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UN chief warns of violence at home, Japan nears emergency

April 06, 2020

TOKYO (AP) — With more than 1.2 million people infected with the new coronavirus, the U.N. chief appealed for “peace at home” — all homes — out of concern that domestic violence was rising as the social and financial toll of the pandemic deepened.

U.S. officials warned of sad developments to come in the worst-hit country, where medical supplies were short and morgues were crowded. Japanese officials on Monday considered declaring a state of emergency. Infections are soaring in the country that has the world’s third-largest economy and its oldest population.

The reported declaration would likely cover the sprawling megacity of Tokyo and other areas and would come a couple of weeks after the Summer Olympics were postponed until next year. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” in recent weeks. Following his call on March 23 for an immediate cease-fire in all armed conflicts, he said it was time to appeal for an end to all violence, “everywhere, now.”

“For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes,” Gutteres said in his statement. “And so I make a new appeal today for peace at home — and in homes — around the world.”

He also noted that health care providers and police were overwhelmed and other options for helping victims were stretched or not available as communities cut back services during lockdowns to fight the pandemic.

“I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19,” Guterres said. In Japan, reports say Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to declare an emergency in Tokyo and other cities Tuesday. His government is also expected to announce a $550 billion economic package to fund coronavirus measures and support businesses and jobs.

Japanese officials say they cannot enforce a hard lockdown as in China or parts of Europe, a government restraint that is partly a legacy of Japan’s fascist history until the end of World War II. Most of the measures in Abe’s declaration would be requests and instructions, and objectors would not be punished. But such requests would put major psychological pressure on people to comply.

Tokyo reported more than 100 cases two days in a row for a total of 1,033 on Sunday. Nationwide, Japan has more than 4,000 cases, with more than 80 deaths. In the United States, the nation’s top doctor warned that many would face “the hardest and saddest week” of their lives while Britain assumed the unwelcome mantle of deadliest coronavirus hot spot in Europe after a record 24-hour jump in deaths that surpassed even hard-hit Italy’s.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized for tests after continuing to have symptoms of COVID-19. Downing St. says the hospitalization is a “precautionary step” and he remains in charge of the government.

In many parts of Asia, there have been victories against the spread of the disease. But on Monday South Korea’s vice health minister, Kim Gang-lip, expressed concerns over loosened attitudes toward social distancing that he says puts the country at potential risk of an infection “explosion.” The country reported 47 new cases of the coronavirus, the smallest daily jump since Feb. 20, but rising infections have been linked to international arrivals as students and other South Korean nationals flock back from the West as outbreaks worsened and school years were suspended.

Some hard-hit areas were seeing glimmers of hope — the number of people dying appeared to be slowing in New York City, Spain and Italy. Leaders cautioned, however, that any gains could easily be reversed if people did not continue to adhere to strict lockdowns.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams offered a stark warning about the expected wave of virus deaths. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,’’ he told “Fox News Sunday.” But President Donald Trump later suggested the hard weeks ahead could foretell the turning of a corner. “We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at an evening White House briefing.

In New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, daily deaths dropped slightly, along with intensive care admissions and the number of patients who needed breathing tubes inserted, but New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned it was “too early to tell” the significance of those numbers.

The outlook, however, was bleak in Britain, which reported more than 600 deaths Sunday, surpassing Italy’s increase. Italy still has, by far, the world’s highest coronavirus death toll — almost 16,000.

In a rare televised address, Queen Elizabeth II appealed to Britons to rise the occasion, while acknowledging enormous disruptions, grief and financial difficulties. “I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”

Worldwide, more than 1.2 million people have been confirmed infected and nearly 70,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher, due to limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.

The vast majority of infected people recover from the virus, which is spread by microscopic droplets from coughs or sneezes. For most people, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause pneumonia and death.

Associated Press writers around the world contributed to this report.

UN climate summit postponed until 2021 because of COVID-19

April 02, 2020

LONDON (AP) — This year’s United Nations global climate summit is being postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, host country Britain said Wednesday, The U.K. government said the meeting, due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, will now be held next year at a date still to be determined.

The government said in a statement that “in light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible.” The meeting is formally known as the 26th Conference of the Parties.

The decision was made by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Britain and Italy, which had been due to host some preparatory events. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that it was a “disappointing decision, but absolutely the right one as we all focus on the fight against #coronavirus.”

Glasgow’s SEC Arena, which had been due to host the event, has been named as the site of a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made tackling climate change a priority, but Britain’s tenure at the helm of the conference got off to a bumpy start even before the coronavirus pandemic. In January, Johnson fired Claire O’Neill, a former British government minister appointed last year to head the event, and replaced her with Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

“We will continue working tirelessly with our partners to deliver the ambition needed to tackle the climate crisis and I look forward to agreeing a new date for the conference,” Sharma said Wednesday.

Patricia Espinosa, who heads the U.N. climate office, said the new coronavirus “is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stresses that safeguarding lives “is our foremost priority” but countries must step up action on climate change especially as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“Countries must work to protect the health of people, and the planet has never been more at risk,” the U.N. chief’s spokesman said. “Solidarity and greater ambition is needed now more than ever to transition to a sustainable, resilient low carbon economy that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).”

The meeting in Glasgow would have been held five years after the 2015 Paris climate accord was agreed. Countries that signed the landmark agreement are still expected to provide an update on their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming.

In the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and do their best to keep it below 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, compared with pre-industrial times.

President Donald Trump has triggered the United States’s withdrawal from the Paris accord, a move that formally comes into force in November. His Democratic rivals have said they would rejoin if elected.

Environmental campaigners said postponing this year’s U.N. talks was the right move. “It doesn’t make sense to bring people from every country together in the middle of a pandemic,” said Mohamed Adow, a longtime participant at U.N. climate meetings who heads the think tank Power Shift Africa.

Adow said postponing the conference mustn’t stop countries from taking action to curb global warming, though, and suggested plans to revive economies after the pandemic ends should avoid propping up the kinds of industries that contribute to climate change.

“Economies in the rich north must not be kick-started with dirty investment that will lead to climate suffering in the global south,” he said. Environment officials are planning to hold a lower-level meeting online at the end of April.

Associated Press writer Jill Lawless reported this story in London and AP writer Frank Jordans reported from Berlin.

UN praises Turkey’s treatment of refugees

March 12, 2020

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Deputy Representative for Turkey Jean Marie Garelli today praised efforts toward asylum-seekers in every region of Turkey.

“Turkey is a country where refugees and asylum-seekers are welcomed in the best way and get significant support; you are a praiseworthy model to the whole world in this manner,” Garelli said during a delegation visit to Edirne where asylum-seekers wait at the Greek border to be allowed to cross to Europe.

At the end of last month, Turkey allowed thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to cross its borders with Greece in response to the EU’s lack of action in the Syrian governorate of Idlib.

Thousands of asylum seekers and migrants have been waiting at the border region separating Turkey and Greece since 27 February to cross into Europe amid reports of abuse at the hands of Greek authorities.

Turkey has said Europe violated a deal it signed with Ankara in 2016 aimed at thwarting the movement of refugees to Greece and then on to other European countries.

EU officials have, however, slammed Turkey for using refugees as a political tool.

Turkey hosts around 3.6 million refugees – more than any other country. And since December 2019, hundreds of thousands more people have fled towards its border with Syria as a result of the regime’s airstrikes on the province as President Bashar Al-Assad fights to recapture the last opposition stronghold in Syria.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200312-un-praises-turkeys-treatment-of-refugees/.

Rohingya hail UN ruling that Myanmar act to prevent genocide

January 23, 2020

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations’ top court on Thursday ordered Myanmar to do all it can to prevent genocide against the Rohingya people, a ruling met by members of the Muslim minority with gratitude and relief but also some skepticism that the country’s rulers will fully comply.

The ruling by the International Court of Justice came despite appeals last month by Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi for the judges to drop the case amid her denials of genocide by the armed forces that once held the former pro-democracy champion under house arrest for 15 years.

Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, president of the court, said in his order that the Rohingya in Myanmar “remain extremely vulnerable.” In a unanimous decision, the 17-judge panel added that its order for so-called provisional measures intended to protect the Rohingya is binding “and creates international legal obligations” on Myanmar.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes the court’s order and “will promptly transmit the notice of the provisional measures” it ordered to the U.N. Security Council, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Diplomats said the U.N.’s most powerful body is not expected to take any action until it sees how Myanmar is implementing the court’s order. While the court has no ability to enforce the orders, one international law expert said the ruling will strengthen other nations pressing for change in Myanmar.

“Thus far, it’s been states trying to put pressure on Myanmar or using their good offices or … diplomatic pressure,” said Priya Pillai, head of the Asia Justice Coalition Secretariat. “Now, essentially for any state, there is legal leverage.”

The orders specifically refer to Rohingya still in Myanmar and thus did not look likely to have an immediate impact on more than 700,000 of them who have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in recent years to escape Myanmar’s brutal crackdown.

Even so, Yasmin Ullah, a Rohingya activist who lives in Vancouver and was in court for the decision, called it a historic ruling. “Today, having the judges unanimously agree to the protection of Rohingya means so much to us because we’re now allowed to exist and it’s legally binding,” she told reporters on the steps of the court.

But asked if she believes Myanmar will comply, she replied: “I don’t think so.” Myanmar’s legal team left the court without commenting. Later, its foreign ministry said in a statement that it took note of the ruling, but repeated its assertion that there has been no genocide against the Rohingya.

The court sought to safeguard evidence that could be used in future prosecutions, ordering Myanmar to “take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related” to allegations of genocidal acts.

At the end of an hour-long session in the court’s wood-paneled Great Hall of Justice, judges also ordered Myanmar to report to them in four months on what measures the country has taken to comply with the order and then to report every six months as the case moves slowly through the world court.

“I think this is the court maybe being much more proactive and … careful in acknowledging that this is a serious situation and there needs to be much more follow-up and monitoring by the court itself, which is which is quite unusual as well,” Pallai said.

Rogingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh welcomed the order, which was even supported by a temporary judge appointed by Myanmar to be part of the panel. “This is good news. We thank the court as it has reflected our hope for justice. The verdict proves that Myanmar has become a nation of torturers,” 39-year-old Abdul Jalil told The Associated Press by phone from Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar.

However, he too expressed doubts that Myanmar would fully comply. “Myanmar has become a notorious state. We do not have confidence in it,” Jalil said. “There is little chance that Myanmar will listen.”

Rights activists also welcomed the decision. “The ICJ order to Myanmar to take concrete steps to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya is a landmark step to stop further atrocities against one of the world’s most persecuted people,” said Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director of New York-based Human Rights Watch. “Concerned governments and U.N. bodies should now weigh in to ensure that the order is enforced as the genocide case moves forward.”

The world court order for what it calls provisional measures came in a case brought by the African nation of Gambia on behalf of an organization of Muslim nations that accuses Myanmar of genocide in its crackdown on the Rohingya.

The judges did not decide on the substance of the case, which will be debated in legal arguments likely to last years before a final ruling is issued. But their order to protect the Rohingya made clear they fear for ongoing attacks.

At public hearings last month, lawyers used maps, satellite images and graphic photos to detail what they called a campaign of murder, rape and destruction amounting to genocide perpetrated by Myanmar’s military.

The hearings drew intense scrutiny as Suu Kyi defended the campaign by her country’s military forces. Suu Kyi, who as Myanmar’s state counselor heads the government, was awarded the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for championing democracy and human rights under Myanmar’s then-ruling junta.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be “Bengalis” from Bangladesh even though their families have lived in the country for generations. Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless. They are also denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.

In August 2017, Myanmar’s military launched what it called a clearance campaign in northern Rakhine state in response to an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. The campaign forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh and led to accusations that security forces committed mass rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes.

Suu Kyi told world court judges in December that the exodus was a tragic consequence of the military’s response to “coordinated and comprehensive armed attacks” by Rohingya insurgents. Thursday’s ruling came two days after an independent commission established by Myanmar’s government concluded there are reasons to believe security forces committed war crimes in counterinsurgency operations against the Rohingya, but that there is no evidence supporting charges that genocide was planned or carried out.

Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director, said the panel’s findings were “what would have been expected from a non-transparent investigation by a politically skewed set of commissioners working closely with the Myanmar government.”

At December’s public hearings, Paul Reichler, a lawyer for Gambia, cited a U.N. fact-finding mission report at hearings last month that said military “clearance operations” in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state spared nobody. “Mothers, infants, pregnant women, the old and infirm. They all fell victim to this ruthless campaign,” he said.

Gambia’s Justice Minister Aboubacarr Tambadou urged the world court to act immediately and “tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop these acts of barbarity that continue to shock our collective conscience, to stop this genocide of its own people.”

Anna Roberts, executive director of Burma Campaign UK, called the order “a major blow to Aung San Suu Kyi and her anti-Rohingya policies.” She urged the international community to press her to enforce the court’s order.

“The chances of Aung San Suu Kyi implementing this ruling will be zero unless significant international pressure is applied,” Roberts said. “So far, the international community has not been willing to apply pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi over her own appalling record on human rights.”

They said it: Leaders at the UN, in their own words

September 26, 2019

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lots of leaders saying lots of things about lots of topics — topics that matter to them, to their regions, to the world. That’s what the speechmaking at the U.N. General Assembly invariably produces each year. And each year, certain enormous topics and certain louder voices dominate.

Here, The Associated Press takes the opposite approach and spotlights some thoughts you might not have heard — the voices of leaders speaking at the United Nations who might not have captured the headlines and the airtime on Wednesday, the second day of 2019 debate.

“We must ensure that nobody has to choose between sending her daughter to school and sending her to work.”

— Edgar Lungu, president of Zambia

“The peoples of the world have seen the movement of globalization nurture in them this common dream of seeing the Earth become a genuine global village. But, alas, we have never seen so many walls and barriers thrown up.”

— Faustin Archange Touadera, president of the Central African Republic

“Multilateralism is nothing but showing compassion for the fate of others.”

— Kersti Kaljulaid, president of Estonia

“More than most, island nations must have faith in the multilateral international order. We are by nature isolated and by design, our livelihoods are tied to the rest of the world. We rely heavily on this premise as well as on the actions or inactions of others for our very survival.”

— Danny Faure, president of Seychelles

“All of you are coffee drinkers around the world. I want to ask all of you a question: If you would dare ask those who sell that cup of coffee to you whether they’re paying a fair price to the producers, would you ask that question? Would you even consider it? Think about it. Think about it. Because I am certain that if the answer is yes, that would be very powerful. It would be very powerful because it could change the lives of some 120 million families of coffee producers around the world.”

— Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, whose coffee-growing country is contending with a drop in its harvest that he attributes to both low global prices and climate change

New UN warming report sees hungry future that can be avoided

August 08, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the ground, climate change is hitting us where it counts: the stomach — not to mention the forests, plants and animals. A new United Nations scientific report examines how global warming and land interact in a vicious cycle. Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the land, while the way people use the land is making global warming worse.

Thursday’s science-laden report says the combination is already making food more expensive, scarcer and even less nutritious. “The cycle is accelerating,” said NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a report co-author. “The threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.”

But if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future, scientists said Earth’s land masses, which are only 30% of the globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole. While heat-trapping gases are causing problems in the atmosphere, the land has been less talked about as part of climate change. A special report, written by more than 100 scientists and unanimously approved by diplomats from nations around the world at a meeting in Geneva, proposed possible fixes and made more dire warnings.

“The way we use land is both part of the problem and also part of the solution,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who co-chairs one of the panel’s working groups. “Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable.”

Scientists in Thursday’s press conference emphasized both the seriousness of the problem and the need to make societal changes soon. “We don’t want a message of despair,” said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London. “We want to get across the message that every action makes a difference”

The report said climate change already has worsened land degradation, caused deserts to grow, permafrost to thaw and made forests more vulnerable to drought, fire, pests and disease. That’s happened even as much of the globe has gotten greener because of extra carbon dioxide in the air. Climate change has also added to other forces that have reduced the number of species on Earth.

“Climate change is really slamming the land,” said World Resources Institute researcher Kelly Levin, who wasn’t part of the study but praised it. And the future could be worse. “The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said.

In the worst case scenario, food security problems change from moderate to high risk with just a few more tenths of a degree of warming from now. They go from high to “very high” risk with just another 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming from now.

Scientists had long thought one of the few benefits of higher levels of carbon dioxide, the major heat-trapping gas, was that it made plants grow more and the world greener, Rosenzweig said. But numerous studies show that the high levels of carbon dioxide reduce protein and nutrients in many crops.

For example, high levels of carbon in the air in experiments show wheat has 6 to 13% less protein, 4 to 7% less zinc and 5 to 8% less iron, she said. But better farming practices — such as no-till agricultural and better targeted fertilizer application — have the potential to fight global warming too, reducing carbon pollution up to 18% of current emissions levels by 2050, the report said.

If people change their diets, reducing red meat and increasing plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, the world can save as much as another 15% of current emissions by mid-century. It would also make people more healthy, Rosenzweig said.

The science panel said they aren’t telling people what to eat because that’s a personal choice. Still, Hans-Otto Portner, a panel leader from Germany who said he lost weight and felt better after reducing his meat consumption, told a reporter that if she ate less ribs and more vegetables “that’s a good decision and you will help the planet reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Reducing food waste can fight climate change even more. The report said that between 2010 and 2016 global food waste accounted for 8 to 10% of heat-trapping emissions. “Currently 25-30% of total food produced is lost or wasted,” the report said. Fixing that would free up millions of square miles of land.

With just another 0.9 degrees of warming (0.5 degrees Celsius), which could happen in the next 10 to 30 years, the risk of unstable food supplies, wildfire damage, thawing permafrost and water shortages in dry areas “are projected to be high,” the report said.

At another 1.8 degrees of warming from now (1 degree Celsius), which could happen in about 50 years, it said those risks “are projected to be very high.” Most scenarios predict the world’s tropical regions will have “unprecedented climatic conditions by the mid to late 20th century,” the report noted.

Agriculture and forestry together account for about 23% of the heat-trapping gases that are warming the Earth, slightly less than from cars, trucks, boats and planes. Add in transporting food, energy costs, packaging and that grows to 37%, the report said.

But the land is also a great carbon “sink,” which sucks heat-trapping gases out of the air. From about 2007 to 2016, agriculture and forestry every year put 5.7 billion tons (5.2 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air, but pulled 12.3 billion tons (11.2 billion metric tons) of it out.

“This additional gift from nature is limited. It’s not going to continue forever,” said study co-author Luis Verchot , a scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia. “If we continue to degrade ecosystems, if we continue to convert natural ecosystems, we continue to deforest and we continued to destroy our soils, we’re going to lose this natural subsidy.”

Overall land emissions are increasing, especially because of cutting down forests in the Amazon in places such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru, Verchot said. Recent forest management changes in Brazil “contradicts all the messages that are coming out of the report,” Portner said.

Stanford University environmental sciences chief Chris Field, who wasn’t part of the report, said the bottom line is “we ought to recognize that we have profound limits on the amount of land available and we have to be careful about how we utilize it.”

Czech stud farm makes UNESCO’s World Heritage list

July 16, 2019

KLADRUBY NAD LABEM, Czech Republic (AP) — A Czech stud farm founded 440 years ago to breed and train ceremonial horses to serve at the Habsburg emperor’s court has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list, acknowledging the significance of a tradition that has survived for centuries.

The National stud farm, located in the town of Kladruby nad Labem 90 kilometers (56 miles) east of Prague, is the first stud farm on the UNESCO’s list.

Here’s a look at it:

A ROYAL HISTORY

The farm officially started in 1579, when Emperor Rudolf II of the House of Habsburg gave an imperial status to an original stud established by his father, Emperor Maximilian II. The famed regular visitors to the site, which also has a small chateau and a church, included Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife Elisabeth of Bavaria.

The stud farm survived wars and a devastating 18th-century fire until the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, when the newly established Czechoslovak state took over. That threatened its existence, since anything linked to the former empire was unpopular in Czechoslovakia. Yet somehow the horse breeding tradition weathered both that shift and 40 later years of communist rule.

In 2015, the whole site underwent a major renovation with European Union funds.

MAKING THE UNESCO LIST

The Kladruby site occupies 1,310 hectares (3,240 acres), about the same size since the 16th century. Located on flat, sandy land near the Elbe River, it contains fields and forests along with its classic stables, indoor and outdoor training grounds and a symmetrical network of roads.

UNESCO describes it as “one of Europe’s leading horse-breeding institutions, developed at a time when horses played vital roles in transport, agriculture, military support and aristocratic representation.”

Kladruby director Jiri Machek said UNESCO’s recognition is the confirmation of “the global uniqueness of this place.” “There are three unique aspects about it,” Machek told The Associated Press. “It’s not only about a tangible heritage, it is also the breeding of unique Kladruber horses, which means the landscape still serves its original purpose. And the third, unique thing — which is not mentioned so often — is the intangible heritage, the traditional way of doing things, that is we have been trying to operate the stud in a traditional way.”

ONE OF THE OLDEST HORSE BREEDS IN THE WORLD

Kladruby is the home of the Kladruber horse, a rare breed that is one of the oldest in the world with a population of only 1,200. Kladrubers were bred to serve as ceremonial carriage horses at the Habsburg courts in Vienna and Prague. A warm-blooded breed based on Spanish and Italian horses, a convex head with a Roman nose is among their significant features.

Since the late 18th century, the Kladrubers have come in two colors, grey and black. The grey ones were used for royal ceremonies while the black ones served high-ranked clergy. Today, they still do the same at the Danish court, while others are used by the trumpeters from the Swedish Royal Mounted Guard. Some carry police officers in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

The breed’s peaceful nature also makes them a popular riding horse among private owners around the globe, and some compete in international carriage driving events…

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