News in brief for June 24: Franz Kafka biopic to shoot in Prague this year

Top headlines for Czechia for Saturday, June 24, updated throughout the day to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 24.06.2023 08:53:00 (updated on 26.06.2023) Reading time: 7 minutes

Sports Barbora Krejčíková makes final at Birmingham Classic

Czech tennis player Barbora Krejčíková has advanced to a final on grass for the first time in her career at the Birmingham Classic. The number one defeated her Chinese opponent Chu Lin 6-3, 6-2 in today's opening semi-final, and will now play for her second singles title this year and seventh of her career.

Krejčíková will next face the winner of the duel between tournament number two Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia and fourth seed Anastasia Potapova from Russia. At the WTA 1000 in Dubai in February, Krejčíková won the title after defeating world number one Iga Świątek.

Russia Czech Defense Minister: Situation in Russia appears to be civil war

The situation in Russia now appears to be civil war, and Ukraine will be able to adjust its offensive, Czech Minister of Defense Jana Černochová told Czech News Agency this afternoon. The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is taking actions that Russian authorities and the president have labeled as an armed rebellion.

"If Putin's statement was really this strong, I see it as a very strong conflict that is going on in Russia," says Černochová. "I think it is a message for Ukraine that it will be able to regroup its forces and take some measures as part of their offensive, which is good that they have some time for that and the conflict in Ukraine to end as soon as possible."

Art New military museum opens in Milovice

A new military museum with around 300 exhibits opened in Milovice on Friday. It covers local history from 1904, when the Milovice military district was established under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until the departure of the Soviet army in 1991. The museum is divided into five periods of Czech history, each of them presented with text panels.

Curator Zdeněk Votava said the museum's rarest exhibits include a base for a Model 37 heavy machine gun that the town acquired for its collection from South America, and a 1910 Austro-Hungarian army artillery jacket found in nearby Vlkava. Most of the presented objects come from Milovice and its surroundings, some of them are on loan from the Military Historical Institute or private collections.

Culture Hundreds of Vespa scooters ride through central Prague

More than 430 scooters, mainly Italian brands Vespa and Piaggio, rode through Prague this morning. The recreational ride had a record number of participants this year as part of the 11th annual PragoVespa meeting of scooter owners and fans. This morning's ride saw the scooters travel from Troja to Wenceslas Square

The three-day event is organized by the Vespa Club Prague in cooperation with the Vespa representative office in the Czech Republic. Tomorrow from 10:30 a.m., the scooters will ride from Troja to the Arkády Pankrác shopping center, where a Vespa exhibition will take place.

Sports Markéta Vondroušová falls in quarterfinals at Berlin Open

Czech tennis player Markéta Vondroušová was unable to advance to the semifinals at the Berlin Open this morning. In a match against sixth-seeded Greek Maria Sakkari, Vondroušová failed to convert four set points in a closely-contested opening set. The postponed match, which was rescheduled due to rain on Friday, ended in a 6-7, 1-6 defeat for Vondroušová after an hour and a half of play. 

Vondroušová's loss means that Petra Kvitová is now the only Czech player left in the tournament, as she continues her quest for a spot in the final. The match between Kvitová and France's Caroline Garcia is now underway.

International European leaders monitoring situation in Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish President Andrzej Duda, British Foreign Minister James Cleverly, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have all stated that they are closely monitoring the situation in Russia, according to various reports. The Czech Republic is also closely monitoring the situation in Russia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský told Czech News Agency this morning.

Given the potential threat of worsening security conditions in the country, a Czech warning against traveling to Russia remains in effect. The head of the Wagner military company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is taking actions that Russian authorities and the president have labeled as an armed rebellion. Read more in our update here.

Science Czech researchers on the way to discovering Alzheimer's treatment

A team of scientists from Brno has made progress in developing a method to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease. Their research focuses on the substance homotaurine and its ability to suppress the accumulation of Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), a key factor in the development of Alzheimer's dementia.

The team has identified the molecular basis for the undesired buildup of ApoE and aims to use a potential drug, currently in advanced clinical testing and expected to be approved by 2025, to address this issue. The discovery is significant as it highlights the subtle genetic differences between toxic and non-toxic variants of ApoE.

SPORT Lehečka makes first tennis doubles final in London

Czech tennis player Jiří Lehečka is eyeing his first men’s doubles championship victory this weekend at the Queen's Club Championships in London. Together with Taylor Fritz from the U.S., Lehečka beat the world’s top-ranked doubles team Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski (6:3, 7:6). 

This was a big upset: Lehečka is ranked outside the world’s top 100 doubles players. On the weekend the Czech-U.S. pair will face either Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek or the Mexican-French duo of Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

culture Kafka feature film to begin shooting in Prague

Oscar-nominated director Agnieszka Holland is set to helm a new feature film about renowned German writer Franz Kafka, a Czech-German-French-Polish co-production. The film, titled "Franz," will explore Kafka's life and work, offering a mosaic that transcends time and delves into the writer's fantastical world.

Casting for the film is underway in Germany and the Czech Republic, with plans to shoot primarily in Prague, where Kafka resided and worked. The project has received financial support from the State Cinematography Fund and involvement from production companies such as Marlene Film Production, X Films, Bac Film, and Metro Film. According to the producer, the first part of the film will start shooting this year, the second next year

UKRAINE Czechia plans higher donations to European Peace Facility

Czechia plans to provide additional funding to the European Peace Facility (EPF), which supports providing weapons to Ukraine. The Ministry of Finance announced the plans but has yet to determine the source of the funds. The EPF, initially budgeted at EUR 5 billion for 2021-27, had its financial ceiling increased by EUR 2 billion for this year, with discussions underway to further increase it by EUR 3.5 billion for the entire period.

The Czech Republic's national contribution is set to rise from EUR 85 million to EU 205 million. EU foreign affairs ministers will address the approval of the additional funds on June 26. The ongoing war in Ukraine has already cost the Czech Republic over EUR 1 billion.

SPORTS Czechia faces Germany in crucial EuroBasket match

The Czech women’s basketball team will today face off against Germany in the 2023 European Women's Basketball Championship (EuroBasket) for a chance to take part in the 2024 Olympic Games.

After a narrow defeat to Hungary on Thursday, the Czech team will now battle for fifth to eighth place out of the remaining teams in the competition that failed to reach the semifinals. The match will start in Ljubljana at midday (Central European Time) . Only the top five teams in EuroBasket 2023 will qualify for the Olympic Games. If Czechia defeats Germany, it will face either Serbia or Montenegro in the deciding fifth-place play-off.

law New report: Czech courts giving many more fines

According to the annual report from the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office (NSZ), Czech courts have witnessed a rise in the imposition of financial penalties, with over a quarter of all convicted individuals being subjected to this form of punishment last year. NSZ shows that some courts even imposed financial penalties on every second offender. 

The percentage of financial penalties in relation to the total number of convictions has consistently increased since 2013, rising rapidly from 4.9 percent to 15.5 percent in 2017, 21.7 percent in 2020, and reaching 24.4 percent in 2021.

event Holešovice hosts annual Ice Cream Festival

Relief from hot weather – experienced by all those in Czechia in the past few days – can be found at the Prague Ice Cream Festival, which gets underway today at Prague 7’s Výstaviště and also runs Sunday. 

It is the largest festival of its kind in Central Europe. One-day entrance costs CZK 160 (CZK 120 for children and seniors). Extra is required if you wish to purchase ice cream. A wide range of flavors feature at the festival, including vegan and organic options. The exhibition also includes live music, free tastings, entertainment for children, and competitions, according to the official website.

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