News in brief for May 8: World Facebook and Instagram outages hit Czechia

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Monday, May 8, 2023, updated regularly to keep you up to speed.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 08.05.2023 08:25:00 (updated on 09.05.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

Tech Major social platforms experience Monday outage

Facebook and Instagram experienced a major outage in the Czech Republic, with users reporting problems starting around 2 p.m. DownDetector confirmed that the services were down until around 3 p.m., but it's not clear what caused the issue. Reports of other services being affected also increased during this time. Meta, which operates both social networks, has yet to comment on the issue.

The services have since returned to normal and user reports have dropped. In 2021, there was a similar incident where multiple web applications, including Google services, Twitter, and TikTok, experienced outages.

Politics Czech PM rejects German controls at Czech borders

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala turned down requests from the interior ministers of the German federal states of Saxony and Brandenburg to introduce stationary controls at the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic."The numbers of illegal migrants are not so high that there is a reason to introduce such measures," Fiala said today according to iDnes.

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German State Ministers of Internal Affairs Armin Schuster and Michael Stübgen addressed a letter to Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser ahead of a refugee summit planned for Wednesday in Berlin asking for the checks. The German state of Bavaria has had border checks with Austria since the autumn of 2015.  

Weather Meteorologists warn of ground frost tonight

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute issued a warning for frost, in effect starting tonight at 10:00 p.m. and until 7:00 a.m. Tuesday. "Ground frost is expected in places, more numerous in the northeastern half of the territory, which can damage vegetation, especially vegetables, and possibly even flowering fruit trees," read its text.

This week will bring increased cloudiness, with showers on Wednesday and Thursday in most areas, and occasional thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures will range between 13 and 19 degrees. The weekend will also be overcast with occasional showers, while daily temperatures rise to 16 to 20 degrees.

People watch the Astronomical Clock in the rain / via iStock
People watch the Astronomical Clock in the rain / via iStock

society Czech pilots break world record for longest ultralight flight

Czech pilots Jiří Pruša and Eliška Kudějová broke the world record for the longest flight in an ultralight aircraft without stopping, flying 1,919 km in a Shark 600 aircraft. They landed yesterday evening at the Dlouha Lhota airport after ten hours and 24 minutes, facing headwinds and shortening their route, which went through Germany, Poland, and Slovakia, by 145 kilometers.

The International Aeronautical Federation is yet to confirm the record. The pilots started with 142 liters of fuel, using an average of 14 liters per 100 kilometers, and ended with 14 liters left in the tank. Their average speed was 188 km/h, and the highest downwind speed was 250 km/h.

V-Day President to promote officials to rank of generals today

To mark Victory Day, Czech President Petr Pavel will appoint generals, including the head of counter-intelligence of the Security Information Service, Michal Koudelka, whose promotion former president Miloš Zeman rejected seven times.

The president will also promote Chief of the General Staff Karel Řehka and his deputy Ivo Střecha, the new intelligence chief of the Office for Foreign Relations and Information, Vladimír Posolda, and several other military officers and police officials. The Czech president promotes soldiers, police officers, and firefighters to the rank of general twice a year, on May 8 and on Independent Czechoslovak State Day on Oct. 28. 

Law Argentina extradites Czech murder suspect

Czech police officers have extradited a man suspected of a 15-year-old murder who was hiding in South America, along with two other suspects in recent weeks. The spokesperson for the Czech Police Presidium, David Schön, called the extradition a "great success." 

The man, whose name was not disclosed, fled Czechia in 2010 and was suspected of murdering a 24-year-old man the previous year. Specially trained police officers called Air Marshals, who evaluate risks associated with transportation and ensure safety, carried out the extradition. So far this year, police have escorted suspects abroad in 40 cases. 

Ukraine Pavel warns Kyiv against rushed counteroffensive

Czech President and retired General Petr Pavel, previously NATO’s principal military adviser, has warned Ukraine against a rushed counteroffensive in an interview with The Guardian, citing gaps in Ukraine’s capacity for success. He cautioned Ukraine’s leadership that they no longer had the element of surprise and appealed to Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, not to be “pushed into a faster pace before they are fully prepared.”

Pavel also said that Ukraine had asked the Czech Republic and Slovakia to arm a Ukrainian mechanized brigade each before the counter-assault. In a wide-ranging interview, he discussed EU ammunition sourcing, China's potential role, and preparing for outcomes short of all-out victory.

society More than 1 million Czechs watched King Charles III’s coronation

Figures suggest that live coronation broadcasts from several Czech TV stations totaled on Saturday more than one million viewers. ČT24 had the largest audience share, and its special coronation broadcast was watched by 1.19 million viewers on Saturday. ČT24 spokesperson Karolína Blinková said that the entire five-hour broadcast “was watched by an average of 495,000 viewers on ČT24, with an audience share of over 27 percent."

On ČT24, about 718,000 people watched the actual moment of the coronation while on Prima, the most watched moments had 270,000 viewers. On Nova, there were 687,000 viewers for these highlights of the broadcast. 

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