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News roundup - Tuesday, 3 August

Ljubljana, 3 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Tuesday, 3 August:

Slovenia make it to semifinals of Olympic basketball tournament

TOKYO, Japan - Slovenia advanced to the semi-finals of the Olympic basketball tournament in a historic feat by defeating Germany 94:70. In their debut Olympic appearance, Slovenia remain unbeaten in Tokyo and will play France for a medal in the semis on Thursday at 1pm CET. Slovenia outperformed Germany in all elements, particularly in rebounding. Commenting, NBA star Luka Dončić said this was perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him and his teammates to bag an Olympic medal.

Coronavirus count hits 181 as over 10% tests positive Monday

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's daily coronavirus count hit 181 on Monday, the highest daily increase in infections since 9 June, as the test positivity rate exceeded 10%, data from National Institute of Public Health show. The 7-day average of new cases rose by ten to 97 and the cumulative 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents increased by four to 55. There are now an estimated 1,195 active cases in the country.

Govt working on legal basis for Covid certificate app

LJUBLJANA - The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) and Health Ministry are working on a legal basis for the mobile app to check one's digital Covid certificate. NIJZ director Milan Krek told the STA the legal basis was expected to be adopted by the autumn, to be immediately followed by an updated version of the app.

Condemnation as NTA editor-in-chief labels Hitler a hero

LJUBLJANA - A tweet in which the editor-in-chief of the recently established National Press Agency (NTA) labels Adolf Hitler a hero has raised dust in the Slovenian public and drew condemnation from part of politics, with opposition parties demanding a response from the government and relevant authorities. Urban Purgar, the NTA editor-in-chief and president of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values, which operates the media outlet, tweeted on Sunday that "Hitler is #hero" to spark strong reactions and condemnations.

Iberia launches flights between Ljubljana and Madrid

BRNIK - Spanish flag carrier Iberia launched scheduled flights between Madrid and Ljubljana on Monday. Two weekly flights are for now planned until the end of August, but airport operator Fraport Slovenija would like to see the route become year-round as soon as possible. On the first flight, Iberia's Airbus A320 brought just over 140 passengers to Ljubljana, and around 70 flew back to Madrid. Madrid is the 12th destination available from Ljubljana airport, with at least three more expected by the end of September.

Dončić to land US$202 million contract extension with Mavericks

DALLAS/MIAMI, US - Slovenian NBA star Luka Dončić is to sign a five-year, US$202 million contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks after the Tokyo Olympics, US media have reported. The deal is expected to be offered to the 22-year-old before he enters the final year of his rookie contract, said web portal Bleacher Report and acclaimed sports reporter and NBA expert Marc Stein. Meanwhile, another Slovenian NBA player Goran Dragić is moving from the Miami Heat to the Toronto Raptors, but might be even re-routed to the Mavericks in the final move.

Pogačar skips Vuelta, Roglič to defend title

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian cycling superstar Tadej Pogačar seems to be skipping the 2021 Vuelta as he is scheduled to attend a reception at his native town of Komenda on 13 August, one day ahead of the start of the tour around Spain. Pogačar, the double Tour de France winner, will be welcomed home after winning bronze in the road race at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Meanwhile, Primož Roglič, the Olympic champion in the time trial, will take part in the Vuelta to defend his two-time title.

Archaeologists find Butcher's Bridge remains from Medieval Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian archaeologists have discovered several finds along the river Ljubljanica during the renovation Zlata Ladjica house, including the foundations of the Butcher's Bridge, which has since the Middle Ages been replaced by the current Shoemaker's Bridge. The find did not come as a surprise because the Butcher's Bridge in what is now Jurčič Square was known from historical records, yet it is the first material evidence to prove its existence, Martin Horvat, an archaeologist at the Ljubljana Museum and Galleries (MGML), told the STA.

Two rings organising illegal crossings of border arrested

LJUBLJANA - Ljubljana police have in recent months arrested seven suspects, of whom two foreigners, as part of two criminal rings that organised transport of over 200 illegal migrants from Bosnia-Herzegovina via Slovenia to Italy for financial gain in 2020 and 2021. Six suspects have been remanded in custody and one is in house arrest. Both rings are estimated to have ganined over EUR 434,000 in illegal gain.

Hail storm hits Žužemberk area

ŽUŽEMBERK - A strong hail storm hit the Žužemberk and Dvor area in the south-east this afternoon, causing substantial damage, especially in agriculture. The amount of hail was such that it had to be removed with a snowplough, media reported. The storm raged at around 3pm, completely destroying this year's crops in the area, reported web portal

Drunken 25-year-old injures police officers in head-on collision

NOVO MESTO - A drunken 25-year-old from the Krško area driving without a driving licence injured two police officers as he crashed in a police car this morning. One officer sustained serious injuries. The driver, who has a history of traffic offences, and his two passengers in the car were not injured, police said.

© STA, 2021