Czech news in brief for January 20: Saturday's top headlines

Northern Czechia sees plummeting temperatures, Czech car production rebounds to pre-Covid levels, and more weekend headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 20.01.2024 09:06:00 (updated on 21.01.2024) Reading time: 5 minutes

Sports Krejčíková to vie for Australian Open quarterfinals

Czech tennis player Barbora Krejčíková is set to compete for a spot in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open on Sunday morning from 5:30 a.m. Czech time. Seeded ninth, she faces a challenge against 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva from Russia, having lost both previous encounters against the Russian last year.

Krejčíková , the 2021 French Open winner, has reached the round of 16 in Melbourne for the third consecutive time. In the third round, Krejčíková secured victory against home player Storm Hunter after a three-set turnaround, building on her earlier success against Japan's Mai Hontama.

Tech Czech electronic ID system experiencing outages

The new eDoklady application, which allows Czech citizens to create an electronic version of their ID card, has seen significant user interest since Friday evening, causing login issues, according to information available to Czech News Agency and user feedback on social media. The app has experienced temporary outages on the first day of its availability, impacting login processes.

While the Digital and Information Agency behind the app aims to release download figures by the weekend's end, the agency apologized for the inconvenience and assured users of efforts to ensure seamless app functionality. The eDoklady app is now available on App Store and Google Play.

Sports Nosková stuns no.1 Świątek at Australian Open

In a stunning upset at the Australian Open, 19-year-old Czech tennis sensation Linda Nosková rallied from a set down to defeat top-seeded Iga Świątek 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. This marks the earliest exit in the last 14 majors for Świątek, the WTA world number 1. Nosková secured her first Grand Slam fourth-round spot, and ended Świątek's 17-match winning streak.

Notably, it's only Świątek's second loss to a younger opponent at the tour level. Nosková's victory at Melbourne Park is the first time since 1979 that a top seed hasn't advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open, making tennis history. The Czech starlet came into the Australian Open at number 50 in WTA rankings.

Weather Severe frost warning issued for northern Bohemia

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a severe frost warning from Saturday night into Sunday morning, anticipating temperatures dropping below minus 12 degrees Celsius, particularly in northwestern Bohemia. The warning covers regions including Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, Hradec Králové, and parts of Central Bohemia from Saturday at 10:00 p.m. to Sunday 9:00 a.m.

Additionally, freezing rain and ice are expected in the eastern half of the country on Monday, with strong winds up to 70 kilometers per hour in northern Moravia and Silesia. Residents are advised to take precautions in these extreme weather conditions.

Traffic Czech mountain resorts overwhelmed by skiers

Popular Czech mountain resorts are facing a surge of tourists and skiers, leading to severe traffic issues on Saturday morning. Parking lots, such as those in Bedřichov in the Jizerské hory, are at full capacity, prompting police to close entrances to the city. Similar problems are reported in Orlické hory, Pec pod Sněžka, and Špindlerův Mlýn.

The mountain road between Šerlich and Velka Deštna has also seen overcrowded parking, leading drivers to park in unauthorized areas. Authorities recommend using shuttle buses and caution as the influx of visitors creates challenges in maintaining order and emergency services access.

Weather Northern Czechia sees plummeting temperatures

In the northern regions of the Czech Republic, temperatures have plummeted to as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning, raising concerns of ice forming on roads. In the Liberec region, temperatures dipped to minus 15 degrees Celsius, and in the Ústí region, to minus 10 degrees Celsius.

The effectiveness of road salt diminishes at such extreme temperatures, increasing the risk of icy surfaces on wet roads. Most roads in northern Bohemia are reported to be wet, while snow continues to fall, mainly in mountainous areas. Caution is advised for commuters as driving conditions may be hazardous due to freezing surfaces.

Economy Czech car production rebounds to pre-Covid levels

Car production in the Czech Republic has rebounded to pre-Covid levels reports Czech Television, driven by renewed interest in new cars across the European Union, where sales increased by fourteen percent in the past year. Of the 1,397,816 new vehicles produced, only a small fraction found buyers domestically, despite an uptick in sales.

The shift in consumer preferences towards SUVs and middle-class categories has reshaped the market. Notably, the production of electric cars in the Czech Republic has surged, reaching 130,000 units, yet their market share remains at three percent. The Czech market lags, occupying the third-to-last position among EU countries.

Sports Ledecká to make snowboarding World Cup debut

Skiing and snowboarding Olympic champion Ester Ledecká is set to make her delayed season debut in the Snowboard World Cup in Pamporovo, Bulgaria, after her recovery from injury. The 28-year-old, originally scheduled to compete in Davos just before Christmas, had to withdraw due to illness.

After training and three races in Zauchensee, where she secured an 11th place finish in the super giant slalom, Ledecká postponed her planned start in Bad Gastein, Austria. The Czech athlete, known for her versatility in skiing and snowboarding, last competed in snowboarding in March 2023, achieving second place in Rogle and a victory in Berchtesgaden.

Crime Olomouc boy confesses to murdering woman

A tragic incident unfolded in Olomouc as police discovered the lifeless body of a 38-year-old woman in her apartment on Tuesday. The alleged perpetrator, a boy under 15 years old, has confessed to the crime. However, due to his age, he is not considered criminally responsible, and authorities are likely to shelve the case.

The victim, reportedly the boy's mother, succumbed to fatal head injuries and significant blood loss. While the young suspect will evade imprisonment, a court decision may place him in a specialized institute. Had he been over 18, the potential sentence for murder could range from 12 to 20 years, but as a juvenile, it would be reduced by half.

Legal Czech govt. to introduce law regulating lobbying

The Czech government is set to deliberate on the Lobbying Act, a proposal aiming to regulate and legitimize lobbying while enhancing transparency. The legislation includes plans for a public administration information system, serving as a register for both lobbyists and those being lobbied.

The proposed law mandates lobbyists to report their activities to the Ministry of Justice, with the system expected to be operational by the second half of 2025. Simultaneously, the government will review related laws. The Ministry of Justice contends that despite recurring attempts to regulate lobbying, the lack of established rules has led to negative perceptions. The law's adoption by mid-2025 is crucial for accessing funds from the National Recovery Plan.

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