Czech news in brief for April 25: Thursday's top headlines

Most hate crimes in Czechia target Ukrainians, weekend warm spell heads to Czechia, and Prague may open center for rare disease. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 25.04.2024 09:07:00 (updated on 25.04.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

PRAGUE 2023 SHOOTING Prague shooter motive not linked to mental issue

At a meeting of the parliamentary security committee, state representative Jana Murínová stated that, according to a psychological expert, the perpetrator of the tragic shooting at Charles University's Faculty of Arts last year was not motivated by a mental disorder. Despite earlier reports of the shooter seeking psychiatric treatment, Murínová clarified that not all individuals who seek help from psychiatrists are mentally ill. The expert committee is currently finalizing its assessment and will soon release all conclusions. 

AVIATION Prague Airport gives tender for terminal expansion

Prague Airport has awarded a contract to a group of companies to expand Terminal 2. This project, expected to be completed in 2033, will essentially create a new terminal and include eight new stands for wide-body aircraft. The Ministry of Finance, the airport's sole shareholder, approved the expansion last year. The estimated cost for the project is CZK 22 billion. Work should start in 2027 or 2028.

health Whooping cough cases surpass 10,000

Director of the State Health Institute Barbora Macková reported at a Health Ministry press conference today that over 10,000 cases of whooping cough have been recorded in the Czech Republic since the beginning of the year. Around 950 new cases were added in just the first few days of this week. It is mandatory for young children to receive a vaccine, with re-vaccination recommended for five- to six-year-olds and 10- to 11-year-olds. The lack of re-vaccination among teenagers is believed to be a contributing factor to the rise in cases.

PRAGUE 2023 shooting Around 9,000 needed support post-Prague shooting

The December 2023 shooting at Prague's Charles University, which resulted in the death of 15 people and injuries to 25 others, has had a significant psychological impact on approximately 9,000 people, according to Charles University. The Czech police, in a report published on its website, stated that hundreds of professionals from the Integrated Rescue System and partner organizations provided expert support and crisis intervention. As of mid-February, police recorded more than 6,500 interventions provided, but said all forms of psychological support were not easy to quantify.

Human rights Most hate crimes in Czechia target Ukrainians

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan stated that hate crimes in Czechia primarily targeted Ukrainians in 2023, according to Amnesty International’s report. The police are actively investigating these incidents, with 311 hate crimes reported last year, a 10 percent increase. Rakušan emphasized efforts to address conflicts, including those between the Ukrainian and Roma communities. Deputy PM Ivan Bartoš condemned hate speech and discrimination, stressing the importance of empathy and respect for all.

Middle East Poll: Most Czechs blame Palestine for conflict

A recent poll by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) reveals that Czechs attribute blame for the Middle East conflict more to Palestinians than Israel. However, a significant portion holds both sides equally responsible. The survey reflects stability in the belief that both sides share blame, with an increase in those attributing fault to Palestinians compared to 2015. The poll involved 966 Czech residents over 15 and was conducted from January 26 to March 11.

Weather Weekend warm spell heads to Czechia

After chilly days, the Czech Republic anticipates a warm weekend, with temperatures soaring to 20 degrees Celsius on Saturday and 25 degrees Celsius on Sunday, following a series of frosty nights. The upcoming week promises similar weather conditions, with night temperatures above freezing, except in southwestern Bohemia, where ground frosts may linger. Recent days saw below-average temperatures, with snow in the mountains and frost damage to vegetation.

Culture Toyen painting to be shown after 60 years

In Prague, Toyen’s painting The Secret of Places is now on display at a pre-auction exhibition after 62 years, marking its public debut in 1962. The surrealist artwork, featuring a predator capturing a white heart, will be auctioned on Sunday with a starting price of CZK 33 million. The exhibition also showcases other valuable works, including pieces by Alfons Mucha and František Kupka, at the European Arts Investments auction house until Saturday.

Health Prague may open center for rare disease

The Czech Association for Rare Diseases (CAVO) announces plans to establish the country’s first educational center catering to its 500,000 rare disease patients, inspired by Norway’s model. The center aims for full functionality by 2028, pending funding secured through a feasibility study. With over 6,000 rare diseases, patients often lack proper diagnosis and treatment, necessitating social and psychological support. CAVO also plans to expand services, including residential courses and helpline support.

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