Tourism Dlouhé Stráně hydroelectric power station to temporarily close to visitors

The Dlouhé Stráně hydropower plant in the Czech Republic, a popular tourist destination, will be temporarily closed to visitors from Monday. The ČEZ group, which operates the facility, announced the measure amid concerns over the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic.

Operating since 1996, the mountain-top reservoir is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Olomouc region of the Czech Republic and was visited by 88,162 people in 2019. Until further notice, it will not will be able to visit the site only via free virtual tours offered to schools and other interested parties which can be booked online.

Tennis Kateřina Siniaková to start 2022 with doubles title in Melbourne

Kateřina Siniaková, world number one in the WTA doubles rankings, started 2022 on a high note by winning the Summer Set 2 doubles title in Melbourne this morning. Siniaková and her American teammate Bernarda Pera beat Czech Tereza Martincová and Egyptian Mayar Sherif 5-2, 6-7, 10-5 in a great tie-break.

Hockey Czech forward Tomáš Hertl scores Philadelphia hat trick

Czech forward Tomáš Hertl notched his fifth career hat trick last night in Philadelphia, helping his San Jose Sharks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime. Led 0-2 in the third period, Hertl scored two late goals to equalize in regulation before closing the door on the winner of the game in overtime.

The Prague native has been the Czech NHL’s top scorer so far this season; his 20 goals also put him in the top ten in the overall standings. Elsewhere in the NHL, Czech right-winger David Pastrňák scored two goals to help the Boston Bruins dominate the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

14:20 Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartoš re-elected leader of the Czech Pirate Party

Deputy Prime Minister for Digitization and Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš was re-elected as head of the Czech Pirate Party at the national party forum today. Bartoš received 662 of the 948 votes cast in the second ballot this afternoon to defend his position at the head of the Pirate Party. He will lead the party for another two years.

Bartoš beat Senator Lukas Wagenknecht, who obtained 265 votes. The support of more than fifty percent of the votes cast was needed to enter the second round of voting today. Ostrava city councilor David Witosz (355 votes) and former vice-president Jana Michailidu (285 votes) did not get the required number of votes in the first round.

Money Czech crown at its highest for 10 years against the euro

The Czech currency continues to strengthen after a holiday wave, and the krona is now the strongest it has been against the euro in the past decade. On Friday, the Czech currency hit 24.44 kroner to the euro and 21.54 kroner to the dollar. According to analysts, the lingering effects of an interest rate hike by the Czech National Bank late last year, and a further expected increase, have resulted in a strengthening of the koruna.

The krona is now the strongest it has been against the euro since mid-2011, when it reached 24.35 kroons per euro. Since the creation of the euro, the Czech crown was the strongest in 2008 at just under 24 kroner to the euro.

Weather The mountain roads remain passable despite the snowfall

Despite moderate snowfall in many parts of the Czech Republic overnight, most of the country’s roads remain passable this morning, although caution is advised when traveling in mountainous areas, including the resorts of Krkonoše and Orlické in the north of the country. In South Bohemia, road workers plowed overnight to clear snowfall on the roads of České Budějovice, Tábor, Jindřichův Hradec and Český Krumlov.

According to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Saturday will be mostly cloudy in the Czech Republic with occasional snowfall in parts of the western half of the country. The highest peaks across the Czech Republic this weekend will be between minus two and plus two degrees Celsius.

Sports Tennis player Renata Voráčová has her visa withdrawn in Australia

Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová has been quarantined in Australia, joining Serbian star Novak Djokovic at a hotel that made international headlines this week. Days before the Australian Open, Australian authorities reassessed Voráčová’s exemption from Covid vaccination for the event, canceled her visa and placed her in hotel quarantine.

Voráčová, 81st in the WTA doubles table, played in a tournament in Melbourne earlier this week but has decided to return home and not compete in the Australian Open which begins on January 17. “We can confirm that Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová is in the same detention center as Djokovic, as well as several other players. Our Consulate General in Sydney is dealing with the situation and is in contact with the Czech player,” said the Czech Foreign Ministry told Echo24.

UKRAINE Czechs fight with pro-Russian separatists accused of terrorism

The Prague attorney general’s office has filed terrorism charges against two Czech nationals who fought alongside pro-Russian separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the office said on its website on Friday. The two Czechs have been charged with terrorist acts committed within an organized group, for which they could face an exceptional sentence.

Prosecutors say the two fought as part of separatist groups between 2015 and 2020. Criminal charges were filed against them in Prague City Court on December 15 and 30. Severe sentences were imposed on other Czechs who fought with pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. On Tuesday, the Prague City Court sentenced Martin Sukup to 21 years in prison for participating in a terrorist group. Last year Jiří Urbánek and Martin Kantor were sentenced to 20 years in separate cases, and Alexej Fadejev had his previous sentence increased to 21 years by an appeals court.

Defense Czech government pledges to increase defense spending by 2025

The new government of the Czech Republic has pledged to spend 2% of its GDP on defense by 2025, according to the new political statement released by the government on Friday. He also plans to create a defense fund to finance the Czech army.

“In view of the worsening security environment, it is necessary to invest in the defense capacity of our country,” the government said in its policy statement. The government intends to introduce amendments, including an amendment to the law on public procurement and constitutional amendments that will allow the government to deploy troops abroad more quickly.