A British court has sent a Czech national to six years in jail for a brutal attack on a two-year-old. The man, living in Cardiff with his girlfriend, attacked her two-year-old daughter after she refused to marry him. He allegedly grabbed the child, who was asleep in her cot, and twice smashed her against the wall. A doctor who treated the child said it was the worst case of abuse she had ever encountered and it was a miracle the child had survived the attack.
The body of a 73-year-old woman who went missing in the floods may have been found in neighbouring Poland. Polish rescue teams say the victim is not a local and have asked the missing woman’s relatives to identify the body. If confirmed the woman from Heřmanice will be the fourth Czech victim of the floods. A fifth person – an elderly man – is reported to have died of a heart attack.
In a separate set of data, the Czech Statistical Office said that inflation accelerated to a 12-month figure of 1.9 percent in July, the highest since March 2009. From June to July, consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent, pushed up by an increase in holiday prices, statisticians said. The Czech economy, heavily dependent on car production, contracted by 4.1 percent last year, posting the first annual decline in gross domestic product (GDP) since 1998. The central bank expects a recovery this year, with annual GDP growth reaching 1.6 percent.
Transport in the north of the country remains severely restricted with many towns and villages are only accessible by long detours. Some routes can only be covered by a combination of rail and bus transport due to the fact that both railway lines and roads have been damaged. The authorities have appealed to the public not to drive to the stricken region if possible in order to facilitate clean-up operations. Emergency crews are working around the clock dealing with mud-slides, collapsed bridges and roads.
At an emergency session on Monday the Czech government released 40 million crowns (1.6 million euros) in emergency aid to the Liberec region in north Bohemia, hit by devastating flash floods which claimed at least 3 lives and displaced thousands of people at the weekend. The money is to cover the region’s immediate needs such as temporary shelter for the homeless, disinfectants and clean water supplies. Another 300 to 350 million should be earmarked for reconstruction within the next few days, once approximate damage estimates from the stricken region are available. A thousand soldiers should help with the clean-up efforts in the north of the country.
The unemployment rate rose to 8.7 percent in July after four months of decline, official data showed on Monday. The increase of 0,2 percent is being attributed to fresh school graduates registering at labour offices. In June, the rate stood at 8.5 percent, the lowest level since last October when the country showed gradual signs of recovering from the global economic slump.
Thousands of people in the stricken regions remain without gas and electricity supplies, the main suppliers RWE and ČEZ confirmed on Monday, saying it could take days to restore heat and power to all households, depending on the extent of damage in different areas. Several of the worst hit areas where electricity poles came down, will require putting up new electricity lines. Emergency generators are in place where possible.
A 16-year-old girl drowned after a raft she was on with four others
flipped over on the Ohře River near Karlovy Vary. The accident happened
shortly after noon on Sunday when the raft attempted to shoot through a
sluice. After it flipped, four made it to the river's edge. Rescue workers
found the girl’s body late on Sunday, and relatives have confirmed her
identity. None of the rafters were wearing safety vests and they had all
had alcohol before setting out on the river.
Number of single households increasing
Statistics show a rise in the number of single households with one in four Czechs now living alone. In Prague the number of single households has reached 40 percent. The increase monitored in the past seven years is attributed to the growing number of young people who remain single and also seniors living on their own. However around the country, the number of family households is still substantially –minimally twice - higher than that of single households.
The City of Prague has halted traffic and transport on the Vltava after water flow on Sunday morning was measured at 600 cubic metres per second. Expected weather conditions should see an even greater volume. Piers will be closed and all transport and activity on the river stopped, deputy mayor Rudolf Blažek said. Anti-flood barriers, such as the one near the Four Seasons hotel not far from the historic Old Town Square, are be putting into effect in keeping with the city’s anti-flood measures.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has said that the clean-up of the devastation will change budget priorities, stressing that the government has funds in budget reserves which could be allocated to repair damages. The government will hold a special meeting on Monday to assess the situation; the prime minister has not yet said how much funding could be released but expects that an assessment of the costs will be ready within a few days. The prime minister, like the Czech President Václav Kláus, is also heading for the Liberec region to see the impact up close; the president visited on Sunday afternoon.
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