Early Bird: Government negotiations continue. The US will approve asylum applications. Greater support for ZOOs
Have a great Saturday morning, everyone! The government will convene again today to discuss the future of post-emergency measures. Mexican asylum seekers in the US will finally have their applications approved! Volkswagen is getting crushed by competition. American singer Justin Timberlake behaved like a real man. Read all this and more in today's Early Bird.
The governors will negotiate with the government again today
On Thursday, after a full day of negotiations, the government voted to end the state of emergency on Sunday, February 14, 2021. Now they have to decide how to proceed in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. The government will discuss further steps with the governors again today. The governors can request that the government declare a state of emergency in accordance with the Crisis Management Act.
"That is the only legislative solution we have on the table,"
said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Friday evening.
The governors of the Moravian-Silesian, Pardubice, Ústí nad Labem and Zlín regions want to request a declaration of a state of emergency. The governors from the opposition parties are still waiting for further action by the Ministry of Health and are preparing to declare a state of danger individually, according to their regions. The crisis staff of the capital city of Prague convened on Friday afternoon and recommended to the mayor to declare a state of danger in Prague from 15 February 2021. Everyone is impatiently waiting how the situation will develop. The mayor of the capital city of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, stated on his Twitter profile:
"We have all the necessary legal documents to fight the pandemic effectively. Everything is on standby, hospitals and paramedics, of course, are still working. We are waiting only for a response from the Ministry of Health. As soon as they adopt their measures, we are ready to immediately follow up on them."
The US will approve thousands of asylum applications
The administration of the new President of the United States of America will begin to accept Mexican asylum seekers. Over the next week, the authorities will start processing approximately 25,000 applications. Before the applicants are allowed to cross the border between Mexico and the United States, they will have to register and get tested for Covid-19. This step is contradictory to the policies of former President Donald Trump, who was known for his anti-immigration approach. However, Joe Biden suspended this policy on his first day in office.
"As President Biden has made clear, the US government is committed to rebuilding a secure, orderly and humane immigration system,"
said Minister of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
Zoological gardens in need will receive more support
The Ministry of the Environment has decided to increase the budget of the subsidy program to support zoos facing a financial crisis. The pandemic measures taken by the country also affect zoos, forcing them to stay closed. For this reason, they have no revenue from entrance fees. 30 million crowns will be distributed between Czech zoos. The state aid aims at purchasing animal feed and partial coverage of operating costs.
“The current situation, when the zoos have been closed since 9 October 2020, generates large losses for them due to a long-term loss of revenue from entrance fees. We will therefore continue to negotiate with zoos in order to find other sources of funding,"
said Minister Richard Brabec. The subsidy program "ZOO Contribution" is intended for all licensed zoos in the Czech Republic. They can submit electronic applications from March 1, 2021; the Ministry promises to assess them quickly.
Competition fight between battery manufacturers
Volkswagen AG has identified itself as a victim in a battle between two battery suppliers and called on the US government to extend the deadline for purchasing key batteries for the planned US production of electric vehicles. The US Commission on International Trade sided with LG Chem Ltd., a battery manufacturer, while at the same time allowing SK Innovation to import components for the domestic production of lithium-ion batteries, which are essential in the field of electric cars. VW stated it would ask for an extension of the contract, but hoped that the two suppliers would settle their disputes outside the courtroom.
Justin Timberlake apologizes to Britney Spears
Singer Justin Timberlake behaved like a gentleman and published an apology on his Instagram profile, directed to the singers Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.
"I've seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak for what was right.”
Justin Timberlake's words go to both singers. However, he didn't give examples of actions that he specifically regrets. His comment is related to the period in his career that was tied to both Britney and Jackson. Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears used to be a couple in the past. Janet Jackson fans have pointed out an incident that took place in the middle of the Super Bowl in 2004. During the performance, Justin revealed Janet's outfit with one of her breasts peeking out.
That's all from us this morning. No matter how you decide to spend Saturday, we hope it's going to be a relaxing day. And now let's remember the words of famous English poet William Shakespeare: