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Early Bird: Angelina Jolie sold a gift from Brad Pitt. The decline of the Czech economy. The Islamic State is growing stronger

Lukáš Bilinec
03.Mar 2021
+ Add on Seznam.cz
3 minutes to read
Americká herečka Angelina Jolie

People in the United States have reason to be optimistic. The number of vaccinated people is rising and the prospects are that there will be enough vaccines for every adult in the US by the end of May. The growing number of Islamic State attacks on Syria and Iraq, on the other hand, is less than optimistic. And do you know where a new futuristic arena in the shape of a spaceship will grow?

The Islamic State is growing stronger in Iraq and Syria

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Ruiny v iráckém městě Mosul po válce s Islámským státem
Ruiny v iráckém městě Mosul po válce s Islámským státemSource: Unsplash.com/leviclancy

Although the Islamic State was officially defeated about two years ago, its legacy lives on and has been growing significantly stronger in the last year. Many ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) and ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) fighters have never actually left the area where the bastions of the Islamic State used to be located. Last year, both Iraq and Syria saw a significant increase in ISIL attacks. In Iraq alone, almost 600 attacks by Islamist terrorists were recorded in the first quarter of 2020. In Syria, deaths in areas such as Deir Az Zor are reported almost daily, and the total number of civilian casualties in the past year can be counted in the hundreds. In addition, some soldiers are afraid to speak about what's going on in the area. Attacks on military checkpoints are more and more frequent, and people who cooperate with government regimes are always at risk that terrorists will mark them as targets. Murders of guards and truck drivers are an everyday thing.

The performance of the Czech economy dropped last year

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Bankovka v hodnotě 2 tisíce korun českých
Bankovka v hodnotě 2 tisíce korun českýchSource: Pixabay.com/vjkombajn

As expected, gross domestic product decreased sharply last year, in consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and long-term stringent measures. However, there is some positive news: in Q4, GDP increased by more than O.5% quarter on quarter.

"The performance of the Czech economy decreased by 5.6% last year, making it the biggest drop in recent history. The most significant contribution to the decline (2.2 percentage points) - was the development in the field of trade, transport and accommodation, followed by industry (2.1 percentage points). Where demand is concerned, lower investments and household consumption expenditure were the main factors,"

said Vladimír Kermiet, Director of the CZSO National Accounts Department.

Historická kancelář na prodej 198m2 na Praze
Historická kancelář na prodej 198m2 na Praze, Praha 1

Biden encourages teachers to get vaccinated

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Americký prezident Joe Biden při svém projevu
Americký prezident Joe Biden při svém projevuSource: Profimedia.cz

US President Joe Biden has called on US states to prioritize teachers for vaccination against COVID-19. According to him, every teacher should receive at least one dose by the end of March, so that children can return to school quickly. The president says more than 30 U.S. states have already taken steps to vaccinate education employees, and he himself is making full use of federal government authority to persuade the remaining states. Furthermore, the 78-year-old statesman believes that by the end of May, there will be enough vaccines for every adult in the United States. According to his words, the goal he had set out at the very beginning of his term - the administration of 100 million doses of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine during the first 100 days in office - will be fulfilled. At the same time, however, he called on Americans to remain vigilant, keep wearing face masks and practise social distancing.

"Today’s announcements are a huge step in our effort to beat this pandemic. But I have to be honest with you. This fight is far from over,"

Biden said in a televised statement from the White House.

Angelina Jolie sold a painting from Brad

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Brad Pitt a Angelina Jolie ve filmu Pan a paní Smithovi
Brad Pitt a Angelina Jolie ve filmu Pan a paní SmithoviSource: Stephen Vaughn / SMPSP

Nearly five years after the break-up of the legendary acting couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the famous actress got rid of a valuable painting her ex-husband had given her in 2011. It is a painting of a mosque by former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the Tower of Koutoubia Mosque. Churchill dedicated this painting to US President F. D. Roosevelt. At an auction in London, Angelina managed to sell the painting for 11.5 million US dollars (roughly 250 million Czech crowns). This is the highest amount ever paid for a painting by Churchill. The new owner of the painting is anonymous, but rumour has it he is from Belgium.

A futuristic stadium will be built in Toronto

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Multifunkční stadion v kanadském Torontu
Multifunkční stadion v kanadském TorontuSource: Populous

The Populous architectural studio presented a visualization of a specially designed multi-purpose arena in Toronto, Canada, resembling a spaceship. In addition to music concerts, sports tournaments should be held at the stadium for 7,000 people. The stadium will be built on the premises of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) by the end of 2025. Its futuristic appearance goes hand in hand with its purpose - professional playing of computer games (e-sport) is referred to as the sport of the future. The architects from Populous designed the arena to be able to host tournaments of this type as well as more traditional theatre and concert events. Populous's CEO, Jonathan Mallie, said that it was a combination of old and new elements and that the audience would get to enjoy the most modern forms of performance here. The OverActive Media developer owns several global sports franchises, including the Toronto Ultra (from Call of Duty) and Toronto Defiant (from OverWatch) teams. He makes no secret of the fact that he would like to organize gaming events of global significance in this arena in the future.

That's all from us for Wednesday morning. We wish you a pleasant day full of positive experiences. The French writer Victor Hugo already knew that:

"A day without a laugh is a wasted day."

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