The mayor of Prague, Pavel Bem, has reached the top of Mount Everest. Mr Bem, a senior figure in the Civic Democratic Party, becomes the tenth Czech to reach the world's highest peak. He is now on a two-day descent to his base camp, which experienced climbers say is the most dangerous part of the climb. Mr Bem was criticised both inside and outside his party for taking two months leave from his post as mayor of Prague.
A man committed suicide by jumping under a train in Brno on Thursday, soon after running over his wife with a car. The man, who was 43, hit his wife at high speed though her injuries have been described as not life-threatening. Police said the man evidently could not reconcile himself to his wife's demand for a divorce.
Experts say they expect a new record price for a Czech painting sold at auction to be set this Sunday, when Frantisek Kupka's Abstract Composition goes under the hammer in Prague. The starting price is 8.5 million crowns, but there is a good chance the work could fetch over 10 million, said auctioneer Jan Rybar, adding that it was a long time since an oil painting by Kupka had been up for sale.
The Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, has described Austrian
protesters against a Czech nuclear power plant as "loonies"
("magory"). Speaking to Czech television cameras, Mr
Schwarzenberg said "knowing those loonies, they would continue
holding border blockades". This week Austrian anti-nuclear activists
would block all 16 crossings between the two states, if Vienna did not
file a lawsuit against the Czech Republic. The Austrian government has
sent a diplomatic note, saying the Czechs had not fulfilled the Melk
agreement on safety at the Temelin nuclear station in south Bohemia.
Speaking on a visit to Prague on Friday, Austrian Interior Minister Gunther Platter said his government was committed to ensuring free movement on the border, regardless of developments in the dispute over Temelin.
The supreme state attorney, Renata Vesecka, has sacked Milan Horvath as head of her office's financial crime section, after Mr Horvath lost a briefcase containing files pertaining to the case of fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir. The briefcase was stolen from Mr Horvath's car, which had been left parked in a street in Brno last Tuesday. Two men were apprehended in possession of the documents, which they had been trying to sell to various media outlets and Mr Krejcir's lawyers. The latter is in custody in South Africa. The Czech Republic has requested his extradition so he can face several charges including conspiracy to murder.
A special police team has been formed to help the search for a 13-year-old girl who went missing from a children's home in Brno a week ago. The police say they now believe it is possible that somebody is hiding Anna, and have raided a number of homes belonging to the girl's relatives. She had been in the care of Klara Mauerova, a 30-year-old woman who is in custody on charges of severely abusing her eight-year-old son. The authorities say they have no record of Anna's existence, and there is considerable confusion over her identity and even age.
Archaeologists have discovered a meat freezer in Usti nad Labem where 17 butchers died during World War II, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. The freezer was found beneath the town's main square. The butchers are believed to have been sheltering from an Allied air raid in April 1945. The premises were hit by a bomb, but the freezer continued working and the men succumbed to ammonia poisoning after the gas was released by its damaged cooling system. Eight of the butchers were Czech; the others were from France and Belgium.
President Vaclav Klaus awarded Cardinal Miloslav Vlk with a medal of merit called the "Plaque of Honour" on Thursday. At Prague Castle, the Roman Catholic Church's most senior representative in the Czech Republic received the medal for his contribution to the development of religious life and social dialogue. Cardinal Vlk turned 75 on Thursday.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus and members of the government representing
the country abroad held a meeting on Thursday to form a common position on
the European Union ahead of the EU summit in June. Speaking to journalists
after the meeting, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Prague expects the
summit to produce a road map for the creation of a new document on the
EU's future role. This document should ideally not be called a
constitution, not create the post of EU foreign minister, leave out the
human rights charter, and should give individual member states the right
to re-vote on issues decided in Brussels that threaten their sovereignty.
Before the summit, Mr Topolanek also hopes to discuss the Czech position with his outgoing British counterpart Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel whose country currently holds the EU presidency.