Foreign mafia groups in the Czech Republic last year continued in their attempts to infiltrate state and public administration and the judiciary, according to an Interior Ministry report, that will be debated in the parliament in the coming weeks. Apart from corrupting lower-level officials, customs officials and policemen, they were also trying to influence legislation processes on a regional as well as government and parliamentary level, suggests the report. The most active gangs involved in this kind of corruption are from the Russian-speaking countries and Asia. The report also points to a increased criminal activity of Balkan gangs.
Czech long-distance swimmer Abhejali Bernardová has crossed the Tsugaru Strait, becoming the first Czech and the seventh woman ever to cover the channel located between the largest Japanese islands Honshu and Hokkaido. The 39-year-old swimmer covered the distance of 30 kilometres in a time of 11:07:58, battling strong under-currents. Bernadrová wants to complete the so-called Ocean’s Seven, a series of long-distance open-water swims. She has already crossed the English Channel, the Catalina Channel and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Czech rower Ondřej Synek secured the Czech Republic’s third medal at the Olympic Games in Rio on Saturday. The Czech competitor took the bronze medal in the men’s single sculls 200m event. Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand took gold with a time of 6:41:34. Croatia’s Martin Damir crossed the line in the same time, but officials called the race for Drysdale after studying a photo of the finish. Synek received silver in the same discipline in London and Beijing.
Tropical weather is unlikely to return to the Czech Republic this summer. In the next four weeks, Czechs can expect average temperatures for the time of year, according to a regular monthly forecast, issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Saturday. Next week should be the warmest of the four-week period, with temperatures reaching up to 27 degrees Celsius. In the following three weeks, temperatures are expected to hover around 21 degrees Celsius. Rainfall should also be average for the month of August.
The 2016 Prague Pride LGBT festival culminated with a parade through the city centre on Saturday. The parade set off from Wenceslas Square and ended at Prague’s Letná park, where an estimated 40,000 people gathered. Among the biggest starts attending the sixth Prague Pride parade is Omar Sarif Jr., the grandson of the famous actor and the first person to “come out” in the Arab world. The participants also observed a minute’s silence for the victims of a recent massacre at an LGBT club in the U.S. city of Orlando. A few dozen Christian opponents of homosexuality gathered on Wenceslas Square to protest against the event.
First burčák of the season appeared on sale this week in South Moravia. The fermented young wine traditionally appears on the market several weeks into the start of the grape harvest. According to wine makers, there will be less burčák available this year due to the spring freeze damage to the harvest. This has also affected the price, which is slightly higher than in the previous year, around 70 crowns a litre.
In tennis, neither of the Czech pairings made it to the finals in the women’s doubles competition at the Olympic Games in Rio. Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká were defeated 5:7, 7:6, 6:2 by Timea Bascinszky and Martina Hingis of Switzerland, while Lucie Šafářová and Barbora Strýcová were knocked out by the Russian couple Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 7:6 and 6:4. The Czech pairings will now face each other to fight for the bronze medal.
Puerto Ricco’s Monica Puig has dashed Petra Kvitova's hopes of becoming the first ever Czech player to reach an Olympics women's singles final in Rio de Janeiro. In Friday's semi-final unseeded Puig beat 11th seeded Kvitova 6-4 1-6 6-3. Kvitova will now face either Madison Keys or Angelique Kerber in a contest for the bronze medal.
The cold spell is breaking temperature records at monitoring stations around the country, the ctk news agency reported. Ten monitoring stations reported record low temperatures for August 12th on Friday with the lowest temperature recorded in Prerov, at just 5.4 degrees Celsius. The previous record at this monitoring station was 5.8 dating back to 1908. Prague’s Klementinum, the oldest monitoring station in the country, reported the lowest temperature for August 11 since 1867 – at just ten degrees Celsius.