Vyskov town representatives will decide on Monday whether or not to
revoke the honorary citizenship of Czechoslovakia's first Communist
president, Klement Gottwald. The revocation was requested by the
Confederation of Political Prisoners and has the backing of the town
council. The region's young communists have pledged to oppose the
proposal. Klement Gottwald's exact birthplace is unknown but he is
believed to have been born in the nearby village of Dedice.
During Gottwald's hard-line regime, hundreds were executed and thousands sent to labour camps. After the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, numerous towns and cities decided to strip Klement Gottwald of honorary citizenship.
A teenage boy from Zimbabwe has drowned at an aqua park in the town of
Kladno, near Prague. The boy's lifeless body was pulled out of one of the
pools, where the park's guests and emergency health workers tried to
revive him for an hour. The boy, who is believed to be around 17 years
old, was part of a group of refugees' children who were visiting the park.
Footage from a surveillance camera shows that the boy drowned as he came
out of the Space Bowl - a large water ride in which the slider enters
through a high speed enclosed AquaTube, lands on a bowl, and is then
dropped into a splashdown pool.
This is the second death since the water park was opened three years ago. The first accident was in August 2005, when an eleven year-old boy also drowned at the Space Bowl attraction.
The director of the US Missile Defence Agency, Henry Obering, will visit the Czech Republic on Monday. The main aim of the visit is to introduce Czech politicians to the technical parameters of a radar base that the United States is hoping to build in the Czech Republic. Mr Obering is scheduled to meet with President Vaclav Klaus, Senators, MPs, and will take part in Monday's National Security Council session. He is also expected to hold talks with the leader of the Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, whose party has been critical of the radar station.
The Czech Republic has made third place in the Euro Hockey Tour. The Czech team beat Finland 2:0 in Saturday's match in Prague's Sazka Arena. The tournament is an annual ice hockey event for teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. The competition mainly serves as preparation for the World Championships or Olympics, allowing less experienced players to collect valuable ice time in their national colours.
The Czech Association of Patients says the Health Ministry's planned introduction of health care fees is unconstitutional. Under the ministry's proposed reform package, every trip to the doctor would cost patients 30 crowns, every day spent in a hospital or other health facility 60 crowns, and every visit to an emergency ward 90 crowns. However, a patient's expenses, including medication, would not exceed 5,000 crowns a year. The association's vice-chairman Josef Mrazek said in a televised debate on Sunday, that the introduction of such fees violates the Constitution and senators and MPs will be asked to turn to the Constitutional Court in protest.
The Czech Republic marked Earth Day with events and projects around the
country aimed at the protection of the environment. At an ecological
education centre in the south Moravian town of Chaloupky, visitors
learned about the importance of herbal plants, the natural environment,
and farm animals. Prague Zoo introduced visitors to the moor frog,
which is an endangered species because many of the wetlands needed for
the frog's survival have been drained. The zoo in the Moravian town
Zlin ceremoniously opened its "eco-corner" on Sunday at which visitors
learned about recycling and walked through a maze made up of recycled
paper. Besides other events around the country, numerous museums are
also open to the public for free.
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. Although started in the United States thirty-seven years ago, Earth Day has been observed around the world since 1990.
Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets are continuing to patrol Czech airspace despite the fact that Sweden has grounded all its Gripen planes after an accident involving one of the aircraft on Thursday. A Swedish air force pilot was catapulted from his plane two days ago, when his ejector seat was activated for no apparent reason. No one was hurt in the incident. The Swedish defence ministry said that it had informed the Czech Republic of the accident, but that it was up to the Czech government to decide on its own response to the incident. A Czech defence ministry spokesman said that he saw no reason why the aircraft couldn't still be used, but added that they were being kept informed of any developments in Sweden's investigation of the matter. The Gripen fighter jets have been in the news in the Czech Republic lately amid allegations that the British-Swedish consortium that makes them bribed Czech public officials to win a government tender for the aircraft.
The Communist Party's Vaclav Homolka has been elected as the new senator for the Chomutov region after the second round of voting. Mr Homolka won more than half of the votes cast, finishing about 10 percent ahead of his nearest rival Jan Rehak from the Civic Democrats. Only 9.73 percent of those eligible to vote actually participated in the poll, making it the lowest ever turnout in the history of Senate elections. Mr Homolka will replace the independent senator Petr Skala who resigned his seat earlier this year for health reasons.
The Czech foreign ministry has said that George Bush will most likely
visit Prague in early June. A spokeswoman for the ministry said that
the US president will probably be in Prague on the fourth and fifth of
June. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice confirmed the president's
visit after meeting with Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg in
Washington on Friday. Mr Schwarzenberg was in the US to discuss
US-Czech relations as well as a proposed US radar base on Czech
territory. Speaking alongside Ms Rice ahead of their meeting, Mr
Schwarzenberg voiced support for the US plan, while Ms Rice said
anti-missile projects were a key element of efforts to counter both
terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Public opinion
in the Czech Republic remains mixed over the idea of the Czechs hosting
a US base and it is hoped that the American president's visit will
boost support for the idea.
Before meeting with Mr Schwarzenberg, Ms Rice described the Czech Republic as a "good ally" of the US and praised the country for its participation in foreign missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. She also praised the Czech government for its stance on dictatorial regimes in Belarus, Burma and Cuba.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur