Czech morning headlines: SpaceX rocket carries Czech satellite into orbit

Plus: Children’s film festival starts in Zlín, Krejčíková tests positive for Covid at Paris Open, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.05.2022 16:45:00 (updated on 27.05.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

May 26, 2022

Foreign affairs Czech Republic will back Moldova's EU bid

The Czech Republic supports Moldova's effort to join the EU and this will be one of the priorities of the forthcoming Czech EU presidency, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said after meeting his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Popescu today. Moldova expects the European Commission to respond to its EU request in the first half of June, Popescu said. Popescu said his country had answered the set of about 2,000 questions from the EC. Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine asked for EU entry on March 3, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The two countries also signed a memorandum on cooperation of diplomatic academies today.

Travel Six new airlines flying to Prague

Six new airlines will be serving Prague’s Václav Havel Airport this year and several others are returning. The new carriers are Norway’s Flyr, Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways, Saudi Arabi’s Flynas, Iceland’s Fly Play, Air Montenegro, and Kazakhstan's FlyArystan. Coming back are Azerbaijan Airlines, Turkish-German carrier SunExpress, and U.S.-based Delta, which left in 2019, and Luxembourg’s Luxair, which stopped coming here in 2020. The Czech Republic is experiencing the third-slowest recovery in air travel in Europe for the July to September period, with ticket sales at 63.4 percent of 2019 levels. Only Belarus and Slovenia are worse off.

Science SpaceX rocket takes Czech satellite to orbit

A Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX company launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida carrying dozens of satellites including the Czech Planetum-1 to orbit. Planetum-1 will be the 11th satellite launched into space in the history of the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia. It is a CubeSat, a miniature satellite made up of cubic modules of 100 x 100 x 100 millimeters. It is mainly for the education of primary and secondary school students. Planetum-1 includes cameras, sensors, and radios as well as a small glass figure of the Czech puppet Hurvínek. The production of the satellite and its carrying to the orbit cost about CZK 3.5 million, including educational activities and the building of the control center. You can see a video of the launch here.  

Public transit Prague metro usage lower than before pandemic

The Prague metro is currently used by about 1 million passengers a day, which is 150,000 fewer than before the Covid epidemic outbreak two years ago, and the surface public transport systems see a 9-percent decline in the number of passengers, according to transit organizer Ropid. This year, the number of metro passengers has been steadily rising compared to its lows during Covid shutdowns, but still it has not reached the pre-pandemic level. The difference is the highest, up to 20 percent in the morning rush hours, and it is down by about 10 percent and up to 15 percent around the noon and in the afternoon, respectively.

Culture Children’s film festival starts in Zlín

The 62nd International Film Festival for Children and Youth will start today in Zlín. It will run until June 1, which is International Children's Day, and will offer 276 films from 49 countries. The festival is the largest and oldest of its kind in the world. The festival will also commemorate personalities associated with Zlín, which is celebrating 700 years this year. In addition to film screenings, the festival will offer a number of cultural, sporting and social events. The festival includes, for example, a half marathon, which this year will also commemorate Emil Zátopek's late birthday.

Sports Krejčíková tests positive for Covid at Paris Open

Tennis players Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková will not defend their doubles title at the French Open, news server České noviny reported. The Czech players have had to withdraw from the competition because Krejčíková had a positive Covid test. Siniaková will lose her world number one spot in doubles. Krejčíková is the second Czech tennis player to have a positive Covid test in Paris, following Marie Bouzková who tested positive on Tuesday and resigned from singles and doubles.

Weather Cold wind and rain expected this weekend

It will cool slightly in the Czech Republic over the weekend, with temperatures not usually exceeding 18 degrees Celsius. At night, ground frosts may also appear on Sunday. Wind can blow in gusts of up to about 55 kilometers per hour on Friday and Saturday. There may be showers mainly in the mountains, and they may be mixed with snow, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) said in its forecast. Today will be sunny with temperatures in most places around 20 degrees Celsius. On Friday, a cold front will cross the Czech Republic to the south, so the sky will become overcast in the afternoon and it will rain in most places, less in the south of the territory.

The beginning of next week should be mostly cloudy, sometimes with showers. Temperatures will gradually rise, from the middle of the week they can reach up to 27 degrees Celsius.

May 25, 2022

UKRAINE Czech govt. extends state of emergency due to refugee situation

The state of emergency declared in connection with the refugee wave from Ukraine will last until June 30, the government confirmed today. The emergency will last a total of 119 days. The state of emergency due to the migration wave has been in force in the Czech Republic since March 4. During the three months of the Russian invasion, 354,631 people received temporary protection visas. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, 259,415 people have reported to the foreign police, with 2,049 more on Tuesday.

OUTBREAK Second suspected monkeypox case reported in Czechia

The National Public Health Institute (SZU) has preliminarily confirmed the second case of monkeypox in Czechia, in a person who was in close contact with the first patient detected on Monday, SZU said today. The public health authority spokesman said symptoms of smallpox have appeared in three people, whose samples are being assessed by laboratories. The five people who shared holiday accommodation with the man have been ordered to quarantine. Quarantine lasts 21 days from the last risk contact.

CULTURE Popular summer music festival almost sold out

Despite the fact that admission prices are up summer festival Rock for People in Hradec Králové is almost sold out, organizers report. This year, the basic ticket for the whole four days at Rock for People is CZK 3090. "Four-day tickets to the festival have disappeared from the sale and the only way to participate is now to buy the last one-day tickets," said festival director Michal Thomes.

American bands Green Day and Fall Out Boy, Royal Blood, Biffy Clyro, Weezer, Enter Shikari, and Sum 41 will play at the Hradec Králové airport. Festivals survived the previous two years of restrictions due to subsidies and the fact that many fans opted not to refund tickets from the previous two years. Other festivals seeing a price increase include HradyCZ and Benátská! in Liberec.

DIPLOMACY British Foreign Secretary to visit Czechia for Anthropoid anniversary

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will visit the Czech Republic on Friday to attend commemorative events marking the 80th anniversary of the Anthropoid Operation killing high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich and meet her Czech counterpart Jan Lipavský, the Foreign Ministry said today. Among other guests to arrive in Prague for the anniversary is the Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová.

On Friday morning, the Czech and British diplomacy heads will attend a meeting at a memorial to the Anthropoid Operation in the Liben neighborhood in Prague 8. A WWII Hurricane fighter aircraft will fly over the road turn where the Heydrich assassination occurred.

politics Government, trade unions fail to agree on pay rise

The Czech government and trade unions have not agreed on adjustments of salaries in the public sector due to a high inflation today and will meet again for further talks about the issue on June 7, umbrella union leader Josef Středula said after the meeting. The union leaders demand that the salaries be leveled up based on the inflation to preserve their purchasing power.

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