News in brief for April 5: Czechia to end reliance on nuclear fuel, Kellnerová defends Forbes standing

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, updated daily to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 05.04.2023 09:06:00 (updated on 05.04.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

POLITICS Chamber of Deputies speaker survives vote for dismissal

The opposition ANO movement and Freedom and Direct Democracy party were unsuccessful in attempting to oust Chamber of Deputies Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová Tuesday night. The proposal to dismiss her was backed by 72 opposition members of parliament – a minimum of 85 was required.

A total of 97 coalition lawmakers voted against the motion. Chairwoman of ANO Alena Schillerová accused Pekarová Adamová, who is a member of a party in the ruling coalition, of having zero humility and being guilty of impartiality. 

RUSSIA-UKRAINE Czech police to investigate war crimes in Russia

The Czech Military Police (VP) will help investigate suspected war crimes in Ukraine, the Chamber of Deputies confirmed Tuesday. The Senate has approved the decision. Up to 15 VP officers will be deployed for this mission.

The VP will coordinate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) – some members will travel to the Netherlands – and is expected to cost CZK 12.4 million. The Czech team will be deployed for four to six weeks a few times a year to assess any war crimes.

EVENT Two Prague buildings catch fire overnight, many evacuated

An apartment in Prague 4 and a hostel in Prague 10 both caught fire overnight, leading to tens of people from both apartments being evacuated. One man in his 70s was seriously ill during the apartment fire and required on-site resuscitation.

He was saved and then transported to hospital. A hostel in Černokostelecká Street required four water jets to put out its fire. The cause of the blaze was negligence – no people were harmed. About 30 people from the hostel were evacuated.

energy Czechia to end reliance on Russian nuclear fuel by 2023

The U.S. company Westinghouse will supply both the Dukovany and the Temelín nuclear plants starting next year, thus putting an end to Czechia’s reliance on Russian nuclear fuel, Euractiv reports. In addition to Westinghouse, the French company Framatome will also supply nuclear fuel to Temelín.

Czech energy company ČEZ, which operates the Dukovany nuclear plant, decided to replace the supplier for safety reasons following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February. Daniel Beneš, the CEO of ČEZ Group, called the agreement “a significant step not only for the Czech power industry but also for the entire Czech Republic,” and “another significant strengthening of energy security.”

health Dozens hospitalized in Czechia after Salmonella outbreak

The number of people who reported health issues after eating at one of the Asian restaurants in Hradec Králové reached 77, out of whom 19 have a confirmed diagnosis of Salmonella infection, according to the Regional Hygiene Station (KHS).  

Those who reported the health issues all ate food from the same restaurant, which is now closed, between March 28 and April 1, KHS says. Hygienists sent several samples taken from infected people to the National Reference Laboratory for further examination to determine the specific source of the health problems.

CRIME Czech man sent to prison for sexually abusing children

A 33-year-old man from Liberec has been sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to undergo sexological treatment by a Czech court for the sexual abuse of six girls and one boy aged between four and eleven years old, which took place between 2020 and 2022. He was also found guilty of abuse of children for the production of pornography and manipulation of child pornography.

The man had already been sentenced twice in the past for sexually assaulting a child. The public prosecutor criticized the system, saying that the man was allowed to establish an association focusing on children, which was a failure of the system.

international relations Czech, Israeli FMs talk cooperation in Prague

Czech Foreign Minister Lipavský and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen talked on Tuesday about bilateral cooperation between the two countries, the Russian war on Ukraine, and Iran’s nuclear program and delivery of drones to Russia, Lipavsky tweeted.

Cohen said that Israel supported Ukraine and it will continue to send humanitarian aid, and also emphasized the need of sanctions against Iran. President Petr Pavel also met Cohen at Prague Castle on Tuesday afternoon. 

economy Forbes’ billionaires list includes 11 Czechs

Renáta Kellnerová kept her title of the richest Czech in the edition of Forbes magazine's Billionaires 2023 list, with assets worth 16.5 billion dollars (CZK 355.9 billion). The second spot went to Daniel Křetínský, the majority owner of Energy and Industrial Holding, who has assets worth 9.2 billion dollars (CZK 198.5 billion CZK). The third richest Czech is KKCG owner Karel Komárek, in possession of a fortune of 8.1 billion dollars (CZK 174.7 billion). 

In related news, Kellnerová, the widow of Czechia’s formerly richest man Petr Kellner who tragically died in a helicopter accident in 2021, recently announced she wanted a new investigation into her husband’s death.

culture Writers announced for Book World Prague 2023

The festival Book World Prague 2023 will take place between May 11 and 14, and feature U.S. writer Robert Fulghum and Russian author Vladimir Sorokin among its guests, festival director Radovan Auer announced on Tuesday. It will also include 364 exhibitors, 181 stands, and 600 participants from 30 countries and regions.

The 28th edition of the annual festival, called Authors Without Borders, focuses on current times when borders, whether physical, cultural, social, sexual, genre, or political, are becoming increasingly blurred.

cinema One World 2023 films now available online

After screening in 28 cities throughout the Czech Republic, a selection of documentaries from the One World film festival is now available online. Between April 2 to 16, viewers can enjoy twenty outstanding films from this year's festival in their homes, via One World Online.

The 25th edition of the One World Festival of human rights films had “the cost of safety” as its main theme. Films asked people to reflect on how the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the energy crisis, climate change, and social insecurities have affected them.

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