearing the name of a dog that strayed and was shot by a local man just before the first edition of the race in 1997.

MAP: Protests gripping Europe over past month

Past month has been really rough on the EU, as protests, both violent and non-violent, have consumed some of the largest countries in the bloc.

We’ve compiled the list of all the demonstrations which have taken place in Europe during the November-December period:

• France

The Yellow Vest demonstrations began on November 17th and have since swept their way throughout France, resulting in violent clashes with police, with more than 1,000 people being arrested nationwide. The protests are motivated by rising fuel taxes and the high cost of living. More than 125,000 people have taken part in ‘Act IV’ of the demonstrations on December 8. Protesters call for the reduction of fuel prices, the raising of the minimum wage, and the resignation of Emmanuel Macron as president.

• England

Two rival marches clashed in London on December 9. Thousands of people have taken part in the “Brexit Betrayal” march, led by the far-right activist Tommy Robinson. The movement was opposed by anti-racist groups, which claim to have gathered some 15,000 people in counter-demonstrations. Mounted riot police and officers in riot gear were deployed to keep the rival demonstrators apart.

• Hungary

Nearly 5,000 Hungarians rallied in Budapest on December 8 against a proposed labor legislation dubbed “slave law.” Some of the protestors wore yellow vests, expressing solidarity with demonstrators in France over discontent with the government.

• Belgium

More than 400 people were detained by the Belgian police during the copycat yellow vest protests in Brussels on Saturday, December 8. This is the second violent demonstration in the capital in the past 8 days. A crowd of more than a 1,000 people faced riot police, which used tear gas and water cannons to subdue the masses. The movement demands the removal of Belgium’s center-right coalition government.

• Greece

Angry protests broke out in Athens on December 6, the 10th anniversary of the police shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos. Police said that around 1,700 people were protesting peacefully, until masked youths started attacking police with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Law enforcement responded with stun grenades and tear gas. More than 100 people were detained.

• Norway

Thousands of Norwegians joined together all over the country to express their opposition to the suggestion, by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, to toughen abortion laws. The demonstration took place across 14 cities across the country on November 17.

• Czech Republic

On Saturday, November 17 tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Prague to demand the resignation of the Czech Republic’s billionaire prime minister Andrej Babis, who is accused of defrauding the EU by nearly €2m. The protest comes on the 29th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which ended the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia.

• Italy

In light of Turin–Lyon high-speed railway construction going through, tens of thousands gathered in Turin on December 8 to protest against the project, claiming that it is a waste of public funds and is damaging to the environment. The organizers of the demonstrations claimed that the rally was attended by some 70,000 people, however these numbers haven’t been confirmed by police.

• Spain

Catalan independence activists, calling themselves “Committees to Defend the Republic” blocked a highway in Tarragona for 15 hours on Saturday, December 8, preventing the flow of traffic. In Barcelona, 250 people blocked traffic on the main avenue. The Spanish government threatened to send in national police, if regional authorities couldn’t prevent such protests.


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Barrel organ festival fills Prague with old music

Two dozen barrel organ players displayed their skills in Prague’s city centre within an eight-day festival that has attracted virtuosos from across Europe. Organ grinders from Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic offered music ranging from Mozart or Verdi to ABBA. The festival will continue in other Czech towns and cities, with more players due to take part.

Prague Zoo Celebrates Birth of Baby Gibbon

(14 Aug 2018) Eight days after its birth in captivity, a rare newborn Silvery Gibbon has gone on public display at the Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic. (Aug. 14)

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Czech Republic Just Re-elected A Pro-Trump Nationalist President (HBO)

Czech President Miloš Zeman was elected for a second term Saturday, fending off centrist and pro-EU academic Jiri Drahos in a presidential race that fast became a referendum on Czech identity.

The nationalistic, pro-Trump and anti-EU Zeman is notorious for his brash style of politics, anti-migration rhetoric and as the defender of the country he now calls “Czechia.”

In 2017, the EU survived challenges from right-wing parties in the West of Europe, but in 2018 its authority is under threat from populism in the East.

Zeman has been vocal in his demands for a referendum on EU membership, which is creating another headache for Brussels.

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‘Czech Donald Trump’: Media mogul with Euroskeptic agenda to be PM

A billionaire populist dubbed the Czech Republic’s Donald Trump is set to become the country’s next prime minister. The party of Andrej Babis won a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections over the weekend.
RT’s Ilya Petrenko explains where similarities between Babis and the US president can be drawn.


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