A computer hacker reportedly hacked a website belonging to Social Democrat deputy leader Zdenek Skromach on Sunday. The site has since been restored to integrity. Notable cases of hacking in the Czech Republic in the past included the 2002 hacking of the Communist Party's website, where the perpetrator inserted a portrait of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin on the Internet pages. In 2001, the Senate and Agriculture Ministry sites were also hit.
Outgoing Social Democrat Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has ruled
out early elections as a way out of the political stalemate that followed
results of the general election last month. Mr Paroubek made the statement
in an interview for the Czech Sunday paper "Nedelni Svet",
stressing that - in his view - all five parliamentary parties, including
the Communists, should have a say in negotiating the next government's
programme. In Mr Paroubek's view, concessions need to be made on all
The Civic Democratic Party which won
last month's election and agreed on a centre-right coalition with the
Christian Democrats and the Greens, has been trying to negotiate a deal
with the opposition to support the coalition in a confidence vote - but so
far without success. The proposed coalition is one mandate short of the
Rivals, the Social Democrats, have instead renewed calls for a caretaker government.
A film by US director Laurie Collyer has won the the Crystal Globe, the
main prize at the 41st Karlovy Vary international film festival. Titled
"Sherrybaby", it is sadi to tell the story of a former drug addict who
attempts to establish contact with her daughter following time in jail.
The Best Actress Award went to Maggie Gyllenhall for the same film; the
actress is known to Czech audiences for performances in films like
"Secretary" and "Adaptation".
Also, in Karlovy Vary two films - "Beauty in Trouble", by Czech director Jan Hrebejk, and the Bulgarian film "Christmas Tree Upside Down" by filmmakers Ivan Cherkelov and Vassil Zhivkor - received the Special Jury prize.
Racer Martin Doktor has earned silver in the 200 metre speed canoeing race at the European Championships in Racice, in the Litomerice region. Doktor - who last won a silver in 1999 in Zagreb, Croatia - now has a total of 12 European championship medals. In the race for the gold Doktor was edged by Russian favourite Maxim Opalev. Lithuanian racer Jevgenij Suklin came 3rd.
Almost 90 of some 450 Czech soldiers serving in the NATO-led international force KFOR have departed for a six-month mission in Kosovo. They are to be joined by the rest of their colleagues by the end of the month. The latest soldiers are part of the 9th contingent and will be responsible for continuing to maintain peace and order, as well as conducting searches for illegal weapons, munitions, and drugs. The Czech Army has taken part in peace-keeping in Kosovo since 1999. Yearly Czech military operations abroad - including hot spots in Iraq and Afghanistan - cost some 1.5 billion crowns, (the equivalent of around 68 million US dollars).
The British media have been reporting that English football club Aston Villa have been readying the ground for the departure of Czech striker Milan Baros - in favour of trying to retain the services of Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Baros joined Villa last year, but is reportedly not against joining Hamburg, who have made an offer of 8 million pounds for the transfer. Negotiations between the English and German sides are reportedly to continue in the coming week.
The body of a drowned man estimated to be in his early twenties was found on Saturday on a river near Stribrna Skalice, a small town in Central Bohemia. The man is believed to be a foreigner. This week saw an unusual number of drowning accidents in the Czech Republic: on the state holidays on July 5th and 6th seven people, including a four-year old boy, lost their lives, either drowning in swimming pools or at recreational reservoirs. On Saturday, an older man in southern Bohemia became the latest drowning fatality - he may have also suffered a heart attack.
Czech canoeist and two-time Olympic champion Martin Doktor has come in 4th in the one-kilometre race at the European Championships, being held in Racice in the Czech Republic. The C1 category was won by Romanian racer Florin Mironcic. German competitor Andreas Ditmer was 2nd, while Russian Maxim Opalev, was 3rd.
The right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party, which won the general election in June and recently signed a coalition agreement with two smaller parties, has called on the rival Social Democrats to outline conditions under which they would be willing to tolerate the emerging centre-right government. More than a month since voters went to the polls, the emerging coalition has been trying - but so far been unable - to break the political deadlock in Parliament. The coalition is one mandate short of a majority required to pass in a confidence vote. On Friday, the coalition - which includes the Greens and the Christian Democrats - again attempted to elect a candidate for speaker of the lower house, but was not successful. Rivals, the Social Democrats, have since repeated calls for a caretaker government to be formed instead of the proposed coalition - a position criticised by the Civic Democrats.
Strong storms - including heavy rain and hail - hit parts of the Czech Republic - Pardubice in Central Bohemia, as well as the Moravian region of Olomouc on Friday and Saturday. Friday evening fire fighters dealt with fallen trees and localised flooding in southern Bohemia - specifically the area around Cesky Krumlov.
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