News in brief for Aug. 12: Top headlines for Czechia on Saturday

Pride parade returns to Prague, tropical temperatures forecast this weekend, surging mushroom growth, and more top stories for Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 12.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 12.08.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Culture Brno Day celebrates history with parade and spectacle

Brno Day began with a procession of 200 enthusiasts donning historical attire, parading through the city to honor the Thirty Years' War defenders. The program encompassed period fairs, medieval music, crafts, costumed castle tours, and riveting knight battles, concluding with a mesmerizing concert and fire show.

Reenactors marched to the Church of St. Jame. Kraví hora Park showcased a military camp, with battle demonstrations reenacting the Swedish siege, and an equestrian show juxtaposed art from different eras. The Brno Diocese offered guided tours and a mass by Bishop Pavel Konzbul.

Ukraine Majority of Ukrainian refugees in Czechia pay for own housing

The trend of Ukrainian refugees shouldering their own housing costs is on the rise in the Czech Republic. Approximately 52 percent of refugees now fully pay for their housing, with an additional 17 percent contributing partially. This marks a notable shift from last year's statistics, when only a quarter paid for housing and 11 percent contributed.

Renting is also becoming more common among refugees, increasing from 20 percent last year to nearly 50 percent in June. The changes in housing support, including free accommodation for five months for employed individuals, have affected up to 71 percent of refugees. Over 70,000 refugees were residing in facilities by the end of June.

Sports Petra Kvitová eliminated from Montreal Open

Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová's journey in the Montreal tournament concluded in the round of 16 as she was defeated by Swiss player Belinda Bencic in a match that spanned three intense sets. The match, postponed from Thursday, witnessed both competitors requiring medical treatment during the third set.

Kvitová secured the opening set with a tie-break win of 7-6 (7-3). However, Bencic rallied back, capitalizing on Kvitová's service struggles in the second and third sets. Despite a brief injury concern for Bencic, she persevered to clinch the victory 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, terminating Kvitová's run in the tournament as the final Czech left in competition.

Culture Pride Parade returns to central Prague today

The 2023 Prague Pride festival will culminate with its annual parade across the city's streets this afternoon, with over 60,000 participants expected to join in on the festivities. A rainbow procession will assemble in the lower part of Wenceslas Square around noon before proceeding to Letná. This year's LGBTQ+ festival focuses on traditions and their societal significance, carrying the motto "More traditional than you think."

Participants will gather at 11:30, entertained by DJ Jan Witek. The parade route kicks off around 12:30 p.m., leading from Wenceslas Square through Na Příkopě and Celetna to Staroměstské náměstí. The procession will continue via Pařížská street, Čechův most, and up the stairs to Letná to reach Pride Park, a vibrant space hosting music across six stages, alongside food and beverage stalls. The festivities at Letná will last until 10:00 p.m.

Weather Tropical temperatures return to Czechia this weekend

Following a brief cold front over the past week, the Czech Republic is set to welcome back tropical weather this weekend. Meteorologists from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute forecast daytime highs around the country to pass 30 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Sunday.

While the sunny spell is eagerly anticipated, experts caution that elevated temperatures could pose health risks, particularly for vulnerable groups. Staying hydrated, limiting sun exposure during peak hours, and using effective sun protection are recommended.

Sports Czech golfer advances to final rounds at British Open

Czech golfer Klára Davidson Spilková has secured a spot in this weekend's final rounds at the British Open, her third qualification at the event in seven attempts. She's currently in 47th place at the prestigious golf championship. Kristýna Napoleaová, who won the German Masters in June, finished in 139th.

After an opening round under par, Davidson Spilková faltered, finishing two shots above par on Friday with a mix of birdies and bogeys. American Ally Ewing leads with a five-shot advantage, aiming for her first major title. World No. 1 Nelly Korda is currently in 28th place at the competition.

SPORT Czech teen athletes return from impressive Euro championships

Czech athletes have returned from the country’s most successful European Junior (Under 20) Championships with an impressive haul of eight medals, including three golds, securing Czechia third place in the overall country rankings. The head coach, Pavel Sluka, expressed surprise and hope for a strong upcoming generation that could excel in senior competitions. 

Competing in Jerusalem, Israel, the Czech team’s notable victories came from Jakub Dudycha in the half marathon, Lourdes Gloria Manuel in the quarter marathon, and Karolína Jarošová in the 3000m steeplechase; she also claimed a national junior record. Around half of all Czech competitors who partook in the Israel event are set to compete at the World Athletics U20 Championships next year.

EVIRONMENT Perfect time for mushroom growth in Czechia

According to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ), mushroom growth right now in Czechia is currently favorable due to widespread good conditions, particularly in mountainous regions with higher precipitation. Over the past six years, mushrooms struggled due to drought, but this year's outlook is better due to different weather patterns and recent rain.

To ensure successful foraging, experts recommend avoiding areas affected by bark beetle infestation, favoring healthy, mixed forests that resisted previous environmental challenges. Mushrooms thrive after heavy rains and moderate warmth, typically from July to September. The ČHMÚ's maps provide real-time updates on mushroom growth status.

ANIMALS Bohemian Switzerland gets five more wolves

Bohemian Switzerland National Park has announced the birth of at least five wolf cubs, with their playful antics captured on camera and shared on social media. Since 2016, wolves have gradually made their presence felt in the region, eventually establishing a pack within the park in 2021. This marked the first documented wolf reproduction in modern Bohemian Switzerland history. 

The park's remote areas offer a good environment for the wolves. Historically, they were eradicated from the territory by 1756. Nearby regions like Liberec have also seen a resurgence in the wild animals. In June this year, it was reported that the wolf population in the Šumava National Park area numbered around 36, about one-quarter more than in 2021.

EU Czech judge to continue at EU Court of Justice

Czech judge Jan Passer is poised to extend his tenure at the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) beyond his mandate's conclusion in late 2024, the Czech Justice Ministry said Friday. The reappointment gained unanimous backing from the selection commission, highlighting Passer's global recognition as an authority in European and international law. 

His previous service as a judge at the CJEU's tribunal and later at the Court of Justice enhances his qualifications. The committee for European affairs in the Czech Chamber of Deputies also endorsed his renomination. Government deliberation on the matter is slated for Wednesday. Passer initially assumed his EU judgeship on Oct. 6, 2020, succeeding Jiří Malenovský.

restoration Repairs of well-known Bohemian lookout tower finish

The municipality of Litoměřice in Ústí nad Labem has announced that it has completed repairs on the stone section of the Varhošť Lookout Tower in Český středohoří. The lower brick portion was restored due to long-term deterioration. The city, which owns the tower, covered the CZK 1.3 million repair cost from its budget. 

The renovation involved fixing the platform beneath the steel structure, relocating the lightning rod, and restoring the masonry. Additional improvements are planned, including panoramic boards displaying landscape relief and hill names. The lookout tower, marking its 50th anniversary, will host a celebratory event in September. Future plans also encompass renovating other sections of the building’s steel structure.

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