Thousands of people went to Prague's Vystaviste Hall on Saturday night to be at the first ever Prague appearance of the legendary James Brown. The 71-year-old soul and funk performer entertained the crowd for two and a half hours with hits like Sex Machine, Try Me, I Got the Feeling, and I Feel Good. To commemorate the victims of the Beslan school massacre in Russia, he stopped the show in the middle of It's a Man's World and called for a minute of silence.
A 38-year old policeman died in hospital on Saturday night, after he was struck by a car during a traffic stop in north-eastern Bohemia. The officer signalled the car to stop and was hit when its driver tried to avoid police controls. The driver fled the scene but was found on the same night lying drunk by a hay loft in a nearby village, 200 meters away from his parked car. He has been charged with fleeing the scene and manslaughter, resulting in death. He could face up to 15 years in prison, if found guilty.
Karel Poborsky has become the latest member of the Czech football team to be ruled out of Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands. Poborsky - who has the Czech record of 100 international games - joins captain Pavel Nedved, Tomas Galasek and Vladimir Smicer on the injured list; coach Karel Bruckner says he has not yet decided who will replace the four regular midfielders.
Several towns and cities around the country are celebrating European Jewish Culture Day this Sunday. Through exhibitions, concerts, seminars, TV programmes, and even sports events, people get to know the cultural and historical heritage of Judaism but also the modern life of the Jewish community in the Czech Republic today. Most synagogues and Jewish cemeteries have also been opened to the public. The Czech Republic is one of twenty-five states that recognises September 5 as the European Day of Jewish Culture.
Security measures imposed against potential terrorist attacks will soon threaten our basic freedoms, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Sunday. Speaking in a discussion programme on the TV station Nova, he said the use of cameras and other systems that will monitor our every step was a "frightening price to pay" for security. Some security measures will be necessary, but it is imperative that they are reasonable, Mr Klaus said, adding that the long-term solution was to focus on where and why terrorism develops.
Czech tennis players Jiri Novak and Michal Tabara have been knocked out of the third round of the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, the US Open. Novak, the Czech number one, was beaten by sixth seed Andre Agassi of the USA, while Tabara lost to Great Britain's Tim Henman. The only Czech left in the singles competition is Tomas Berdych, the 18-year-old who impressed many with a good run at the Olympic Games. He beat Finland's Tuomas Ketola to set up a third-round meeting with Mikhail Youzhny of Russia.
Eleven skinheads, who were attending a concert in Prague, were arrested by the police on Saturday night. After being charged with the propagation of fascism and disorderly conduct, ten of them were released. However, one man who attacked a Czech TV cameraman is still in police custody. Some 120 members of the neo-Nazi movement visited the concert of the radical Randall Gruppe band. The event was held at a restaurant named after the Czech singer Karel Hasler, who died in a concentration camp.
The Czech Republic celebrated its first victory at the ice-hockey World Cup when it beat Germany 7-2 at Prague's Sazka arena on Friday evening. The win means the Czechs finish the round-robin stage in third place. At the quarter finals on Tuesday, they will face the losers of Saturday's game between Finland and Sweden.
At the annual meeting of the Federation of Expellees in Berlin, its president Erika Steinbach criticised the Czech and Polish governments for failing to revoke laws from the post-WWII period that sanctioned the expulsion and confiscation of property of ethnic Germans. The people expelled are not after their property, all they want is reconciliation, she said. The Federation of Expellees is a non-profit organisation formed to represent the interests of an estimated 15 million ethnic Germans who were displaced from their homes in Central and Eastern Europe, mainly Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union, during the expulsion of Germans after WWII.
Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda, who is currently attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, told journalists on Saturday that the Czech Republic hopes to invite the children who survived the Beslan school siege in Russia to stay at Czech recreational spots to help them recover from the shock. The decision was made after Prime Minister Stanislav Gross consulted the idea with Mr Svoboda over the telephone. According to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vit Kolar, up to one million Czech crowns (a little over 33,000 euros) from the state budget can be used to aid the affected families. Should the Russians accept the offer, a plane will be dispatched to pick up the victims and take them to recreational spots around the country.
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