Fifty three percent of Czechs would like to vote on the EU Constitution in a referendum, according to an opinion poll commissioned by the daily Lidove Noviny. Close to 50 percent of respondents said they would like the referendum to be held within the framework of the parliamentary elections in 2006. Sixty percent of Czechs said they were ready to go to the polls. One third of respondents said they would prefer for Parliament to ratify the EU Constitution.
The right wing opposition Civic Democrats would win a landslide victory if general elections were held today. Polls suggest that the party has retained a strong lead over all others on the Czech political scene. Voter preferences suggest that the Civic Democrats would capture 32 percent of the vote, the Communists would get 15 percent, the ruling Social Democrats 14,5 percent while the Christian Democrats would come fourth with around 10 percent of the vote. No other party would win enough votes to acquire seats in Parliament.
The former Czech president Vaclav Havel has expressed deep sorrow over the death of American playwright Arthur Miller calling him "the greatest playwright of the 20th century". "The news of his death moved me a lot, because I was his friend since the 1960s" Mr. Havel said in a statement made available to the press. Like other major literary figures, Mr. Arthur Miller supported the process that led to the fall of communism in Europe.
A contestant knocked out of the Czech version of the television quiz "Who wants to be a millionaire" won three million crowns / 128 thousand dollars / on Friday after a court ruled that he had been unfairly thrown off. Karel Lupomesky was asked for the name of a Roman army unit of between 120 and 150 men. He answered "century" but was told by the show's host that the correct answer was "maniple". A Prague district court ruled that both answers were in fact correct.
Doctors report a flu epidemic in seven of the Czech Republic's fourteen regions. Elsewhere there is a heightened incidence of the flu and viral infections and doctors fear that the wave of milder weather will only make things worse. People have been advised to avoid crowded places and increase their intake of vitamin C. Children and elderly people are considered particularly vulnerable. Flu epidemics have been reported from a number of European countries over the past few days.
The Czech Republic gained a first Alpine skiing world championship medal on Friday when Sarka Zahrobska took bronze in the women's slalom. Zahrobska finished behind triple world and Olympic champion Janica Kostelic and World Cup slalom title winner Tanja Poutiainen of Finland.
The Czech Republic's ice hockey team won its match against Finland at the Swedish Games in Stockholm. The Czechs won 3:2 in an extended game, with Jaroslav Bednar scoring the winning goal in the 63rd minute. The Swedish Games are part of the four-nation Euro Hockey Tour, in which the Czech Republic is ranked third.
Sunday is expected to bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with snow showers and day temperatures between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius.
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