Czech news in brief for November 19: Sunday's top headlines

Brno's brutalist Prior department store to be demolished, Czech football team to face Moldova for Euro 2024 qualification, and more weekend headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 19.11.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 19.11.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Politics Opposition leaders push for extraordinary meeting on energy

Opposition leaders, including ANO representative and former Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová, have announced plans to gather signatures for another extraordinary Chamber of Deputies meeting on soaring energy prices. The meeting is proposed to occur by the end of November.

An initial attempt to hold the meeting on Thursday faced rejection, with the majority coalition rejecting the agenda proposed by ANO. Schillerová expressed dissatisfaction with the government's lack of communication on energy strategies, leaving the opposition seeking answers and prepared for additional meetings if necessary.

Weather Icy roads reported in Czech areas of high elevation

Areas of higher elevation in the Czech Republic's Hradec Králové region have seen icy roads on Sunday. Morning snowfall in the Krkonoše and Orlické mountain ranges led to icy patches, with authorities urging caution. A risk of freezing rain continues throughout the day.

Weather-related accidents have been reported, including a collision near Špindlerův Mlýn. Temperatures range from zero to three degrees Celsius, with mountain ridges around minus four. Meteorologists predict a transition to varied clouds and showers this afternoon, with temperatures ranging from three to six degrees Celsius.

Sports Czech speed skater Sáblíková finishes second in World Cup event

Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková secured second place in the 3000-meter race at the World Cup in Beijing on Sunday. Norwegian skater Ragne Wiklund clinched the top spot for the second consecutive week.

Despite a persistent effort, Sáblíková finished 1.45 seconds behind the leader, while China's Chan Mei secured the third spot. Sáblíková's strategic decision to focus on one race in China paid off, propelling her to second place in the overall standings behind Wiklund, the reigning world champion at this distance.

Gaza Relatives of Czech citizens evacuated from Gaza

Czech diplomats have successfully evacuated two relatives of Czech citizens from the Gaza Strip, according to a statement from Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský. The individuals are now under the care of the consular team at the Czech embassy in Cairo. Additional details about the case have not been disclosed.

The evacuation follows recent efforts to bring Czech citizens and their family members safely out of the conflict zone. The only available route is through the Rafah border crossing to Egypt amid the ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza.

Europe Czech tourist found dead in Austrian mountains

A Czech tourist, missing since Friday near Austria's Ötscher mountain, has been found dead, according to Austrian rescuers and police. Initially located by the police, the tourist's condition was not immediately disclosed. Authorities believe the death resulted from an accident.

The man had climbed Ötscher with two others, but the group separated on the descent, losing contact with the deceased. Search efforts, involving numerous rescuers, police, and air support, were temporarily halted Friday night and resumed early today.

Sports Czech figure skaters take seventh place at Grand Prix

Czech sibling figure skaters Daniel Mrázek and Kateřina Mrázková secured seventh place at the Grand Prix in Espoo, marking an improvement in their prestigious series performance. The junior world champions achieved a score of 172.58 points, just under two points more than their eighth-place finish in their U.S. Figure Skating debut a month ago.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the world champions from the USA, dominated the dance couples category in Finland. Despite a step sequence error in the free dance, the Czech siblings deemed their performance a success.

Architecture Brno's brutalist Prior department store to be demolished

Brno's architectural landscape faces a significant demolition as the iconic Prior department store, representing one of the last bastions of brutalist architecture in the city, is set to be razed next year. Despite its historical and architectural significance, the building failed to secure protection from the city, leaving it at the mercy of developers.

Critics argue that the city missed an opportunity to transform the structure into a cultural center, echoing the adaptive reuse seen in cities like London and Berlin. The current plan is to replace the building with a modern complex, raising concerns about the loss of architectural heritage.

Sports Czech football team to face Moldova for Euro 2024 qualification

The Czech football team fought to a 1-1 draw against Poland in a Euro 2024 Group E qualifier on Friday, keeping their hopes alive for qualification. After Jakub Piotrowski's first-half goal for Poland, Czech midfielder Tomáš Souček leveled the score with a precise shot in the second half.

The draw leaves the Czechs in second place with 12 points, trailing leaders Albania by two points. A crucial match against Moldova awaits the Czech team on Monday, where they have the opportunity to secure their eighth consecutive appearance at the Euro finals.

Shopping Czechs are buying Christmas decor later this year than in 2022

Czechs have been slower to kick off their Christmas decoration shopping this year, attributed to the unseasonably warm autumn, according to local retailers. Lower shipping costs have allowed some vendors to reduce prices compared to the previous year.

The color themes for this Christmas include gold, white, black, muted natural tones, and even pink. While outdoor decorations are gaining popularity, the focus remains on interior decor. Retailers note a shift toward energy-efficient LED lighting, with interest in smart Christmas lights that can be controlled remotely via a mobile app.

Culture Elaborate model trains displayed in Uherské Hradiště

The Reduta hall in Uherské Hradiště transformed into a captivating railway landscape as the Jede vláček kolejáček (Train Rides a Rail) event celebrated its ninth year, showcasing the meticulous work of railway modelers. The digital control of the exhibited rail yard allowed 15 sets to operate simultaneously, offering visitors a dynamic and immersive experience.

The modular track system, with standardized fronts for interchangeability, enabled creative assembly, showcasing stations inspired by specific motifs. The event, characterized by a collaborative effort among modelers, illustrates the passion and craftsmanship within the railway modeling community.

Finance Survey: Czechs invest in gold and real estate to combat inflation

A recent survey conducted by Median for Golden Gate reveals that in the face of rising inflation, Czechs are considering various investment options. Gold stands out as the top choice, with over 25 percent of respondents favoring it. Real estate and term deposits follow closely, each preferred by over 22 percent of Czechs.

Investment funds, stocks, and bonds are also considered by more than a fifth of respondents. The survey highlights a growing willingness among Czechs to invest, with many seeing gold as a viable option to counter inflation and as a crucial part of diversified portfolios.

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