News in brief for Aug. 20: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday

New website chronicles 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Sto zvířat frontman Jan Kalina passes away at 58, and more headlines for Sunday, Aug. 20. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 22.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Foreign Affairs Czechia hopes to soon have a Ukrainian Ambassador to Prague

The Czech Republic is actively pushing for the appointment of a full-fledged ambassador from Ukraine to Prague. The position has remained vacant for over a year since the previous ambassador, Yevhen Perebyinis, returned home to become Ukraine's deputy foreign minister. Deputy Prime Minister Vít Rakušan expressed optimism that the ambassadorial role would be filled within weeks or months.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has repeatedly urged Ukraine to address the situation promptly. The absence of an ambassador is attributed to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has tied up many experienced diplomats. The Czech government aims to strengthen ties with Ukraine through diplomatic representation.

Crime Prague accountant steals CZK 1.2 million from workplace

A Prague accountant embezzled CZK 1.2 million by replacing cash taken from his workplace's safe with counterfeit bills. The 28-year-old, employed by hotels and state organizations, spent the money on gambling. Police discovered the scheme during a financial audit.

The culprit used a professional printer to create fake 5,000-crown notes and 5-euro banknotes. Though poorly executed, he aimed to replace the stolen funds through gambling proceeds. In a related incident, another Prague resident similarly swapped tens of thousands of crowns for counterfeit banknotes, attempting to return the funds unnoticed. Both individuals may face up to five years in prison.

Sports Hungarian golfer Bence Bertényi wins 2023 Czech Open

Hungarian Bence Bertényi, 19, clinched victory at the Czech Open golf tournament in Beroun this weekend, leading by two shots over Matěj Bača. Louis Klein, a 13-year-old Czech talent who earlier shared the lead, slipped to fourth place. David Tomi, co-leader after Saturday's play, finished third.

The tournament was dominated by amateurs, as the best professional finish was Lukáš Tintěra in sixth place, trailing Bertényi by nine shots. Bertényi sealed victory with a final round of 66 shots. Bača secured second with a tournament-best 67-shot round. Klein trailed by four shots. Next week, both Klein and Tomi will compete in the Czech Masters tournament.

Sports Karolína Muchová advances to Western & Southern Open final

Czech tennis player Karolína Muchová secured a place in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, just a week ahead of the US Open. In the semifinals, Muchová defeated Belarusian Aryna Sabalenko, ranked number two in the world, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2. She will next face American Coco Gauff in the final.

The victory will propel Muchová into the WTA's top ten world rankings for the first time. Despite a challenging match, Muchová's determination prevailed as she overcame setbacks and secured her place in the final against Gauff, which will take place from 7:30 p.m. Prague time tonight.

Weather High temperatures, thunderstorms in the forecast this week

Sunday, August 20 and the beginning of the work week will see warm and sunny weather in the Czech Republic. Expected maximum temperatures will be above 30 degrees Celsius, which means that tropical days are in store. However, according to the local forecast, the weather will change in the middle of the week.

Temperatures will still remain at tropical levels from Wednesday, but the sunny weather will be replaced by storms. In places, these storms can be strong. Meteorologists advise citizens to monitor current forecasts and adjust their plans according to the expected weather.

Sports Czech mixed relay team takes bronze at World Championships

The Czech Republic's mixed 4x400 meter relay team secured a bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest yesterday. The American team clinched victory in a world record time, while the Czech quartet, featuring Matěj Krsko, Terezá Petržilková, Patrik Šorm, and Lada Vondrová, secured the third position, setting a new national record.

The Czech team's success was boosted by a dramatic turn of events – the fall of Dutch runner Femke Bol, who stumbled just before the finish line. This incident significantly impacted the Czech team's final standing, marking a surprise bronze medal finish at the championships.

History New website chronicles 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia

The Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR) has launched a comprehensive new website showcasing photographs, radio broadcasts, and written records from the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. In honor of the 55th anniversary of this event, USTR made over 100,000 pages of online documents available to the public.

The portal encompasses materials from 1968 and 1969, including lists of victims, documents from security forces, and multimedia capturing the historic period. This initiative sheds light on a critical chapter in Czechoslovakia's history, aiding understanding and remembrance of the invasion and its aftermath.

Music Sto zvířat frontman Jan Kalina passes away at 58

Renowned musician and vocalist Jan Kalina, lead singer of the popular Czech band Sto zvířat, has died at 58, friends and fellow band members have confirmed. The exact cause of his demise is currently unknown. A founding member of Sto zvířat, formed in Prague in 1990, Kalina propelled the band to fame with numerous hits, becoming a pillar of Czech music.

Not just a singer, Kalina also authored most of the band's lyrics and music. Sto zvířat blended genres from punk to ska to reggae, and claimed several awards on the Czech music scene. The band recently completed a new album, Night Birds, which has yet to be released.

Money Four thousand debtors take advantage of summer grace period

Around four thousand debtors have capitalized on the Czech Republic's third summer grace period, targeted at social security debts, so far this year. These debtors owe a combined total of CZK 381.8 million in additional insurance premiums, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The Czech Social Security Administration will forgo penalties amounting to CZK 341.3 million as part of this initiative. The grace period, active from July to November, offers the debtors the chance pay off social security debts while late penalty fees are waived.

Crime Central Bohemian hospital evacuated during bomb threat

A hospital evacuation unfolded in Kralupy nad Vltavou, Central Bohemia, due to an anonymous bomb threat on Friday night. A rapid emergency response involving police and firefighting units was triggered due to the threat. A thorough hospital search that concluded around 10 p.m. confirmed no improvised explosive devices.

Kralupy nad Vltavou is a town in the Central Bohemia region, located on the Vltava River. The city is known for its industry, but also for its hospital, which is one of the key healthcare facilities in the region.

Politics Czech Justice Minister criticized for meeting with Zeman advisor

Minister of Justice Pavel Blažek of the Civic Democratic Party has faced public scrutiny for his recent rendezvous with Martin Nejedlý, a former advisor to ex-President Miloš Zeman. Blažek's explanation for the meeting failed to assuage criticism and sparked a slew of responses on social media platforms.

The Czech public remains skeptical of Blažek's story, as his encounter with Nejedlý generates discussions on its political implications. The incident underscores the delicacy of political gatherings and their interpretation in the public realm. While Blažek attempts to downplay the situation, the public response leans toward humor and skepticism, highlighting the complex landscape of political discourse.

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