Czech news in brief for November 1: Wednesday's top headlines

Czech economy sees third-greatest decrease in EU, Movember campaign begins today, and more top headlines for Nov. 1, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 01.11.2023 06:37:00 (updated on 01.11.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

borders Checks at Czech-Slovak borders extended until Nov. 22

Random checks at the Czech Republic's border with Slovakia will continue until Nov. 22, as the government approved an extension of 20 days due to concerns about illegal migration. The checks, initially implemented on Oct. 4 for ten days, aim to protect citizens and tackle the impact of migration on internal borders within the Schengen Area.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala emphasized the need for a European solution and stated that the measures are managing to keep the numbers significantly lower than last year. The checks were also extended by Germany at its borders with the Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, and Austria.

diplomacy Fiala to embark on diplomatic tour of African countries

Prime Minister Petr Fiala will visit Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast during an eight-day trip to Africa that starts this Friday. He expressed hopes to explore business opportunities for Czech companies and improve Czech-African relations. Fiala plans to meet with government officials, attend business forums, and discuss cooperation in various sectors, including energy, healthcare, and agriculture.

The Czech Republic sees potential in Africa and aims to change its approach towards the continent. Fiala's visit follows a similar trip to Asia in April and highlights the growing interest in African markets by European countries.

culture Unique early Bronze-Age artifact goes on display in Bruntál

A golden jewel excavated last year in Opava, dating back to the Younger Bronze Age some 4,200 years ago, is now on display until Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Castle Museum in Bruntál (Zámek v Bruntále).

Experts suggest the jewelry likely served as a head decoration, measuring under 50 centimeters, and 9 centimeters wide, and weighing 56.5 grams, and was crafted primarily from gold with hints of silver and copper. An almost identical piece was found in Poland in the 1980s.

weather Meteorologists issue strong wind warning for eastern Czechia

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) has issued a strong wind warning for the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Starting Thursday, winds in that region may reach speeds of up to 70 km/h, and up to 110 km/h on mountain ridges. The warning is valid until Friday noon.

The strong winds can cause damage to trees, pose a risk of injury from loose objects, and create transportation problems. Individuals are advised to secure windows and doors, remove or secure loose objects, and exercise caution when outdoors or driving. Hiking in ridge areas is not recommended.

statistics Number of traffic accidents decreases year on year

In October, 48 people died on Czech roads, the same as last year. Since the beginning of the year, traffic accidents have claimed 407 lives, 20 more than in the first ten months of last year. The number of traffic accidents and seriously injured people decreased year on year.

During October, there were 8,346 traffic accidents, about 500 fewer than last year. Among the 48 killed, there were 19 car drivers, seven pedestrians, four cyclists, seven motorcyclists, and two truck drivers.

charity Veterans' Day collection gets underway across Czechia

Throughout November, individuals can support War Veterans' Day, which is on Nov. 11, by purchasing symbolic poppy flowers or donating online. The flowers are sold in 1,200 places such as newsagents, shops, information centers, libraries, and cafes across Czechia. Between Nov. 7 and 11, volunteers will also sell artificial flowers on the streets of Czech cities.

The fundraising event, organized by Post Bellum, aims to assist veterans and preserve their stories. In collaboration with Czech Radio, the organization will also hold a benefit concert at the Cathedral of St. Vitus in Prague Castle to commemorate War Veterans' Day.

Economy Czech economy sees third greatest decrease in EU

The Czech economy faced a 0.6 percent year-on-year contraction in the third quarter, with a 0.3 percent decline compared to the previous quarter, as reported by the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). Eurostat data revealed that the country experienced the third deepest quarter-on-quarter GDP decrease in the European Union, with only Ireland and Austria facing greater economic weakening.

Weak household consumption due to inflation and a slowdown in industry, attributed to sluggish foreign demand, contributed to the anticipated economic recovery not materializing. Analysts predict a continued economic decline for the year, with no return to pre-pandemic levels.

health 'Movember' campaign kicks off in Czechia today

In the Czech Republic, the annual Movember campaign is shining a light on the importance of early prostate cancer detection. With prostate cancer cases having doubled over the past two decades to reach around 8,000 annually, Movember aims to encourage men to prioritize preventive examinations.

The campaign's symbol, a mustache, is a reminder that early-stage detection offers a nearly 100 percent cure rate, while delayed diagnosis in the fourth stage drops survival chances to 40 percent. Starting next year, men between 50 and 69 can easily access blood tests to assess their cancer risk, making early detection even more accessible.

Culture Bruce Springsteen announces Prague show

Bruce Springsteen, the legendary American singer and guitarist known as The Boss, is set to perform in Prague with his band, The E Street Band, on May 28 next year. This marks his third performance in the Czech Republic and will take place at Letňany Airport. Springsteen, one of the world's most influential musicians, is on a world tour that began in February with American arena concerts.

Tickets for the Prague concert, starting at CZK 1,690, go on sale on Nov. 3. Springsteen has had a stellar career with over 140 million records sold globally and numerous awards, making him an iconic figure in rock and roll.

Crime Former Czech MP faces three-year prison sentence

Former Czech MP Dominik Feri faces a potential three-year prison sentence on charges of two rapes and one attempted rape as the prosecutor presented closing arguments at the Prague 3 District Court. The prosecutor argued that the evidence supported the indictment, while Feri's defense emphasized discrepancies in the victims' statements.

Feri contended that the accusations have ruined his personal and professional life. The court is expected to issue a verdict soon. Feri resigned from parliament and withdrew from politics after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, coercion, and violence, which were published in the media in 2021.

Politics Czech First Lady gets her own podcast

Czech news website Seznam Zprávy has introduced a new video podcast titled A Lady and a Dandy, or Coffee or Tea? In this podcast, actor Milan Steindler interviews First Lady Eva Pavlová, addressing topics she wishes to explore as the wife of President Petr Pavel. The first episode, already available on podcast platforms, features Pavlová expressing concerns about the shortage of pediatricians and her intent to support a mediation project for children.

Upcoming episodes will include special guests for discussions on the First Lady's plans, aiming to provide both entertainment and valuable information. Pavlová anticipates a positive response from viewers.

Transport Prague testing holograms in the metro

In Prague's metro on Line A, new light effects have sparked discussions among passengers, with some speculating that they are holograms and others suggesting they are advertising displays. Prague's transport company has not yet commented on the matter. Users on social media shared their opinions, with one user expressing excitement about the potential holograms, while others believe it's a well-synchronized LED panel.

The transport company told Czech publication iDnes that it is testing a new advertising format in the metro, but specific details have not been disclosed. Some passengers found the flickering lights annoying, while others found it amusing. A press release is expected soon.

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