The week-long Prague Pride festival of sexual minorities reached a climax on Saturday with a parade through the centre of the Czech capital. The third Pride parade followed a different route than in previous years, partly because opponents of homosexual marriage and adoption reserved a number of spots in the city centre for their own gatherings. Organisers said heading for 20,000 people had turned out for the event, which culminated with a concert at Prague’s Letná Plain.
Golf’s European Tour will take in Prague next year after the city’s Albatross course signed a new five-year contract with the organisation. The first event – under the title D+D Real Czech Masters – will take place in a year’s time, with total prize money set to reach one million euros. The Czech Republic was last involved in the European Tour two years ago, when Čeladná in South Moravia hosted the Czech Open. The Karlštejn club near Prague hosted the same event in 1997.
The leadership of the Social Democrats has decided to make party chairman Bohuslav Sobotka the head of its electoral campaign and its candidate for the post of prime minister. The Social Democrats have topped the opinion polls for some time and are expected to come first in the next general election. However, President Miloš Zeman – who previously lead the party – is believed to be close to its number two man Michal Hašek; he recently said he would appoint a “representative” of the winning party PM, leading to speculation he could overlook Mr. Sobotka in favour of Mr. Hašek.
The Czech men’s tennis number one Tomáš Berdych has reached the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open. Berdych, ranked sixth in the world, put in a strong performance to defeat Wimbledon champion Andy Murray of the United Kingdom 6-3 6-4. The 27-year-old will now face the Spaniard Rafael Nadal for a place in the final.
The Czech National Theatre has been guilty of financial irregularities for several years, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Saturday, citing an audit completed under a former minister of culture. The institution’s new director, Jan Burian, told the newspaper that the theatre had broken the Labour Code with regard to the payment of taxes and health and social insurance. The National Theatre was recently in the news when Mr. Burian was sacked by the current minister of culture before being reinstated a few days later. A number of actors quit in protest, though most have since returned.
The Czech Republic’s Vítězslav Veselý has taken gold in the javelin at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. Veselý, who is trained by the Czech javelin legend Jan Železný, won with a throw of 87.17m. The 30-year-old’s previous biggest success was gold at the 2012 European Championships. Veselý’s victory follows the gold taken by Zuzana Hejnová in the women’s 400m hurdles earlier in the competition.
President Zeman also told Haló Noviny that he did not rule out future involvement of the Communist Party in government. The president said that in his view the Communist Party could first support a minority Social Democrat cabinet in office as a “transitional phase” to direct participation in government. On the grounds of a resolution passed in 1995, the Social Democrats have consistently rejected cooperation with the Communist Party on a national level but the Zeman faction in the Social Democrats, which has been gaining strength, could move to scrap the ban.
The Czech Foreign Ministry on Friday issued a warning against all travel to Egypt. The ministry warned that due to unpredictable development in the country, Czech citizens should avoid any trips to Egypt including its popular Red Sea resorts Sharm el-Sheikh. Hurgada, Marsa Alam, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba. Czech tourists in these resorts should not leave hotel premises until departing from the country, the ministry said.
The majority of actors in Prague’s National Theatre who resigned in protest against the dismissal of the theatre’s director have withdrawn their resignations, the head of the theatre’s drama department said on Friday. Nearly half of the ensemble resigned after Culture Minister Jiri Balvin dismissed the National Theatre’s director, Jan Burian, earlier this month. But the decision caused outrage among the arts community and politicians, and the prime minister ordered Mr Balvín to reinstate the theatre’s director. Two of best known actors in the National Theatre, Miroslav Donutil and Richard Krajčo, have not withdrawn their resignations and will cooperate with the theatre as freelancers.
Anti-Romany rallies are to be held in five Czech regions on August 24, a police spokeswoman said. Far-right extremists said they wanted to protest against alleged high crime levels among the Romany community, and against police brutality. The police have not disclosed the exact locations but rallies are expected in České Budějovice, Jičín, Plzeň, and other cities. In Ostrava, local authorities have banned an anti-Romany rally; they said several Romany groups had already booked public space for the same time. A series of rallies targeting the Romany community has been held in places across the Czech Republic in recent months, prompting international criticism. Several organizations have asked the Czech authorities to protect the Romany community against violence and intimidation.
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