Czechia weekend news in brief: Oct. 22–23, 2022

The top news headlines for the Czech Republic this weekend in brief. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 22.10.2022 11:23:00 (updated on 23.10.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

CHILDREN Newborn child placed in “baby box” at Prague 6 Town Hall

This morning a newborn baby girl was left in a “baby box” – created to prevent dangers to the health and lives of possibly unwanted or abandoned children – in Prague 6’s Town Hall, ČTK reports. It was the first child left in a baby box at that location since November 2021 and the 246th baby to be deposited in the baby box scheme since its creation in 2005. 

In 2022, 15 babies have been dropped off at one of the 96 baby boxes nationwide. Proponents of the scheme state that it offers definite safety to the babies whilst also supporting troubled parents. Critics state that the practice is inhumane, claiming that the boxes contradict the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, such as the right to a name, identity, nationality, and the right to know one's parents.

Omani SalamAir begins flights to Prague

A new carrier began to operate at Prague's Václav Havel Airport Friday, reports ZdoPravy. SalamAir's Airbus A321neo LR took off from Muscat, Oman at 3:25 p.m. Friday and landed in Prague at 8:24 p.m. The new carrier and new line are currently scheduled until the end of March twice a week. 

In Prague, it is the only carrier that regularly deploys the A321neo in the LR version with an extended range. Flight time is around 7 hours. SalamAir is a low-cost company that was established in 2016. The cheapest return tickets start at 590 euros.

"We consider the start of flights from Prague to Muscat and Salalah by our airline to be an important milestone," said airline reps.

Police are investigating the violent death of a man in Prague

Police are investigating the case of the violent death of a nineteen-year-old man on Prague's Slévačská Street. A sixteen-year-old male was found with the man in an apartment Saturday at this location. He was seriously injured and the paramedics took him to the hospital, a police spokesperson told ČTK.

Detectives from the homicide department are still investigating what happened in the apartment. The rescue service said on Twitter shortly after the incident that a man was found at the scene without signs of life. The second individual suffered critical injuries and is in a medically induced coma.

ANO will announce its presidential candidate on Oct. 31

The ANO movement will announce its candidate for president on Monday, Oct. 31. The party was originally supposed to do so on Wednesday, Oct. 26, however, party leader and likely candidate Andrej Babiš has been in isolation due to Covid. Babiš's spokesman informed ČTK of the delay. Candidates must submit their application no later than the beginning of November.

Earlier this year Babiš told the media there were four possible ANO candidates including ANO vice chairman Alena Schillerová, first vice-chairman Karel Havlíček, and former head of the House of Representatives Radek Vondráček. He didn't name a fourth candidate. The first round of the presidential election takes place on Jan. 13-14.

People brought almost 3,000 hedgehogs to rescue stations this year

In Prague, people brought almost 3,000 hedgehogs to rescue stations this year, a record 1,400 of them in the last seven weeks. However, most of the hedgehogs did not need help, the Czech Union of Nature Conservators (ČSOP) said in a press release. The conservationist pointed out that only injured, sick or very small hedgehogs belong in the rescue stations, and the others should remain "free."

The stations associated with the National Rescue Station Network (NSZS) now receive an average of 200 hedgehogs per week. The ČSOP says that people mistakenly believe that small hedgehogs are unable to survive the winter.

Oct. 22, 2022

Czech PM: EU must end its unhealthy dependence on China

Following the EU summit in Brussels Friday, Czech PM Petr Fiala called for the European Union to do away with its unhealthy dependence on China but maintain talks with Beijing.

The summit debated the best approach to Beijing amid its rising threats addressed to Taiwan and with respect to the expected strengthening of President Xi Jinping's position at the ongoing congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

Many EU leaders demanded that a more resolute approach be taken to Beijing, but the summit did not reach any concrete conclusions.EU leaders emphasized the significance of human rights and democracy and the dangerous spread of China's influence. They said they consider a reduction of the EU's industrial dependence on Beijing crucial. (ČTK)

Funeral mass held at Prague Castle for victims of Heydrich regime

A funeral mass for the victims of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich will be held at St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle Saturday. The mass which commemorates the 294 Czechoslovaks murdered by the Nazis at the end of October, will begin at noon, reports ČTK.

Eighty years have passed since the assassination of Heydrich, carried out on May 27, 1942, by paratroopers Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš in Prague's Kobylisy district. Gabčík's machine gun failed at the decisive moment, but Kubiš managed to detonate a grenade that seriously wounded Heydrich.

The Nazi leader died of wounds suffered from the explosion on June 4, 1942. Gabčík and Kubiš died in a shootout in the crypt of a Prague church. In retribution, the Nazis murdered several thousand people and razed the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. 

Coal and gas trains could be given priority over passenger trains

In connection with the energy crisis, the Czech Ministry of Transport is considering giving freight trains priority over passenger trains along its railway tracks, reports ČT24. Germany has already implemented a similar rule for its railways. In the Czech Republic, cargo trains with coal or gas can surpass passenger trains in exceptional situations.

Czechia wants to prolong Slovak border patrols

Interior Minister Vit Rakušan will ask the government to prolong the checks at the border of the Czech Republic with Slovakia by 15 days next Thursday, his spokesman told journalists Friday. The Czech Republic imposed the border controls, mainly due to the mass influx of Syrian migrants, in late September. The government already prolonged the checks once, until Oct. 28.

Without consent from the European Union, the Czech Republic can only introduce the checks for two months. The number of migrants who have entered illegally the EU along the Balkan route has increased by 170 percent in a year, the border agency Frontex reports (ČTK).

Velvet Underground founder to play in Prague

Welsh singer, songwriter, and founder of the iconic pop group The Velvet Underground John Cale will perform in Prague's Archa Theater in March of next year. Songs from the album "Mercy," which will be released at the end of January, will also be debuted on the Archa stage.

Cale, 80, will perform in the Czech Republic after five years, reports ČTK. The multi-instrumentalist gave his first concert in Czechoslovakia in 1992 at Lucerna. He also performed in Prague with The Velvet Underground in 1993.

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