Daily news summary

Charles University to invest up to 2.5 bn crowns in new buildings, renovations

Charles University plans to invest up to 2.5 billion crowns this year in a range of new buildings and upgrades to existing ones.

The largest expenditures in Prague include the construction of a new Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in Troja and the reconstruction of dormitory to which the Faculty of Humanities will be relocated from Jinonice.

In 2020, Charles University plans to begin its largest construction project in the past 100 years. It will be a new Natural Sciences campus at Albertov, which will include two buildings housing centres for the study of biomedicine and climate – the Biocentrum and Globcentrum.

Percentage of Czech women in scientific research among lowest in EU

The percentage of Czech women working in the scientific research sector, at 26 percent, is the among the lowest in the European Union, where the average is 33 percent.

According to the Marcela Linková of the National Contact Centre for Gender and Science, several western European countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, fall below the EU average.

In the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania, women represent more than 50% of all scientific workers.

Men predominantly work in technical sciences and engineering whereas women are more represented in the medical sciences and some areas of social sciences.

Prague police note rise in violations of Street Art, Busking Decree

Prague police officers reported 306 violations of the Street Art Decree, which mainly concerns busking, last year. Most violations were in Prague 1, the historic city centre, and resulted in the issuance of a fine.

City councilors are looking at amending the 2013 law, which was drafted mainly with acoustic street art in mind (busking). There were 91 more violations than in 2017, a police spokesman said.

The revised law would place address a steep rise in the number of people dressing in oversized costumes (such as polar bears) or blowing giant bubbles, etc., on pedestrian squares.

The decree does not concern Prague’s iconic Charles Bridge, which is subject to specific regulations.

Prague to finish reconstructing Kafka’s house in May

Writer Franz Kafka’s former home in Prague 1 is due to open to the public in May following a 165.5 million crown reconstruction project that began in August 2017.

Prague City Hall spokesman Vít Hofman told the ČTK news agency the building will include a new museum and literary café.

Exhibition spaces would be housed in the cellar and ground floors while the upper floors will be residential units, he said.

Olympic champion skier Ester Ledecká wins snowboarding World Cup

Ester Ledecká has won the snowboarding World Cup in parallel slalom in Pyeongchang, where she won Olympic gold medal a year ago.

She beat Selina Jörg of Germany in the finals, crossing the line 0.73 seconds ahead of her rival.

Ledecká had not competed in a World Cup snowboard event since December after opting to compete in the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup at the start of 2019.

Eight teams enter Top Gear-inspired cheap car race Expedition Scrab

The cross-country, cross-border cheap car race Expedition Scrab has thus far drawn eight teams of cars purchased for under 3,000 crowns.

Inspired by the British television show Top Gear, it limits teams to a budget of 1,000 crowns for repairs.

The Czech race starts on February 24 and is set to finish on March 2. Drivers will dip into Poland, Slovakia and Austria along the route.

Weather outlook

Sunday should be unseasonably warm with average daytime highs of between 7 to 14 degrees Celsius, reaching the low 20’s in southern Moravia.