A Czech canoeist, aged 45, died on Saturday afternoon in Austria when making a trip down the Salzach River near Salzburg. Four Czechs were canoeing down the river, but three of them followed a sign warning of a dangerous barrage and disembarked. The fourth continued, but his canoe turned over and he was dragged under the surface and drowned.
The social democratic leader Jiri Paroubek says during his term as the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Defence failed to inform him about negotiations between Czech and American military experts concerning the possible situation of a U.S. tracking radar in the Czech Republic. In a Czech TV talk show on Sunday, Mr Paroubek said he was first informed about the ongoing talks just before last year's elections by the American ambassador to Prague.
Charles Bridge in Prague will be in the centre of attention on Sunday night as it is celebrating its 650th anniversary. Founded in 1357 by Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV and later adorned with Baroque statues, the bridge is one of the major tourist attractions in the capital. On Sunday, the celebrations begin on Old Town Square with historic markets and tournaments and will peak at 5:31 on Monday morning when the Archbishop of Prague will bless the corner-stone of the bridge.
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. In the coming round, the Czech team will face Japan.
Inhabitants of Jesencany, a part of the city of Pardubice in Eastern Bohemia, have complained about noise produced by the nearby Czech Air Force helicopter base. Jaroslav Deml, the mayor of Pardubice, said the city was going to negotiate with the army to regulate helicopter training flights. The air base says they do not break any rules by flying three to four times a week with no flights at night or at weekends and they also inform the city about their flying schedule.
Jiri Paroubek, the chairman of the major opposition party of social democrats, says talks are under way with the Green party as well as with the Christian democrats about a possible candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for early next year. According to Mr Paroubek, the parties should arrive at an agreement concerning a prospective candidate by mid-September. Current president Vaclav Klaus had already announced his candidacy and he gained the support of the civic democrats, the winners of last year's elections and leading party in the government.
The 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival ended on Saturday with an award ceremony at which the Crystal Globe Grand Prix for the best film was presented by star actor, director and producer Danny DeVito. The Crystal Globe went to the Icelandic film Jar City by Baltasar Kormakur, one of the 14 films competing in the official section of the festival. Czech actor and screenwriter Zdenek Sverak was awarded a special jury mention for his screenplay of Empties, a Czech film directed by his son Jan Sverak.
A group of children playing outside a secondary school in Usti nad Labem on Saturday found a plastic bag with a human head in it, the spokeswoman for the Czech police in Usti has informed. Autopsy determined that the head belonged to a female of 17 to 20 years of age who died some two or three weeks ago. Police have asked locals to report anything unusual they might have noticed around 20th June near the scene of the terrible discovery.
The association of Czech labour unions will meet on Monday to determine what further action should be taken against the financial reforms planned by the Czech government. Labour union activists already held a demonstration against the reforms on 23rd June when several thousands of them gathered in Prague. Labour unions say the reforms, aimed to reorganize taxation, social benefits and health care payments, are unjust. Radical members of the labour union association even wish to go on general strike to prevent the adoption of the reforms.
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