The Czech Republic is commemorating on Sunday the legacy of the 15th
century religious reformer Jan Hus who was burned at the stake on July 6,
1415. Born in Husinec, South Bohemia, Jan Hus (John Huss) became a catholic
priest and the rector of the University of Prague. He was greatly
influenced by the English theologian John Wycliffe and was excommunicated
by the Catholic Church in 1411 before being condemned and executed at a
Catholic council in Constance four years later.
On Sunday, protestant religious services are held, among other places, in Jan Hus’s birthplace and in Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel were he preached. Despite the efforts of the late Pope John Paul II, who expressed grief over his death, he is still considered a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church today.
The best Czech professional boxer Ondřej Pála beat former WBO heavyweight world champion Henry Akinwande in Ankara on Friday. The Czech champion outpointed the Brit in six rounds, scoring his 20th victory. Henry Akinwande, the WBO world champion between 1996 and 1997, returned to boxing after a year’s break.
A Czech website offers audioerotic stories for the blind, the news website ihned.cz reported on Sunday. The website currently hosts two audio stories, entitled “Excursion” and “Classmates” and narrated by acting students from Brno. Four more stories are being prepared. To access them, customers have to confirm they are adults and send a text message worth 30 crown, or 2 U.S. dollars. Michal Kuchař, one of the authors of the project, who also teaches psychology for the blind at a Brno university, said this was one of the ways of getting rid of sexual taboos in blind people’s lives.
The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee appreciated Prague’s care for its historic centre. At its session in Quebec, Canada on Sunday, the committee approved Prague’s monument care activities and also praised its reports on monument preservation in the Czech capital. Prague City Hall has recently come under criticism for a lack of respect for the character of its architectural heritage. Prague’s historic centre is one of 12 Czech monuments registered in the UNESCO List of World Heritage while another one – the spa of Luhačovice in eastern Moravia – has applied for inscription on the World Heritage List.
At least 120 Czech athletes will participate in the Olympic Games in Beijing in August. The Czech Olympic Team will include 26 track-and-field athletes, including Roman Šeberle, the gold medallist in decathlon from the last games in Athens, and the javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková, who has set this season’s best performance. Among the participants in the Games will also be tennis players Tomáš Berdych, Radek Štěpánek and Nicole Vaidišová, as well as Lenka Śmídová who won the country’s first ever medal in sailing at the last Olympic Games. The entire Czech 2008 Olympic Team will have around 230 members; the country’s participation in the games will cost around 40 million crowns, or more than 2.6 million U.S. dollars.
An apartment in Tel Aviv might hold unknown documents that once belonged to the Prague-born Jewish author Franz Kafka, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday. The papers are part of the inheritance Kafka left to his friend, Max Brod. After his death, the documents passed on to his secretary who wouldn’t let researchers examine them. But Brod’s former secretary died this year and Israeli researchers are hoping they might now gain access to the precious documents.
The Russian ambassador to Prague Alexei Fedotov told Czech TV on Sunday
that his country will make “adequate steps to ensure its own security”
following the signing of a Czech-U.S. radar base treaty. Russia’s
position will be specified by a Russian Defence Ministry representative at
an anti-missile defence conference to be held in Prague next week. Mr
Fedotov said Moscow would appreciate permanent presence of Russian
inspectors at the planned base, an idea the Czech government rejected in
The Czech-American treaty on positioning a U.S. tracking radar base in the Czech Republic will be signed in Prague on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The base should be a part of a planned U.S. anti-missile defence shield in Europe.
Rock for People, one of the country’s biggest summer music festivals which is taking place in Hradec Králové, eastern Bohemia, over the weekend, has attracted around 25,000 visitors. The 14th year of the festival featured about 150 bands and musicians including The Offspring, of the U.S, England’s Kaiser Chiefs, and Czech stars David Koller and Tata Bojs. The festival will conclude on Sunday with a performance by Massive Attack.
Bathory by Juraj Jakubisko, the most expensive central European film ever made, premiered at the 43rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday. The movie stars English actress Anna Friel in the role of the 17th century Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, famous for alleged serial murders. The film, co-produced by Czech companies, cost around 320 million crowns, or more than 21 million U.S. dollars. At the premiere, the Prague-based Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko was also awarded a Crystal Glove for his contribution to filmmaking.
Libor Kozák, a 19-year-old footballer from Opava, in Silesia, signed a five-year contract on Saturday with Lazio Roma, one of the best clubs of the first Italian division. The Rome-based club will pay 1.2 million euros for the Czech forward. Libor Kozák scored 11 goals for the second-division team of Opava; he is also on the under-19 Czech national football team.
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