Czech news in brief for March 5: Tuesday's top headlines

Pavel to welcome Macron at Prague Castle, German train strike to impact Czech travel, and a woman struck by a Prague tram dies on the spot. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 05.03.2024 07:54:00 (updated on 05.03.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

CRIME Police search Prague forest for rapist

Prague police are searching for a man who assaulted and raped a woman in Kunratické Forest in Prague 4 on Monday evening. The wanted man is described as around 35 years old, 180 to 190 centimeters tall, with short curly brown hair and blue latex gloves Officers have urged anyone with information to come forward and dial 158. The search operation, involving dozens of officers and criminal investigators, ended without finding the suspect this afternoon.

drugs HHC is banned from Wednesday

The Czech government has published a regulation in the country’s Law Digest that lists psychoactive substance hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), HHC-O, and tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) as banned addictive substances from Wednesday. Possession can result in a fine of up to CZK 15,000 and up to eight years in prison for large quantities. Czechia made the decision in response to multiple cases of people being hospitalized after consuming HHC in unlabeled sweets.

DIPLOMACY Macron pays tribute to shooting victims, Palach

French President Emmanuel Macron and Czech President Petr Pavel paid tribute to the victims of the shooting at Charles University at Jan Palach Square in Prague 1. They also discussed support for Ukraine and the Czech plan to obtain ammunition from outside the EU. The two presidents then laid wreaths at a memorial for Jan Palach, a student who self-immolated in 1969 to protest against the Soviet invasion. 

ANIMALS Prague Zoo to relocate Przewalski's horses

Head of Prague Zoo Miroslav Bobek has announced that the zoo will transport three stallions and five mares of Przewalski's horses (a type of breed) to Kazakhstan in early June. This is part of a long-term project to reintroduce the species into the wild, with plans to transport a total of 40 horses over the next five years. The first haul will take place on June 3-4 with the help of the Czech army and four other partners. 

television Warner Bros. announces Czech launch date

Broadcaster Warner Bros. Discovery has announced that their free channel, Warner TV, will launch in Czechia on April 2, 2024. The company says that viewers can expect a diverse range of content, including films and series. The channel will be available throughout the country on the DVB-T2 network. The program will consist of at least 40 percent series and 15 percent films, with the possibility of documentaries, reality shows, and live sports in the future. It will be live 24 hours per day.

health Around six in 10 Czech adults overweight or obese

According to a new report by the State Institute of Public Health (SZÚ), the number of overweight and obese individuals in Czechia is alarmingly high, with over 60 percent of adults and one in three children either overweight or obese. This puts them at risk for various diseases, including cardiovascular issues and diabetes. SZÚ director Barbora Macková expresses concern over the growing number of obese children in the country. The financial cost of treating obesity-related complications is estimated at CZK 30 billion annually.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Macron visits French school in Prague

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Czechia this morning for an official state visit. He began the day by meeting with students at the French Lyceum in Prague, where he addressed the French community living in the Czech Republic. His last visit to the country was in October 2022 for an informal European Council summit. Later, he will meet with President Petr Pavel at Prague Castle to discuss military aid for Ukraine, and infrastructure development. 

diplomacy Pavel to welcome Macron at Prague Castle

French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive in the Czech Republic today to meet with President Petr Pavel and Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Discussions include military aid to Ukraine, the Czech plan to purchase ammunition, and infrastructure development. Macron will meet with Fiala on defense cooperation and energy and sign a strategic partnership action plan. In the evening, he joins the Czech-French nuclear forum, involving key industry figures and addressing the bidding process for a new nuclear unit in Dukovany.

Travel German train strike to impact Czech travel

Deutsche Bahn (DB) train drivers will stage a 35-hour strike starting Wednesday, disrupting German railways and impacting connections with the Czech Republic. The strike, driven by a demand for a 35-hour workweek, halts freight services on Wednesday evening and passenger services on Thursday morning. DB deems union conditions unattainable and selfish. Czech Railways advises passengers to anticipate schedule changes.

Tragedy Woman struck by tram dies on the spot

Monday afternoon on Prague’s Plzeňská street, a tram struck a pedestrian, throwing her onto the road, where a car ran over her. The woman died on the spot. The hit-and-run driver fled the scene, prompting a police search. Tram line disruptions occurred, with replacement buses running between Motol-Anděl, but standard traffic resumed before 5 p.m.

education Prague earmarks funds for Ukrainian students

Prague's city council announced the allocation of CZK 1.32 million to Post Bellum NGO to support Ukrainian students’ secondary education. The funds aid “zero years” programs, helping integrate young Ukrainians into the Czech system. Post Bellum focuses on language and education system familiarity for Ukrainian youth, organizing a second zero year to prepare students for Czech secondary and higher education admission.

health Czech nurses are overworked, lack authority

A study by the National Institute SYRI and Charles University reveals that nurses in Czechia are overworked and lack sufficient authority compared to their EU counterparts. The research highlights the need for expanded powers, especially in preventive care and patient education, as the aging population increases demand. Shortages of 2,500 general nurses and impending retirements pose challenges in addressing healthcare needs.

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