Czech news in brief for January 21: Sunday's top headlines

Plzeň honors Josef Hlavatý with memorial plaque, TV Barrandov channels briefly halt broadcasting, and more Sunday headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.01.2024 08:30:00 (updated on 22.01.2024) Reading time: 5 minutes

Tech Issues persist with Czechia's new eDoklady app

Users continue to face probelms logging into the new eDoklady application, an electronic identity card, due to overload on the National Identity Authority's (NIA) infrastructure. Over 70,000 users downloaded the app on Saturday, causing disruptions.

Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartoš attributed the problems to Microsoft's Azure cloud technologies, impacting systems throughout Europe. Although Azure issues were later fixed, NIA's capacity limitations underscored the need for an overhaul. Efforts are underway to resolve login problems before its first official use on Monday for identity verification and efficient data management in dealings with the state.

Sports Nosková to face Svitolina at Australian Open

Czech tennis sensation Linda Nosková is set to compete in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Monday. The 19-year-old, who recently eliminated world number one Iga Świątek, will take on Elina Svitolina from Ukraine. Nosková's remarkable journey at this year's tournament includes victories against McCartney Kessler, Maria Bouzková, and her stunning upset against Świątek.

The match against Svitolina will unfold in the Margaret Court arena from 3:30 a.m. Czech time, with the winner advancing to face either Viktoria Azarenkova or Dajana Jastremska. Despite not having advanced past the second round in previous Grand Slam events, Nosková is eyeing a historic breakthrough in Melbourne.

CRIME Police suspect murder in Černý Most case

Czech police have revealed that one of the two individuals found dead at Černý Most in Prague was a victim of murder. The authorities are currently conducting an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of the second person.

Limited details were released on Sunday afternoon, confirming the discovery of two deceased individuals in a residence on Doležalova Street in Černý Most. The police assure they will provide additional information as the investigation progresses. The nature of the second person's death remains under scrutiny, with authorities treating one case as a suspected murder.

Sports Krejčíková makes quarterfinals at Australian Open

Czech tennis star Barbora Krejčíková staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Russian Mirra Andreeva and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Sunday morning. After a challenging two-hour duel, Krejčíková triumphed 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, equaling her best performance in Melbourne.

The 28-year-old Czech, ranked eleventh globally, will face defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in the next round on Tuesday. Krejčíková and partner Laura Siegemund have also advanced to the third round at the Australian Open doubles tournament, and will next play on Monday.

Transport Ústí nad Labem train derailment disrupts traffic

A locomotive derailed on the Kadana to Děčín railway line in Ústí nad Labem this morning, disrupting traffic on the railway line from Ústí nad Labem to Děčín. The incident occurred around 8:00 a.m., but no injuries were reported. Train services on the affected line were halted for approximately two hours and resumed around 10:00 a.m.

Trains are currently running at reduced speeds, and the restriction is expected to last until the derailed locomotive is back on track. The incident took place at a switch in Přístavní street, near the main station. Railway authorities are actively working to resolve the situation.

Crime Prague police investigate Černý Most deaths

Prague detectives are actively investigating the deaths of two individuals discovered in a Doležalova Street residence in Černý Most on Saturday afternoon. The police, citing the ongoing investigation, have refrained from providing additional details at this stage.

"The circumstances of the death of two people, who were found this afternoon in a house in Doležalova Street in Černý Most, are being investigated by Prague criminal investigators," police write on X. "At the moment, the entire incident is still being investigated and for this reason no further information can be published now."

History Plzeň honors Josef Hlavatý with memorial plaque

Plzeň unveiled a memorial plaque for Josef Hlavatý on January 20, 2024, marking 55 years since he self-immolated in protest against the 1968 occupation. Hlavatý, a 25-year-old brewery worker, committed this act shortly after student Jan Palach, aiming to awaken the nation from the lethargy following the Warsaw Pact's entry into Czechoslovakia.

Hlavatý passed away on January 25. The plaque by sculptor Luděk Míšek is located on T. G. Masaryk Square, where Hlavatý immolated himself. Despite initial doubts, recent historical research confirms Hlavatý's self-immolation as a political protest against the social situation of that time.

Media TV Barrandov channels briefly halt broadcasting

Czechia's TV Barrandov channels ceased broadcasting for about nine hours from Friday to Saturday, due to financial issues faced by the indebted company. Barrandov Televizní Studio, facing recent execution proceedings resulting in frozen bank accounts, was reportedly disconnected from electricity. The main station and sister channels displayed colored bars with the inscription "Skupina Barrandov" and the time until 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

The company's financial operations are hindered by blocked accounts. Despite this, the Prague Municipal Court granted temporary protection against a key creditor on Monday, allowing the company to continue functioning amid its financial challenges. The recent court decision provides Barrandov Televizní Studio with a temporary reprieve and the opportunity to address its financial issues.

Economy Czech government debates introduction of tax on wine

Tensions have arisen in the Czech government over the introduction of a consumption tax on wine. While Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura aims to implement it from January next year, members of the Christian Democratic Union remain cautious, fearing it could jeopardize the competitiveness of domestic winemakers.

Stanjura advocates for fairness in taxing all types of alcohol, pointing out that beer, spirits, and sparkling wines have been subject to such taxation for a long time. However, opponents argue that the current tax exemptions benefit both domestic and foreign wine producers. The dispute highlights divisions within the coalition on this economic matter.

Transport Cancellation of tender threatens Prague D metro timeline

Concerns over potential delays and increased costs have arisen since the cancellation of a Prague public transport company DPP's tender for construction of the planned Metro D line. Vinci Construction CS, part of the consortium that contested the tender results, warns that redoing the entire bidding process would be the most economically damaging and expensive option for the city.

The Czech Antimonopoly Office cancelled DPP's selection of Subterra, citing doubts about the managers' references. The controversy revolves around one of Prague's largest projects worth around CZK 30 billion. The situation may impact the future of metro D, with various outcomes still under consideration.

Voting Czech MPs fail to reach agreement on voting by mail

A parliamentary session discussing the government's proposal on allowing postal voting for Czechs abroad was again interrupted after six hours of deliberation. Opposition ANO member Radek Vondráček spoke for 3.5 hours on Friday, followed by his party colleagues filling the remaining 2.5 hours with repeated two-minute speeches.

The session was ultimately adjourned until January 23. Opposition criticized the proposal for perceived political motives, while the coalition argued it aimed to facilitate voting for Czechs living abroad. The session has lasted approximately 31.5 hours so far.

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