A spell of warm weather broke several temperature records across the Czech Republic on Christmas Eve. In Bohumín, in the northeast of the country, the temperature of 13.2 degrees Celsius was reported, beating a record from 1973. Unusually high temperatures were also recorded in Ostrava, the Šumava mountains, and other places.
The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, served the traditional Christmas lunch for the homeless and the poor. The lunch was served at the Archbishop Palace and the Capuchin monastery in Prague’s Hradčany district on Wednesday. The menu included beef stock with liver dumplings, beef in cream sauce and roast duck, the organizers said. Some 270 people arrived for the lunch whose tradition started 15 years ago.
Czech NGOs might receive certification that should help donors find the right recipients of their gifts, a Czech association of non-profit groups said. The certification should be based on the effectiveness with which the groups use their financial resources, and should help identify the most efficient among thousands of Czech NGOs, according to the association. The certification methods are being devised in cooperation with the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations; the new system could be launched in 2015.
Strong winds have caused problems in the Moravian-Silesian, Olomouc and Zlín regions in northeast Czech Republic, destroying roofs and breaking off tree branches, damaging power lines and blocking roads. Meteorologists said that wind gusts in some parts of the region had reached hurricane speeds. Fire fighters report dozens of incidents that have required their assistance on Tuesday and Wednesday. The authorities’ warning against strong winds is in place until Thursday noon.
The San Jose Shark’s forward Tomáš Hertl could miss the upcoming winter Olympic Games in Sochi due a keen injury. The 20-year-old Czech was injured in a last week’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. The first prognosis suggested he could be back on ice in a month’s time. But the Reuters news agency reported the player would have to undergo an operation which would almost certainly make him miss the games. The young Czech player had a great start into his first NHL season this year, scoring nine points in six games.
Czech courts will take years to arrive at a unified interpretation of the new Civil Code, the head of country’s union of judges, Tomáš Lichovník, said on Wednesday. The new code enters into force in January, and brings far-reaching changes to Czech civil law. The code will first be interpreted by district courts and courts of appeals but only the Czech Supreme Court will bring unified interpretation, Mr Lichovník said. Some judges are considering retiring due to the introduction of the new code, according to Mr Lichovník.
Approximately 44 percent of restaurants in the Czech Republic will be open on Christmas Eve – the day most Czechs have Christmas dinner – according to a poll carried out by the gastronomic website Lunchtime.cz. Some restaurants plan to close early in the afternoon, while others will only open I the evening. Another five percent of restaurants will be open on Christmas Day. The website’s direct Igor Třeslín said that during the last five years that they have been collecting data on opening hours over the holidays, the number of restaurants open has grown significantly every year. Three years ago the vast majority of eating establishments in the Czech Republic were closed on Christmas.
The police have confirmed that the body of a mountain climber found over the weekend in Slovakia’s High Tatra mountains is that of Jaroslav "Jerry" Žilinský from Hradec Králové, who has been missing since late October. The body was found late on Friday by members of the mountain rescue service. The Slovak police have not yet determined the cause of death. Friends and family of Mr. Žilinský lost contact with him in late October after receiving letters and SMS messages suggesting he was planning to take his own life.
The Russian Finance Ministry announced on Monday that it has repaid the last part of its debt to the Czech Republic, which goes back to the time of the Soviet Union. Russia and the Czech Republic agreed on the repayment of the debt in 1994, and later the Czech government sold a large portion of 3.6 billion dollar total to a private company. Jiří Rusnok’s government approved the repayment of the remaining debt, of around 6.5 million dollars, this summer. The Russian ministry said it has paid it back through industrial production and monetary means.
Meteorologists have issued warnings of strong winds for northern and eastern Moravia and Silesia, as well as black ice in the Vysočina region from Monday evening until Tuesday afternoon. The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Office expects winds of up to 75 kilometers an hour in parts of Moravia, and around 125 kilometers an hour in the Beskydy and Jeseníky mountains. Otherwise daytime temperatures, especially in the west of the country, are expected to be quite high for Christmas, going up to 8 degrees Celsius.
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