A demonstration in support of the pro-democracy protests in Burma took place in Prague on Saturday evening. Organised by the People in Need NGO, Burma Center Prague and Amnesty International, the gathering intended to express solidarity with the so called Saffron Revolution in Burma took place at the memorial of the student demonstration of 1989 on Narodni Street.
Third seeded Tomas Berdych was beaten by unseeded German Benjamin Becker 3:6 6:4 6:4 in the Thailand Open men's singles semi-final in Bangkok on Saturday. Berdych took two bouts of on-court treatment over the course of the last three games, for his back and his left knee. Berdych, who played Davis Cup last weekend, said he felt the accumulation of matches. Becker is to face Russian Dmitry Tursunov in Sunday's final.
Two members of the anti-chemical warfare unit based in Liberec who are under military police investigation have left the armed forces at their own request, the Liberecky denik daily reports. The two men are suspected of bullying another member of the unit. One of the two also allegedly assaulted the soldier who had to undergo hospital treatment. The cases are being investigated by the military police as well as the Czech Police. The Liberec unit is part of NATO's rapid reaction force.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek is expected to submit to the government a proposal on Wednesday to set up a special committee to oversee the development of the Brdy region, an area which US military experts have selected for the construction of a radar base. Earlier this month, the cabinet promised local mayors it will set up a committee responsible for allocating investment in the region's infrastructure. The government says it plans to invest hundreds of millions of crowns in the region regardless of whether the radar base is built or not.
The Czech Centre in Spain is presenting Czech animated films to local audiences. The project called "A Spanish Autumn with Czech Film" is going show 130 movies at screenings in Madrid, Seville, Valencia and other cities. Among the selected films are works by Czech artists Jiri Trnka, Karel Zeman, Hermina Tyrlova or contemporary filmmakers Aurel Klimt, Michaela Pavlatova, Galina Miklinova and others.
Around 200 far right activists gathered on Saturday afternoon in the town of Kladno in Central Bohemia to commemorate Friday's St. Wenceslas Day. Several dozen police officers accompanied the march to prevent clashes with members of various left-wing movements. One person was detained during the demonstration.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus met US vice-president Dick Cheney on Friday in Salt Lake City to discuss the possible installation of a US military radar base on Czech soil as well as Czech involvement in military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. According to Czech ambassador to the USA Petr Kolar, who attended the meeting, Mr Cheney welcomed the Czech Republic's willingness to host the US radar base. Mr Kolar added the meeting showed the Czech Republic was interested in cooperating with the United States and the country's presence in Europe, and that it viewed the United States as its main strategic ally. He said the Czech Republic saw both its EU membership and the maintenance of its close relations with the United States as important.
The Elbe River Management warned of increased danger of floods on Saturday after heavy rains in the Krkonose Mountains caused local streams to swell. As a preventative measure, water levels at two local dams have been lowered so the dams could absorb increased amounts of water. The water level in the Elbe is expected to get back to normal by Sunday and no major precipitation should occur in the area.
Former Czech president Vaclav Havel is to be awarded this year's German Dolf Sternberger prize for public addresses, the DPA news agency has reported, adding that Mr Havel will receive the award in Prague on October 23rd. The organisers said that Mr Havel has "effectively tied his speeches with his political behaviour, thus shaping political awareness not only of people in his homeland but also abroad." The prize has been presented since 1992. Among its winners are former German chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, former east German priest and human rights campaigner Joachim Gauck and current German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
The lower house of Parliament has approved a new media law which will pave the way for the introduction of digital television broadcasting. Under the new legislation broadcasting licenses should be granted to all applicants who meet basic conditions once the current analogue broadcasting system is switched off in 2010.
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