Daily news summary

Moscow summons Czech chargé d'affaires over vandalized Konev statue

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the Czech chargé d'affaires to issue a sharp protest over the vandalizing of a statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague on the anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

In a diplomatic note to the Czech Foreign Ministry the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the act as an insult to those who had laid down their lives in the liberation of Czechoslovakia and demanded that the matter be investigated and the culprit punished. It further called on the Czech authorities to remove the red paint and prevent similar incidents of vandalism in the future.

The Czech Foreign Ministry stated that it regretted the incident but said any decisions regarding the statue were fully in the hands of the local administration of the Prague 6 district.

Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. After being present on several fronts in WWII, Konev was involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and was also present in Berlin for the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

Ministries negotiate increase in spending in 2020

Individual ministries negotiated an overall increase in expenditures of around 17.5 billion crowns in 2020 above the expenditures projected in the June draft budget, Finance Minister Alena Schillerova told journalists following a week of one-one-one meetings with cabinet minister.

Another 492 million is expected to be earmarked for digitization and IT projects.

Despite the increase in expenditures the budget deficit should not exceed 40 billion crowns.

According to the finance minister, higher spending will be made possible by the new macroeconomic forecast and savings in state debt payments.

Scientists step closer to saving northern white rhino

An international team of veterinarians have successfully harvested eggs from the last two surviving northern white rhinos on Earth, in the hope of bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.

The effort to save the species is spearheaded by Dvůr Kralove Zoo, which in 2009 sent four northern white rhinos to Kenya in a bid to encourage them to breed.

The last male, named Sudan, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya last year, leaving two females, Najin, 30, and her daughter Fatu, 19, as the only survivors of the subspecies.

Neither can reproduce naturally and scientists are hoping to make embryos from the harvested oocytes and transfer them to a surrogate southern white rhino mother.

Czech national carrying cocaine arrested in Uruguay

A Czech national with more than five kilograms of cocaine in his luggage was arrested at the airport near Montevideo, in Uruguay on Friday, local media reported citing Uruguayan Interior Ministry sources.

The man is reported to have spent three days in the country and intended to board a flight to Hong Kong. The man is in custody, awaiting interrogation.

Czech swimmer Čejka wins gold at FINA World junior swimming championships

Swimmer Jan Čejka won a gold medal at the FINA World junior swimming championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday. He won the 50m backstroke clocking 25.08s and breaking the senior national record.

Čejka was the European Junior Champion in the 200 back in July and also took a bronze medal in the 100 back. His 200 back in 1:57.51 is also a Czech Record.

Vondroušová withdraws from U.S. Open with wrist injury

Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondroušová has withdrawn from the U.S. Open with a wrist injury, tournament organisers said on Friday.

The 20-year-old Czech has been out of action since falling in the first round at Wimbledon.

Vondroušová fell just short of becoming the first Czech woman to win the French Open for 38 years when she lost to Australia’s Ash Barty in the Roland Garros final.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain and day temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists have issued a warning of torrential rain and thunderstorms.