Czech weekend headline: Prague Zoo has a new gorilla resident
zoo Prague Zoo has a new gorilla resident as pavilion launch nears
A new resident visited Prague Zoo last night when male gorilla Kisumu arrived from Austria. Kisumu will continue the site’s successful breeding program with female Duni, who became the first gorilla born in the Czech Republic in 2004 and will return to Prague Zoo from Spain next week, officials say.
“Kisumu is in Prague!” Zoo director Miroslav Bobek wrote on social media. “At 1:05 a.m. he ran out of his transport box at the back of the new gorilla lodge.” Prague Zoo’s new gorilla pavilion, Dja Reserve, is already populated with most of the zoo’s gorillas and will officially open to the public on September 28.
Sports Czech tennis stars are trying to win the Grand Slam today
Czech tennis stars Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková will look to complete their collection of Grand Slam titles today as the pair compete in the women’s doubles final at the US Open in New York. Krejčíková and Siniaková have already won titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and twice at the French Open.
Krejčíková and Siniaková, who also won Olympic gold in Tokyo last year, will face Americans Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend from 7:00 p.m. Prague time. Regardless of the outcome, Siniaková will regain her title as world number one in women’s doubles on next week’s WTA rankings.
Policy President Zeman invites King Charles III to the Czech Republic
Czech President Miloš Zeman yesterday sent a letter to the new British King Charles III, wishing him strength and success following the death of Queen Elizabeth and inviting him to visit the Czech Republic again. In his letter, Zeman noted that Charles would begin his reign in difficult times, where fear of an uncertain future was growing.
Zeman added that relations between the Czech Republic and Britain are excellent and that he believed that Charles III would further deepen these ties. He noted that Charles had visited the Czech Republic many times in the past and invited him back in his new role as king.
Culture Cheb celebrates 700 years as part of Czech lands
The town of Cheb in West Bohemia celebrated the 700th anniversary of its permanent attachment to the Czech lands this weekend during European Heritage Days, a multi-day festival attended by thousands of visitors. Cheb was officially added to Bohemia in 1322 during the reign of John of Bohemia.
During the festivities, replicas of the Czech Crown Jewels were displayed and guests were also able to view a royal procession led by George of Poděbrady (Jiří z Poděbrad), who fathered two sons in the town. Two historical chronicles of Cheb, from the 18th and early 19th centuries, were also presented during the festival.
Economy Czech inflation remained above 17% in August, experts say
Year-on-year inflation in the Czech Republic remained above 17% in August after hitting 17.2% in June and 17.5% in July, according to experts contacted by ČTK. The Czech Statistical Office will release official inflation data for August on Monday 12 September.
“Continued inflation growth will be influenced by the continued rise in household energy prices and, most likely, higher food prices,” the Banking Association analyst said. Czech Jakub Seidler, while noting that a monthly drop in fuel prices would partly offset a further rise. Seidler pegged August inflation in the Czech Republic at 17.6%, while a Raiffeisenbank expert forecast 17.7% and a Unicredit analyst predicted 17.2%.
Saturday September 10
Sports Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková announces retirement
Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková, one of the country’s most popular athletes, officially announced her retirement from the sport yesterday at the age of 41. Špotáková is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time world champion and current all-time world record holder in the women’s javelin throw.
After watching a summary of his accomplishments during a retirement announcement yesterday, Špotáková highlighted his Olympic gold medal in 2008 as a highlight. On August 21 of that year, the 40th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Špotáková narrowly edged Russian Maria Abakumova to win gold in Beijing. “The moment I threw it, I knew nothing would beat it,” she tearfully recalled. “That’s when a miracle happened.”
Memorial Prague’s new bell #9801 tolls in honor of Queen Elizabeth
The new Prague bell #9801, created in memory of bells confiscated during World War II and unveiled in the Czech capital last week, rang 96 times yesterday in honor of Queen Elizabeth, who died Thursday at the age of 96 years old. Sanctus Castulus, the organization that launched the campaign to create the bell, chose to honor the late queen.
“We decided to pay tribute to the monarch,” Ondřej Boháč, head of Sanctus Castulus, told local media. “She was an important queen and one of those who determined the developments of the second half of the 20th century and the first two decades of the present century.”
FILM A Czech film in competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival
Il Boemo, the latest feature from Czech director Petr Václav, will have its world premiere later this month as it competes for the Golden Shell at the prestigious San Sebastián International Film Festival in Spain. The film traces the life of 18th century Czech composer Josef Mysliveček, a close friend and musical influence of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
“Being selected and being able to show the film to the festival audience is a celebration and a reward,” the director said in response to his film being selected to play in competition. “The fact that the president of the jury is Glenn Close, the actress who played the Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons, one of the most famous films representing the 18th century, is for me a rather surprising coincidence and translates into joy, respect, and fear at the same time.”
Policy Prague court to hear Čapí hnízdo case involving former Prime Minister Babiš
After seven years of police investigations and speculation in the Czech media, a court in Prague is finally set to publicly hear the Čapí hnízdo case involving former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from Monday. Babiš and former adviser Jana Nagyová, who have so far been absent during the proceedings in the case, are expected to be present in court for the next phase of the case.
Babiš is accused of conflict of interest and embezzlement of European funds in this case, which concerns the company Farma Čapí hnízdo, which is part of the Agrofert conglomerate, owned by Babiš. In 2007, Farma Čapí hnízdo was transformed into a joint-stock company, received a European grant and, after several years, returned to Agrofert. Being part of the conglomerate owned by Babiš, it would not have been eligible for EU funding.
Police Czech police see increase in traffic violations in summer 2022
Czech police issued nearly 79,000 tickets for speeding and other traffic offenses over the summer holidays this year, around 7,000 more than during the same period last year , according to data released yesterday on the police website. A total of 16,583 accidents were recorded on Czech roads this summer, resulting in 80 deaths and 341 serious injuries.
“Although 80 people were killed in traffic accidents in the summer, compared to last year, we recorded a decrease in fatal consequences,” Czech deputy police chief Tomáš Lerch said. “20 fewer people died on Czech roads this summer than the year before.”