Czech duo wins women's doubles title at Australian Open

Plus: Czech tourist cottage destroyed by flames, Prague Castle under investigation for shredding documents, and more headlines for Saturday, January 29. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 29.01.2022 12:08:00 (updated on 30.01.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

17:13 Train from Budapest to Prague halted due to high winds

The operation of a railway line between the Czech Republic and Slovakia near Břeclav was interrupted by a fallen wire due to high winds this afternoon. None of the 70 passengers aboard the train was injured, Jaroslav Mikoška, a spokesperson for the local fire corps, told media.

Evacuation of the EC 286 train, on its way from Budapest to Prague, was not possible due to impassable terrain; passengers had to wait on board without electricity or heating for more than four hours. The train was towed with all passengers aboard to the Břeclav railway station at around 3:30 p.m.

Tennis Krejčíková and Siniaková win fourth Grand Slam doubles title

Czech tennis stars Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková won their fourth doubles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne this morning, defeating Anna Danilina and Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4 in a hard-fought match. The top-seeded Czech pair lost an opening set tiebreak but battled back through the two-hour, 42-minute match to ultimately claim victory.

With the win, Siniaková and Krejčíková add an Australian Open title to two French Open victories, a Wimbledon win, and a gold medal at last year's Olympic Games in Tokyo. Krejčíková won both singles and doubles titles at last year's French Open, but hopes to repeat in Melbourne were dashed in quarterfinal action by American Madison Keys. Keys would later lose to Ashleigh Barty, who became the first Australian to win the Open in 44 years.

Weather High winds leave over 30,000 Czech homes without power

More than 30,000 households in the Czech Republic were without power this morning due to high winds throughout much of the country overnight. Winds measuring speeds of 185 kilometers per hour were recorded at Sněžka mountain, the country's tallest peak, and speeds of 145 kilometers per hour were recorded at multiple locations in the Krkonoše Mountains.

In addition to electrical outages, winds have also resulted in traffic complications throughout the country, with fallen trees and other debris reported on motorways. The high winds are expected to continue throughout the day on Sunday, with a high-level warning issued by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute in effect through the end of the day. High winds are also forecast in the country through Wednesday.

Money Czech National Bank expected to raise interest rates again

As part of continued efforts to combat inflation expectations, the Czech National Bank is expected to once again raise interest rates at its meeting on Thursday, February 3. The latest forecast from economists, to be presented on Thursday, predict inflation in the Czech Republic to rise by eight percent in 2022, up from estimates of 5.6 percent predicted in November of last year.

On Thursday, the Czech National Bank is expected to increase its base interest rate by .75 points, up to 4.5 percent. It will be the third consecutive rise of more than .25 percent, following a rise of one percent in December. The bank's base rate now stands at 3.75 percent, the highest since 2008; should the expected hike take place this week, Czech interest rates will reach a 20-year high.

Theater Brno theater stages world premiere of musical Snow White and Me

Brno's City Theater hosted the world premiere of the new musical Snow White and Me on Saturday evening, during which characters from Snow White and other fairy tales were brought to life through new original music. The sold-out premiere in Brno was attended by the international team behind the new musical, which has been in production since 2017.

London-based composer Pippa Cleary wrote the songs for the new musical, from a story by Ronald Kruschak and Philip LaZebnik, who also wrote the Disney musicals Mulan and Pocahontas. The Czech-language adaptation presented in Brno last night was written by Klára Latzková and directed by Stanislav Slovák.

Fire Blaze in Mladá Boleslav results in damages of one billion crowns

More than 100 firefighters in the Central Bohemia region have been working through the night to extinguish a fire at a factory in Mladá Boleslav that manufactures and stores car parts. The fire was first reported at 8:30 p.m., and reached a peak at 3:00 a.m. following complications from high winds and a collapsed roof.

Initial estimates place damages in the range of one billion crowns, making the fire one of the most destructive in the history of the country. "That estimate corresponds to what the owner of the company said, however, the amount of damages will be further specified," Jan Sýkora, a spokesperson for the firefighters, told local media. In 2015, a fire at a Unipetrol complex resulted in four billion crowns in damages.

January 29, 2022

Weather Strong wind warning issued across Czech Republic

A warning for high winds reaching hurricane-level speeds has been issued across the Czech Republic this weekend by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. Areas in the north, east, and central portions of the country, including Prague, carry the highest degree of danger; in mountain areas in the north of the country, winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour are being forecast.

While a warning indicating a low degree of danger is in effect for Saturday, that level is elevated to high for many areas of the country on Sunday. Temperatures this weekend will max out at around zero degrees Celsius in the mountains, and five degree Celsius in areas of lower elevation.

Fire Popular Czech tourist cottage destroyed by flames

Chata Tesák, a popular restaurant and tourist cottage in the Zlín region of the Czech Republic that dates back to 1938, was completely destroyed by a large fire in the early hours of Saturday morning. A total of around 80 firefighters helped extinguish the blaze, but the wooden structure ultimately collapsed under the flames. Two people were in the building when the fire broke out, but managed to evacuate unharmed.

The cottage is located between the Tesák nature preserve and the Troják resort area, and has long been a popular stop for hikers and tourists in the area. "There are 14 units and about 80 firefighters on the spot," a spokesperson for the Zlín fire brigade told media this morning. "Firefighters and police investigators are carrying out the necessary investigations."

Police Czech Police investigating Prague Castle for shredding documents

Czech Police are investigating the presidential office at Prague Castle for allegedly shredding classified documents regarding the involvement of Russian secret services in 2014 explosions at an ammunition depot in Vrbětice. Czech Radio and, both citing an unnamed source, broke the story this morning.

According to the source, police detectives learned about the alleged shredding during an investigation of whether officials without proper security clearance had access to the classified documents. Czech police have yet to issue an official statement regarding the matter, and Prague Castle spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček refused to comment on social media this morning.

Economy Czech economy grew by about 2.9% in 2021, according to early analysis

The Czech economy grew by about 2.9 percent last year, according to estimates from expert analysts contacted by CTK, who pinpointed growth at between 2.6 and 3.5 percent. The Czech Statistical Office will publish the first official estimates of economic development in the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2021 on Tuesday, February 1.

The economic growth in 2021 follows a record decline in 2020. The Czech Republic's economy fell by 5.8 percent in 2020 due to impacts from the pandemic, the sharpest decline in the country's history. It has been slowly rising over the past year, however, with analysts predicting growth of around 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Politics Commander of Ukrainian Army to visit Prague next week

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, will visit the Czech Republic next Tuesday to meet Czech Chief-of Staff Aleš Opata and deputy defense ministers Daniel Blažkovec and Jan Havránek. Petr Sykora, a spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Defence, informed local media about the upcoming visit on Friday.

British Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace, meanwhile, has cancelled his planned trip to the Czech Republic next week. Wallace was expected to arrive in the Czech Republic on Monday for talks with Czech Minister of Defence Jana Černochová, but will ultimately not come due to a busy schedule, according to information provided by the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Prague.

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