News in brief for Aug. 28: Top headlines for Czechia on Monday

Czechia wins two bronzes at World Athletics Championships, week starts with cool and rainy weather, and more headlines for Monday, Aug. 28. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 28.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 28.08.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

international Ukraine will soon have ambassador to Prague

Ukraine is in the final stages of selecting a new ambassador to Czechia, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The post has been vacant for over a year after the previous ambassador moved to a different position. Kuleba said that while no one has been found completely suited for the role, they have a selection of candidates and the final decision will be made by the president.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský stressed that Ukraine's decision-making on the matter should be respected. Additionally, Kuleba, who met with Lipavský today in Prague, approved the appointment of a new Czech ambassador in Kyiv.

social media Hřib recreates viral Bentley vs. Citroën video

Deputy Mayor of Prague for Transport Zdeněk Hřib jumped on the bandwagon of viral Bentley vs. Citroën videos with his own take that involves Prague trams. While the original parodied YouTuber Luxary ASMR's appreciation of a Bentley car using a Citroën as a prop, Hřib took it even further and highlighted the virtues of a T3 tram.

"Tétrojka," Hřib repeats while showing off the tram's features, a reference to the name of the T3 tram. The video, which has been shared on several social media platforms, currently has more than 555,000 views on X (formerly known as Twitter), with many commenters praising Hřib's sense of humor.

culture Czech Culture Ministry under fire for fund mismanagement

The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) criticized the Czech Culture Ministry for distributing funds for cultural monument preservation and restoration without clear objectives. The NKÚ's audit of the period from 2019 to 2022 found that despite allocating CZK 2.6 billion to 7,457 projects, the ministry lacked specific goals and plans for restoration.

The audit also revealed shortcomings in project evaluation, with some assessments deemed non-transparent and excessively lengthy. The NKÚ expressed concerns about the lack of objectives, making it impossible to assess the impact of the allocated funds and noting a persistent problem highlighted in a 2017 audit.

Diplomacy Czech foreign minister to meet Ukrainian counterpart today

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský is set to meet with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Monday. The discussions will center on Czech support for Ukraine across various domains and the extensive Czech-Ukrainian collaboration. Notable agenda items include the preparation of the "Forum for Ukraine" and the upcoming parliamentary summit of the International Crimean Platform in the Czech Republic in October 2023.

Additionally, the ministers will deliberate on backing Ukraine's peace plan on the global stage and Ukraine's aspirations for European integration. This meeting precedes Minister Kuleba's address to Czech ambassadors during their annual assembly.

international Checks at German border unnecessary for now

The Czech Interior Ministry has responded to a call by Hessian Minister-President Boris Rhein to reintroduce border checks with Germany, stating that such checks are not currently necessary. Rhein had urged Berlin to reinstate border checks with Poland and Czechia due to concerns about illegal migration. In response, Saxony's Interior Minister Armin Schuster announced increased random checks along the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic to combat people smuggling.

Rhein emphasized the need for a change in asylum policy and more secure borders, citing the importance of "humanity and order." The Czech Interior Ministry indicated it would consider temporary border controls if necessary but noted that the current situation did not warrant such measures. Similar calls for border checks have previously been made by officials in Saxony and Brandenburg.

politics Czech govt. to discuss THC regulation this week

The Czech government has not taken a definitive stance on proposed legislation regarding psychoactive substances like kratom and low-THC cannabis. While the government recognizes the need for regulation, it has identified constitutional and legal flaws in the parliamentary amendment, which require rectification before endorsement. The government will meet this week to discuss the issue.

The proposed changes, backed by coalition and opposition lawmakers, restrict the sale of such products to specialized stores, prohibiting sales to children and vending machine distribution. Online sales would mandate buyer verification, akin to alcohol and tobacco. Cross-border online sales would necessitate permits. Government lawyers also raised concerns about registration fees, vague definitions, and compliance with European law on novel foods.

sports Czechia wins two bronze medals in Budapest

The Czech Republic secured two bronze medals at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, earning it the 37th spot in the medal table. The sole Czech athlete in the final block, Jakub Vadlejch, secured a bronze medal in javelin. Vadlejch, mentored by Jan Železný, had been one of the favorites for the championship.

The 32-year-old athlete, who holds the top spot in the world rankings this year, comfortably qualified for the final with a throw exceeding 83 meters. However, he couldn't clinch the coveted gold medal but managed to secure the bronze with a throw of 86.67 meters, adding another prestigious medal to his impressive collection. The Czech 4x400 Metres Relay team also won bronze.

weather Rainy and cool start of the week

The end of August in most areas of Czechia will bring cooler temperatures than before to Bohemia, while Moravia and Silesia may encounter severe thunderstorms on Monday evening and Tuesday night, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ). Maximum temperatures on Monday will range from 13 degrees Celsius in the west to 27 in the east, and on Tuesday they will range from 13 to 17 degrees Celsius in the west to 20 degrees Celsius in the east.

Later in the week, an area of high air pressure will bring reduced cloudiness and precipitation and higher temperatures. Consequently, the Czech Republic is expected to regain late summer-like weather with maximum temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius at the start of September.

sports Sparta back to winning streak

AC Sparta Praha football team celebrated yesterday a 3-1 victory over MFK Karviná in the Fortuna League, ending a three-match competitive winless streak. Coach Brian Priske praised the players' resilient approach, especially as they played without the suspended Adam Karabec from the 57th minute.

Sparta Prague had a challenging week, being eliminated from the Champions League in a penalty shootout against FC Copenhagen, drawing 1-1 with Teplice in the league, and losing 1-3 to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League. Priske emphasized the importance of the win, stating it was crucial to get back on the winning track. Thanks to the win, Sparta Prague returned to the top of the table, edging out Prague rivals Slavia.

obituary Roma rights activist dies at 86

Karel Holomek, a prominent Czech Roma activist, politician, and founder of the Roma Culture Museum, passed away yesterday aged 86, his daughter Jana Horváthová told Holomek played a significant role in advocating for the rights and culture of the Roma community in the Czech Republic.

Born in 1937, he endured persecution during World War II, and his family suffered losses in concentration camps. Holomek was an active voice against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, leading to his expulsion from a teaching position. In 1991, he co-founded the Museum of Roma Culture and worked to advance Roma social and legal support, leaving behind a lasting legacy.

politics Okamura to clarify remarks about Ukrainians

The Czech lower house security committee has invited Tomio Okamura, leader of the junior opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement, to clarify his recent statements about Ukrainians in Czechia. In a televised debate last week, Okamura criticized Czechia's acceptance of refugees from Ukraine due to the Russian military invasion.

Government coalition representatives view Okamura's rhetoric as potentially posing a security risk and are concerned that it endangers society. Deputy Speaker Jan Bartošek accused the SPD of stirring up hatred and legitimizing violence. Tensions have risen due to the perceived unequal treatment of Ukrainians and Czechs in benefit granting, exacerbated by a recent attack on Ukrainian women in the Pilsen Region.

culture Legendary motorcycles cross Bohemian Switzerland

In Krásná Lípa, North Bohemia, 16 iconic Cechie-Bohmerland motorcycles embarked on their annual ride through Bohemian Switzerland. These unique bikes, renowned as the longest mass-produced motorcycles, drew Czech and German enthusiasts. This marked the 25th gathering of these rare machines, with only an estimated 70 to 100 in existence worldwide.

Arnošt Nezmeškal, director of the National Technical Museum's transport section, highlighted their uniqueness, including their distinctive design and customizable color schemes, which were highly unusual for their era. One showcased model, the Cechie-Bohmerland 600, a 1930 touring version, boasts only two surviving examples.

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