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Karolína Plíšková advances to third round of Wimbledon after beating Victoria Azarenka

Karolína Plíšková, seeded No. 7 in women’s tennis, has reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career.

On Wednesday afternoon, she dismissed rival Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in straight sets on Centre Court, by scores of 6:3, 6:3. Both women are former World No.1s.

Czech and Polish PMs to meet ahead of “China 16+1 Summit” in Bulgaria

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is due to meet his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki (PiS) on Friday to discuss ways to boost bilateral trade and cooperation, as well as wider European issues affecting the Visegrad Group, which also includes Hungary and Slovakia.

The two leaders will meet in the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary before heading to Bulgaria for a conference taking place within a summit between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).

The “China 16+1 Summit”, now its seventh year, has raised alarm in Brussels over the intensifying level of engagement between the member countries and communist China, which has invested heavily in the CEE region.

Railway and road traffic to Dresden disrupted by fires

Firefighters have extinguished fires near a railway line between the northern Bohemian towns of Lovosice and Ústí nad Labem, but both domestic and international train travel in the area has halted.

Police have also closed a road running alongside the rails. Until their investigation is complete, drivers should expect heavy congestion, especially along routes from Ústí nad Labem and Děčín to Dresden, Germany.

Health Minister sacks Na Bulovce hospital director accused of corruption

Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch has dismissed the director of Na Bulovce hospital, one of nine people facing prosecution for having allegedly conspired to manipulate public contracts to Prague hospitals.

Among the accused is the director of Na Františku hospital, who resigned of his own accord earlier this week. Minister Vojtěch said in a statement on Wednesday he intends to review all supply contracts to public hospitals and revise contracts which the health ministry itself manages directly.

STEM poll: Voter support for ANO, Pirates down since April

If parliamentary elections were held now, the ANO movement of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would still come out on top, according to a new poll by the STEM agency. The June poll shows ANO winning 32 per cent of the vote, down just shy of a percentage point (pp) since April.

The upstart Pirates have lost the most ground in the past two months, over 3pp, and would now win only 10.2 per cent of the vote. Another opposition party, the Civic Democrats, are up 1.8pp since the last STEM survey, with the centre-right party now polling at 15.5 per cent.

Support for ANO’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, is up nearly 1pp, according to STEM, with the centre-left party now polling at 7.9 per cent. The Communists, whose support Mr. Babiš needs to survive a confidence vote set for July 11, are polling at 9.1 per cent, up half a percentage point since April.

Traditional pilgrimage festival gets underway at Velehrad

The traditional pilgrimage festival marking the legacy of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Greek missionaries who brought Christianity to the Czech lands, gets underway at Velehrad in South Moravia on Wednesday.

The event, called the People of Goodwill Days, includes a number of cultural events, lectures and is traditionally attended by tens of thousands of believers. It will culminate on Thursday with a national pilgrimage and a celebratory mass.

Weather

On Thursday – like Friday, a state holiday in the Czech Republic – daytime temperatures should reach an average of 32 degrees Celsius. In the evening, clouds from the West could bring rain. Temperatures are expected to drop slightly over the weekend.