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News roundup - Friday, 6 August

Ljubljana, 6 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Friday, 6 August:

Janja Garnbret Olympic champion in sport climbing

TOKYO, Japan - Janja Garnbret won the Olympic gold medal in the women's combined sport climbing, the first time that the sport was featured at the Summer Games, to secure the third gold medal for Slovenia in Tokyo, the highest gold Olympic tally since independence. The 22-year-old finished fifth in speed, but dominated in bouldering and in lead, her flagship discipline. "I sacrificed everything for this success. I'm proud of myself, for achieving it all under such pressure," Garnbret commented.

Slovenian soldiers receive requests for asylum from Afghan aides

LJUBLJANA - After NATO troops left Afghanistan, several people who had worked with the Slovenian service members there turned to Slovenia for help as they now fear Taliban retaliation, the newspaper Dnevnik reported. While the Defence Ministry confirmed individuals had turned to the ministry or the army for help, Minister Matej Tonin said disclosing the number of these persons or their location would jeopardise the evacuation. He said the Slovenian army "will not leave anyone behind", while the ministry said Slovenia was joining "the efforts by the international community to help all those who directly supported the functioning of contingents in Afghanistan."

Slovenian presidency calls ministerial over Lithuania situation

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU called a meeting for 18 August at which EU interior ministers will discuss the situation in Lithuania, which has been recently under much migration pressure from Belarus. The Slovenian Permanent Representation to the EU said the ministers would meet via video call as part of the Integrated Political Crisis Response mechanism, while Slovenia's Interior Minister Aleš Hojs will be in Brussels.

Von der Leyen says countries pick their energy mix themselves

LJUBLJANA - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterated in an interview with the newspaper Delo that EU countries decide on which energy sources they will use themselves as she responded to a question regarding Slovenia's plans to expand the lifespan of the Krško nuclear power station by 2043 and build a second unit. The decision on running or closing down nuclear power stations is also in the jurisdiction of EU member states, von der Leyen added.

Anti-graft body looking into appointments at band bank

LJUBLJANA - The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (KPK) is looking into the circumstances of the appointment of Franci Matoz, a well-known lawyer best known as a long-time legal representative of PM Janez Janša and his Democratic Party (SDS), as the chairman of the board of directors of the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC). The inquiry is based on a report the anti-graft body had received in May. The KPK will also check the circumstances of the appointments of non-executive directors and members of the BAMC management board carried out in the past weeks.

New Covid infections continue to rise week-on-week

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 144 new coronavirus infections for Thursday on a positivity rate of 8.1% as the week-on-week rise in new infections continued for the 9th day in a row. The 7-day average of new cases and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents were up by four, to 116 and 64, respectively. One Covid patient died as hospitalisations remained stable with 29 patients in hospital, including seven in intensive care, show figures released by the government.

TIGR Primorska condemns glorification of Nazism

SEŽANA - TIGR Primorska, an association promoting anti-Fascist values, strongly condemned a tweet in which a member of the right-wing Yellow Vests and head of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values glorified Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It criticised the government's lukewarm response and urged law enforcement to take action. TIGR Primorska head Gorazd Humar said that he would at least expect the Culture Ministry to do more than just condemn Urban Purgar's tweet.

Theatre art for sale at auction house

LJUBLJANA - "Ich kann nicht anders", a production by the dance and theatre troupe Beton Ltd., will be offered for sale at a pilot auction during the festival of performing art Mladi Levi on 27 August by an auction house for performing art called FORSALE. Launched today, the auction house is owned by Bunker, the non-profit behind Mladi Levi. It has been designed as a work of conceptual art by Lea Kukovičič and will provide a legal basis to allow (co)ownership of theatre productions.

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