News in brief for Sept. 13: Top headlines for Czechia on Wednesday

Apple complies with EU law, Czechia awards top architect, a major meth bust and more headlines for Sept. 13, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 13.09.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 13.09.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

economy Vodafone's profits take a nosedive

Vodafone Czech Republic reported a 27 percent decrease in profits to CZK 933 million in the fiscal year ending in March. Sales increased by 3.7 percent to CZK 20.55 billion. The company attributed the decline in profitability to the energy crisis and high inflation, as well as investments in meeting license requirements.

Despite the challenges, Vodafone saw growth in the number of tariff and prepaid card customers, and its 5G network now covers over 75 percent of the population. In the next fiscal year, the company plans to expand 5G coverage, invest in fixed networks, and collaborate with T-Mobile.

international RAF pilots fly over Prague this afternoon

This afternoon offers opportunities to witness the JAS-39 flying over Prague, as part of celebrations paying tribute to Czech pilots who fought in the Royal Air Force, RAF airmen have planned a flyover above the Winged Lion monument in Klárov.

The scheduled flyover of two aircraft is set to take place around 3 p.m., at the beginning of the event, which is open to the public.

law Police uncover Polish gang involved in railway theft

Police in Nový Jičín, with the help of the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust), uncovered a four-member organized Polish gang involved in the theft of railway lines in the Czech Republic. Since 2019, the gang stole 7 km of copper cable from the Ostrava-Prague line, causing CZK 2.5 million in damages. The stolen material was sold in Poland.

The police arrested the four suspects in June and charged them. This rare case involved theft of the reinforcing traction line, which powers railway trolleys with 3,000 volts. The group acted as an organized and coordinated entity, targeting remote sections outside populated areas.

weather Strong storms to hit the Czech Republic

Strong storms are expected to affect the east and south of the Czech Republic this afternoon, with torrential rain, wind gusts, and hail, according to the forecast of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ), which issued a storm warning until Thursday morning for several regions. The weather will also cool as a result of the storms.

Smaller streams may flood, and basements or underpasses could also be affected. Forecasts warn of potential dangers such as lightning strikes and falling objects. Drivers are advised to reduce speed and exercise caution.

society Online pension applications likely from December

From December, people in Czechia will be able to apply for pensions online, as the lower house of parliament approved today an amendment to social security law. The amendment still needs to be approved by the upper house and the president to become law. The amendment also includes changes to paid leave for camp and event workers, as well as simplified salary reimbursement for employers.

The government amendment also changes the dates of pension payments, reducing them to five new dates in the first half of the month. Additionally, people can now choose any office to apply for their pensions in person.

culture Dvořák Museum presents new exhibition

The Antonín Dvořák Museum in Prague is hosting an exhibition featuring 12 original sheet music recordings of the famous composer. The exhibition, titled Antonín Dvořák: My Life and Work, will open to the public today. Each month, one original recording will be showcased, including pieces like the Piano Concerto in G minor and Stabat Mater.

The Dvořák Archive, which includes sheet music, correspondence, and personal documents, was recently added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The museum, part of the National Museum, now manages around 9,000 collection items.

EU Czech MEPs divided on Renewable Energy Directive

Czech MEPs are split over the EU Renewable Energy Directive, which recently received approval in the European Parliament. The directive elevates the EU's renewable energy target for 2030 to 42.5 percent, up from the previous 32 percent. Nine of the 21 Czech MEPs supported the directive, while four opposed it, five abstained, and three were absent.

Supporters argue that it will facilitate energy industry digitization, making it more responsive to weather and consumption fluctuations. They also expect it to reduce fossil fuel consumption and imports. Critics question Czechia's ability to meet the higher target but acknowledge easier administrative steps for renewable energy projects.

Prague New Roma-Sinti Centre to open in Czech capital

A new Roma and Sinti Centre is set to open in Prague in the autumn of the following year, with construction underway in Dejvice, according to Jana Horváthová, director of the Museum of Romani Culture. Funded by Norway Grants, the project, initially budgeted at CZK 44.6 million is now estimated at CZK 37.7 million for reconstruction.

The center will feature a permanent exhibition on the Roma Holocaust, displays by Roma artists, and educational programs for schools. It aims to commemorate the history and culture of original Czech Roma, often forgotten, who returned from concentration camps after World War II. The center is expected to open in November 2024.

TECH Apple unveils new iPhones with USB-C connector

Apple has unveiled its new iPhone 15 series, making a shift from its proprietary charging connector to the widely adopted USB-C system, in compliance with a European Union mandate for uniform charging standards.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 15 series will begin on Friday, with availability starting on September 22. The lineup includes the basic iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, with prices starting at CZK 23,990 in the Czech Republic for the base model.

CULTURE DOX architect wins Architect of the Year prize

Architect Ivan Kroupa has been awarded the prestigious Architect of the Year 2023 honor for his outstanding contributions to Czech architecture over the past five years. The award ceremony took place at the Center for Architecture and Urban Planning in Prague.

The award, presented by ABF for the fifteenth time, recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted Czech architecture through various creative, organizational, and promotional initiatives.

politics Imex Group denied compensation for Babiš statements

The Imex Group will not receive compensation for statements made by former Czech finance minister Andrej Babiš after an explosion at an ammunition complex in Vrbětice, as the Supreme Court has rejected their appeal. Imex demanded CZK 15 million from the state, claiming that the statements made by Babiš harmed the firm.

The explosions, which occurred in 2014, were attributed to Russian secret agents. Imex's lawyer stated that the firm will continue to pursue the dispute, potentially filing a complaint with the Constitutional Court or the European Court of Human Rights.

police Six arrested in major meth bust in Czechia

Criminal investigators in the Liberec region are currently solving a major drug case, resulting in six individuals being accused of drug offenses. The accused, aged between 32 and 52, all of them with a criminal history related to methamphetamine production and distribution, face 10 to 18 years in prison.

Almost 900 grams of methamphetamine and 31 kilograms of tablets containing pseudoephedrine, worth over CZK 2 million, were seized, according to regional police spokesman Vojtěch Robovský. The criminals also had CZK 1.1 million in cash, five kilograms of cannabis, and chemicals for further production. The operation disrupted the drug market in the Liberec region.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more