Czech news in brief for April 28: Sunday's top headlines

Saharan dust returns to Czech skies, Czech National Bank expected to lower interest rate, and more Sunday headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 28.04.2024 09:06:00 (updated on 28.04.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

Health Health Ministry finalizes new care strategy

The Ministry of Health has finalized the Czech health care development strategy, consisting of ten chapters. Health Minister Vlastimil Válek will now present it to President Petr Pavel. Válek emphasized the document's consultation with the World Health Organization and the OECD. Chapters cover staffing, training, and drug policy. Válek highlighted the document's scientific basis and its availability for public discussion.

Accident Czech man dies in kayaking accident in Austria

In a tragic incident near the Austrian village of Scheffau, a 36-year-old Czech man lost his life in a kayak accident on Saturday. Initially reported missing, his body was discovered today by rescuers. The man, part of a Czech kayaking group, collided with a rock while navigating a gorge, leading to his submersion. Search efforts were temporarily halted due to high water levels but resumed when conditions improved. His body was eventually found on the gorge's edge.

Real Estate Czech property prices rising after recent drops

Property prices in the Czech Republic have begun to rise after declines last year but remain significantly lower than mid-2022, according to analysis by While Prague's prices are mostly stable, Karlovy Vary and Ostrava saw over a nine percent year-on-year increase in the first quarter. Mild declines were observed only in Jihlava and Ústí nad Labem. The highest prices were reached in the first half of 2022, with current prices down by up to 21 percent and comparable to late-2021 levels.

Sports Bejlek advances to round of 16 at Madrid Open

At the Madrid Open, 18-year-old Czech tennis player Sára Bejlek has advanced to the round of 16 after defeating American Ashlyn Krueger 6-3, 6-1. Bejlek, ranked 136th worldwide, secured her spot after advancing from the qualification round and triumphing over top-ranked players. She faces Elena Rybakina from Kazakhstan next. Meanwhile, Czech number one Markéta Vondroušová prepares for the third round against Russian Mirra Andreeva.

History Czech WWII heroes remembered in Ořechov

An event on Saturday in Ořechov, in Czechia's Vysočina Region, commemorated the 82nd anniversary of the covert airborne drop that preceded the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. Parachutists jumped to recall the historic event, joined by guests including Senate President Miloš Vystrčil. The accidental landing in Ořechov in 1942 marked a pivotal moment, leading to the subsequent assassination of Heydrich and the brutal Nazi reprisals that followed, including mass executions and the destruction of Lidice.

Weather Saharan dust returns to Czech skies

The Czech Republic will see another bout of Saharan dust in its skies today, potentially impacting temperatures. Unforeseen clouds, a result of this phenomenon, might lower expected highs of around 25 degrees Celsius. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a warning, citing previous instances earlier this year when Saharan dust triggered smog alerts across the country. The origin lies in storms over the Sahara, lifting sand particles into the air, which can travel to Europe aided by strong winds.

Economy Czech National Bank expected to lower interest rate

Analysts contacted by Czech News Agency expect another cut in the Czech National Bank's interest rate from the current 5.75 percent. Most predict a decrease of half a percentage point, citing a cautious approach despite inflation meeting the bank's target. A reduction in rates started last December and continued in February and March. Real interest rates are at a two-decade high, prompting expectations of further declines to support inflation. While some advocate for a substantial decrease, others urge caution, suggesting the next cut may not occur until autumn to assess the impact of monetary policy easing.

Health Malaria cases are rising in the Czech Republic

Malaria cases are on the rise in Czechia after a dip during the Covid pandemic. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, 12 cases have been reported, compared to 43 in the whole of last year. Health experts link this increase to increased travel to malaria-prone areas like the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and Zanzibar. They advise people to seek medical advice before traveling and consider preventive measures to tackle the resurgence.

Agriculture Study: Native Czech plant species dwindling

A recent study conducted by Masaryk University and the Czech Academy of Sciences highlights a concerning trend in the Czech landscape: native plant species are dwindling, while non-native plants are flourishing. This shift is attributed partly to the decline in traditional farming practices, like grazing and mowing, which support specialized plant species. Over the past six decades, there's been a noticeable increase in thermophilic and non-native plants, likely influenced by climate change.

Education Czech students succeed in NASA competition

Five Czech high school students made their mark at the prestigious Conrad Challenge held at NASA's headquarters in Houston, securing scholarships at US universities. Mentored by Jan Spratek from Prague's Planetarium, the Lasar team clinched victories in two out of three categories with their innovative idea for remotely repairing malfunctioning satellites. Their presentation earned accolades for best project presentation. This success grants them scholarships to institutions like the Florida Institute of Technology, Menlo College, and Clarkson University.

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