Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for May 3, 2021

U.S. sides with Czech Republic in Russia rift, more anti-govt. art appears in Czech capital over the weekend, and Prague Castle reopens today. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.05.2021 09:15:00 (updated on 03.05.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

U.S. Secretary of State voices support for Czech Republic in Russia rift

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced support for the Czech Republic in its diplomatic conflict with Russia during a phone call with Czech PM Andrej Babiš through the weekend, Blinken has tweeted. Two weeks ago, Babiš identified Russian secret service involvement in an explosion in an Czech ammunition depot in Vrbětice in 2014. A diplomatic rift between Prague and Moscow flared up on April 17 over the announcement that Russian GRU military secret service agents were behind explosions in an ammunition depot in Vrbětice, south Moravia, in 2014.

May Day sees anti-government protests, art installations in Prague

Some 250 people took part in a protest organized by the Free Bloc of unaffiliated MP Lubomír Volný on Střelecký Island in Prague's center Sunday morning and several hundred attended other May Day protest rallies against the government anti-coronavirus measures on Letná square Sunday afternoon. Many of the attendees of both events were not wearing respirators or face masks. Police officers and anti-conflict team members tried to enforce anti-epidemic measures, however the controversial anti-mask MP, encouraged protesters to walk around the island during his speech, as sports activities are allowed without a mask. Elsewhere in Prague, a May-Day art installation featuring paper pigs bearing the names of Czech political parties In flagrante delicto was discovered by Prague police at Karlovo náměstí Saturday morning. The installation has since been removed; the artist will likely receive a fine.

Prague Castle to fully reopen to the public today

Prague Castle will reopen to the public from May 3 after six-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The entire castle complex, including its exterior and interior locations as well as exhibitions, will be open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The gardens and the upper part of the Stag Moat surrounding the castle have been open since mid-April. From Monday, visitor access will include St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane, and the Daliborka prison tower. The castle will also open two new exhibitions Monday: the original manuscripts of 17th-century Czech philosopher and pedagogue John Amos Comenius, and a six-meter painting, part of the Slav Epic, by Czech Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha.

Slavia Prague grab third Czech league title in a row

Slavia Praha has won the Czech First Football League title again this season. The club won the Czech First League title before playing their Sunday evening match against Viktoria Plzen after city rivals Sparta Prague drew in their match with Liberec. Slavia has now become the top league champion three times in a row for the first time in the history of the independent Czech Republic, established in 1993 after Czechoslovakia's split. It has gained a total of 21 league champion titles counting those won during the existence of Czechoslovakia. Sparta Praha won the Czech top league five times in a row in 1997-2001.

Heavy rainfall raises Czech rivers to flood levels – more rain to come

Intense rain Saturday night, combined with mountain snow melt, slightly raised river levels in the Czech Republic Sunday. First-degree flood activity was recorded at five locations throughout the country. The Říčanský stream in Prague-Kolovraty crossed the second stage in the morning, the flood service of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute said Sunday morning. The Šumava Mountains, the Bohemian Forest, the Berounka, and Central Vltava river basin saw the most rainfall while heavy rains also affected mountain areas in the north of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Following the rainy weekend, this week's forecast calls for more cloudy skies and showers.

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