Czech news in brief for June 25: Tuesday's top headlines

US senator went to Prague intending to abuse minor, tick warning issued across Czechia, and Havlová sells majority stake in Prague's Lucerna.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 25.06.2024 08:29:00 (updated on 25.06.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

UKRAINE AID First ammo from Czech scheme arrives in Ukraine

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced that the first shipment of artillery ammunition, purchased through Czechia's joint initiative, has arrived in Ukraine to support the country's resistance against Russian aggression. The initiative, which has received contributions from 18 EU and NATO countries, aims to provide Ukraine with over half a million rounds of ammunition by the end of the year. Fiala proposed the purchase at the EU summit in February, with the Czech Republic acting as an intermediary between countries and military equipment suppliers.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Russia confirms it will block Czech, EU media

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced today plans to block 81 EU media outlets, including Czech Television, Seznam Zprávy, SME, and Denník N, for people living inside Russia This retaliation is in response to the EU Council's decision to impose sanctions on Russian media platforms RIA Novosti, Izvestia, and Rossiyskaya Gazeta on May 17. Other EU media outlets whose content Moscow will block include the German magazine Der Spiegel and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung paper, Spain's El Pais, and Italy's La Stampa.

prague news Special Lítačka card taken out of circulation

A commemorative Lítačka card, issued for the 50th anniversary of the Prague metro, is no longer available for purchase due to potential copyright infringement. This is because it was – allegedly illegally – based on the design of some Prague metro stations’ wall coverings. The heirs of architect Jaroslav Otruba claimed that the card's design infringed on their copyright. The card, featuring popular motifs from subway stations, had been available since June 17. The operator had 20,000 cards produced.

history Czech divers find century-old wreck in Croatia

A Czech diving-research squad has identified the wreck of the German submarine U72 from World War I off the coast of Croatia. Despite previous misidentification by Croatian divers in 2019, the Czech team confirmed the vessel's identity through historical research. The U72, a minesweeper built in Hamburg, was sunk by its own crew in October 1918 near Molunat, a strategic location for Austria-Hungary during the war. The submarine sank an estimated 20 ships in the 1910s.

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crime US senator went to Prague intending to abuse minor

Former North Dakota state senator Ray Holmberg, 80, admitted in court to traveling to Prague with the intent of sexually abusing a minor. The AP reported Monday that he pled guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. Holmberg, who resigned last year amid a police raid on his home, faces up to 30 years in prison. He also admitted to receiving child pornography and misusing public funds for trips abroad.

defense Czechia inks agreement on acquisition of tanks

Czech Defence Ministry official Lubor Koudelka signed an agreement for the joint acquisition of up to 77 Leopard 2A8 tanks worth CZK 52.1 billion. The coalition, led by Germany and including several European countries, was approved by the Czech cabinet two weeks ago. The signing is an intermediate step before finalizing negotiations. The tanks will replace Soviet-era equipment, and the purchase contract is expected by year’s end.

Health Tick warning issued across Czechia

On Monday, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute issued a warning about extraordinary tick activity across the Czech Republic. The tick activity index reached the highest level, prompting meteorologists to advise caution when walking in nature. They recommend using paved roads, repellents, and wearing light-colored clothing. The Czech Ministry of Health also emphasized the importance of checking for ticks after outdoor activities to prevent tick-borne diseases.

business Havlová sells majority stake in Prague's Lucerna

Dagmar Havlová sold a majority stake in Prague’s Lucerna Palace to the BTL group for nearly a billion crowns, retaining 25 percent. The sale proceeds will fund renovations of the national cultural monument, Forbes reported. BTL Healthcare Technologies now owns 75 percent of Palác PL, the new entity holding Lucerna.

Havlová emphasized preserving the site’s tradition and values. BTL’s Tomáš Drbal confirmed Havlová will continue leading Lucerna. Lucerna was built by Vácslav Havel, the grandfather of the late president Václav Havel and his brother Ivan; Havlová was married to Ivan Havel who died in 2021.

Crime Man sentenced for urging removal of Ukrainian flag

Jaroslav Popelka, the man who urged the removal of the Ukrainian flag from the National Museum during an anti-government protest, was sentenced to two months in prison for violating a ban on staying in Prague. The Prague Municipal Court of Appeal upheld the sentence, which followed a previous suspended sentence for incitement. Popelka, who laughed off the violation, could face additional prison time for repeated offenses.

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