The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Sept. 12, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.09.2022 17:07:00 (updated on 22.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

#1 Mock 'presidential office' touring Czechia

The civic group Million Moments built "a prison office" for former PM Andrej Babiš in front of the Prague Metropolitan Court building where his trial over a suspected subsidy fraud has started. The office is a wheeled cage with a bed, a table, a chair, and a toilet. It is decorated with photos of Babiš and some members of his cabinet. The office will appear in other Czech towns and the main offices of his company Agrofert.

#2 Man arrested for slashing tires on cars with Ukrainian plates

The Czech Police arrested a 50-year-old man who used a drill to destroy 35 tires of parked cars in Prague 8 and 9 that had Ukrainian license plates. The damage is estimated at over CZK 100,000. The police are prosecuting a man for the crime of damaging someone else's property because of his nationality. The suspect confessed and said he used a cordless drill. He faces up to three years in prison. 

#3 Wish you weren't here?

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters will bring his "first farewell tour" to Prague's O2 Arena on May 24, 2023. So far, Prague is the last city announced on the tour, which has the official title This Is Not a Drill, has seen Waters revisit hits from "The Wall," "Wish You Were Here," and "The Dark Side of the Moon" as well as solo material. Waters was last in Prague in 2018 on his Us+Them tour. The Pink Floyd co-founder recently came under fire for his open letter to Olena Zelenska "asking Ukraine to stop fighting back against Russia." In neighboring Poland, a politician has launched a campaign to prevent Waters from performing.

#4 Police uncover big methamphetamine lab in west Bohemia

The Czech police drug squad has uncovered a methamphetamine laboratory near Cheb, involving an organized criminal group of dealers. The lab produced hundreds of kilograms of the drug, the National Anti-Drug Center (NPC) said. Four people have been arrested in connection with the case and they face up to 12 years in prison. Further arrests are expected. The methamphetamine was largely meant for German dealers.

#5 NASA picks Czech photo of rare lightning as its pic of the day

The U.S. space agency NASA published a photo of rare "red sprite" lighting taken in August by Czech photographer Daniel Ščerba during an August storm in Jeseník in North Bohemia. The picture was used in NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) series. On Facebook, Ščerba said he appreciated the recognition and that his hobby of night photography is enjoyable but very time-consuming. Red sprites are electric discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds. They were first confirmed to exist just 35 years ago.

#6 As plum harvest begins Czech 'slivo' gets a price kick

Czech fruit growers had a bountiful harvest, and distilleries in Vysočina and Moravia are already converting plums into slivovice. Most distillers heat the vats with gas, and as a result, a liter of slivovice from some brands will be about 10 percent more expensive. A few gardening cooperatives that make small amounts of liquor use wood to heat stills and are not planning to increase prices. Distillers also make liquor from cherries, apples, and pears. This year, the amount of pears being distilled in particular has increased compared to last year.

#7 PM Fiala ready to attend Queen's funeral

If the Czech Republic is asked to send a representative, Prime Minister Petr Fiala will attend the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II, due to the poor state of President Miloš Zeman's health. The state funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II will take place in the Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 19. Invitations will be sent this week. The Queen visited Prague and Brno in March 1996 at the invitation of then-president Václav Havel. It was her only visit, as she had a policy of visiting cities only once.

#8 Costume drama 'Il Boemo' to be submitted for Oscar consideration

Director Petr Václav's costume drama "Il Boemo," which tells the life story of Czech composer Josef Mysliveček, is the Czech Film and Television Academy's submission to the Oscars for consideration for Best International Feature Film (formerly called Best Foreign Film). "Il Boemo" will have its world premiere in the main competition of the San Sebastian Film Festival, which starts on Friday. The film will be released in Czech cinemas on Oct. 20. Out of all the films sent for consideration, an initial shortlist of 10 to 15 films will be made, and then five will be nominated.

Il Boemo / photo
Il Boemo.

#9 Czech job sectors struggle to fill roles despite rising wages and benefits

Employers across industries are raising wages and benefits, but many sectors are having difficulty filling jobs, according to a survey by the recruitment agency Grafton Recruitment. "The labor market in the Czech Republic is facing uncertainties this year, caused by both the unresolved pandemic crisis and the conflict triggered by Russia against Ukraine. While the labor market has learned to live with the pandemic in many areas, the state of war has not allowed it to develop as originally anticipated," Martin Malo, director of Grafton Recruitment and Gi Group, said.

#10 Czech population increased by 9,000

The population of the Czech Republic increased by 9,000 to 10.526 million in the first half of this year shows new data from Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). More people died than were born, indicating that the increase was ensured entirely by foreign migration. However, that figure does not include the Ukrainian citizens granted temporary protection from Czechia following the Russian invasion. According to the data from the Foreigners Information System, there were approximately 373,000 refugees at the end of the first half of the year. 

#11 Czechia's internet connection bad, internet security good

In an index of the best countries to live in terms of the digital environment, the Czech Republic has moved up three places this year, landing at 25th on the leader board. The Digital Quality of Life Index was released today by the Surfshark. The global study also concluded that Czechia is among the top five countries in the world in terms of cyber security. The fourth edition looked at conditions in 117 countries which together represent 92 percent of the places the population inhabits. Out of five separate categories, the Czech Republic fares worst in the quality of internet connection, where it ranks 48th in the world. On the other hand, it performs best in Internet security, where it ranks fourth worldwide.

#12 Czech People in Need NGO donates 2.45 million to flooded Pakistan

The Czech humanitarian organization People in Need has sent CZK 2.45 million to the victims of disastrous floods in Pakistan, its coordinator Milan Votypka told journalists today. Through its partnership organization, the Italian CESVI, it will buy hygiene packages and solar panels with the option to recharge cell phones, Votypka said.

There will also be aid in the form of provision of makeshift shelter to those whom the floods have forced out of their homes, he added. Since June, Pakistan has been facing devastating monsoon rains. The death toll is over 1,300. The flood hit one-third of the country and afflicted the lives of 33 million people. The material damage is put at 30 billion dollars.

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