News in brief for July 10: Top headlines for Czechia on Monday

Czech photographer captures rare 'dolphin' nebula, German cyclist dies on Czech mountain, and major traffic repairs begin in Prague.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 10.07.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 10.07.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

tech Vodafone launches Cat-M network to drive IoT advancement

Vodafone unveiled its new Cat-M mobile network at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, aiming to advance the Internet of Things (IoT). The operator plans to achieve 93 percent population coverage across the Czech Republic by Aug. 1 using the Cat-M technology, which boasts superior signal penetration, low power consumption, and ample data capacity. The network's capabilities will connect various smart devices, ranging from consumer electronics to industrial machinery in sectors like energy, agriculture, and healthcare.

Vodafone's CEO Petr Dvořák emphasized the compatibility of Cat-M with existing infrastructure, which will facilitate its widespread adoption. The network will offer higher data transmission rates and improved mobility, while also supporting future SMS and voice services for IoT applications.

safety Police respond to alleged hostage incident in Prague's Vršovice

Prague police responded to an incident on Monday morning in the Vršovice neighborhood involving a man allegedly holding a woman hostage in an apartment and threatening her with a firearm. Police spokeswoman Violeta Siřišťová confirmed the initial reports on Twitter. A subsequent investigation revealed that the man likely did not pose a threat to the woman. Inside the apartment, the police discovered only an imitation pistol used for airsoft, a sport involving shooting small plastic balls, ČTK reports.

As a precautionary measure, the police closed Minská street while the emergency unit apprehended the man. Approximately two hours later, the police spokeswoman said that the woman's weapon threat had not been substantiated. The man was taken into custody for further questioning at the police station.

tragedy Today marks 50 years since Olga Hepnarová’s mass murder

On July 10, 1973, Olga Hepnarová, then 22 years old, carried out a deliberate and devastating act in Prague. She drove a borrowed Praga RN truck onto the sidewalk of present-day Milady Horákové Street around 1:45 p.m., targeting a group of approximately 30 people waiting at the Strossmayerovo náměstí tram stop.

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In her testimony, she described the reasons that led her to intentionally run over the pedestrians as a desire to take revenge on the entire society. Tragically, eight individuals lost their lives, with six people dying that day either at the scene or due to their injuries, while two more died later. Around 11 or 12 people sustained severe injuries.

international Zelenskyy thanks Czechia for last week’s visit in viral video

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared insights on his official visit to the Czech Republic last week, tweeting a video showcasing his meetings with high-ranking officials and his experience in Prague. The video shows key moments of his two-day trip, such as meetings with his Czech counterpart Petr Pavel, with the President of the Senate of the Czech Parliament Miloš Vystrčil, and with the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament Markéta Pekarová Adamová.

The video also showed Zelenskyy receiving symbolic gifts from Vystrčil and Pekarová Adamová. “Thank you, Czech Republic!” read the caption of the video, which has more than 905,000 views. 

weather Heat and fire warning extended throughout Czechia

Meteorologists from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) have issued a heat warning for Monday, with temperatures expected to exceed 31 degrees Celsius in most parts of the country. Southern Moravia may experience temperatures as high as 36 degrees, posing a significant danger. The warning, in effect since Saturday, will extend to Tuesday and Wednesday with increasing precision.

The high temperatures pose health risks such as overheating and dehydration, prompting authorities to advise people to stay hydrated, limit physical activity, and seek shade during midday and afternoon hours. Additionally, the dry conditions have prompted a fire risk warning, leading some regions to impose restrictions on smoking and fires in vulnerable areas. On Saturday alone, 181 fires were reported, signaling the severity of the ongoing drought.

Politics Government set to talk budget, education, and labor today

Employers, trade union representatives, and government officials will meet in Prague today to discuss objections to the preliminary draft of the state budget for 2024. Regional tripartite meetings will also take place, focusing on proposed changes in education, the financing of social and health services, as well as local development and EU funds.

Discussions will cover employment changes resulting from generational shifts in the labor market and export support strategies. The government aims to finalize the budget by the end of September after considering the August macroeconomic forecast.

Traffic Major road repairs begin today in Prague

Starting on Monday, July 10, road workers in Prague will commence a project to widen the on-ramp from Modřanská Street to the Jižní spojka by adding an additional lane. The construction work, originally scheduled for April but delayed due to concurrent repairs in the area, will continue until Aug. 8.

During this period, traffic will be partially restricted, with the right slow lane in the direction of the center closed from Pikovická Street to the turn lane to the South Junction. The road surface will be resurfaced, and sewer drains will be relocated. The project is part of the larger reconstruction of the Barrandov Bridge, a vital route for over 140,000 daily commuters in Prague.

SCIENCE Czech photographer captures rare 'dolphin' nebula

Czech photographer Jakub Korbel has captured an awe-inspiring image of a blue nebula resembling a bubble from the Canis Minor constellation. The nebula, known as Sh2-308 Dolphin Nebula, is located nearly 5,000 light-years away and estimated to be around 70,000 years old. The Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic named the image its June Czech Astrophotography of the month.

Photo via
Photo via Jakub Korbel

The nebula's formation is attributed to a Wolf-Rayet star, a massive star stage preceding supernova or hypernova explosions. The photograph reveals additional objects, including the nebula's movement towards the reddish "cosmic cliff." Korbel previously received recognition for his astrophotography skills earlier this year.

Tragedy German cyclist dies on Czech mountain trail

A German cyclist died Sunday on a remote trail in the Ore Mountains near Bouřňák in Teplice. The Mountain Service of the Czech Republic, along with an air rescue helicopter, responded to the incident, but despite 45 minutes of resuscitation efforts, the man succumbed to his severe injuries at the scene.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. Officials highlight the need for caution and recommend the use of the Záchranka application to aid in location tracking during emergencies.

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