News in brief for Sept. 12: Top headlines for Czechia on Tuesday

A Czech pop icon dies, Czechia remember Sept. 11, and more headlines for Sept. 12, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 12.09.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 12.09.2023) Reading time: 7 minutes

Politics Czech, S. Korean PMs discuss North Korean missile tests

The Czech and the Korean Republics have voiced concern over provocations on the part of North Korea, to which a strong response from the international community is needed, South Korean PM Han Duck-soo told media after meeting Czech PM Petr Fiala in Prague today.

North Korea has continued frequent ballistic missile tests this year despite UN Security Council resolutions banning it. Last year, North Korea fired a record number of missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US mainland. The two prime ministers also spoke about the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

emergency Czech firefighters won't go to earthquake-stricken Morocco

The Czech USAR team will not be sent to earthquake-stricken Morocco as Moroccan authorities did not approve their assistance. The Moroccan government has been reluctant to accept international aid, with speculation of political reasons. Czech firefighters, along with other rescuers, were waiting for an official request that never came.

The chances of saving lives decrease with each passing day. The earthquake, which registered 2,862 victims and more than 2,500 injured, devastated central Morocco. The Czech government has set aside ten million crowns to assist Morocco and is prepared to provide humanitarian aid if requested.

law Amended Criminal Code could decriminalize lower BAC level

Driving with more than one per thousand of alcohol in the blood may no longer be a criminal offense, according to a Criminal Code amendment that the Czech Ministry of Justice proposed. Under the proposed change, only drivers who cause an accident, damage property, or injure someone while under the influence of alcohol would face criminal charges.

The amendment aims to decriminalize certain actions and impose stricter punishments through misdemeanor law. The proposal has received support from Deputy Minister of Justice Antonín Stanislav and Libor Vávra, head of the Judicial Union.

society MPs and senators could officiate marriage ceremonies

An amendment to the Act on Registers, proposed by MP Robert Králíček, could grant MPs and senators the right to officiate marriage ceremonies. The Ministry of the Interior, led by Minister Vít Rakušan, supports the amendment, stating that it has the backing of a majority of MPs. The proposal also aims to remove the mention of surrogate motherhood from the Civil Code and allow same-sex couples to enter into a registered partnership at any registry office.

The amendment also includes the electronicization of registers and other innovations, such as determining paternity through a consent statement and lowering the age limit for changing a child's name or surname.

EDUCATION Czech universities demanding increased funding

Czech universities are demanding increased funding from the government for education and science, saying spending lags the EU average. Milena Králíčková of the Czech Rectors' Conference said guarantees for quality and competitiveness required meeting basic standards. Milan Pospíšil of the Accreditation Committee cited a CZK 10 billion crown deficit and stagnating funds despite budget growth.

Spending 0.86 percent of GDP on colleges falls below the EU's 1.27 percent average. Representatives from schools, unions, and associations protested, calling for continued negotiations to remedy underfunding since 2009. The finance ministry proposed a funding cut but Education Minister Mikuláš Bek countered that ruling coalition pacts would not allow losses for schools.

law Supreme Court rules on compensation for Covid damages

The Czech Supreme Court has ruled that companies affected by crisis measures during the Covid-19 pandemic may be eligible for compensation for damages. The court overturned a previous decision and stated that the state is liable for damages caused by crisis measures.

The court disagreed with the conditions set by the lower courts, stating that the measures must be individually determined and directly targeted at specific persons or groups. The court also rejected the requirement that damages must be caused by the implementation of emergency measures. The case will now be reviewed by the Municipal Court in Prague.

tragedy Two men die in ultralight aircraft crash

Two men died in the crash of an ultralight aircraft in Tlustice, in the Beroun district in Central Bohemia. Emergency services responded to the scene, but despite their efforts, the men did not survive their severe injuries.

The cause of the crash is currently being investigated by criminal investigators in Berun, in cooperation with the Institute for Professional Investigation of the Causes of Air Accidents. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

In Memoriam Sept. 11 memorial held in Prague

A memorial gathering held in Prague to honor the firefighters and rescuers who lost their lives while responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York was attended by top officials including Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda, U.S. Ambassador Bijan Sabet, and Prague Fire Corps Head Luděk Prudil.

In a Facebook post, the ambassador wrote: "22 years ago, the world changed. I humbly and respectfully remember the sad anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with Czech firefighters. I am very grateful to the first responders for their courage and dedication to our safety. You are heroes!” The service took place at Kampa beneath the Charles Bridge where a 9/11 memorial is located.

R.I.P. Czech pop icon, dissident dies at 76

Czech pop icon Yvonne Přenosilová passed away at 76 in Prague, according to her neighbor Hana Vejvodová and former colleague Radko Kubičko from Radio Free Europe. Přenosilová, a 1960s pop star, faced a disrupted career due to her support for the "Two Thousand Words" document advocating societal democratization during the communist era.

Following the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, she went into exile, settling in Munich and working as an airport ground stewardess. In 1987, she joined Radio Free Europe, combining her music talent with journalism. She returned permanently to Prague in 1994, marking a significant chapter in her life's journey. Her most famous hit is a cover of of Nancy Sinatra's These Boots are Made for Walkin' (Boty proti lásce).

international Czechia and UK sign agreement on nuclear reactors

Czech Minister of Industry Jozef Síkela and his British counterpart Andrew Bowie signed on Monday a joint statement on cooperation to develop small and medium-sized nuclear reactors. This partnership aims to accelerate the deployment of these reactors, which are seen as an innovative solution for the country's energy security.

The Czech Republic plans to build several small modular reactors to replace coal-fired power plants, with the first one expected to be ready in 2032. Energy company ČEZ has identified three potential locations for the reactors and is exploring other options as well.

defense Czech arms exports reach record levels

Exports of weapons and security material from the Czech Republic reached approximately CZK 30 billion last year, almost double year-on-year, President of the Defense and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic Jiří Hynek said yesterday. The majority of exports went to Ukraine, with about 70 percent being ammunition. In addition to ammunition, ground equipment such as cars, tanks, and armored vehicles were also delivered.

The export boom was influenced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and preparations for potential conflict expansion in other countries. The volume of production in 2022 increased by roughly a fifth to more than CZK 50 billion. The Defense and Security Industry Association expects exports for this year to reach around 20 CZK billion.

prague Strahov Tunnel renovation to cost CZK 6 billion

The Prague Strahov Tunnel, part of the city ring road, is set to undergo a complete reconstruction. Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said on Monday that the repairs, estimated to cost CZK 6 billion crowns, will be carried out after the completion of the ongoing repair of the Barrandov bridge.

The tunnel will be modernized over four stages, taking approximately ten years to complete. The renovation will include upgrading technologies, replacing roads, improving safety features, and ensuring its function as a shelter if needed. The exact traffic measures and progress plan will be determined by road workers in the future.

weather Rain on the way after warm start of the week

The Czech Republic will experience warm and sunny weather at the beginning of the week, with daily temperatures reaching around 30 degrees Celsius, and night temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, according to the forecast of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ).

However, on Wednesday, a cold front will bring cooler temperatures, rain, and daily maximum temperatures below 25 degrees Celsius in the second half of the week. Over the weekend, temperatures will rise again above 25 degrees Celsius, but there will still be a chance of rain showers and occasional thunderstorms, and night temperatures around 12 degrees Celsius.

fashion Young designer to create Czech Olympic Team's uniforms

The Czech Olympic Team announced a partnership with designer Jan Černý who will create a unique clothing collection for the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, according to Ž

Černý, a renowned young designer part of the Czech fashion scene, aims to capture global attention with his fresh and extraordinary approach. The collection will be modern and innovative, departing from traditional sportsuits, according to Jiří Kejval, chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee. Details of the collection will be unveiled next year.

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