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01-09-2017

Ambassador to Amman: Czech humanitarian aid has helped Syrian refugees

Czech humanitarian aid has played a key role in helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, lessening the motivation for them to continue on to Europe, the Czech ambassador to Jordan Petr Hladík has said. In an interview for the Czech News Agency, he added that Czech aid had also led to better conditions for Czech firms exporting to Jordan; in 2016, Czech exports to the country rose by 62 percent year-on-year.

In total, Czech humanitarian aid to Jordan last year amounted to 75 million crowns – 40 million of which of which went to the second-largest refugee camp in Jordan, Azrak. The funds went towards improving living quarters and capacity at the camp.

Renovation of Czech embassy building in Berlin expected to cost half a billion crowns

The planned renovation of the Czech embassy building at Wilhelmstrasse 44 in Berlin, Germany, is expected to cost around half a billion crowns (the equivalent of around 19 million euros) the Czech News Agency reports. The planned renovation, discussed for several years, would be completed by 2023.

The government is due to take a decision on the renovation in September. The building, which housed some 500 employees during the Cold War, was built in the 1970s. It was designed by the architects Věra and Vladimír Machonin and is an example of Brutalist architecture. The Machonins also designed the famous Kotva and DBK department stores in Prague.

Number of road deaths over summer lowest since 1990

The number of road fatalities over the course of the summer holidays dropped to its lowest since 1990, according to preliminary statistics released by the police on Thursday. One hundred and two people died in traffic accidents on Czech roads over the course June and July, which is 18 fewer than in the same period last year. The overall number of road fatalities since the beginning of the year is 331, a drop by 12 compared to the same period in 2016.

Teachers’ unions threaten strike alert

The teachers’ unions have said they will call a strike alert if the coaltion government council does not agree to meet their demands for higher pay next Monday; the unions are seeking pay rise of 15 percent for educators and 10 percent for non-teaching staff. The unions made the announcement during a demonstration at Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel on Friday, ahead of the new school year.

The Czech Rectors Conference is considering an extraordinary meeting on September 6, to consider possible steps such as delaying the start of the semester at universities if higher wages are not introduced.

Budějovický Budvar to prepare gift brew for Pope Francis

Czech brewery Budějovický Budvar is preparing a special batch of its beer for Pope Francis, which the head of the Roman Catholic Church will receive as a gift during a visit by a Czech delegation during the period of Advent this year. The delegation is scheduled to meet with the Pontiff on December 13. The special brew, which will fill 122 bottles, will be blessed in September and gifted to the Pope by Czech Bishop Vlastimil Krocil during the December audience.

Plíšková reaches third round of US Open

World number one Karolína Plíšková advanced to the third round of the US Open on Thursday, after defeating local favorite Nicole Gibbs 2-6 6-3 6-4. Another three Czech players, Tomáš Berdych, Barbora Strýcová and Denisa Allertová, were knocked out of the second round.

Weather

Rainy conditions are expected on Saturday; temperatures should reach highs of around 16 degrees Celsius.

01-09-2017