Czech news for March 15: Prague marks Nazi occupation anniversary, Ledecká returns to the slopes

Top headlines for the Czech Republic for Wednesday, March 15, 2023, updated daily to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 15.03.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 15.03.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

SPORT Two Czechs advance to Indian Wells tennis quarterfinals

Two Czech tennis players – Karolína Muchová and Petra Kvitová – have progressed to the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells tennis tournament following victories Tuesday. Muchová, who is the eighth-ranked Czech female tennis player, beat Vondroušová in an all-Czech showdown. Former world number two Kvitová caused a small upset by beating U.S. Jessica Pegula, who was seeded third in the tournament. In the quarterfinals, Kvitová will play Greek Maria Sakkari, who is ranked seventh in the world. Muchová will play the Kazakh Elena Rybakina, ranked 10th. Both matches will be played Thursday.

CRIME Police in Czechia assist in major international drug bust

Czech police, in cooperation with authorities in Poland, Slovakia, and Romania, have busted an international meth network selling around five tons of the substance. Two of the 16 suspects arrested were detained in Czechia.

The ring, which included people from various EU countries, made the pills by sourcing other types of medicine that served as ingredients to make the methamphetamine. The police uncovered over 3 million pills containing the drug in house raids and seized over CZK 4 million worth of bank assets, as well as cash.

UKRAINE Czechia requires nearly CZK 2 billion to support refugees

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Czechia will need from the U.N. and other donors an estimated CZK 1.8 billion to help Ukrainian refugees in 2023. The largest chunk, CZK 715 million, will go on basic needs such as accommodation.

Healthcare will cost about CZK 532 million, education CZK 110 million, and over CZK 13 million will be spent on logistical costs. In 2022, Czechia spent over CZK 20 billion in total to help the refugees – the country will therefore welcome any donations made by the U.N.

SPORTS Czech Olympic champion returns to racing

Three-time Olympic champion Ester Ledecká will, after a break of almost a year, return to competitive racing today. The Czech will compete in the 2022-23 Snowboard World Cup season, racing in the parallel giant slalom in Slovenia, an event she has won five out of the seven times she has raced in the World Cup.

A summer accident on an electric skateboard led to two operations on the athlete's broken collarbone. After the Slovenia race, Ledecká will compete in the next stage of the World Cup, in Germany, on March 18.

HISTORY Czechia remembers Hitler invasion, holds ceremony

Today marks 84 years since Nazi leader Adolf Hitler invaded then-Bohemia and Moravia, just five months before the start of World War II. A day after the invasion, Hitler declared himself as the new protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, which lasted until the end of the war.

The Ministry of Defense and the Prague Garrison Command have organized a commemorative event at the statue of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk on Hradčanské náměstí. The event will get underway at 10 a.m.

CONTROVERSY University rector asks dean to stand down

Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE) Rector Petr Dvořák has announced that he wants the dean of the Economics Faculty Miroslav Ševčík sacked due to his involvement in Saturday's anti-government protest.

Ševčík attended last Saturday’s demonstration organized by the Right Respect Expertise group – he was seen among a group of people who attempted to remove the Ukrainian flag from the front of Prague’s National Museum. He told journalists Tuesday afternoon that he needed “more time” to consider resigning.

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