Czech news in brief for June 15: Saturday's top headlines

Czech police end manhunt for murder suspect after foreigner arrest, health experts warn of dengue fever, and cycle race to close some roads in Prague. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 15.06.2024 09:02:00 (updated on 15.06.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

HISTORY Civilians honor Lidice massacre

Observers held a commemoration this afternoon in the Czech village of Lidice, Central Bohemia, to mark the 82nd anniversary of the village's annihilation by the Nazis. The event began with a mass led by Cardinal Dominik Duka, who reflected on the suffering of children, both in the Lidice tragedy and in current conflicts such as the Russian-Ukrainian war. People also laid floral tributes at the common grave of the men of Lidice, and commemorative badges were given to important collaborators and employees of the Lidice Memorial. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Zeman attends Slovak president's inauguration

Former Czech President Miloš Zeman attended the inauguration of Slovak President Petr Pellegrini and criticized the Czech government – especially Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala – for not holding a traditional meeting with Pellegrini. He also condemned the attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, blaming the hostile political climate created during the presidential campaign. Zeman believes the assassin, a poet and writer, was influenced by this atmosphere. The ex-president considers Pellegrini's great advantage that the new Slovak president has already held all the highest constitutional positions.

WEATHER Meteorologists warn of storms in parts of Czechia

Meteorologists have issued a warning for heavy rain and storms in the eastern part of the Czech Republic in the next 24 hours. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute predicts up to 70 millimeters of rain in some areas from this afternoon until Sunday, causing potential flooding of rivers and low-lying areas. Stronger storms are expected in the east, while the west and southwest of Moravia may see shorter bursts of rain. Sunny weather is expected in Prague with cloudy spells – no rain is anticipated.

diplomacy Pavel: Summit unlikely to reach Ukraine consensus

Czech President Petr Pavel stated before the Swiss summit on Ukraine that it is the first chance to discuss peace conditions on a wide platform, but a consensus on establishing peace is unlikely. Over 100 countries and organizations, including 57 heads of state, will participate in the summit. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested the summit to lay the groundwork for future negotiations to end the war started by Russia two years ago.

CRIME Prague police arrest foreign murder suspect

The Czech police have arrested a Moldovan man suspected of murdering a nine-year-old Ukrainian girl in Saxony. The arrest was announced on social media site X, following a week-long search for the suspect across Europe. The victim's body was found in a forest near the German town of Döbeln, and investigators believe she was not sexually assaulted. According to the Bild newspaper, the suspect is the ex-boyfriend of the victim's mother and was seen on security cameras near the crime scene. He also texted the mother on the day of the disappearance.

Health Experts advise vaccination against dengue fever

As a result of increased travel to tropical destinations, the number of Czechs contracting dengue fever has risen significantly this year, according to the Health Ministry. Experts recommend vaccination and the use of repellents to prevent the spread of the disease, which is characterized by high fevers, headaches, and nausea. The Motol University Hospital has already diagnosed 10-15 cases in travelers this year, compared to 61 cases detected by doctors since the beginning of the year.

SPORT L'Etape Czech Republic begins today

The fourth annual L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France cycling race will cause temporary road closures in Prague and Central Bohemia on Saturday. The closures will be in effect from Strahov to the exit at Hostivica and in the districts of Praha-západ, Beroun, Kladno, and Rakovník. These restrictions will last from the first to the last cyclist in the race, affecting even the journey to the hospital in Motol. The closures will also impact city buses, so the transport company advises checking for updates on connection search engines.

incident Warehouse fire causes CZK 50m in damages

According to local authorities, a warehouse fire in Brandýs nad Labem caused CZK 50 million in damage. The fire has been extinguished and is being monitored by firefighters until this evening. The cause is under investigation by a fire investigator, according to Jan Sýkora, spokesperson for the Central Bohemian Fire Department. Around 100 firefighters responded to the scene and were able to clear the building, but are still guarding a pile of burning material. 

TRANSPORT Bus stops in Prague to get new markings

Starting from the summer holidays, all bus and trolleybus stops in Prague and Central Bohemia will be marked as part of the Prague Integrated Transport (PID), the transport authority has confirmed. Passengers will need to press the red “Stop” button or door open button in the vehicle before their stop in order to get off. The aim of this measure is to improve traffic flow, reduce noise and pollutants, and save fuel and money. The change is inspired by other cities like London, Vienna, and Paris, and has already been successfully implemented in other regions of the Czech Republic.

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