The rock group Kabat will represent the Czech Republic at the Eurovision song contest in Helsinki in May. The band won Czech Television's Eurosong competition to find the country's first ever Eurovision representative. Kabat formed in 1983 but have become big stars only in recent years. Their latest CD Corrida was the biggest selling album in the Czech Republic last year, despite not being released until December.
The only female referee in the Czech men's first division will not be allowed to officiate in the second half of the season, which has just got underway after the winter break. Dagmar Damkova has been removed from the list of top-flight referees after missing a fitness test due to illness. Ms Damkova said she would now concentrate on reaching the Women's World Cup, which takes place in China in September.
The Social Democrats should decide on their candidate for next year's presidential election within two months, chairman Jiri Paroubek said on Sunday. Speaking on Czech Television, Mr Paroubek said he wanted to put forward a resolution at his party's next conference against any of the Social Democrats' MPs or senators voting for the incumbent Vaclav Klaus in the bicameral secret vote. He said his party were willing to put aside their own interests in order to see the president replaced. Mr Paroubek also criticised Mr Klaus for remaining honorary chairman of the Civic Democrats after he became Czech president.
The music and youth television station MTV is planning to launch a Czech MTV channel next year, the Czech Business Weekly reported. A representative of the station told the weekly that MTV was currently in talks with one or two potential partners in the Czech Republic and hoped to finalise a deal soon. MTV would find itself in competition with the German-owned music station Ocko, which has an estimated audience of 650,000 viewers a week.
Four men died near Opava in north Moravia in the early hours of Sunday morning when they crashed into a tree on their way home from a disco. The four were aged between 20 and 25. A woman passenger survived but is in a serious condition in hospital. Four other people died in accidents around the Czech Republic on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
A couple got married on the rink before a game at Hradec Kralove's ice hockey arena on Saturday. Nada Koutecka and Miroslav Labsky, dressed in hockey strips, made their vows in front of thousands of fans, while players made a guard of honour with their sticks. Getting married before a game was the idea of the hockey-fan bride, whose family are from Hradec.
An organised group is suspected of searching for World War II-era weapons left in the border regions by Sudeten Germans and the Nazis and trading in the arms, Pravo reported. The daily said the police's organised crime unit has been investigating the matter for some weeks. A source close to the investigation said one of the suspects was a former StB secret police agent who had been involved in the same activity even before 1989.
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