News in brief for Aug. 30: Top headlines for Czechia on Wednesday

Saxony to send more police at Czech-German border, Prague cracks down on illegal billboards, and more headlines for Wednesday, Aug. 30. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 30.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 30.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Society Pen used by Pavel goes for CZK 30,000 at auction

A pen used by Czech President Petr Pavel during his inauguration is up for auction, with proceeds going to support single parents and their children. Speaker of the Chamber Markéta Pekarová Adamová announced the auction in a video on X (formerly Twitter).

The handmade pen, made by Brno craftsman Marek Najvar, features the Czech Lion coat of arms and the inauguration date. Bidding started at CZK 30,000, with one user already offering 50,001 crowns. The auction will run for 50 hours and bids can be posted on social media until Sept. 1st at 12 p.m.

tennis Vondroušová and Plíšková advance at U.S. Open

Wimbledon winner Markéta Vondroušová easily advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open after defeating her Korean opponent Han Na-Lae 6:3, 6:0 in straight sets. The 24-year-old Czech player missed the tournament last year due to wrist surgery and is looking to make a strong comeback. Karolína Plíšková, seeded 25th, also advanced after defeating Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse with 6:1, 6:4

Despite some initial nerves, Vondroušová showcased her skills and dominated the match, securing victory with ease. This is a promising start for Vondroušová as she looks to make a deep run in the tournament. In her next match, Vondroušová will face Italian player Martina Trevisan.

IT Cyber attack causes website outages for Czech banks

Czech banks, including Komerční banka, ČSOB, and Fio banka, are facing internet banking and website outages due to a cyber attack, iDnes reports. Česká spořitelna and Air Bank have already resolved the issues. Komerční banka restored client access to internet banking but its website is still down. Česká spořitelna experienced longer responses on its web George login page but has since resolved the problem.

ČSOB also reported an outage on its Facebook page. The Prague Stock Exchange website is also unavailable. The National Cyber Security Agency confirmed these were DDoS attacks. Fio banka's services remain affected, and the attack's origin is unknown. Payment cards and ATM withdrawals are still possible.

accident Fire truck overturns in Prague causing minor injuries

A fire truck overturned yesterday at 5:15 p.m. on Legerová Street near the National Museum building in Prague, causing minor injuries to two people. Traffic was limited to one lane while the accident was being investigated.

The fire department wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the truck was on its way to a reported substation fire. The overturned truck damaged another car. Two men sustained slight injuries and were taken to the hospital for further care. The street was closed due to the accident but traffic was fully restored shortly after 8 p.m.

politics Czech Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil tests positive for Covid-19

Czech Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrcil announced on X (formerly Twitter) that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is working online. He canceled his work schedule until a PCR test confirmed his infection. The Senate announced his positive antigen test earlier. According to the government's COVID portal, a positive test does not require mandatory isolation for the tested person or quarantine for their relatives.

The number of Covid-19 cases has been rising in Czechia since July, with 108 newly detected infections reported on Monday. Several politicians, including former President Miloš Zeman, have contracted the virus during the epidemic.

international More police at Czechia's border with Saxony

Saxony will send more police to the area bordering on Czechia and Poland due to illegal migration, Saxony's Interior Minister Armin Schuster said Tuesday. The German state's measures against illegal migration from Poland and Czechia have not been effective, which is why Saxony plans to intensify measures in the border areas.

The steps will include searches by plain-clothes police officers alongside traditional police checks, primarily targeting smugglers. Schuster did not specify the number of police officers that will be deployed. He also called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to intervene as the federal minister's measures are not working.

diplomacy Pavel talks Russia and Ukraine at ambassadors' meeting

Russian aggression and growing assertiveness threaten the international order, Czech President Petr Pavel said in his annual speech to Czech ambassadors. He praised the Czech Republic's support for Ukraine and its ability to break free from reliance on Russian energy and emphasized the weakening faith in democracy, the increase in cyber attacks, and the intense wave of disinformation.

He also acknowledged the impact of the war and migration on Czech citizens, warning against the exploitation of these issues to spread extremism and xenophobia. Pavel pledged ongoing support for Ukraine and called for its inclusion in the EU and NATO.

weather Flood warning for parts of eastern Czechia

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected in the eastern parts of the Czech Republic until Wednesday morning, which led the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute to issue a flood warning until 11 a.m. Some areas could receive up to 40 millimeters of rain, leading to a rise in river levels and a potential risk of flooding. The regions affected by the rain warning include Olomouc, Zlín, Moravia-Silesia, and parts of South Moravia and Pardubice.

Local thunderstorms may become stronger on Wednesday, accompanied by intense rainfall and possibly hail. However, the weather is expected to improve from Thursday, with mostly sunny conditions and temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius throughout Czechia during the weekend.

billboards Prague cracks down on visual pollution

The City of Prague has filed a lawsuit to have the Czech Outdoor organization's illegal billboards removed from 58 plots of city land. Prague is taking this step in its fight against visual pollution and illegal advertising, which is a long-term goal for the Pirate Party and the current coalition in the city hall.

The lease agreement for the billboards is considered invalid. Despite repeated calls, Czech Outdoor has not removed the billboards, which led Prague to initiate a lawsuit for eviction. Economist and former employee of the municipality Zdeněk Jahn told Seznam Zprávy that up to 3 out 4 billboards in Prague could be in violation of some rule.

society Poll shows positive attitudes to presidential interference

Almost three-quarters of Czechs believe that the president should interfere in the government's activities but only to a limited extent, according to a recent poll conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre. The proportion of citizens supporting presidential intervention in government activities has increased by 16 percentage points since the last survey in January 2020.

Meanwhile, the view that the president should not interfere in government activities at all has decreased by 13 percentage points compared to 2020 and by 22 percentage points since the first research in 2002.

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