Photos of a wall built by the authorities in the north Bohemian town of Usti nad Labem to separate local residents from Romanies have gone on show at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The wall was built in 1999. It was removed after being criticised by human rights groups as an example of institutional racism in the Czech Republic. Romany groups are calling on the UN to appoint a special representative on Romany issues.
The best-selling Czech novelist Iva Hercikova has died at the age of 71. Police said she took her own life last Saturday, but have released no further details. The author wrote over 20 novels and short story collections in a career spanning five decades. Iva Hercikova is perhaps best known for Pet holek na krku (Five Bad Girls), which was made into a successful film in 1967.
The president of the Czech Republic's police force, Vladislav Husak, could be removed, Pravo reported. The interior minister, Ivan Langer, dismissed a suggestion he would replace Mr Husak with Martin Kotlan; however, the minister added that nothing was definitive. Mr Kotlan was deputy police president from 1998 to 2002.
The Brno city council has agreed to transfer the Tugendhat villa to the state. The move is intended to facilitate the return of the important Modernist building to its original owners, the Tugendhat family. The Tugendhats, who are Jewish, lost the villa when they fled Czechoslovakia in 1938 ahead of the Nazis. The family says the building, a UNESCO world heritage site, will remain open to the public.
The Constitutional Court has ordered the Health Ministry to create a new system of coverage for medicines by public health insurance by the start of next year. The court said the current system was not based on objective criteria and was not justified. It called on the Health Ministry to state clearly why the costs of certain medicines should be covered.
The Czech ski-jumper Jan Mazoch has been released from hospital in Krakow, ten days after crashing badly in a World Cup event in Poland. Mazoch, who had been put into an artificial coma to limit damage to his brain, has been transferred to a hospital in Prague. A medical official at the hospital in Poland said there was no reason he could not ski again if his rehab went as expected.
The Czech plane manufacturer Aero Vodochody has announced plans to layoff 450 out of 1644 employees as part of restructuring measures this year. The announcement was made by the company's head of personnel on Tuesday. Employees laid off will be given five or even six months severance pay as well as retraining to help in their jobs search. Aero Vodochody expects to post a loss of around 1 billion crowns for 2006, the equivalent of around 46 million US dollars.
Following autopsy results, police have confirmed that the death of composer Karel Svoboda on Sunday was indeed a case of suicide. The body of the 68-year-old Svoboda was found by his wife on Sunday evening at the couple's property in a Prague suburb. He had taken his life using a registered firearm. Karel Svoboda was a household name in the Czech Republic for more than thirty years: he wrote the music for numerous hit songs and also wrote well-known scores for films, musicals and theatre productions.
Martin Nekola: Czech Chicago and other untold stories of Czechs abroad
Czech President Zeman addresses Council of Europe
Czech Republic faces court action over freedom of movement
Czech pre-election battle plugs into war of words over lithium mining deal
Prague prepares for launch of annual light show