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Zeman to honour interwar politician Antonín Švehla

President Miloš Zeman says he will bestow the highest state honour in memoriam on interwar politician Antonín Švehla on October 28, the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Speaking at an agricultural trade fair in České Budějovice on Thursday, Mr. Zeman said he wished to honour Švehla as the founder of the Agrarian Party and a supporter of Czechoslovak agriculture.

In an address, the president also said he would support projects of all sizes aimed at combating drought, including a canal linking the Danube, Odra and Labe (Elbe) rivers, which he has long backed.

Antonín Švehla was prime minister of Czechoslovakia for six years during the First Republic and headed the Agrarian Party from 1909 to his death in 1933.

Tomáš Řepka jailed for attack on ex-wife using fake online sex ads

The former Czech football international Tomáš Řepka has been jailed for six months. The Municipal Court in Brno on Thursday found Řepka guilty of advertising sexual services on the internet in the name of his ex-wife Vlaďka Erbová. The 44-year-old’s current partner Kateřina Kristelová has been fined CZK 50,000 for her part in posting the first of three online ads under the guise of being Ms. Erbová. The classifieds were accompanied by the victim’s phone number.

Řepka earned 45 caps for the Czech Republic and played for a number of clubs, including Italy’s Fiorentina and the English Premier League side West Ham United.

Renovation of Prague’s Negrelli viaduct to take longer than planned

Renovation work on Prague’s Negrelli viaduct will take longer than planned. Some of the arches in the historical structure, which serves as a rail bridge across the Vltava, are in a worse state than originally believed, representatives of the Railway Infrastructure Administration told Czech Television on Thursday.

Trains ceased using the structure, which dates back to 1850, in July last year. They were due to return in September 2019 but it now appears that April 2020 is a more likely date.

Boat traffic on Baťa Canal reduced due to drought

Boat traffic on the Baťa Canal in Moravia has been curtailed after a marked fall in the level of the waterway. This follows an intense drought and a falling of the water level in the adjacent Morava River. Only boats whose submersion does not exceed 60 centimetres are now allowed on the Baťa Canal, operators said in a statement on Thursday.

It is the first time such restrictions have been imposed on the waterway, which was opened in 1938. They are set to remain in place until September 2.

International Bagpipe Festival gets underway in Strakonice

The 23rd International Bagpipe Festival opens in the south Bohemian town of Strakonice on Thursday with a concert of Czech and foreign soloists accompanied by the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra.

Over four days, some 1,200 musicians and 40 ensembles from 17 countries will perform, in many cases winding their way through the city centre in processions.

The bi-annual festival has been going strong now for over 50 years and in 2016 attracted some 20,000 visitors. Apart from bagpipe performances, the programme this year includes an open-air cinema, exhibitions and an ongoing fair at Strakonice castle, and open doors at the local brewery.

Kvitová reaches quarter-finals in New Haven

The Czech women’s tennis number one, Petra Kvitová, has reached the quarter-finals of the Connecticut Open in New Haven. Kvitová advanced after overcoming qualifier Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-1 5-7 6-2.

The world number five’s next opponent will be Spain’s Carla Suarez, who earlier overcame the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strýcová. Kvitová is seeded third in the Connecticut Open, a competition she has won three times.

Weather forecast

Friday should see rain in the Czech Republic and temperatures of up to 26 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to reach as low as 18 degrees Celsius at the weekend and will hover around the 20 degree mark next week.