News in brief for Sept. 24: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday

Czech kayaker Prskavec wins silver at World Championships, trees planted across Czechia on Day of Forest Restoration, and more weekend headlines. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.09.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 24.09.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Politics Petr Pavel concludes US trip with visit to Colt factory

Czech President Petr Pavel visited the Colt firearms factory in Hartford, Connecticut, which has been owned by the Czech company Colt CZ group since 2021, touring firearm production at the facility. Former Czech Ambassador to the United States, Petr Kolar, who advised President Pavel and is now accompanying him in the USA, played a role in Czech company investments in Colt.

Colt CZ Holding, headquartered in the Czech Republic, is a leading global manufacturer of small arms and ammunition, with production facilities worldwide. Pavel's visit to the factory marked the conclusion of his trip to the USA, which primarily focused on meetings at the United Nations in New York.

Charity Czech Interior Ministry proposes volunteer awards

The Czech Interior Ministry aims to introduce awards for volunteers, recognizing individuals and entities contributing to nature conservation, culture, and more. These awards, subject to government discussion, would include financial sums of up to CZK 10,000, emphasizing the growing importance of volunteering in Czech society.

The initiative seeks to promote volunteering's diversity, inspire more people to engage in such activities, and honor those dedicating their time, energy, skills, and knowledge for the benefit of others without compensation. The proposed awards include categories for individual volunteers and volunteer organizations, acknowledging their valuable contributions to the community without increasing state budget expenditure.

Health Czech Republic aims to restart penicillin production

Minister of Health Vlastimil Válek plans to resume penicillin production in the Czech Republic within 18 months amid persistent antibiotic shortages. With the assistance of the new State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) director, Kateřina Podrazilová, the goal is to improve drug availability. The plan involves multiple license holders and production sites, with specific details pending government discussions.

This move is viewed as a partial solution to medicine unavailability, bolstering Czechia's self-sufficiency. The absence of penicillin has led to the use of alternative broad-spectrum antibiotics, raising the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Efforts to simplify medicine imports from other European nations are also in progress.

Weather Warmer temperatures in the forecast for Czechia this week

Following a chilly weekend with temperatures ranging from 16 to 20 degrees Celsius, a warm front is on the horizon. Meteorologists from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute forecast temperatures climbing to 24 degrees Celsius on Monday and a high of 27 degrees on Tuesday.

Sunday is expected to be mostly clear to partly cloudy, with occasional rain in the eastern half of the region. Fog or low clouds may linger in some areas overnight. Monday will bring mostly clear to partly cloudy conditions, with morning fog or low cloud cover. Tuesday is anticipated to be clear to partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from 23 to 27 degrees Celsius. Wednesday is expected to follow a similar pattern with clear to partly clear skies and temperatures reaching 21 to 25 degrees.

Economy Czech National Bank unlikely to lower interest rate

The Czech National Bank is likely to maintain its interest rate of seven percent at its upcoming meeting this week, according to analysts contacted by Czech News Agency. This rate has remained unchanged since last June. Although inflation figures are favorable, board members emphasize the risks associated with premature monetary policy easing.

Experts, including Cyrrus chief economist Vít Hradil and Vít Endler, CEO of the Fingood investment platform, concur with this assessment, citing factors such as currency exchange rates, oil prices, and inflation expectations as reasons to maintain the current rate.

Environment New Králický Sněžník lookout tower faces ecological concerns

Czech nature conservationists have raised alarm over irreversible ecological damage to the Králický Sněžník nature reserve, attributing the crisis to an influx of tourists drawn by a newly-constructed lookout tower on the Polish side of the mountains.

The replica of a 19th-century tower, funded through the Interreg VA Czech Republic - Poland cross-border program at a cost of approximately 77 million crowns, has led to a large increase in visitors at the reserve. Despite protests and calls for intervention, the tower's construction proceeded, prompting concerns about the future of the rare natural sanctuary.

Sports Czech kayaker Prskavec wins silver at World Championships

Jiří Prskavec, a prominent water slalom athlete, clinched his third silver medal at the World Kayak Championships. Prskavec fell short of home favorite Joseph Clarke in London, trailing by 1.94 seconds. Moroccan Mathis Súdí emerged as an unexpected third-place finisher.

Prskavec, 30, secured a spot in the upcoming Paris Olympics, aiming to defend his gold medal from Tokyo. His exceptional achievements follow a recent victory in the relay competition with Jakub Krejčí and Vít Přindiš. However, Prskavec's compatriots faced challenges in the individual semi-final events. Defending champion Vít Přindiš finished in the 24th position, while newcomer Jakub Krejčí took the 17th spot despite leading in the qualifying round.

Nature Trees planted across Czechia on Day of Forest Restoration

Trees were planted at eight locations across the Czech Republic yesterday during 2023 Forest Restoration Day. Organized by the state enterprise Lesy České republiky, responsible for managing nearly half of the country's forests, this event aims to teach participants about forest work, protection, and sustainable practices. Activities include tree planting and constructing fencing for new plantings.

Participants also learned about the vision of the "forests of the new generation," which aims to enhance biodiversity, water retention, air purification, and landscape cooling. The event started in 2019 during the bark beetle crisis and continues to draw thousands of participants interested in forest conservation and sustainability.

Business Czech carmaker Škoda enters Vietnamese market

Škoda Auto has entered the Vietnamese market with plans to sell hundreds of cars this year, aiming to sell 30,000-40,000 vehicles annually by 2030. To support this, they're expanding their dealer network from six to 20 stores by 2025. The first dealership in Hanoi will offer Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs initially, with local production planned from next year.

Škoda also intends to import models like Octavia, Superb, and the Enyaq family of electric cars. This move aligns with Škoda's strategy to strengthen its position in the ASEAN region and capitalize on growth in Vietnam's automotive market, already the fourth largest in Southeast Asia.

Nature Czech government to discuss amendment to Water Act

The government is set to review an amendment to the Water Act, responding to the Bečva poisoning incident three years ago, later this week. The proposed changes include comprehensive mapping of wastewater outlets, a clear delineation of responsibilities in case of accidents, and penalties increased up to fivefold.

The Ministry of the Environment aims to map the first 2,000 kilometers of rivers with the highest accident risk by 2025, extending the mapping process to all Czech Republic streams in three stages. The amendment also imposes new obligations on major polluters discharging hazardous substances, like cyanides. Additionally, it streamlines accident management and introduces higher penalties of up to 50 million crowns.

Crime Brno man who stabbed minor held without bail

A man accused of stabbing a schoolgirl in Brno will remain in custody, as ruled by a judge during a detention session. The thirty-seven-year-old suspect faces charges of attempted murder of a child under 15, carrying a potential sentence of 15 to 20 years or an exceptional penalty. The public prosecutor argued for custody due to the risk of flight and potential recurrence of violent crimes.

The suspect lacks a permanent address, family ties in Brno, or employment, making a run from authority more likely. The prosecutor cited concerns about his drug use and past criminal history, emphasizing the need to protect society. The violent incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Táborská street on Wednesday, with the victim now in stable condition in intensive care. Passersby and the police apprehended the assailant swiftly.

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