The Czech Ministry of Health and the state-owned health insurance company, VZP, have, respectively, offered to provide nearly 200 survivors of the recent terrorist attacks in Beslan, Russia transportation to the Adriatic coast and accommodation there. The Czech government had earlier in the week outlined a plan in which three Czech ministries would coordinate a recuperative stay in the Czech Republic for the traumatised Russian children from Ossetia, with the interior ministry providing the facilities, the foreign ministry covering the finances and the health ministry providing psychological counselling and care.
Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan has said that, contrary to reports in the Czech press, the investigation into whether or not Freedom Union MP Zdenek Koristka was offered a bribe to vote against the government in a confidence will continue and even "intensify." Some Czech media reported on Tuesday that the police investigation would likely be dropped due to a lack of evidence. Mr Koristka alleges that an adviser to Civic Democrat chairman Miroslav Topolanek offered him a bribe of 10 million crowns, the equivalent of about 300,000 euros, to vote against the government coalition of which he is a member.
The Czech President Vaclav Klaus has warned against the dangers of adopting the euro too soon in an interview for Monday's edition of the Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes. Mr Klaus, a former liberal economist and has been labelled a eurosceptic, expressed concern about arrangements for adapting to use of the euro "and their disagreeable effects on the whole economy". The Czech Republic joined the European Union on May 1, but Mr Klaus said that Czechs would not be at a disadvantage if other new EU members adopted the euro first. He said he saw the bigger danger in adopting the euro too soon. According to President Klaus analyses show that those countries among the 15 old EU members that remained outside the euro zone have rather benefited.
The Czech-born Euro-MP for the German Green Party, Milan Horacek, opened his office in Prague on Monday. Mr Horacek, who is one of the founders of the German Green Party, says that in his five-year term in the European Parliament he wants to address problems faced by both Czechs and Germans. Among them, he mentioned the Roma holocaust during WWII, trafficking in women and child prostitution. Mr Horacek is also a member of the Czech Green Party.
The Czech President Vaclav Klaus arrived in London on Monday for a two-day visit that will also include talks with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. On Monday, Mr Klaus had lunch with Prince Andrew, then he met Czech veterans of World War II at Westminster Abbey before heading to a reception with Czechs living in Britain and a dinner in the City financial district. He also met Britain's Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, during the day, ahead of meetings on Tuesday with Tony Blair, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the opposition Conservative leader Michael Howard. The visit is the first to Britain for President Klaus since the Czech Republic joined the European Union in May this year.
The Brno Regional court has started hearing the case of 41-year-old Jana Burdova from Znojmo, south Moravia, who is suspected of organising child prostitution in 2000-2003, which involved four girls aged from 7 to 16, including her own daughters. Men from nearby Austria were the girls' most frequent clients. If found guilty, Ms Burdova faces up to 12 years in prison. According to experts, child prostitution is one of the Czech Republic's chief problems in the security area. It occurs mainly in border regions and in Prague. The country has been repeatedly criticised by various foreign institutions in this respect.
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.
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