Czech news in brief for June 16: Sunday's top headlines

Foreign press highlight Pellegrini-Fico alliance, Czech president attends Swiss summit on Ukraine, and experts warn of AI threat to environment. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 16.06.2024 09:56:00 (updated on 16.06.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

Accident Bus carrying Czech tourists crashes in Iceland

A bus carrying 20 Czech tourists crashed in northern Iceland, injuring 13 people who were hospitalized in Reykjavik and Akureyri, with five in serious condition. Czech travel agency CK Adventura’s Petr Novotny reported two clients in intensive care and nine returning to Czechia, with others receiving assistance from the Icelandic Red Cross. The crash’s circumstances remain unclear, with the Czech embassy in Oslo aiding coordination between agencies and supporting the injured.

Summit Pavel: Global impact of Russian invasion profound

Czech President Petr Pavel emphasized at a summit in Luzern, Switzerland, that the war in Ukraine has profound global implications beyond Europe. He highlighted nuclear security and humanitarian concerns. The summit, attended by over 100 countries and organizations, aims to lay the groundwork for future peace negotiations. Pavel, co-chairing a nuclear safety working group, stressed the need to safeguard Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and ensure global stability, underscoring Czechia’s commitment to these critical issues.

Culture Museum Night in Prague draws huge crowds

The Museum Night in Prague drew crowds eager to see the newly renovated Museum of the Capital City of Prague (MHMP) in Florence. Over 300 people queued up after 7 p.m., enjoying music and refreshments. Thirty venues across the city, including the City Library and Karel Zeman Museum, also opened their doors. MHMP director Ivo Macek anticipates up to 10,000 visitors exploring the museum, which showcases its revamped spaces and upcoming exhibitions.

Economy Nearly 1mn Czechs risk losing retirment support

Nearly a million Czechs face losing state support for retirement savings if they don't increase their monthly contributions to at least CZK 500 by the end of June. Changes effective from July aim to boost savings; those contributing CZK 1,200 crowns or more monthly will receive higher state support. Many are already adjusting their savings to maintain benefits, with increased tax deductions of up to CZK 48,000 also incentivizing long-term investment products, reports Czech Television.


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International Czechia joins statement supporting ICC court

Czechia has joined 92 other countries in expressing strong support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) amid challenges to its independence. The joint statement reaffirms commitment to the ICC's integrity and opposes political interference. The ICC recently faced criticism, notably from Israel and the US, after seeking arrest warrants related to alleged war crimes in Gaza. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala criticized the ICC's actions, emphasizing concerns about potential repercussions for democratically elected officials.

Politics Foreign press highlight Pellegrini-Fico alliance

Foreign media report on the strong alliance between newly inaugurated Slovak President Peter Pellegrini and Prime Minister Robert Fico. AFP notes political analysts' concerns about Pellegrini's ability to stay apolitical.

AP mentions strengthened power for Fico and fears of Slovakia shifting from its pro-Western stance. Increased security measures marked the inauguration following an assassination attempt on Fico. DPA highlights opposition concerns over potential controversial government plans.

Diplomacy Czech president attends Swiss summit on Ukraine

The Swiss summit on Ukraine offers a wide platform to discuss peace, but consensus on establishing it is unlikely, Czech President Petr Pavel stated before departing for the June 15 summit. About 100 countries and organizations, including 57 heads of state, will attend the summit near Luzern. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky initiated the summit to lay the groundwork for further peace negotiations. Key topics include nuclear security, food security, and humanitarian issues.

Society Survey: Czechs lead V4 nations in philanthropy

Czechs engage in philanthropy more than citizens of Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, according to a survey by the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague. The survey of 2,034 respondents found that 57 percent of Czech adults have volunteered, helped others, or donated money, compared to one-third in other V4 countries. Czechs also donated more to crises like the Ukraine war and natural disasters.

technology Czech experts warn of AI threat to environment

Artificial intelligence (AI) poses a significant environmental threat due to its high energy consumption, experts told ČTK. Juraj Hvorecký from Prague's Center for Environmental and Technology Ethics noted that language models like ChatGPT use over 30 times more computing power than traditional programs, leading to increased energy usage. Despite potential benefits in energy management and agriculture, balancing AI's positive and negative impacts is crucial for ecological sustainability.

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