Czech weekend news in brief: Top stories for September 12, 2001

Covid-19 cases continue upward trend, Czech Republic to send aid to Afghanistan, 9/11 remembered, and more headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 12.09.2021 09:46 (updated on 12.09.2021)

New Covid-19 cases continue upward trend

The Czech Republic reported 253 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, according to the latest data published by the Health Ministry. The rise represents a week-on-week increase of about 25 percent, and the number of hospitalizations has risen by a similar amount, up to 103. The incidence rate is now about 24 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, compared to 15 last Saturday.

The reproduction number, the average number of those infected by one coronavirus-positive person, dropped slightly to 1.38 on Saturday. The R number has stood above 1.0 since August 26, indicating the epidemic is accelerating. The daily number of new confirmed cases has risen steeply over the past week compared to the week before. On Tuesday, the country saw almost 600 new cases, the highest daily increase since late May.

Czech Republic to send 45 million crowns in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

The Czech Republic will send 45 million crowns in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and international organizations operating in the country, the Foreign Ministry has proposed. The Czech Republic will use 40 million crowns it previously earmarked for Afghan defense and sustainable development; the remaining five million would be provided by the Foreign Ministry from its budget.

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The Czech Republic previously provided annual financial aid to Afghanistan from 2018 to 2020. Out of 40 million crowns the cabinet approved for this purpose in in July, half was designated for the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund, which operates under the direct supervision of the World Bank. The money was to go in support of agriculture, rural development, and education.

Czech architect describes time in New York during 9/11 in book

Czech-American architect Jiří Boudník spent six months in New York helping tackle the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack 20 years ago, and described his experiences in a book which has now appeared in a second edition in Czech, along with its first English-language version.

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After the attack, Boudník, a specialist in high-rise buildings, created 3D models of the collapsed World Trade Center towers for the teams of rescuers and firefighters to facilitate their operation in the ruins. He was a part of a large team studying the collapse of the towers. After six months, Boudnik had to visit a psychologist, who advised him to "write out" his post-traumatic shock. He then completed his book, The Towers - The Story of September 11. He presented its second Czech edition and first English-language edition at the American Center in the U.S. embassy in Prague earlier last week.

The West has improved its defense since 9/11, says former Czech ambassador

The West has improved the coordination of its intelligence services and worked on boosting people's safety, sometimes at the cost of personal freedoms, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, former Czech ambassador to the USA Alexandr Vondra has told CTK. NATO, too, has kept strong and coherent despite crises and its members' differing positions, said Vondra, who returned from Washington to Prague in August 2001 after his four-year ambassadorial mission ended.

Vondra, who has also served as Czech Defense Minister and Foreign Minister, is currently an MEP and a deputy chairman of the opposition Civic Democratic Party. The attacks on September 11, 2001 had an ideological and conceptual impact as well, he told CTK. He said he learned about the attack on the twin towers in New York while in a Prague pub. "The pictures I saw on TV in the pub kitchen were shocking," he said.

Havlíčkův Brod celebrates journalist Karel Havlíček Borovský's 200th birthday

Havlíčkův Brod celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of still-popular 19th-century Czech journalist and writer Karel Havlíček Borovský, who lived part of his life in Německý Brod, which was renamed after him in 1945. Town Hall representatives paid homage to the journalist at his statue in a local park, and in the evening celebrations culminated with a videomapping presenting other monuments to Havlíček Borovský, including one installed by Czech expatriates in Chicago in 1911.

Vysočina Regional Museum spokesperson Michal Kamp said Karel Havlíček Borovský is one of the best-remembered Czech historical personalities, with lots of streets and squares bearing his name. No other personality can compete with him in this respect, perhaps except for church reformer John Hus, Kemp said, adding that there are also many commemorative plaques on buildings linked to Havlíček Borovský.

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