Czech news in brief for March 30: Saturday's top headlines

Lipavský among leaders targeted by Chinese hackers, Dutch PM 'concerned' over Czech report on Russia, and more Saturday headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 30.03.2024 09:06:00 (updated on 30.03.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

Culture Žatec wins regional Historic Town of the Year

Žatec in the Ústí Region has secured its eighth consecutive victory in the regional round of the Historic Town of the Year competition for 2023, triumphing over Chomutov and Klášterec nad Ohří. This win propels it to the national round of the contest. Notably, Žatec and its hop landscape were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List last year, a testament to its rich cultural heritage and regional traditions. The national results will be announced on April 18.

Fire Moravia sawmill fire results in extensive damages

A massive fire engulfed a sawmill in Frýdlant nad Ostravicí, causing an estimated 7 million crowns in damages. Firefighters responded early Saturday morning, extinguishing it with 20 units and 27 pieces of equipment. No injuries were reported, but thick smoke led to evacuating 75 people from a nearby shopping center. Investigations are ongoing. The fire, contained after hours, affected the second floor and roof. Cleanup efforts continue, with residents advised to keep windows closed.

Charity More Czechs supported the homeless this winter

Approximately 31,000 overnight beds for the homeless were purchased in Czechia over the winter season through the Salvation Army, marking an increase compared to the previous year's 27,000 beds. Each bed, purchased through a 100 crown voucher, grants access to hostels and other Salvation Army facilities across the Czech Republic, notes spokeswoman Tereza Melišová. The Salvation Army provides other essential amenities alongside shelter, offering soup, warm drinks, clothing, and hygiene facilities.

Weather Saharan dust dims Czechia's Easter forecast

Dust particles from the Sahara have engulfed Czech Republic from the southwest, dimming skies and impacting temperatures, reports the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. Webcam footage from Vsetín highlights significant sky haziness. Heightened cloud reflectivity at around two kilometers altitude has been detected due to the dust. Forecast models did not anticipate this influx, which might prevent temperatures from reaching expected highs of 19 to 23 degrees Celsius this weekend.

International Czech mountaineers rescued in High Tatras

Slovak rescuers came to the aid of two Czech mountaineers stranded in the High Tatras while descending a chute under Mount Satan to Mlynická dolina. One climber fell under a rocky threshold, prompting the rescue operation. Despite being shaken, she sustained no visible injuries. Rescuers airlifted her to Staré Smokovce for medical evaluation. Further details on her condition remain undisclosed.

Politics Lipavský among leaders targeted by Chinese hackers

Chinese hackers, linked to the group APT31, targeted EU and British members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), including Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, reports Politico. The US and UK have accused APT31 of ties to China's Ministry of State Security. Both countries sanctioned entities associated with Chinese cyberattacks. IPAC, critical of Beijing's policies, advocates for a unified democratic approach to China.

International Dutch PM 'concerned' over Czech report on Russia

Dutch PM Rutte has expressed concern over the Czech probe into an alleged Russian network paying EU politicians to disseminate propaganda. Dutch intelligence is investigating the claim, he says. Czech officials claim money was distributed to politicians in multiple EU nations. Suspected aims include promoting Kremlin's agenda, weakening EU unity. The leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, has stated that he wants to know the names of the politicians who received money from Russia. Wilders' party won the elections but has so far failed to form a government.

Nature New trees growing quickly in Bohemian Switzerland

Following the devastating 2022 fire, the Bohemian Switzerland National Park has seen remarkable regeneration as new life emerges from charred trunks and ash-strewn ground. Birch dominates the rejuvenating forest, with some trees already reaching a meter in height. Within weeks, greenery will dominate the landscape once again, showcasing a rapid transformation since last year. This regrowth following the largest forest fire in Czech history covers over 1,000 hectares.

Politics Czech MPs remain divided on Istanbul Convention

Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, deems a vote on the Istanbul Convention untimely, citing uncertain support among MPs. Despite her party's backing, she emphasizes the need to convince colleagues of its benefits. Ivan Bartoš of the Pirates has urged coalition parties to proceed with the vote. The Senate previously debated but did not ratify the convention. Advocates stress its importance in combating domestic violence, while opponents cite concerns over redundancy and gender ideology.

International Czech tourist dies in Italian mountains

A Czech tourist tragically died on Friday during an excursion in Italy's Apennines. Reports from Rai News and local press indicate the incident occurred atop Monte Conero in the Marche region. The 50-year-old woman collapsed while taking photos of the surroundings. Despite efforts by accompanying individuals, including relatives, she could not be revived. Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.


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