Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for September 20, 2021

Kellner family examines future of Home Credit, Czech tourists rescued from Austria's tallest mountain, Kvitová withdraws from Prague tournament. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.09.2021 09:58:00 (updated on 20.09.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Klaus visits Zeman in Prague hospital

Former President Václav Klaus returned to the Central Military Hospital (ÚVN), in Prague on Sunday afternoon, having earlier been released from the hospital on Friday. He arrived for a check-up, and while at the hospital visited current President Miloš Zeman, who remains hospitalized at ÚVN.

Ex-President Klaus was hospitalized over high blood pressure last week. Zeman was simultaneously admitted over dehydration and fatigue. On Thursday, it was announced that there no fears for the President’s life, and that the President’s hospitalization was a planned procedure. Unlike Zeman, ex-President Klaus does not suffer from any significant long-term health problems.

Four Czech tourists rescued on Austria’s highest mountain

Rescuers had to provide assistance to four tourists from the Czech Republic stuck on Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, at the weekend. The tourists became stuck while descending from the top of the mountain. They did not suffer any physical problems apart from exhaustion, although two of them also caught mild hypothermia. The four climbers, aged 26 to 31, used an alternative route for their descent to avoid large numbers of tourists on the mountain. At an altitude of 3,600 meters, they became caught in snow and ice.

Two of them were evacuated by air on Saturday evening, but the other two had to remain on the mountain overnight as the helicopter operation could not be repeated in darkness. Rescuers brought them hot drinks and clothes before climbing back to the top of the mountain with them and starting the descent again via the usual route. Czech tourists often get stuck on the popular Grossglockner mountain, with the last rescue operation for Czech travelers carried out at the end of June.

Kellner family explores options for the future of Home Credit

The family of the deceased Czech billionaire Petr Kellner are considering options for the future of Home Credit, which provides consumer loans in nine countries in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe. Bloomberg reported that the new owners of Home Credit are in discussions with advisors about the company’s future, including a possible partnership or the sale of a stake in some operations.

It is claimed that the family’s review focuses on Home Credit’s operations in Southeast Asia and India. Its activities in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and India could be valued at between $2 billion and $2.5 billion. A Home Credit spokesperson refused to comment on speculation about a possible transaction.

Kvitová withdraws from Billie Jean King Cup in Prague

Petra Kvitová has withdrawn from the Billie Jean King Cup, a women’s tennis team competition, to be held in Prague. The Czech team will play Germany on November 1 and Switzerland on November 4. Kvitová said she will not play in the competition because she needs to rest physically and mentally.

31-year-old Kvitová said that her age makes it necessary to ensure free time in order to play as many seasons as possible. She also said she finds it difficult to motivate herself for tournaments without audiences. Kvitová is one of the Czech Republic’s most successful players at the Billie Jean King Cup, previously known as the Fed Cup, having helped the Czech team to victory six times.

Ample Strike military air exercise ends

The Ample Strike military air exercise, focusing on training of joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs), in which 600 soldiers from allied armies took part in the Czech Republic, has ended after three weeks. The exercise took place at airports throughout the country as well as at military bases. The objective was to harmonize the activities of JTACs with aircraft crews and commanders not aboard aircraft.

JTACs direct the actions of combat aircraft in air support and offensive air operations, often operating secretly on enemy territory. The Ample Strike exercise saw fourteen JTAC teams from nine NATO countries taking part, including the U.S. military using an unmanned MQ-9 Reaper aerial vehicle.

Temperatures fall below average as autumn draws in

A cold start to the week is set to continue over coming days, according to meteorologists. The first half of the week will see afternoon highs of around 14 degrees Celsius, compared to an average of 18 degrees for the time of year.

Thursday is expected to be the warmest day of the week with a high temperature of around 20 degrees. Temperatures are expected to rise again at the end of the week after showers anticipated on Friday. After a warm spell in September, the arrival of colder temperatures and grey skies may herald the start of autumn in the Czech Republic. 

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