Karel Gott's family, friends, and fans came together to wish him a happy belated birthday at a gala night in New York's Astoria World Manor on Saturday. The popular Czech singer, who celebrated his 65th birthday on July 14th, was accompanied by his two daughters and his partner Ivana Machackova. Among his birthday presents were a Happy Birthday song from popular singer Lucie Bila, a globe to help him keep track of where he is, and a birthday cake with a portrait of him in chocolate.
Czech Senate Chairman Petr Pithart, who has been in Austria since Friday to attend the Salzburg Festival, met with Austrian President Heinz Fischer on Saturday, ahead of Mr Fischer's official trip to Prague next month. While the two politicians chose not to discuss sensitive topics such as the Czech Republic's nuclear energy plan or the controversial Benes decrees, both men agreed it was necessary to uphold close cooperation between the Central European countries. Mr Pithart noted that the Czech Republic was engaged in much more dialogue with its neighbour Germany than with Austria and suggested the two countries' experts, historians, and politicians should come together more often to discuss their past, present and future.
The Czech Republic's European Commissioner Pavel Telicka, who came to Prague on Friday to find out why the ruling coalition parties decided to have him replaced by outgoing prime minister Vladimir Spidla, leaves for Brussels on Sunday without an explanation. Mr Telicka was hoping to get an explanation from acting leader of the Social Democrats and prime minister-designate Stanislav Gross but Mr Gross is out of town and will not be back before Monday morning. Although the news of Mr Telicka's dismissal was made official on Friday, Mr Telicka says he himself has neither received an official notice, nor an explanation. He is expected to meet with Mr Gross next weekend.
The 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) at which several thousand astronomers from around the world come together to debate about the state of the universe will be held in Prague. According to Pavel Suchan from the Academy of Science's Astronomy Institute, the assembly is scheduled for 2006. The last time Prague, a city with a rich astronomical history going back to the mid-14th century, hosted the general assembly was in 1967. It has attracted many of the world's greatest astronomers and physicists including Albert Einstein (from 1911-1912), Johannes Kepler (from 1600 - 1612), Christian Doppler (1835 - 1847), and Tycho Brahe who is buried in the city's Tyn church.
The Czech Republic's European Commissioner Pavel Telicka has arrived in Prague, where he hopes to meet with acting leader of the Social Democrats and prime minister-designate Stanislav Gross. On Friday, the ruling coalition parties agreed to replace Mr Telicka by the outgoing Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. This means that Mr Telicka could loose his post in Brussels as early as in one month. Mr Telicka first heard about his replacement from a friend just before the news was made official at a press conference on Friday.
Czech mezzo soprano Magdalena Kozena, one of Europe's most sought-after classical vocalists, has left her husband, French baritone Vincent Le Texier, and will move from Paris to Berlin to live with her lover, Sir Simon Rattle. After numerous reports about their relationship appeared in the tabloid press, a spokesman for the couple confirmed for the German paper Bild that the two artists were together and said the pair's spouses were aware of the situation, but would not comment further. Sir Simon, currently the artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic, is considered to be Britain's foremost conductor.
Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka on Friday awarded overseas service medals to 97 military police officers who had been deployed in Iraq as well soldiers returning from the territory of the former Yugoslavia, who had served with the U.N. peacekeeping force SFOR. Five of those who served were also awarded the Cross of Merit. The military police contingent was deployed in southern Iraq from April to June this year. They trained over 2,000 Iraqi police officers and police instructors. The Czech military contingent served mainly in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Czech's EU Commissioner, Pavel Telicka, first learned that he may be replaced in Brussels by outgoing Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla from a friend. Mr Telicka told the CTK news agency that he only received official news of that possibility on Friday, after a public news conference. The post of EU commissioner was first offered to Mr Spidla by the acting head of the Social Democrats and Prime Minister-designate, Stanislav Gross, who is now putting together a new cabinet. The Christian Democrat party, which will be part of the new government coalition, has pushed for Mr Telicka's replacement due to his past membership in the Communist party.
Another suspected case of BSE, or mad cow disease, has been reported in Podhorni Ujezd, near Jicin, East Bohemia. The animal suspected of suffering from the condition is a five-year-old cow. The State Veterinary Authority said further tests would be carried out. If confirmed, it would be the Czech Republic's thirteenth case of the disease since 2001. Some 143 head of cattle, either offspring of the cow or animals born in the same year will have to be killed as a preventative measure.
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