News in brief for Sept. 25: Top headlines for Czechia for Monday

Penicillin production could resume in Czechia, football fans march on Wenceslas Square, and more headlines for Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 25.09.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 25.09.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

environment Czechia happy with Euro 7 emission standard

Czech Minister of Transport Martin Kupka expressed satisfaction on social network X with the new Euro 7 emission standard that the EU ministers responsible for competitiveness approved today after lengthy negotiations. The emission limits for cars and trucks are less strict than originally proposed, and a longer time frame for introduction has been secured.

The Czech Republic, along with other like-minded countries, pushed for changes in the regulation, arguing that the initial proposal would have negative effects on accessibility, competitiveness, and the environment. The new standard will now need approval from the European Parliament, which is expected to vote in November.

emergency Accident temporarily closes Tábor highway

The D3 highway near Tábor was closed for nearly five hours today due to a collision between two trucks. Both drivers were injured, with one sustaining a serious head injury, according to regional police spokeswoman Lenka Krausová.

Emergency services, including paramedics and firefighters from South Bohemia, responded to the scene. The road was reopened before 3:30 p.m.

trains Czech Railways to increase fares by 9.5 percent

Czech Railways (České dráhy) will increase fares by 9.5 percent from Dec. 10, reflecting inflation and rising operational costs. Last year, fares increased by 15 percent. The price of the OneTicket universal rail ticket will also go up by 9.5 percent. Tickets based on a kilometer tariff, such as flexi basic tickets and regional train tickets, will see a nearly 10 percent increase.

Advance tickets can be purchased until midnight on Dec. 9, and the ten-day train ticket will be cheaper starting on Dec. 10. Czech Railways reported a gross profit of nearly 1 billion crowns in the first half of the year, with passenger transport increasing by 6 percent.

security Russia spreads propaganda in the Czech Republic

Czech Security Information Service Director Michal Koudelka revealed today that a long-term Russian agent in the Czech Republic spread Russian propaganda for a fee of several thousand euros.

The agent, at the request of a high-ranking Russian government body, promoted narratives supporting Russian foreign policy interests in relation to the war in Ukraine. Koudelka shared this information during a conference on disinformation in the Chamber of Deputies.

traffic Police catch driver speeding at 209 km/h

A foreigner driving at 209 kilometers per hour on the D1 near the town of Velká Bíteš in the Žďár nad Sázavou District in the Vysočina Region is awaiting administrative proceedings, according to the police. The driver was caught by patrol officers shortly after speeding past them.

He had to pay a fine of CZK 9,000 on the spot and now faces additional penalties, including a one-year driving ban. This incident is part of a trend of increased speeding on empty roads, particularly during the spring of 2020 when coronavirus measures were implemented.

culture Czech Egyptologists discover ancient tomb in Egypt

Czech Egyptologists rediscovered the tomb of Egyptian high official Ptahšepses in Saqqara, Egypt. The tomb was originally found 160 years ago but disappeared under the sand.

The burial chamber contained the complete mummy of the dignitary, who lived between the 25th and 24th centuries B.C. and died when he was at least 65 years old. The tomb is one of the biggest recent discoveries in the Czech expedition.

Tech Czech security firm Avast collected user data

Czech cybersecurity firm Avast was found to have collected data on their user's online activities, including website visits, online searches, purchases, and visits to adult websites. This data was then reportedly sold to advertising giants like Google, Yelp, Microsoft, and Pepsi. While Avast shut down its data processing subsidiary, Jumpshot, in 2020, investigations into the breach of user privacy have continued.

The Spanish Office for Personal Data Protection initiated the case, but the Czech counterpart, despite planning a record fine of €13.7 million, has delayed its decision. Avast is now facing a class-action lawsuit in the Netherlands over the data collection.

Sports Hundreds of Sparta fans march through Prague

Crowds of Sparta football fans gathered at Prague's Wenceslas Square on Sunday for the annual march to the rival Slavia stadium in Vršovice for the derby match scheduled at 6 p.m. in Eden stadium. Sparta supporters marched to the beat of a drum while singing anti-Slavia chants. Police and anti-conflict team members accompanied the procession.

Prague police deployed hundreds of officers, including public order, traffic, and foreign police, along with criminal investigators and law enforcement officers to ensure match safety. Fans were urged to avoid driving to the stadium due to limited parking and encouraged to use public transportation or temporary lots on the city's outskirts.

healthcare Penicillin production could resume in Czechia

Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Valek has discussed the potential resumption of penicillin production in the country, addressing a shortage of antibiotics, including penicillin, that has persisted for several months. The State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL), led by the new director Katerina Podrazilova, has been given six months to improve medicine availability and communication with healthcare professionals.

Minister Valek expressed hope that penicillin production could restart within a year or a year and a half, but details are pending negotiations. Ensuring local production and facilitating imports from other European countries are seen as potential solutions to medicine shortages.

prague Czech capital puts new buses into service

The Prague Transport Company (DPP) has finally put nine new Turkish-made buses into service, more than four months behind schedule due to various issues, including non-functioning doors. DPP had to file complaints with the manufacturer, but after modifications, the buses are now operational. In total, 41 of these articulated buses will eventually run in Prague.

DPP is working on replacing 100 buses annually, focusing on lower emissions to comply with regulations. They have also purchased electric buses, which initially had some problems, a common occurrence with new vehicle series. Additionally, DPP plans to introduce trolleybus lines to further meet emission standards.

fitness European Week of Sport kicks off this week

The European Week of Sport is underway, aiming to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage citizens to engage in physical activities. Prague residents can participate in various free exercise options during this event, which runs from September 23 to September 30. Over 80 fitness clubs and sports facilities across the Czech Republic are offering free entry, sample classes, and challenges.

Activities include yoga, pilates, circuit training, and dance classes. The initiative, organized by the European Commission since 2015, seeks to motivate people of all ages and fitness levels to embrace physical activity and combat sedentary lifestyles and obesity in Europe.

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