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Anti-corruption watchdog backs referenda to brake councils’ plans to steamroller through solar power projects

22-04-2010 13:39 | Chris Johnstone

A Czech anti-corruption watchdog is helping citizens at several sites around the county to prepare referenda for or against plans for massive solar power plants. It is taking the unusual step because it says local politicians are riding roughshod over their wishes and curbing democratic discussion to get a share of the huge amounts of cash at stake.   More

Former StB observation post in Malá Strana bell tower opens to public

22-04-2010 13:39 | Rob Cameron

Prague has just seen the opening of a new and rather unusual tourist attraction – a former secret police observation post recently discovered at the top of a bell tower in one of the city’s gothic churches. For just under four decades – from the 1950s to the 1980s – the tower was home to a detachment of communist secret policemen who’d spy on the foreign embassies below. Rob Cameron climbed to the top to have a look.   More

New Svěrák movie and 3 Seasons in Hell in competition at 45th Karlovy Vary IFF

21-04-2010 12:29 | Ian Willoughby

'Kooky' Preparations are in full swing for the 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Though much is still being decided, the organisers revealed a lot on Tuesday: there are not one but two Czech films in competition, veteran director Juraj Herz will get a lifetime achievement award, and there will be special sections dedicated to the great British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger, contemporary Belgian film and Australian schlock-horror movies. I caught up with senior programmer Karel Och and asked him what he felt would be the highlights at this year’s Karlovy Vary.   More

Prague’s last metro proposal wins plaudits on the ground

21-04-2010 12:29 | Chris Johnstone

Prague’s transport authority has come up with the idea of extending the night time underground or metro services. The surprise suggestion comes just weeks after they suggested the services end earlier. For the most part, Czechs seem to have welcomed the proposed extension.   More

Libuše Niklová’s famous toys on display in Prague

21-04-2010 12:29 | Ruth Fraňková

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague is currently hosting an exhibition featuring the work of one of the most talented Czech toy designers of all time Libuše Niklová. Though her name might not ring a bell with the general public, her plastic toys, such as the red inflatable buffalo, have been popular companions to several generations of Czech children.   More

Prime Minister Jan Fischer to become vice-president of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

21-04-2010 12:29 | Jan Richter

Prime Minister Jan Fischer, photo: www.vlada.cz Prime Minister Jan Fischer will be leaving Czech politics after May’s general elections. The head of the caretaker government said on Tuesday he was nominated for vice-president of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The 59-year old former statistician should assume the post by the beginning of September.  More

Airlines watch skies - and balance books - as no-fly losses mount

20-04-2010 15:07 | Rob Cameron

Flights to and from the Czech Republic are beginning to resume as normal after Czech airspace was reopened on Monday, but the country’s airlines and airports are now counting the cost of disruption. They’re also nervously watching for news from Iceland after the emergence of a second ash cloud which threatens to ground European air traffic once again.   More

Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids celebrates reopening

20-04-2010 15:07 | Ruth Fraňková

In June 2008, the Czech and Slovak Museum in the US state of Iowa was hit by a devastating flood, which has caused damage running into millions of dollars. Now, nearly two years later, it has opened in a new location in the Kosek Building, right in the middle of the Czech Village. To mark the first step on the road to its recovery, the Czech and Slovak Museum has put up a new exhibition called “Rising Above: the story of a people and the flood”. I spoke to the museum’s director Gail Naughton.   More

Popular Czech children’s book under fire over racist undertones

20-04-2010 15:07 | Jan Richter

A racist passage from a popular Czech children’s book recently sparked a heated debate in the Czech media after a Romany activist asked for it to be withdrawn from the school curriculum. Thousands of Czechs publicly opposed the request, which was also dismissed as unjustified by some Romany organizations. But others believe the issue of racist undertones in some Czech literary works should be taken seriously.   More

Flights resume as Czech authorities reopen country’s airspace

19-04-2010 15:56 | Jan Velinger

Czech authorities have reopened the country’s airspace three days after all air travel to and from the Czech Republic was grounded; like most of Europe, flights in the country were affected by the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland. The decision to reopen Czech airspace and the country’s international airports is however only temporary and will be subject to revision in 48 hours.   More

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