Daily news summary

Czech Republic offers to speak out on Israel’s behalf at the ICC

The Czech Republic and Germany have both offered to speak out on Israel’s behalf at the International Criminal Court, which is currently weighing whether to open an investigation into possible war crimes committed in Gaza and the West Bank, the Times of Israel reported.

Both Prague and Berlin have submitted requests to become an amicus curiae — a “friend of the court” who is not a party to the case but wants to offer its views. The deadline for states to submit legal opinions expires Friday.

Both countries are expected to submit a written legal opinion positing that The Hague does not have jurisdiction to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Other states, including Australia, Canada and Hungary, have taken Israel’s side in the debate over jurisdiction, but have not asked to submit written legal opinions to the court.

Five Czechs out of Wuhan to be released from quarantine on Monday

The five Czechs who returned from Wuhan city, which is at the centre of the coronavirus epidemic in China, and have been held in quarantine at a Prague hospital, will be released on Monday.

All their tests have come out negative and none are showing any signs of illness, according to a spokesman for the Czech Hygiene Office.

Seventy-five people have been tested for coronavirus in the Czech Republic to date and all the tests have been negative.

January brings record-high inflation

Inflation in January of this year reached 3.6 percent, up from 3.2 percent in December of 2019. It is the steepest year-on year increase since 2012, the Czech Statistics Office reported. Economic experts had predicted stagnation at December’s 3.2 percent.

Inflation is expected to remain well above three percent in the coming months as well, the ctk news agency writes.

Rents rose on average by 4.2 percent in January, the cost of sewage and natural gas increased by 2.9 percent year-on-year, while electricity prices were up by a tenth in January.

Česká Lípa launching integration project for foreigners

The city of Česká Lípa, north of Prague, is launching an integration project for foreigners living in the region.

The 1.8 million crown integration project, for which the city hopes to get a state grant, is to help the 2,500 foreign workers living and working in the area to learn the language and assist with their integration into Czech society.

City hall spokesperson Kristýna Kňákal Brožová says local schools who have admitted 360 foreign children, most of whom do not speak Czech, will be heavily involved in the effort.

The money will also serve to pay for translators to facilitate negotiations between the foreign community the city hall and schools. The majority of foreign workers in Česká Lípa are from Mongolia.

Sáblíková wins 3,000 meters race at World Championship

Three times Olympics winner Martina Sáblíková triumphed at the women's 3,000 meters race at the World Speed Skating Championship in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

It is the sixth world title for Sáblíková in the 3,000 event and the 21st medal from world championship.

The 32-year-old Czech finished with a time of 3 minutes 54.25 seconds, coming ahead of Carlijn Achtereekte of the Netherlands and Russia’s Natalia Voronina.

Czech mixed relay team takes bronze in biathlon

Czech team took the bronze at the Biathlon World Cup mixed relay competition in Antholz-Anterselva on Thursday.

Eva Kristejn Puskarčíková, Markéta Davidová, Ondřej Moravec and Michal Krčmář made it into the top three behind Norway and Italy. It is the third World Cup medal in the mixed relay for the Czech Republic.

Weather forecast

Saturday should bring partly cloudy skies and day temperatures between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius.