On a visit to Washington, D.C., Czech representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs and defense have learned that a US anti-missile base which may be housed on Czech territory (or in Poland) would serve to protect all of Europe from missile attack. Members of the Czech delegation expressed surprise at the news relayed by American military experts. The United States is expected to announce its central European locations of preference for radar and missile defense systems sometime in the coming months, perhaps as soon as September.
Jan Spata, one of the Czech Republic's leading documentary film makers, has died; he was 73. Born on 25 October 1932 in Nachod, Mr. Spata studied at FAMU and also earned his credentials as a cameraman in films made by other Czech directors such as Helena Trestikova and Jiri Papousek. His own career as a director began in the mid-1960s and he made over 100 films, becoming a mentor to many younger film-makers and earning over 60 awards at festivals at home and abroad. Jan Spata's last work appeared in 1998—a two part autobiographical piece, "Laska, kterou opoustim" or 'The love I'm leaving behind.' Jan Spata passed away in Prague on Friday morning after a serious illness.
A Czech Roma woman, Elena Gorolova, has made her case of sterilization public at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ms. Gorolova underwent a sterilization procedure in Vitkovice's hospital in 1990 after giving birth to her second child. She testified that while still under the influence of a sedative, doctors told her further pregnancies could threaten her life, and thus she signed the papers allowing sterilization. Ms. Gorolova told the U.N. Committee Against the Discrimination of Women that she wasn't properly informed of her rights, and that she believes the sterilization procedure was recommended because she is Roma. Ms. Gorolova's case is not the first of its kind in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic ranks thirteenth among European countries for the most web pages devoted to travel and tourism. The data was released Friday by Internet Security Systems, which ranked the country 21st overall in the world. According to ISS, the number of websites devoted to selling vacation packages has risen by over a quarter in the last year, with 60% of all such sites registering in the United States. The company Forrester Research notes that 1/3rd of Euros that Europeans spend on-line go towards the purchase of tourism packages.
Prime Minister designate, Mirek Topolanek, says that he is not expecting
the Christian Democrats and the Green Party to support a Civic Democratic
minority government in a vote of confidence in the lower house. Mr.
Topolanek made the statement in an interview for the daily Hospodarske
Noviny, clarifying that there must be a basic agreement between the two
largest parties—the Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats—in order for
any government to work. However, Mr. Topolanek also says that he also
hopes to cooperate with the smaller parties—the Christian Democrats and
the Greens—throughout his government's mandate.
Following June's elections which left the lower house split 100:100 for left vs. right parties, Mr. Topolanek's Civic Democrats worked on a coalition deal with the Christian Democrats and the Greens, but were still left with one vote short of a majority in the lower house.
Mr. Topolanek is currently in the process of forming a minority government. The current government's ministers will stay in their posts until a new cabinet is formed. As it stands, the country also has two prime ministers, with Jiri Paroubek standing as the acting prime minister until Mirek Topolanek forms a new cabinet.
Nicole Vaidisova has pulled out of her quarterfinal match against
Australian Nicole Pratt in Montreal because of pain in her right
shoulder. The rising 17 year-old Czech tennis star says that she
decided to withdraw from the Rogers Cup and favor rehabilitation for
her shoulder ahead of the US Open in New York. It is the second time
this year that Ms. Vaidisova has been bothered by her right shoulder,
but she expects to be in good shape for the US Open.
Meanwhile, Czech-born American tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, continues her successful run in women's doubles in Montreal. Navratilova and her Russian doubles partner, Nadia Petrova, secured a spot in the quarter-finals with a 7:6, 6:1 victory over Gisela Dulko and Corina Morariu late on Thursday.
A former police officer has been charged for trying to allegedly bribe newly-elected Social Democrat MP Pavel Ploc shortly after June's national election. According to reports, the accused - 42-year-old Pavel Srytr, a former schoolmate of Mr Ploc's - approached the newly-elected MP, asking him to switch parties for five million crowns (the equivalent of around 230,000 US dollars). A switch from the Social Democrats to the Greens that was allegedly suggested, would have given the centre-right a slim majority in the currently deadlocked parliament. Mr Srytr - a former police officer who later worked as a driver and bodyguard for murdered businessman and suspected underworld figure Frantisek Mrazek - has not denied meeting with Mr Ploc, but he has denied the bribery charge.
The Czech Republic's football team were beaten 3:1 at home by Serbia on Wednesday night. The friendly was the Czechs' first game since the World Cup. It was also the last international game for the greatest Czech player of his generation, Pavel Nedved. Nedved received a standing ovation when he left the field.
The number of people infected with the HIV virus in the Czech Republic
has risen in the last three years and doctors registered sixty-four new
cases alone since January. The news was revealed by Marie Bruckova from
the State Health Institute on Thursday. According to Mrs Bruckova the
rise has confirmed a trend which began in 2004 and is expected to
continue. In a press conference on Thursday Bruckova cited a number of
reasons why HIV prevention has lessoned: according to the specialist
the lowering of state funds has had an impact. Doctors have registered
almost nine hundred HIV positive individuals in the Czech Republic and
the former Czechoslovakia since 1986. 202 cases later developed into
Last year, 90 new cases of HIV positive were registered. Four-fifths of those infected are men. Unprotected sex and the sharing of dirty needles in drug abuse are the two most common factors towards catching the deadly virus.
Newly-named Prime Minister designate Mirek Topolanek has said he will provide rival politician and head of the Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek with a list of candidates for his new cabinet on Monday. Mr Topolanek said as much in a recent live broadcast for one of the commercial Czech radio stations Frekvence 1. Although he mentioned no names, it is known that his party, the Civic Democrats, would like the new minority government to include figures like Alexander Vondra - a former ambassador to the US, and Petr Gandalovic, the mayor of Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia. Rival Social Democrats have already stated they will be willing to tolerate the minority government under certain conditions. But, some proposed candidates could supposedly prove to be sticking points, among them Vlasitmil Tlusty to head the Finance Ministry, or Ivan Langer to head the Interior Ministry. Negotiations on the new cabinet will continue next week.