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Czech Republic ready to help Indonesia in wake of tsunami

The Czech Foreign Ministry is ascertaining how best to help Indonesia in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the island of Sulawesi on Friday.

EU member states are currently coordinating their aid to the region with the help of local authorities.

The options are financial aid, humanitarian aid or sending rescue teams. A meeting of diplomats from EU member states is taking place on Monday.

According to the Czech Foreign Ministry a Czech national who was hit by the tsunami is reported to be uninjured and has been flown to Makasar. All other Czech tourists in the region are reported to be safe.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday followed by a massive tsunami, which killed more than 830 people. Hundreds are reported injured and tens of thousands have been displaced.

Czech Republic to open embassy in Mali

The Czech Republic will open an embassy in Mali as of January 1, 2019, the Czech Foreign Ministry announced on its web page citing a decision by the Czech government.

The embassy in Bamako should play a key role in strengthening cooperation in the field of security, increasing the Czech presence in military and civilian missions aimed at stabilizing the Sahel region and contribute to the development of mutual economic cooperation.

Mortgages become less accessible

Stricter rules for the provision of mortgage loans have taken effect as of October 1st.

Under the change introduced by the Czech National Bank, mortgage holders should not be allowed to spend more than 45 percent of their monthly income on repayments.

Likewise the overall loan should not exceed 9 times the holder’s annual income.

The new conditions will make mortgages unaccessible to twenty percent of households which met the previous conditions.

The central bank’s restrictions are not legally binding but are generally followed by banks.

Břeclav hospital confirms second case of West Nile fever

A hospital in the town of Břeclav, south-east of Brno, has confirmed a second incidence of West Nile fever, a viral disease typically spread by mosquitoes.

A 72-year-old woman died of West Nile fever in the hospital several weeks ago.

The male patient with the same diagnosis is currently in isolation and is reported to be stabilized. It is not clear where he contracted the disease.

CTK news agency celebrates its centenary

A panel photo exhibition capturing milestone moments in the country’s history opened on Prikopy Street in the centre of Prague on Monday, marking not just the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, but the centenary of the CTK news agency itself.

The photos were taken by the agency’s photographers over the years and selected from an archive of over seven million photographs.

The exhibition has been travelling around the country since the spring in celebration of the anniversary and has come to Prague for the culmination of the centenary celebrations in October.

Exhibition on totatitarian years opens at Letná

An audio-visual exhibition documenting the years of totalitarian rule in Czechoslovakia has opened on Prague’s Letná, at the site of the one-time monument to the Soviet dictator Stalin.

The exhibition titled Memory of the Nation, offers eye-witness accounts of the Nazi and Communist periods and video-mappings that will take people back to selected crisis periods in the country’s history, creating the impression that they are on a train heading for a concentration camp or in the cockpit of a Spitfire plane in the Battle of Britain.

The exhibition grounds are surrounded by a five-metre tall wall, symbolizing the communist oppression and the division of Europe.

Weather forecast

Tuesday should bring overcast skies around most of the country with day temperatures between 9 and 13 degrees Celsius.