Czech daily news roundup: Monday, April 19, 2022

Pražská plynárenská requests financial aid, Putin-allied billionaire want to build in Brno, Czech ski season ends. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.04.2022 09:45:00 (updated on 19.04.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

16.00 BMW wins Car of the Year Award, first electric car to win

The BMW i4 electric car has won the Car of the Year Award following the vote among 37 other nominated participants. This is the first victory of an electric car in the history of the competition. Last year, the title was not awarded, and a year earlier it was awarded to the BMW 3 Series. The Kia EV6 won the Ecological Car of the Year title.

13:00 Drought causes concerns for Czech farmers

Extremely low levels of precipitation over the past week in the Czech Republic have led to intensified concerns about the effects of drought on Czech agriculture. Water in the soil is dwindling faster as plants start to grow and average temperatures rise. Drought is a particular problem in Bohemia, where weather conditions are not expected to alter significantly in the next ten days.

12:10 Czech held in Pakistan still can't come home

Czech woman Tereza Hlůšková, held in Pakistan for the last four years on charges of drug smuggling and finally acquitted last November, is still unable to return home. Her departure from Pakistan was stopped today by the Supreme Court at the request of Pakistani customs authorities. It was previously reported that the Czech woman had a ticket to fly back to the Czech Republic at the weekend. Hlůšková was detained at Lahore airport in 2018 with nine kilograms of heroin as she was about to fly to the UAE. The Czech claimed someone else must have put the drugs into her suitcase. In March 2019 she was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison, but she appealed the verdict and was acquitted and released last November.

12:00 Woman who killed daughter, wounded son remanded in custody

A district court in Karlovy Vary remanded a woman, 27, who killed her three-year-old daughter and injured her small son through the weekend in custody today. Police have already accused the woman of murder and attempted murder. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison or even an exceptional sentence of 20 to 30 years, or possibly life imprisonment in the Czech Republic. The tragedy took plaee at a housing estate in Karlovy Vary on Saturday afternoon.

The woman caused stab wounds to the upper body of the girl who died on the spot. She also caused serious stab injuries to her five-year-old son who was transported to the local hospital and then airlifted to a hospital in Prague. The boy's life no longer threatened, police said. A third child, a six-week-old baby boy, who was in the flat during the incident, was unharmed.

Energy Councilors approve loan for Pražská plynárenská

Prague City Hall has approved a loan of CZK 2 billion for the city-owned company Pražská plynárenská. The loan will be used to stockpile gas for next winter. The company will keep more gas in reserves due to the dangers posed by rising gas prices. Pražská plynárenská is one of the country's biggest energy companies supplying 425,000 consumption points with gas and electricity. The city authorities have stressed that the company is not in financial difficulties and is not facing any dangers of bankruptcy.

Energy Pražská plynárenská requests financial aid

Prague councilors are today discussing a request from Pražská plynárenská for financial assistance of CZK 2 billion. The large sum is, according to local authorities, needed to solve cash flow problems, rather than to counter any structural problems with the business. Councilor Jan Chabr also said the financial request was also necessitated by its obligation to have higher gas reserves.

Pražská plynárenská is a public company owned by the capital city of Prague and one of the largest domestic energy suppliers, serving around 425,000 consumption points with gas and electricity. Councilors have emphasized that the company’s request for financial aid does not mean it is in financial trouble, let alone facing bankruptcy dangers.

Sanctions Putin-allied billionaires want to build in Brno

A company owned by a group of Chechen billionaires allied to Vladimir Putin’s regime in Russia is bidding to construct a new district in Brno city center. A building permit request for the five-building development project has been submitted, but sanctions against Putin-allied oligarchs could yet complicate the project.

The residential development close to Mendlovo náměstí would result in five buildings with a total of five hundred apartments, large underground garages and offices. The CEO of the company in charge of the project said it has now applied for planning permission. According to Seznam Zpravy, the real owner behind the project is Magomed Bažajev, from a Chechen billionaire family. The most prominent member of the family, Musa Bažajev, has been placed on an EU sanctions list over close ties to the Putin regime.

Sport Czech ski season ends

The ski season has officially ended in the Krkonoše mountain, the Czech Republic’s highest range, with the last ski centers shutting this weekend. The final centers in operation were at Špindlerův Mlýn, Pec pod Sněžkou, Černá hora and Harrachov. Other ski centers have been closing throughout the country in recent weeks.

The ski season in the Krkonoše mountains started on December 3. The end of the season means no ski lifts will be in operation. At the weekend, there was still enough snow on the mountains for skiing, but holiday operators and local authorities will now switch into a summer mode of operations until next winter.


Digital Russia threatens to block popular Czech photo app

Russian media censorship office Roskomnadzor is demanding that the operators of popular Czech graphic editing app Photopea delete links with information about the war in Ukraine with the next 24 hours. If they refuse to do so, Roskomnadzor is warning that the app will be blocked.

On February 24, the web-based version of Photoshop, which receives ten million visits a month, began showing links to information about the war in Ukraine to Russian-speaking users. About 1.7 percent of the company's customers are from Russia.

Roads Crashes lead to two deaths on Easter weekend

Two people died in road traffic accidents in the Czech Republic over the long Easter weekend. One fatality occurred in the Strakonice region, where a car flipped over. In the Benešov region, a motorcyclist died after crashing into barriers.

The two fatalities constituted a reduction on last year's long Easter weekend, when incidents claimed five lives. Yet the overall number of accidents increased by about ten percent, according to information from the traffic police published yesterday evening.

Travel Flight route launched from Prague to Baku

Azerbaijan Airlines will start operating flights to the Czech capital Prague as part of its summer schedule for 2022. The carrier will operate flights on the Baku-Prague-Baku route twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. The first flight will operate on June 17. Tickets are available to buy through Azerbaijan Airlines’ official website.

Study Prague is one of world’s darkest cities

A British environmental study ranking the world’s cities according to their brightness, both natural and artificial, found Prague to be one of the darkest cities in the world. The Czech capital was the eighth darkest city, with an average of 4.5 hours sunlight per day and light pollution of 5.21 mcd/m2

The brightest city in the world is Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with more than eight hours of natural sunlight per day. Second is Moscow, third is Washington, D.C., and fourth is London. The darkest city in the world according to the study is Bogotá, Colombia, with an average of 3.5 hours sunlight a day and light pollution of less than 3 mcd/m2.

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