News in brief for Aug. 27: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday

Canoeist Fuksa claims first world title and secures Olympic berth, Czech First Lady to support vulnerable groups, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 27.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 28.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Health New Covid variant vaccines being prepared for autumn

As autumn approaches, vaccine manufacturers are gearing up to deliver vaccines tailored to combat new variants of Covid-19. Roman Chlibek, head of the Czech Vaccinological Society, revealed that vaccines adapted for emerging variants are in the works, emphasizing their relevance for the upcoming season.

The Czech Republic's Covid vaccination strategy for autumn is also being formulated by the State Health Institute. Pfizer plans to provide the latest vaccines, contingent on approval for the XBB variant. Notably, basic vaccinations and booster doses will be indistinguishable. Novavax is also developing a protein-based vaccine for the XBB variant.

Education Rise in students expected for new Czech academic year

The upcoming academic year in Czechia is anticipated to witness an increase in the total number of pupils and students across primary and secondary schools, accordign to information reported by the Education Ministry. The projection indicates that around 488,100 students will enroll in secondary schools, marking an increase of approximately 25,000 compared to the previous year.

Conversely, the number of primary school pupils is predicted to be lower than the previous year. Notably, the statistics encompass Ukrainian refugees, with demographic factors playing a significant role in the growth of secondary school enrollment. The exact figures will be confirmed through a statistical survey conducted by the ministry.

International Czech passengers safe following bus fire near Krakow

A bus carrying 35 individuals from the Czech Republic caught fire on a highway near Krakow, Poland, and was nearly entirely consumed by the flames. Thankfully, no injuries were reported among the passengers. The blaze halted traffic on the A4 motorway temporarily in the direction of Katowice.

While the exact causes of the fire are under investigation, reports indicate that all passengers, identified as Czech citizens, safely evacuated the bus and found refuge at a nearby petrol station. The Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed the incident, noting that passengers were unharmed, and arrangements for a replacement bus were made.

Weather Overnight storms in Czechia leave 17,000 without power

Powerful storms unleashed havoc across the Czech Republic from Saturday evening until Sunday morning, prompting firefighters to engage in over a thousand incidents. Between the evening and early morning hours, 1101 technical assistance calls were documented by the Czech Republic's Fire and Rescue Service, nearly three times the typical daily average.

The tempestuous weather primarily struck Southern Bohemia in the evening before traversing northeast overnight. In its wake, more than 17,000 locations are grappling with power outages across the South Bohemian Region and Vysočina. Fallen trees, roof concerns, and flooded areas were among the calls firefighters responded to.

Religion Prague Archbishop submits resignation to Pope Francis

Archbishop Jan Graubner of Prague has submitted his resignation letter to Pope Francis, marking a customary step for all bishops upon turning 75. Graubner, who turns 75 on August 29, conveyed his willingness to remain in the role as long as required. Having succeeded Cardinal Dominik Duka, Graubner became the 37th archbishop of Prague in August last year.

His predecessor, Duka, initially submitted his resignation in 2018 but continued in the role at Pope Francis's invitation. Graubner's administrative expertise from his prior role in Olomouc is instrumental as he aims to enhance various aspects of his current responsibilities, including church schools, youth engagement, and family services.

Agriculture Night storms devastate hops fields in Moravia

A powerful storm, accompanied by fierce winds and heavy rain, wreaked havoc on approximately ten percent of the hop fields belonging to the Kokor agricultural cooperative in the Přerov region overnight. The damages are estimated at a minimum of 25 million crowns.

"Structures have collapsed at across more than 20 hectares of hop plantations," shared Vladimír Lichnovský, Chairman of ZD Kokory. This event coincided with the peak of the hop harvest in the Přerov area, causing substantial losses for the cooperative. While insured, ZD Kokory will need to cover extra costs to address the aftermath of the storm, which may take years to fully restore.

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Sports Canoeist Fuksa claims first world title, secures Olympic berth

Canoeist Martin Fuksa (30) has clinched his first career world championship title on the one-kilometer course. He achieved this feat at the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, sealing his victory in the race's final moments. Fuksa has now added a coveted gold medal to his collection, alongside five previous silver medals won on the same course since 2014.

In addition to the gold medal, Fuksa's triumph has secured a spot for the Czech Republic in the 2024 Paris Olympics for this discipline. Joining him in Paris will be kayak racer Josef Dostál (30), who secured a place for the Czech Republic despite finishing fifth in the 1000-meter race.

Politics Czech First Lady to support vulnerable groups

Czech First Lady Eva Pavlová has chosen to direct her efforts towards supporting vulnerable population groups, including single mothers and seniors, as well as advancing communication techniques for children in schools. Pavlová's role is primarily representative, but she can wield influence on public opinion and important social matters.

A dedicated five-member volunteer advisory team will support her in this mission, offering expertise without compensation. This move underscores her commitment to social justice and education. Her engagement with these pressing issues could significantly impact the lives of those facing challenges and shape the future of education.

Fire Blaze in Prague's New Town results in extensive damages

A fire erupted on Friday evening in Prague's New Town district, causing extensive damage amounting to a million crowns. The blaze originated in an apartment on Biskupský dvůr street, engulfing an air conditioning unit and a portion of the roof measuring 10 by 5 meters.

While no injuries were reported, swift action by firefighters prevented the fire's spread to neighboring structures. Investigators are working to uncover the fire's cause, underscoring the significance of regular maintenance for electrical equipment to avert potential damage.

Foreign Language barrier delays questioning of Czech suspect in Rome

Rome authorities are facing a linguistic hurdle in the case of a Czech man attempting to rob a restaurant at Tiburtina, Rome's second-largest train station. The elderly Czech, believed to be homeless, has not been interrogated due to the absence of a Czech interpreter.

The man, who allegedly aimed a gas pistol at a cashier during the robbery, was apprehended by a bystander and remains in custody. Police discovered a crossbow and arrows in his possession. The lack of an interpreter has hindered proceedings, preventing the man from providing his side of the story. The court anticipates a Czech interpreter by Tuesday for further questioning.

Culture Hana Zagorová honored with commemorative banknote

In memory of the legendary Czech singer Hana Zagorová, who passed away a year ago this weekend, a special banknote has bee presented by longtime partner Štefan Margita, who revealed the commemorative note at a press conference ahead of the anniversary of her passing.

Crafted by graphic artist and engraver Václav Fajt, the banknote was printed by State Treasures Printers. Zagorová, fondly known as "Hanička písnička" or "Zagorka," was celebrated for her prolific career. Her unexpected death last year, following a battle with illness compounded by Covid-19, deeply affected the Czech public.

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