The Czech Republic has protested to the Cuban government against the arrest of around two dozen dissidents on the island last Friday. The Czech Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling on Havana to respect human rights and release all political prisoners; it said it would maintain its policy of campaigning within the European Union against human rights abuses in Cuba.
The Prague 1 Town Hall has announced a tender for plans to remodel the city's main thoroughfare, Wenceslas Square. Councillors say it needs to improve in terms of layout and transport, and want to ban the parking of cars on the square. They also want to see wider pavements, more benches and less stands, said a spokesperson. Architects must submit their proposals by the end of November, though the project to reshape Wenceslas Square is unlikely to be completed before 2010.
Czech ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr is considering remaining in the
Russian league, as the NHL's new salaries agreement has limited his
earning potential. Jagr told daily Mlada fronta Dnes he will decide in
the next three weeks whether to return to the New York Rangers or stay
with rich Russian club Omsk, where he played during the NHL lockout.
Meanwhile, Ottawa have confirmed that legendary Czech goaltender Dominik Hasek will remain at the club next season. Hasek, who is now 40, has not played regularly for three seasons.
The Czech national carrier Czech Airlines saw an 18-percent increase in passenger numbers to 2.3 million in the first half of this year, it was announced on Tuesday. But CSA still looks set to post a loss of several hundred million Czech crowns this year due to rising fuel prices. However, the head of Czech Airlines, Jaroslav Tvrdik, said the situation could improve, depending on oil prices in the second half of the year.
Inspectors have found shortcomings in children's camps around the Czech Republic, but have not closed any down, a Health Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday. Of 480 camps inspected, 69 were found to have insufficient food hygiene. There are over 2,000 summer camps in the Czech Republic, which are being attended by almost 200,000 children in the course of the summer.
The Czech Republic will see an additional increase in security measures following terrorist attacks in Egypt at the weekend. Speaking at a press conference on Monday the Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan said measures would include an increase in so-called sniffer dogs used to root out bombs, as well as a greater reliance on security cameras in public areas. Intelligence services will be more active, controls over the transport of explosives will be heightened, and for example, more Czech flights will make use of on-board police guards. Although, according to the prime minister, the Czech Republic is not under immediate threat, experts, as well as the prime minister, have said a terrorist attack was impossible to rule out.
7 million British pounds - that is the price that British daily The Guardian has reported football club Liverpool is asking for striker Milan Baros, almost doubling the price the club paid for the Czech player in 2001. Teams that have expressed an interest in acquiring Baros - who excelled in last year's European Championship - include Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna, English club West Ham United, and English side Aston Villa. According to The Guardian Aston Villa are especially interested in the Czech forward and may consider upping their official offer - until now - of 5 million pounds. Meanwhile, Baros has been on the ball, scoring two goals against Olympiakos Piraeus on Sunday.
A Czech Airlines special has returned from Egypt bringing back 176 Czech and Slovak holidaymakers who decided to cut short their vacations following Saturday's terrorist attacks. The plane, an Airbus A-310, is the third flight since Saturday to bring Czechs home from the Sharm el-Sheikh Red Sea Resort. A fourth is expected to return an additional 200 people late Monday. The Foreign Ministry has estimated there were between 1,500 and 2,000 Czech holidaymakers staying in the Sharm el-Sheik area, in about 40 different hotels, at the time of Saturday's attacks. Ministry spokesman Vit Kolar has said that it was a matter of luck that more Czechs weren't hurt or killed: one Czech man was among the more than 80 people who died.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said he has no plans at this time to look for anyone to succeed the Culture Minister Pavel Dostal, who died on Sunday. Mr Paroubek has said that such considerations would not be ethical coming immediately after the minister's death, but he did indicate he would begin considering the matter later in August. The Culture Minister Pavel Dostal died on Sunday at the age of 62, after a year-long fight with cancer. A former playwright and dissident, Mr Dostal was one the Czech Republic's most respected politicians. A memorial event in his honour has been planned for Thursday at the National Theatre in Prague.
Czech diplomats in Egypt are still searching for potential injured Czech citizens in local hospitals but Czech travel agencies have not reported any missing people following Saturday's blasts in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that killed at least 88 people. One Czech national, a 23-year old man, died and one other was injured in the explosions.
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