Two Czech aircraft JAS 39-Gripen took off from the military airbase in Caslav, central Bohemia, on Thursday to assist a small passenger plane making a domestic flight. The pilot of the small plane sent out an emergency signal indicating the plane had been kidnapped. The two fighters accompanied the Cessna to the airport in Rakovnik, central Bohemia, the original destination of flight, and returned to the base. It later turned out that the emergency signal was sent out by mistake. It is the second case of Czech fighters assisting a civilian plane over the Czech Republic this year. In January, a Hungarian passenger plane flying from Germany to Poland was assisted by the Czech Air Force.
Rally against the siting of U.S. radar in the Czech territory held by the Communist Youth Union in Ostrava on Saturday only attracted about ten passers-by. Despite the low attendance, the organizers plan to hold similar rallies in all Czech and Moravian towns. The Communist Youth Union has managed to collect more than 120 000 signatures for their petition protesting against a possible positioning of the radar, a part of U.S. anti-missile system, in the Czech Republic so far.
Czech Republic beat Panama 2:1 at the Under-20 football World Cup in Canada on Friday and advanced to the last sixteen. The Czech team drew their first game against Argentina as well as the following match against North Korea. The third match in group E against Panama on Friday night was crucial as both teams were to hoping to score victory and advance. In the first half, the Czech team gradually got their opponents under considerable pressure but did not score until well into the second half when Kalouda and Strestik scored within three minutes giving the Czech line-up a decisive advantage. Panama responded with a score from a free kick and set the score to 2:1, but it was already too late. With five points, Czechs came second in their group while Panama goes home early.
The number of complaints dealt with by municipal police in Prerov, North Moravia, dropped by 70 % last year. This was due to the use of dictaphones by all 43 police officers, said Prerov's municipal police director Omar Tieraki. Police officers use dictaphones at will during their everyday duties and recorded conversations may serve as evidence when dealing with complaints or when police verdicts are disputed. According to director Teiraki, municipal policemen in Prerov have also improved their communication skills because of the dictaphones. All the records are kept by the municipal police for internal use.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Friday that a presentation by Czech climate scientists was not objective. Czech climatologists met in Prague on Wednesday to present their conclusions concerning global warming issues. In a following discussion, some scientists rejected Mr Klaus' views that the global warming debate is hysterical and may restrain human freedom. Klaus said that he has "millions of arguments" he could use in such a debate and also expressed his disgruntlement over the fact he had not been invited to the conference in order to defend his opinions.
Seven people died, 20 were seriously injured and 130 ended up with light injuries on roads in the Czech Republic over the two days of holidays, police statistics suggest. This makes the two days even worse than the first July weekend that brings large numbers of drivers onto the roads as it marks the beginning of summer holidays. There has been an overall increase in the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in comparison to last year. Last July saw the introduction of the new drivers' point system which improved road safety but now situation has gone back to normal.
Plans to build a large commercial mall in central Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, are disputed by local monument care organisations, says Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes. The shopping mall is to be built on a site occupied by an Art Deco house erected in the 1930s. The monument care institute together with the Friends of Ceske Budejovice Club have suggested the house is declared a cultural monument which would bar its demolition. The construction company now has to await the verdict of the Czech Ministry of Culture which will decide whether the historical building is worth special protection.
The European Federation of Psychologists' Associations /EFPA/ held its 10th European Congress of Psychology in Prague this week. Despite it being a European event it was attended by over 3,000 psychologists from around the world. The congress covered a wide range of topics: the current state of knowledge, "blank spaces" and the application of particular psychological disciplines in practice. EFPA was founded in 1981 to promote co-operation within European psychology and to increase the influence of psychologists in Europe. Today it has over 200,000 members in 32 European states.
Another Czech fugitive businessman - Viktor Kozeny - also wanted for extensive fraud and corruption both in the Czech Republic and the United States remains in the Bahamas. Czech efforts to secure his extradition have not been successful and although it seemed that the United States would have more clout in this respect hopes that he would be brought to justice have now suffered a significant setback. A Chicago judge recently dismissed bribery charges against two of Kozeny's alleged accomplices - American businessmen accused of trying to pay-off top Azerbaijan officials over the country's abandoned 1990s oil privatisation programme. Judge Scheindlin dismissed the bribery counts against David Pinkerton, the former managing director of AIG Global Investment Corporation, and Frederic Bourke, the handbag tycoon, after ruling that the statute of limitations on the charges had expired. The pair still stands accused of making false statements. Although the judge did not dismiss the charges against Kozeny observers say this ruling is likely to help his defence.
French Open champion Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 7-6 6-4 6-2 to reach
the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second successive year on Friday. The
players had trouble adjusting to the wind on Centre Court in the opening
games with number two seed Nadal breaking Berdych's serve in the second
and the Czech, seeded seventh, breaking back immediately. Nadal turned on
the power in the first set tiebreak, going 5-0 up before winning it 7-1 to
take the set in 58 minutes. He took control of the match then and never
Both Berdych and 14th seed Nicole Vaidisova won a place in the quarterfinals for the first time ever but neither realized their hope of advancing to the semi-finals. Nicole Vaidisova dropped out on Thursday after taking a beating from the Serbian sixth seed Ana Ivanovic.
Czech president burns giant red underpants at press briefing
Merkel calls Sudeten German expulsion “immoral”, drawing Czech ire
Restoration work on Prague’s Astronomical Clock reveals hidden secrets
Czech restaurants and pubs facing serious shortage of workers
Václav Klaus: Russia not a threat to Czech Republic, unlike EU