Some 2,500 people were evacuated this morning from Prague's Hilton Hotel, the largest hotel in the country, and surrounding buildings due to a gas leak from a broken pipeline in a nearby ditch. The gas got into the hotel through its air-conditioning system. According to fire service spokesmen Vit Pernica, it has been the largest evacuation in Prague since the disastrous floods in 2002.
An expert team made of architects, conservationists and lawyers was set up
to look for a solution to the dispute over the planned construction of a
new Czech national library building in Prague, designed by Czech-born
British architect Jan Kaplicky. Prague's mayor Pavel Bem said the main task
of the team will be to find a more suitable site for the library. The team
is expected to arrive at a decision within two or three months.
The building, nicknamed "the Blob", was the winning entry in an international competition earlier this year. It has become the centre of heated debate after it came to light the project would be blocked by assembly members from the Civic Democratic Party at City Hall.
Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has been presented with Germany's Dolf Sternberger Award for public speaking at a ceremony at Prague's Goethe Institute. The prize is given for achievement in combining public addresses with political aims, and is named after a German philosopher noted for his concept of citizenship. Speaking at Tuesday's award ceremony, Mr Havel said the 'banalisation' of political speech was a sign of the 'banalisation' of thoughts and deeds.
The hammer and sickle symbol is to return to a monument to Red Army soldiers in the Brno district of Kralovo Pole, city councillors decided on Wednesday. The communist symbol was removed without authorisation by the deputy mayor of Kralovo Pole in June. But Brno mayor Roman Onderka said the hammer and sickle should be returned as councillors did not want to rewrite history. Many Russian soldiers died in the liberation of Brno at the end of World War II and some of them are buried at Kralovo Pole. The memorial was built following a collection by local people after the war.
Slavia Prague have suffered one of the worst defeats in the history of football's Champions League, losing 7:0 away to England's Arsenal on Tuesday night. The Czech league leaders have three points in three games in Group H, and remain ahead of Steau Bucharest, who Slavia beat in Prague. At this stage Slavia might be satisfied with taking third spot in the group, thus qualifying for a place in the UEFA Cup.
Greens leader Martin Bursik says he is still searching for a candidate for the post of education minister, after the resignation of his party colleague Dana Kuchtova. The Green Party's national council put forward Dusan Luzny for the post. However, Mr Bursik said on Radio Impuls that he could not imagine how Mr Luzny, who worked at the Education Ministry under Ms Kuchtova, could overcome the prime minister's reservations about appointing him. Dana Kuchtova stepped down over failing to draw on EU funds to the maximum possible extent.
The infant mortality rate in the Czech Republic reached a record low last year, according to the country's institute for health information. In 2006 3.3 Czech babies in every 1,000 died before reaching the age of one; that was a slight improvement on 3.4 percent in 2005, which was also a record. Over 100,000 babies were born in the Czech Republic last year, with 100 girls for every 115 boys.
Prague Town Hall has filed a complaint against a decision by a Prague
court to overturn the Town Hall's banning of a march by a far-right group
through the city's Jewish Quarter. The demonstration is due to due to take
place on the November 10 anniversary of the notorious Kristallnacht Nazi
pogrom of 1938.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus has described the march as politically and morally unacceptable, and called on the Prague authorities to prevent it taking place.
Meanwhile, the city's Jewish community is planning to oppose it by holding a memorial to the victims of Kristallnacht in the Jewish Quarter at the same time as the far-right event.
Jiri Belohlavek is set to conduct the Prague Philharmonia on Wednesday night on the opening night of the orchestra's 14th season. The concert, which takes place at the Dvorak Hall in Prague's Rudolfinum, will feature the music of Martinu, Tchaikovsky and Mozart. Last week the world renowned Czech conductor led the Berlin Philharmonic during three concerts of Smetana's Ma Vlast attended by a total of 6,000 people.
A documentary film about the former president entitled Obcan Havel (Citizen Havel) is to go on release in Czech cinemas from the end of January, a spokesperson for its distributors said. The original director Pavel Koutecky died during the making of the film; it was subsequently completed by Miroslav Janek.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”