Czech news in brief for May 28: Tuesday's top headlines

Czech president lands in Jordan, brings aid, thousands celebrate hockey win in Old Town, and protestors disrupt PM Fiala's book launch. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 28.05.2024 08:30:00 (updated on 28.05.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

Society Half of young Czechs use nicotine products

According to a survey by the National Health Institute, half of Czechs aged 15 to 24 use nicotine products, with one-third using them daily. In response, Health Minister Vlastimil Valek has proposed higher taxes on nicotine and alcoholic products, and potentially on sugary drinks. The survey also revealed an increase in the use of e-cigarettes and alternative nicotine products, which some people believe are less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

Health Data on menstrual poverty in Czechia scarce

On World Menstruation Day, Deník N reports that data on menstrual poverty in the Czech Republic is scarce. A 17-year-old student's unofficial research found that 15 percent of girls and women struggle to afford hygiene items. Several initiatives, including a major project launched in March in Ostrava, provide free pads in 37 primary schools. Deputy Zbyněk Pražák, who initiated the project, aims to de-taboo menstruation and improve accessibility.

Culture Geoffrey Rush confirmed as Karlovy Vary juror

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, running June 28 to July 6, confirmed today that Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush will join the jury. Thirty-two films, including debuts, are slated to be screened this year. Festival artistic director Karel Och highlighted 15 debut films in the Proxima section which showcases new talents and renowned authors. Actor Ivan Trojan receives the President's Award and Francine Maisler, esteemed casting director, will be honored. Guests can also look forward to a retrospective on Franz Kafka and restored Czech films.

Economy Inflation in Central Europe, Czechia reviving

In Central Europe, inflation is on the rise again, exceeding central bank targets by the end of the year. Projections indicate that the Czech Republic's inflation will be at 3.7 percent, Poland's at 4.6 percent, and Hungary's at 4.8 percent. Allianz Trade predicts that inflation will continue to exceed targets through 2024, which will have an impact on monetary policies. It is expected that the Czech Republic may experience a slower easing cycle, with a year-end interest rate of 4.25 percent.

Politics PM Fiala holds talks with Ukrainian counterpart

Prime Minister Petr Fiala discussed military aid, defense cooperation, and economic ties with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Šmyhal in Prague today. The meeting at the government office emphasized mutual interest in further joint government meetings. Šmyhal joined Fiala and other European leaders at Kramář's villa to discuss security issues. Leaders discussed aid coordination, air defense, and defense-industrial cooperation. The next Czech-Ukrainian consultations are expected by year-end.

AID Czech president lands in Jordan, brings aid

Czech President Petr Pavel landed in Amman, Jordan, on Monday, bringing one ton of powdered baby milk to aid Gaza civilians. Pavel will meet Jordanian leaders, including King Abdullah II, and visit hospitals, including one with a Czech medical team. Discussions will focus on humanitarian efforts and bilateral cooperation. Pavel’s trip includes a business delegation to strengthen ties in the health and defense industries.

Sports Thousands celebrate hockey win in Old Town

On Monday evening, thousands celebrated the Czech national hockey team’s world championship victory in Prague’s Old Town Square. Players took the stage to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and thanked fans for their support. The celebration featured live performances and a screening of championship highlights. The Czech Republic won the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships following a narrow 2-0 defeat of Switzerland in Prague on Sunday evening. The home team celebrates their first gold medal at the annual event since 2010.

CRIME Former MP begins jail sentence for rape

Former Czech MP Dominik Feri, 27, began serving a three-year prison sentence for raping two women, including a minor, and attempted rape. Feri, who denies the charges and plans to seek an appellate review, reported to Teplice prison over the weekend. He resigned from his political roles following the allegations. An appeals court upheld the sentence, citing the social harm of his actions despite his prior clean record.

protests Czech PM's book signing disrupted by protestors

Pro-Palestinian activists disrupted Czech PM Petr Fiala’s book release at Prague’s Academia bookshop on Monday evening, shouting slogans and arguing with event participants. Fiala, unable to continue his speech, proceeded to sign books directly. He later stated that protests are part of democracy but regretted the missed opportunity for discussion. The activists criticized the Czech government’s support for Israel amid the ongoing Gaza conflict.

Culture New Lidice Memorial exhibits focus on Anthropoid

The Lidice Memorial in Central Bohemia opened two new exhibitions: “Operation Anthropoid” and "I’ll Be Right Over: The Story of Anna Letenská.” These exhibitions honor paratroopers Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, who killed Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich, and actress Anna Letenská, who was executed for her resistance activities. The exhibitions aim to educate the younger generation about these historical events. Monday marked the 82nd anniversary of Heydrich’s assassination.

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