Czech news in brief for June 17: Monday's top headlines

Czech president: Peace summit met expectations, Prague arson suspect was not a professional, and summer car travel will be pricier this year.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 17.06.2024 08:01:00 (updated on 17.06.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

CZECHIA 2024 rail crash RegioJet: Signaling could have stopped crash

According to a press release from private carrier RegioJet, a test has shown that the national signalling system could have prevented the tragic train accident in Pardubice. This contradicts previous statements from the Railway Administration, who claimed that the system could not prevent the driver's error. As evidence, RegioJet released a video demonstrating the system's effectiveness in controlling speed and preventing illegal passing of signals.

POLICE Charles University demands probe into shooting

Charles University has announced that they will be filing a complaint against the decision to postpone the case of the tragedy at the Faculty of Arts. They are requesting a thorough investigation into the attack and preceding events. The university received a resolution on the postponement on Friday and will file the complaint today. They have also asked for respectful and ethical reporting from the media, keeping in mind the deep tragedy experienced by survivors and those injured. 

incident Czech soldier killed in military training blast

One soldier was killed in an ammunition explosion at the Libava military area in the Olomouc region, according to Defence Ministry spokesman David Polak. Eight people were injured, including seven soldiers and one civilian employee, all of whom are Czechs. The explosion occurred during a training session for bomb disposal experts from the Ammunition Security Center. The Military Police is investigating the incident, and the defense minister is on her way to the scene. The families of the victims have been notified.

health Whooping cough cases in Czechia exceed 10,000

According to the latest data from the State Health Institute (SZÚ), there have been 20,114 registered cases of whooping cough in the Czech Republic this year. This is a significant increase compared to last year, with the number of cases being more than 40 times higher. However, experts have noted a decline in the spread of the disease, with fewer new cases reported in the past week. The highest incidence has been in the 15 to 19 age group, and there have also been 295 cases among children under one year.

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Weather Tropical heat with storms ahead for Czechia

The Czech Republic expects very warm days with tropical temperatures and possible intense storms starting Wednesday, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) announced. The warmest days will be Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. Storms are likely from Wednesday to Friday. The weekend will bring mild cooling, rain, and occasional thunderstorms, with temperatures reaching up to 28 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

Diplomacy Czech president: Peace summit met expectations

Czech President Petr Pavel stated that the Swiss summit met initial expectations for progress toward peace in Ukraine, despite some states not signing the final declaration. He emphasized the importance of including major world players like China in future talks. The summit focused on nuclear safety, food security, and humanitarian issues, with widespread support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and condemnation of Russian aggression. Pavel highlighted the necessity of addressing nuclear threats and the potential consequences of halting nuclear projects in Ukraine.

Economy Summer car travel will be pricier this year

Summer car travel in Europe will be pricier this year, with Hungary and Austria introducing one-day motorway stamps and adjusting other prices. Austria's ten-day stamp now costs EUR 11.50, up 16 percent from last year, while Hungary's ten-day stamp is up nearly 50 crowns. Croatia's tolls rise 15 percent in summer. Slovak and Slovenian highway stamp prices remain unchanged. Germany’s motorways are toll-free, but ecological zones in cities require pre-purchased emission vignettes.

Firefighters Four workers rescued from power station fire

Firefighters rescued four workers from an overturned cart in the Dlouhá stráně hydroelectric power station tube after a demanding four-hour operation Sunday. The cart, stuck 300 meters from the entrance, posed challenges due to paint fumes. The rescue was aided by prior training, with multiple fire units and the Jeseník mountain service involved. All workers were uninjured but taken to the hospital for check-ups.

Crime Prague arson suspect was not a professional

The foreigner suspected of the June 6 arson attack on Prague bus garages is likely an amateur, not a professional agent, Justice Minister Pavel Blažek said Sunday. The 26-year-old Colombian man is in custody and is expected to cooperate with the investigation. Though Prime Minister Petr Fiala suggested possible Russian secret service involvement, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan stated the suspect acted alone. The suspect faces up to life imprisonment for a terror attack.

Culture Rock for People festival draws to close

The four-day Rock for People festival in Hradec Králové, attended by about 40,000 people, ended smoothly with no major issues reported. Police dealt primarily with traffic offenses and thefts, mainly of mobile phones. Two drunk drivers were charged with criminal offenses. The festival featured over 130 bands, including The Prodigy and The Offspring. Hollywood star Keanu Reeves also performed with his band, Dogstar. Departure of visitors was without complications, police spokeswoman Iva Kormošová said.

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