Czech news in brief for May 18: Saturday's top headlines

Czechia tops Austria in ice hockey World Cup, car plunges into Prague's Vltava River, and more Saturday headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 18.05.2024 09:02:00 (updated on 19.05.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

Slovakia Man who shot Slovak PM detained pre-trial

The Slovak Special Criminal Court in Pezinok has placed Juraj Cintula, the 71-year-old charged with the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Robert Fico, in pre-trial detention. Cintula faces up to life imprisonment for the attack, which left Fico in stable but serious condition. The court ruled Cintula could continue his criminal activities or flee if released. Cintula has not yet decided whether to appeal the decision.

Politics Czech anthem plays at Sudeten German congress

The Czech national anthem was played at the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft (SL) congress on Saturday. SL Bavarian leader Steffen Hortler praised the dialogue between Sudeten Germans and Czechs, while SL chief Bernd Posselt commended the Czech government's pro-European stance. Bavarian Minister Ulrike Scharf emphasized the shared history of Sudeten Germans and Czechs, noting improved relations and mutual conciliatory steps.

Weather Strong storms to hit Czechia this weekend

Strong thunderstorms will hit Moravia and southeastern Bohemia today, with the entire Czech Republic affected on Sunday. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a warning for hail and torrential rain. Today's warning is valid from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., covering multiple regions. On Sunday, the alert extends nationwide from 2:00 p.m. until midnight. Storms may cause localized flooding, broken tree branches, and lightning strikes.

Sports Ondra makes final at Shanghai Olympic qualifier

Adam Ondra, a four-time world champion in sport climbing, has advanced to the final in the first of two Olympic qualifying events in Shanghai. Ondra, 31, secured his spot in the top eight from fifth place in the combination of bouldering and difficulty. Despite a mistake in the climbing difficulty, he earned 110.9 points, making it to the finals on Sunday. The second qualifier will be held in Budapest in June.

Slovakia Slovak PM Fico in stable but serious condition

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico's condition is stable but serious following an assassination attempt on Wednesday, according to Health Minister Zuzana Dolinková. Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kaliňák confirmed Fico is conscious but cannot yet be transferred to Bratislava. Fico was shot multiple times and underwent surgery to remove dead tissue from his gunshot wounds.

Sports Czechia tops Austria in ice hockey World Cup

The Czech Republic's national ice hockey team defeated Austria 4-0 at the World Championship in Prague on Friday evening, securing a spot in the quarterfinals with one game remaining in the opening round. Forwards Dominik Kubalík and David Tomášek each contributed a goal and an assist. Goalie Petr Mrázek recorded his first shutout in his 14th national team appearance. The Czechs, now in first place in Group A, will face Great Britain on Saturday at 8:20 p.m.

Accident Car plunges into Prague's Vltava River

A Honda car plunged into the Vltava River at the Podoli embankment in Prague on Friday evening. Divers detected the submerged vehicle, and firefighters retrieved it. The car had run over the sidewalk and broken through a metal railing. All occupants managed to safely evacuate the car. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Incidents like this are rare but have occurred previously in Prague.


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Animals Prague Zoo's baby orangutan confirmed to be male

Genetic tests have confirmed that the baby Sumatran orangutan born at the Prague Zoo in early May is a male, the zoo announced today. The public can help choose his name by submitting suggestions on's Facebook or Instagram profiles, or via email to, until the end of May. The chosen name will be announced on June 2. This baby is the first offspring of 11-year-old Diri and 22-year-old Pagy.

Protest Czech farmers protest postponed until June 4

Czech farmers have postponed their protest, initially planned for next Wednesday, to June 4, Agrarian Chamber head Jan Doležal announced. The decision follows the attempted assassination of Slovak PM Robert Fico. Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny commended the postponement as responsible. Farmers, concerned about their industry's future and government inaction, are protesting various issues including tax adjustments and subsidy policies. The last protest occurred on March 20.

Legal Zoo union warns against new animal breeding bill

The Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens has issued a warning about a proposed Czech bill on zoos that would legalize the commercial breeding of wild animals and encourage illegal animal trade. Radomir Habáň, head of the union and director of Olomouc Zoo, stated that the bill introduces accredited facilities with looser regulations than zoos, allowing animals to be kept primarily for entertainment and commercial purposes, circumventing current laws.

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