Two police officers from a special unit designed to help tourists in
the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have been arrested for extorting
money from a Czech national, the Reuters news agency has reported. Not
satisfied with about 260 US dollars they got from the Czech as well as
a US national for allegedly possessing drugs, they accompanied the two
tourists to their hotel to get more money. A spokesman for the Rio
state security secretariat said the tourists alerted hotel security
guards who called the police and the two officers were arrested on the
The state security spokesman says there is no investigation or case against the tourists. The officers were charged with exceeding their authority and an investigation is underway to determine if they planted drugs on the tourists.
A coach with Polish tourists crashed into a stationary lorry on the D5 motorway near Rokycany, western Bohemia, early on Saturday morning. The driver was injured seriously and five passengers lightly. Police say after the accident, a passenger car crashed into the back of the bus but saw no injuries. The police are investigating the cause of the accidents.
The 43rd international television festival, Golden Prague, opens in the Czech capital's Congress Centre on Saturday. The festival will run until May 5 and focuses on music and dance on the television screen. Dozens of contributions from 24 countries are participating this year. Golden Prague is one of the oldest television festivals in the world.
Several thousand people from the Czech Republic and other European countries are raving at the CzaroTekk techno party despite showers and light snow. The open-air festival is being held on private property close to the Bohemian town of Krasna this weekend. The techno lovers are being closely monitored by the police.
Hundreds of Social Democrats gathered at Central Bohemia's Rip Hill on
Saturday for a meeting of party liners. In what has become tradition ahead
of elections, they ceremoniously climbed up the hill where the first
are believed to have settled. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and former
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who is on a two-day visit, led the
crowd. At the event, Mr Schroeder praised the ruling coalition Social
Democrats for the country's large economic growth and said Mr Paroubek was
a valuable party member and has been helping to increase their chances of
winning the elections in June.
Mr Schroeder and the Hungarian and British Prime Ministers Ferenc Gyurcsany and Tony Blair are all planning to come to Prague towards the end of the election campaign to support the Social Democrats' efforts in winning another term in government. Social Democrat party liners first met on Rip Hill before the elections in 2002 to announce their party manifesto and launch the election campaign. They gathered there again in 2004 before the elections to the European Parliament.
Czech smokers should take part in an international smoking cessation contest called Quit and Win, the National Institute of Public Health announced. The purpose of the contest is to give adults an incentive to gather the will power to abstain from smoking and using tobacco products for at least four weeks in May. Winners are then drawn among all successful participants. Czech candidates can win twice. If they are selected in the national part of the competition, they win a trip abroad; a lucky draw in the international part wins them an extra 10,000 US dollars.
Experts are examining a functional explosive device that has been found under a highly frequented railway in the Prague-Liben district, TV Nova has reported. The vessel with an unidentified liquid, wires, and igniter with batteries, was found by chance by police officers who were pursuing a suspected thief. It has already been confirmed that the device was not assembled by an amateur, TV Nova reports.
The Foreign Ministry has condemned the arrest of Belarussian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich as well as three other opposition representatives sentenced to fifteen days in prison by the regime of strong-armed dictator Alexander Lukashenko. The men were jailed for participating in an unauthorised demonstration. The Czech ministry has demanded the immediate release of the representatives of the democratic opposition and other political prisoners serving their sentences across Belarus. The European Union also denounced Mr Milinkevich's arrest on Thursday.
The arrest of the head of the carmaker Hyundai in South Korea has raised
questions over the future of a major investment deal in the Czech
Earlier, before the arrestm, Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek had said
that he would be prepared to go to South Korea to seal an agreement with
Hyundai on its first European
car plant in the Czech Republic but the escalating corruption scandal in
South Korea could have unforeseen consequences, with Hyundai's boss
remanded in custody.If the Czech prime minister or the minister for trade
and industry do fly to Seoul to finalise an agreement on the billion
dollar Czech car plant, they
will now presumably deal with Kim Tong-Chin. He will be taking over
Hyundai in the
interim. The Czech government has not received offiicial word from Hyundai
The Czech prime minister and others have been intent on quelling fears that the corruption scandal could cause the cancellation of the Czech project. The launch ceremony for the Czech plant at Nosovice, in the east of the country, was originally scheduled for May 17th. A top Hyundai executive has suggested that the investment in the Czech Republic could be postponed indefinitely. The Czech plant - expected to provide 3,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs - was due to start production in 2008.
Speaking at an economic forum in Teplice on Friday Prime Minister Jiri
Paroubek rejected the idea of the Social Democrats governing with the
Communist Party following elections in June. Mr Paroubek rejected the
idea on the basis of economic considerations, saying that - regardless
of moral issues - any government following the Communists election
programme would lead the country away from prosperity. At the same
time, Mr Paroubek suggested that a government led by the
right-of-centre Civic Democrats could be even more damaging. With
elections less than two months away Czech politicians are gearing up
for what some observers are saying could be a difficult election race.
The latest surveys continue to show the opposition Civic Democrats
ahead of Mr Paroubek's party. The Social Democrats' numbers have
improved slightly, while support for the Green Party - recently surging
in the polls - has declined somewhat, a new poll released by the Factum
Agency has suggested.
The poll suggests that if elections were held today the only possible majority coalitions in the 200-member lower house would be that of the Civic Democrats together with the Christian Democrats and the Green Party (with an estimated 106 seats) or a grand coalition put together by the Social Democrats and the Civic Democrats (an estimated 121 seats).
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