Around two dozen swimmers took part in an event at the weekend aimed at showing that the Czech Republic's longest river the Labe is clean enough to bathe in. The event, near the spot where the Labe meets the Vltava, was being held for the fifth time. Some of the participants in the swim came from neighbouring Germany, where the river is known as the Elbe.
Jiri Dienstbier, a possible candidate for the Czech presidency, has
criticised the incumbent, Vaclav Klaus. Mr Dientsbier, Czechoslovakia's
first post-communist foreign minister, accused Mr Klaus of spreading
negative feeling towards civil society and the European Union; he said a
pro-European position would be more appropriate during the Czech
Republic's presidency of the EU in 2009. Speaking on a TV debate
programme, Mr Dientsbier also accused the president of being a
"know-all" who comments on everything from architecture to
Jiri Dientsbier appears to have the support of some Social Democrats ahead of presidential elections due next year. His backers are hoping the former dissident can unite cross-party opposition to Vaclav Klaus, who plans to seek a second term.
The Czech Republic's footballers have reached the semi-finals at the Under 20s World Cup in Canada, the furthest the country has ever gone in the tournament. The Czechs made the last four by beating Spain on penalties after a scoreless match on Saturday. They face Austria on Wednesday for a place in the final.
Forests Czech Republic estimates that it suffered losses of almost CZK two billion (USD 98m) due to January's Hurricane Kyrill. The main cause of the losses has been a fall in the price of wood due to excessive supply and the hurricane's negative impact on the quality of wood sold, said a spokesperson for the state company.
Weather forecasters say temperatures in the Czech Republic could reach up
to 39 degrees Celsius on Monday, possibly setting new records. In most of
the country temperatures will range between 34 and 38 Celsius. Clear skies
are also expected and officials have warned people against going out in
mid-day and afternoon sun.
On Sunday a record dating from 1928 was broken at Prague's Clementinum weather station, when a temperature of 34.6 degrees Celsius was registered.
A set by the English singer Marianne Faithful ended the Colours of Ostrava music festival on Saturday night. The three-day festival was taking place in the north Moravian city for the sixth time; it also saw performances by artists such as Gipsy Kings, Coco Rosie and Goran Bregovic's Wedding and Funeral Band.
Firefighters and soldiers have begun disinfecting five poultry farms in east Bohemia after putting down almost 70,000 birds in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu. Several cases of the dangerous H5N1 strain of avian flu have been found on poultry farms in the area in the last month. Previously the disease had only been detected in wild swans in the Czech Republic.
Three Communist Party deputies have prepared a bill aimed at protecting the Czech language. The lower house has refused to discuss similar bills in the past on the grounds that legislation defining Czech as the state's official language and a "cultural heritage" was unnecessary. Communist MP Ivana Leva, a former teacher of Czech, conceded that this latest attempt was also unlikely to get anywhere.
The number of Czechs spending weekends at their country cottages has fallen significantly, suggests a survey quoted in Lidove noviny. The poll found that while in 2001 19 percent spent weekends at their "chalupa", in 2007 the figure has fallen to less than 8 percent. A sociologist told the daily the reason for the drop was that young people today have less free time and either work or stay at home at weekends.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’