Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Feb. 24, 2021

Former Czech president tests positive for COVID, firefighters deliver masks to food banks, and February weather records broken.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 24.02.2021 09:15 (updated on 24.02.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

COVID: Former Czech president Václav Klaus reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

Former Czech president Václav Klaus, 79, has tested positive for COVID-19 and he will be treated at home, the Lidovky.cz server reported Tuesday night, referring to Václav Klaus Institute spokesperson Petr Macinka. Klaus tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday afternoon, the server writes. "After a roughly 30-minute check-up at the Central Military Hospital, he left for home care," the server cites Macinka as saying. Macinka told ČTK that Klaus reported he did not feel well. He, therefore, went for tests, which subsequently turned out to be positive. He returned for an examination to the Central Military Hospital, from where he then went home for treatment.

TECH: Google to work with a number of Czech publishers

Some Czech publishers have signed an agreement with Google on payments for their content published by Google News. It is to pay for online content through the Google News Showcase licensing program, which has been joined by more than 300 European publishers. This is according to Google's statement on his European Twitter account. The Union of Publishers told ČTK that it has no information about the agreement yet. Google announced on Twitter on Monday that more than 300 publishers from Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic, among others, have joined its Google News Showcase licensing program to pay for media content in Europe.

MASKS: Firefighters help deliver masks to foodbanks across the country

Firefighters have started driving 7.5 million medical masks from a store of the State Material Reserves Administration to food banks, Jana Urbancová, the spokeswoman for the Fire Rescue Service, told journalists on Tuesday. "The transport is provided by 23 members of the Fire Rescue Service. They will drive the materials to several places," she added. The firefighters will drive the medical masks to 15 food banks and their central store across the Czech Republic. They will transport 3,800 large crates on 250 pallets. The protective devices will be distributed through about 1,000 social partners directly to those in need in various social groups. They will be received by social services facilities such as asylum homes, intervention centers, outpatient and field services, dormitories, daily centers, and other services.

CULTURE: Czech photographer wins major international prize

ČTK photo reporter Roman Vondrouš has won a prize in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) contest, the jury awarding him for his series of photos with fans watching matches of their favorite Bohemians 1905 Prague football team from ladders leaning against the stadium wall. Vondrouš' series, headlined Loyal Fans In COVID Era, has won the first prize in the sports series category. Organized by the Missouri School of Journalism since 1944, the POYi competition is viewed by many as the world's oldest international contest of journalistic and documentary photography. The international jury annually assesses over 50,000 photographic works from more than 70 countries. Vondrouš also succeeded in the competition in 2017, when he won second place in the Sport Action category with his photo from the Great Pardubice Steeplechase event.

SPORTS: Czech Women's National Team confirmed for Euro 2022 play-off

The Czech Republic Women's National Team will be in the play-offs for Euro 2022. They join Northern Ireland, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine with one more team yet to be confirmed. Should they win the play-off, they would qualify for the tournament to be held next year. The draw for the play-offs takes place on March. 4. The Czech Republic has never qualified for the women's European Championships. They finished second in their qualifying group behind Spain. Their place in the play-offs was confirmed following Spain's 3-0 win against Poland who were third place in the group.

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WEATHER: Record February temperatures recorded in various Czech cities

Meteorologists have recorded the highest February temperature at 14 places across the Czech Republic, while the warmest was Vyšší Brod, South Bohemia, with 20 degrees Celsius, Tereza Matušková from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMU) told ČTK. Simultaneously, a record high for Feb. 23 was beaten in one-third of all meteorological stations in service for at least 30 years, she added. Further records might be overcome on Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures might rise above 17 degrees Celsius amid sunny weather, the CHMU website states. The daily maximum temperatures of about 15 degrees Celsius correspond rather to mid-April, experts say. Tuesday's highest temperature in Vyšší Brod has overcome the previous record high of 19.3 degrees Celsius from Feb. 24, 2008.

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