One of the founders of Roma studies in the Czech Republic, Milena Hubshmannova, was killed on Thursday in a car crash in South Africa. One other person, a South African man, also died and three others were seriously injured. Hubshmannova, a professor at Prague's Charles University, was born in 1933 and was one of the Czech Republic's foremost specialists in Roma culture. After the fall of communism in 1989 she helped found the department of Roma Studies at Charles University. Other projects included numerous translations from Romany to Czech. Milena Hubschmannova was 72.
On Sunday the Czech Republic sent its first delivery of humanitarian
aid for victims of hurricane Katrina in the United States. Comprising
some 24,000 blankets, 600 camp beds, as well as a number of hall-sized
tents, the aid is the first of its kind from the Czech Republic to the
US. Its sending was coordinated within NATO, also the first time the
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has taken part in organised aid to
the United States.
The US Ambassador to Prague, William Cabaniss, was on hand at a ceremony on Sunday to accept the aid offer, noting the symbolism of the gesture on September 11th, four years after New York and Washington were struck by the terrorist attacks.
The Czech aid package is worth 25 million crowns, the equivalent of around one million US dollars. The Czech Republic is also ready to provide part of a field hospital, fire-fighters, and experts in removing environmental damage.
Czech javelin thrower and three-time Olympic Gold medal champion Jan Zelezny finished 4th on Saturday at the World Athletics final in Monte Carlo. The world-record holder threw a distance of 83.98 metres but finished just behind Makarov of Russia. Thorkildsen of Norway was 2nd, while Finland's Pitkamaki was 1st.
The Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Martin Jahn, not affiliated
with any political party, is a step closer to leading the Social
Democratic Party in the Prague riding in national elections next year.
If he takes the post, he will face off against right-of-centre Civic
Democratic Party leader Miroslav Topolanek. An overwhelming majority of
the Social Democrats' regional executive committee put forward Jahn's
name on Saturday.
Not all within the Social Democratic Party agree with the decision: some members say that choosing an independent candidate for Prague will play into political opponents' hands.
Four Czech soldiers were injured in Kuwait on Friday evening - one of
them seriously - when their vehicle, a Land Rover, flipped on its side.
A tire defect was responsible for the accident. All four men were
hospitalised but three were released on Saturday. The fourth remains in
The Czech Republic has a number of soldiers in the region: around 100 military police are stationed training police officers in neighbouring Iraq.
The Czech President Vaclav Klaus has once again criticised non-governmental organisations, or NGOs. Speaking at a business conference on Saturday Mr Klaus likened so-called "NGOism" to communist ideology, saying that he considered non-governmental organisations 'dangerous' and 'undemocratic'. Earlier this year, at the Council of Europe summit in Warsaw, Mr Klaus made similar statements describing the role of NGOs in what he has called 'post-democracy'. His words then provoked strong reaction, with many NGO representatives calling on the president to apologise. But, the president did not comply.
A Boeing 737 operated by the Czech-owned charter carrier Travel Service
was forced to make an unscheduled landing on Saturday due to technical
problems. The plane landed in the city of Brno while en route to the
Greek island of Crete. According to the carrier, none of the 180
passengers or crew suffered injury. A replacement plane then took
passengers on to their original destination.
Travel Service is the Czech Republic's biggest domestic charter carrier. On September 1st another of company's 737 experienced problems en route to Alicante, Spain, forced to make an emergency landing in France.
The Romany band Kale have announced they will no longer back the singer Vera Bila. They said she was unreliable and had organised solo concerts which clashed with her bookings with the group. Vera Bila and Kale released their first album in 1996 and found considerable success on the international scene.
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