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.
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.
A group of Palestinian students expressed solidarity with Palestinians serving prison sentences in Israel at a gathering at the top of Prague's Wenceslas square on Saturday. The students handed out information flyers to passers-by in support of a hunger strike started by 4,000 Palestinian prisoners on August 15 to protest against bad prison conditions. On Friday evening, some twenty students in Prague also stopped eating in a 24 hour symbolic move to support the prisoners' cause.
Members of the skinhead movement from Prague and its surroundings will be attending a concert of the neo-Nazi Randall Gruppe band, Saturday's edition of the Czech daily PRAVO reported. The event is considered to be provocative as it is being held at the "U Karla Haslera" restaurant in Prague, named after famous Czech singer and song-writer Karel Hasler, who died in a Nazi concentration camp. The Czech police will be monitoring the event.
Former political prisoners came together at the Svaty Hostyn, or Holy Hostyn, pilgrimage site to remember their friends who were tortured and died in prisons under the Communist regime. The Czech Confederation of Political Prisoners has organised the pilgrimage every year since 1993, laying flowers at the memorial dedicated to victims of Communism, holding the names of all those who died in Communist prisons. According to the chairman of the federation, Leo Zidek, some 240 people were killed and 200,000 arrested in the forty years of Communist rule.
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