Daily news summary News

25-07-2004

Telicka leaves Prague without explanation

The Czech Republic's European Commissioner Pavel Telicka, who came to Prague on Friday to find out why the ruling coalition parties decided to have him replaced by outgoing prime minister Vladimir Spidla, leaves for Brussels on Sunday without an explanation. Mr Telicka was hoping to get an explanation from acting leader of the Social Democrats and prime minister-designate Stanislav Gross but Mr Gross is out of town and will not be back before Monday morning. Although the news of Mr Telicka's dismissal was made official on Friday, Mr Telicka says he himself has neither received an official notice, nor an explanation. He is expected to meet with Mr Gross next weekend.

Number of Czechs owning weapons on the rise

Every twelfth Czech adult owns a gun and the number of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns sold is on the rise, the weekly Sunday World reported. The paper notes that in the first six months of this year, Czechs bought 27,000 new guns, almost as many as the total number sold in 2002 and 2003. At the end of June the number of registered guns owned by licensed Czechs exceeded 600,000. Ever more people feel it necessary to take steps to protect themselves and a new law now allows collectors to own Tommy or machine guns. A police expert tells the paper it has become a new trend among those with high incomes to buy a weapon, once they make their first million crowns. Since many of these people do not know how to use them, they end up injuring others accidentally, the expert notes.

Czech Senate Chairman Pithart and Austrian President Fischer agree on Czech-Austrian dialogue

Czech Senate Chairman Petr Pithart, who has been in Austria since Friday to attend the Salzburg Festival, met with Austrian President Heinz Fischer on Saturday, ahead of Mr Fischer's official trip to Prague next month. While the two politicians chose not to discuss sensitive topics such as the Czech Republic's nuclear energy plan or the controversial Benes decrees, both men agreed it was necessary to uphold close cooperation between the Central European countries. Mr Pithart noted that the Czech Republic was engaged in much more dialogue with its neighbour Germany than with Austria and suggested the two countries' experts, historians, and politicians should come together more often to discuss their past, present and future.

Czech singer Karel Gott celebrates birthday with gala night in New York

Karel Gott's family, friends, and fans came together to wish him a happy belated birthday at a gala night in New York's Astoria World Manor on Saturday. The popular Czech singer, who celebrated his 65th birthday on July 14th, was accompanied by his two daughters and his partner Ivana Machackova. Among his birthday presents were a Happy Birthday song from popular singer Lucie Bila, a globe to help him keep track of where he is, and a birthday cake with a portrait of him in chocolate.

Weather

Monday should have overcast skies with occasional showers and thunderstorms in places. Day-time temperatures should reach a maximum of 22 degrees Celsius.

25-07-2004