Some 200 people from all over the world, who are of Czech origin and
are in Prague to attend the "Week of Czechs Living Abroad", were
welcomed by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and Foreign Minister
Alexandr Vondra on Tuesday. The Week of Czechs Living Abroad centres
around seminars and talks on relations between the Czech Republic and
people with Czech ties abroad. It was first held in 1998 and is
organised by the International Coordination Committee for Czechs
Abroad, in cooperation with the Senate, Foreign Ministry, and Charles
University and is held under the auspices of President Vaclav Klaus.
As part of the event, an award ceremony will take place on Friday to honour women of Czech origin for their outstanding achievement in art, science, sports, charity work, business, and public life. Among those nominated for the prize are Madeleine Albright and Ivana Trump. On the same day, a resolution will be made evaluating the Czech state's ties to problems faced by Czechs abroad. Accompanying programmes include exhibitions, film screenings, and a tour of the National Archives.
Liptal near Vsetin, in north Moravia, has been named Village of the Year in the Regional Development Ministry's national competition that is held every year. Liptal was awarded for its development plans, folklore programmes, and projects involving children and the youth. The village competed against 355 villages from 13 regions. It receives one million crowns, to be used for future development projects.
Some 72,500 motorists have already broken traffic regulations and have at least one point since the new point system was introduced in July. Ten drivers have collected twelve points and lost their licence, the transport ministry says. The ministry also says the number of accidents and mortalities has decreased significantly in the last two months as drivers have been more cautious.
At a meeting with President Vaclav Klaus at Prague Castle on Tuesday, King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia said he considers the Czech Republic his second home. The 52 year old monarch lived and studied in Prague for 13 years. He speaks fluent Czech and was presented with the Foreign Ministry's Gratias Agit award this year for promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad. During his one-week visit to the Czech Republic, which was launched on Tuesday, King Sihamoni will also receive honorary citizenship of Prague.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be visiting the Czech Republic next month to attend the Forum 2000 conference, which takes place in Prague from October 8-10 under the auspices of former President Vaclav Havel. The Forum 2000 conferences are held regularly since 1997 to debate the key issues facing civilization and explore ways to prevent conflict. The Dalai Lama has been a regular participant. On October 11, he is also scheduled to give a public talk at Prague's Sparta sports arena.
New Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek opposes plans by a group
representing Germans forced out of eastern Europe after World War Two
to build a permanent centre on the expulsions. Reiterating a
long-standing Czech position, the prime minister, leader of the
right-wing Civic Democrats, said his government wanted relations with
Germany to focus on "the present and the future". The Centre Against
Expulsions, a foundation linked with the League of German Expellees,
plans to build a permanent centre on the subject in Berlin.
The League represents 12.5 million Germans evicted from eastern Europe after the war, including about three million from former Czechoslovakia. Mr Topolanek said he would coordinate the Czech position with Poland, which also opposes the plan.
Czech doctors, pharmacists and hospital management say a meeting with new Civic Democrat health minister Tomas Julinek has been productive in finding ways out of the country's health crisis. Health workers from all spheres of the sector have been protesting at measures introduced by Minister Julinek's predecessor, Social Democrat David Rath, whose reforms they say have harmed patients and lacked efficiency. Mr Julinek is also scheduled to meet with the country's health insurers and presidents of three medical chambers.
The international airport in Brno-Turany opened a new terminal on Monday, roughly one year after construction to expand the airport began. The new terminal, in line with Schengen standards, is capable of processing up to 1000 passengers within an hour. President Vaclav Klaus flew to Brno to open the terminal and was the first to enter the building. Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Klaus said that with the airport facelift, Brno may win the right to host the meeting of 18 presidents from the Central European Initiative which will be held in the Czech Republic in 2008. The Brno airport processed 315 000 travelers last year, and the number is expected to rise to over 400 000 in 2006. Regular links to Munich, Prague and London are based in Brno-Turany, and negotiations over seven additional regular flights to Russia and southern Europe are underway.
A Japanese LCD screen joint venture between Hitachi, Panasonic and Toshiba announced on Monday that it had started construction of a 92-million-euro (116-million-dollar) plant in the Czech Republic, AFP reports. Production at the new plant, at Zatec in northwestern Bohemia, is expected to start in 2007 and create jobs for 2,000 people.
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