This year’s Czech Winegrower of the Year Award goes to the Bzenec Chateaux Winery from eastern Moravia. The awards were handed out on Thursday night at a gala ceremony in Prague’s Žofín. A jury of international experts assessed over 600 samples from dozens of winemakers. Bzenec scored a unanimous victory from the judges, followed by Volařík Mikulov and Vinné sklepy Valtice.
The Trutnoff Open Air music festival got underway on Thursday night in Trutnov, east Bohemia. The festival was established in 1985 and it is closely linked to the former underground. This years’ edition is dedicated to what would be the 80th birthday of the late president Václav Havel, who regularly attended the event. Some musicians, including Jaroslav Hutka or the band The Plastic People of the Universe have cancelled their appearance at the event this year over the fact that the organisers have invited one-time Communist Party general secretary Miloš Jakeš to attend. Jakeš, however, declined the invitation.
Another Czech hopeful, hurdler Zuzana Hejnová fell just short of winning a medal in the 400 metre race in Rio on Thursday. Although she improved her personal record and came in under 54 seconds, she placed fourth. Hejnová told reporters she’d given it her all and had to accept fourth place with humility.
Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková won the bronze medal at the Olympics in Rio on Thurdsay with a throw of 64.80 metres. It is her third medal in an Olympics competition, she previously won the gold at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Špotáková told reporters she was delighted with the result, adding that the bronze in Rio “was as good as gold”. Her third medal makes her the best female javelin thrower of all time.
Vitkovice Power Engineering has filed for “reorganization“ bankruptcy. The company owes hundreds of millions of crowns to over 700 creditors. It currently employs over 1,000 people. The regional court in Ostrava which was scheduled to deal with a proposal for bankruptcy by one of the firm’s biggest creditors Westag Invest on Friday has cancelled the hearing.
Czech shot-putter Tomáš Stanek will not advance to the finals of the Olympic Games in Rio after a disappointing performance in the qualifying round on Thursday in which he threw 19.76 metres and placed 20th. The result was 64 centimetres short of target. Stanek’s personal best is 21.30 metres. The best throw was by US Ryan Crouser at 21.59 metres.
The Defence Ministry has so far recognized 1,350 people who actively fought against the communist regime and are entitled to a special financial contribution from the state as members of the so-called Third Resistance. The law on the Third Resistance, which stipulates the criteria which need to be met for the state to recognize active opposition to the former regime, came into force at the end of 2011. Those who are recognized as having been part of the active opposition are entitled to one-off payments and top-ups to their pensions. So far the Defence Ministry has registered over 4,400 applications and processed over 3,500.
The Prague Municipal Court has rejected an appeal by the guerrilla art group Ztohoven who claimed that the judge presiding over their case was biased since she, like all other judges, was appointed by the state. Three members of the group last year climbed onto the roof of Prague Castle and replaced the presidential standard with a pair of red underpants in protest against President Zeman’s policies. They later admitted to having cut up the standard into more than a thousand pieces and handed them out to people at random in protest against what they call the “centralization of power”. They are charged with disorderly conduct, theft and damage to property. The court hearings will continue next week.
Security checks at Prague Castle will remain in place despite protests from tourist agencies, the president’s spokesman Jiri Ovčáček told Czech Television. He said negotiations were underway for new technology which would speed up the security checks to some extent. As of this week all visitors to the Prague Castle compound are asked to undergo security checks by police officers stationed at the gates, which has resulted in long queues forming. Tourist agencies organizing trips to Prague Castle have complained that the delays are causing complications to their sightseeing schedules. Mr. Ovčáček countered that security measures were in place around Europe and visitors should be used to them.
The Czech Defence Ministry is looking at offers to supply the Czech military with mobile radars, to replace outdated Soviet-made technology. According to ministry sources offers have been made by French, Israeli and Swedish companies. According to information released earlier, the Defence Ministry is expecting to pay around 3.6 billion crowns for eight mobile radars. The offers are being assessed by a team of 33 experts and a decision is expected by the end of the year.
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