Czech daily news in brief: top headlines for July 21, 2021

Czech media ownership under fire, Czech drowning deaths exceed those of coastal countries, Czech Olympic trainer tests positive for Covid. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.07.2021 09:59 (updated on 21.07.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Report: ownership of Czech media concentrated, not transparent

The Media Pluralism Monitor 2021 report assesses a nation's state of freedom and pluralism of the press in four areas: basic protection of journalists' rights, pluralism of property, political independence, and social inclusion. The Czech Republic was given a poor assessment in the areas of the plurality of ownership and political independence. The authors point out that media ownership in the Czech Republic is very concentrated and not always transparent. The country's assessment was negatively affected by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš's influence on one of the most important media houses in the country. The report says that the Czech Republic lacks the means to reduce the influence of owners on content distributed by the media. "(The pandemic) has made the media (in the Czech Republic) more susceptible to political and trade pressures," it writes.

Czech beach volleyball trainer tests positive for Covid in Tokyo

Czech women's beach volleyball duo coach, Simon Nausch, is the third member of the Czech Olympic team to test positive for coronavirus, the Czech Olympic team told journalists Tuesday. Nausch, who coaches his wife Markéta Nausch Sluková, and her teammate Barbora Hermannová, left the Olympic village and began his isolation after the infection was confirmed by a PCR test. This is the second case discovered in the beach volleyball team. On Sunday, daily tests found beach volleyball player Ondřej Perušič positive. An unnamed member of the supporting team was the first Czech team member who tested positive for Covid upon arrival in Japan. The Czech team is now cooperating with organizers on detailed measures, including the self-isolation of possible close contacts. It is not yet clear whether Nausch's case will affect the women's duo. ČTK

Brdy ammunition explosion seriously injures two soldiers


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Two soldiers were seriously injured by an explosion in the former Brdy military training ground Tuesday morning, a General Staff spokesperson said. The soldiers were conducting a deep bomb disposal survey in the former shelling areas. One of the men suffered a devastating injury to his limbs and the other burns on the upper part of his body. Both were airlifted to the Pilsen Teaching Hospital. The explosion occurred just after 10 am. In the Brdy Protective Landscape Area, there are still places inaccessible to the public. The military training ground Jince is permanently closed to the public. The targeted shelling areas Jordan and Tok as well as the former infantry firing ranges Kolvin and Padrt are permanently inaccessible. The public is only allowed access to the marked areas of cycling, hiking, and educational trails. ČTK

Czech Republic has more drowning deaths than some coastal countries

In the Czech Republic, the number of people who die by drowning has increased by thirty year-on-year, with 205 people perishing in drowning accidents last year. The Czech Republic has twice as many drowning deaths per capita as some coastal countries, including Spain and the United Kingdom. Data from the Czech Statistical Office and a water safety project say that in the last ten years, the number of drownings has been between about 180 and 220 per year. Last year it was 53 Czech women and 152 men. The risk of drowning in small children increases with the increasing number of swimming pools in gardens. The Czech Republic ranks third in the number of garden pools per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe. Only the French and the Spanish have more.

Czech pediatric neurosurgery pioneer dies at 100

Neurosurgeon Vladimír Beneš, a pioneer in his field in Czechoslovakia and the founder of child neurosurgery in the Prague-Motol hospital in 1978, has died at the age of 100, his family announced Tuesday. Professor Beneš is the oldest from a renowned Czech family of neurosurgeons. Beneš, born on January 27, 1921, graduated from the faculty of medicine and chose neurosurgery as his lifelong profession. He worked first in the Prague Stresovice Central Military Hospital and then in Motol where he founded the first special child neurosurgery ward and pushed through many progressive methods. Along with brain surgery, he focused on spine injuries and promoted comprehensive care for spinal patients. The first specialized clinic for their treatment was opened in the Czech Republic in 1992. In 1971, Beneš organized the European Neurosurgery Congress in Prague and in 1992, the World Congress of Child Neurosurgery. He also wrote several studies and articles. ČTK

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