A group of former dissidents have hit back at a recent statement by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who said that unelected non-governmental organisations had a dangerous influence on public life. In a letter to the president, the dissidents said discrediting NGOs was an attack on fundamental democratic principles guaranteed by the constitution. Signatories include Bishop Vaclav Maly, Rabbi Karol Sidon and former interior minister Jan Ruml.
Popular American hip-hop artist and producer Kanye West is to make a video for his single "Diamonds" in Prague, according to MTV. The rapper said he would film in the Czech capital because of the "timeless" quality of the city's architecture. In the past international stars such as INXS and Linkin Park have shot videos in Prague.
Runners from Kenya have dominated the 11th annual Prague Marathon. The winner of the men's race was Kenya's Steven Matebo Cheptot in a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds, while his countrymen took second and third place in Sunday's race. The women's race was won by the favourite Salina Jebet Kosgei, also of Kenya. Transport in the city was disrupted for several hours because of the marathon, which began and ended on Old Town Square and this year attracted a record 5,000 runners.
X-rays have confirmed that Czech ice hockey megastar Jaromir Jagr will not have to undergo an operation on a little finger injured at the recent World Championships, which were won by the Czech Republic. Jagr is currently in Paris, where he plans to support Czech tennis number one Radek Stepanek at the French Open.
The chairman of the Czech lower house, Lubomir Zaoralek, has called on North Korea to return to six-nation talks on the country's nuclear programme. Mr Zaoralek, who is leading a delegation of Czech MPs on a three-day visit to Pyongyang, said international negotiations were the best way to calm the situation and find a solution. He said the Czech Republic could serve as a mediator between North Korea and Czech allies such as the United States.
The Sokol sports and exercise movement is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the opening of its headquarters, the Tyrsuv Dum building in Prague's Mala Strana. President TG Masaryk was among those who backed its construction, and 14,000 people attended the opening on May 22, 1925. A Sokol official at the time said only two buildings in Prague had been built with that much love and sacrifice: the National Theatre and Tyrsuv Dum.
Czech senator Karel Schwarzenberg has been commenting on his expulsion from Cuba on Thursday, in the latest in a series of diplomatic rows between Havana and Prague. Speaking in Paris on his way back to the Czech Republic, Mr Schwarzenberg said his deportation had been quick and had passed without incident. But he added that Cuba's "exaggerated" reaction showed the nervousness of a regime visibly unsure of itself. Senator Schwarzenberg had planned to attend an unprecedented meeting of opponents of the Castro regime.
The Czech Film Centre has presented a project to film Bohumil Hrabal's novel I Served the King of England at its stand at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The film is being made by director Jiri Menzel, best known for the Oscar-winning Closely Observed Trains, which is also based on a Hrabal novel.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is due to meet his British counterpart Tony Blair in London on Monday, as part of a two-day visit to the United Kingdom. The two leaders are expected to discuss the European Union constitution, further expansion of the EU and the Czech military presence in Iraq. Mr Paroubek will also decorate Czech war veterans at the country's embassy in London.
Rising Czech tennis star Nicole Vaidisova has been beaten in the final of the Istanbul Cup by America's Venus Williams. Vaidisova only turned 16 a month ago but is already Czech women's number one. She was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Williams on Saturday, in a competition regarded as a warm-up for the French Open.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Restaurant tells visitors to “clear their plates” or pay a 50 crown fine for wasting food
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’