The head of the Czech Roman Catholic church, Archbishop Dominik Duka, hosted Christmas lunch for homeless people. The lunch, organized for the 14th time by the Sant'Egidio community, was held in the Archbishop Palace and the Capuchin Monastery in Hradčany. Some 270 guests arrived to enjoy the traditional liver dumpling soup, beef in cream sauce, roast duck with cabbage and dumplings, and Christmas cookies. Every guest also received a small gift.
More than 4,000 fans attended a Christmas Eve hockey game between the KHL’s Lev Praha and Bars Kazan in the capital on Monday. The hosts lost the match 2:0 after conceding both goals within one minute in the first period. The atmosphere was described as quiet, with many Russian fans attending the game.
Firefighters extinguished 16 house fires across the country on Christmas Eve which is the lowest number in 17 years, a spokeswoman for the country’s fire brigade said on Tuesday. Two people suffered minor injuries when a Christmas tree caught fire in a village outside Prague. However, a fire which broke out at a farm near Havlíčkův Brod in central Czech Republic on Tuesday morning killed 1,400 pigs.
Warm weather has raised water levels in rivers in the south, west, and central Bohemia. On Tuesday morning, the Berounka reached the second degree of flood risk at Zbečno, some 40 kilometres west of Prague while lower levels of flood hazard have been declared at several other places. In the eastern Czech Republic, freezing rain, snow and ice-covered roads complicate traffic. The authorities have appealed to drivers to exercise extra caution.
The police in Prague shot a man in the leg after he threatened them with an air gun, the news agency ČTK reported on Tuesday quoting a police press release. The incident occurred in a bar in the Prague 8 district; a 34-year-old man was being aggressive and when the security took him out, he pulled out his air gun and shot at them before walking away. The police intercepted him and told him to drop the weapon but he pointed it at them; one of the officers then shot him in the leg, inflicting a minor injury. The man was treated by emergency service and was not taken to hospital. If convicted of disturbing the peace, he could land a 2-year prison sentence.
The police are investigating the deaths of three people whose bodies were found on Thursday in Jílové, a village near Děčín in the north of the country. The police have imposed information embargo on the case; however, the news website denik.cz reported an older man allegedly shot dead his wife and son before committing suicide. A police spokesman said more details could be released later on Tuesday.
Icy roads and continuing snow and sleet have been complication the situation on Czech roads since Saturday afternoon. On the pre-Christmas Sunday, otherwise known as the Golden Sunday, lorries and cars are standing in traffic on highways in Central and northern Bohemia and the Vysocina region. A number of cars have gone off the roads in a number of places. Authorities are warning drivers of more ice developing on the roads, and worsening visibility resulting from fog. In Brno, trains have been delayed because of snow clean-up on the tracks.
A number of MPs in the lower house of parliament want to overturn an ordinance issued earlier by the Education Ministry that limits eligibility for social benefits for students. According to the ordinance, only high school students are eligible for social benefits, which studying, for example, at a conservatory is no longer recognized. MPs led by the Social Democrat Vlasta Bohdalová, want to introduce an amendment that would reverse the ordinance, and return social benefits eligibility for students to a wider student population.
Rain has disrupted skiing in most centers in western and northern Bohemia on Saturday afternoon. Although most slopes still have around 50 centimeters of man-made snow, the wet conditions have made it impossible for skiers to continue skiing. Operators of ski centers are nevertheless expecting visitors to continue skiing during the Christmas holidays, as rain subsides.
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