Several human rights groups have asked President Vaclav Klaus to bring up the issue of human rights violations during his official visit to China next week. Olympic Watch, Amnesty International, Lungta and People in Need have written a joint letter to the Czech President asking him to speak up on behalf of five concrete political prisoners in China and to urge the Chinese leadership to ratify an international agreement on civic rights and political freedoms which it signed some time ago. President Klaus and his wife Livia are due to begin their official visit to China on April 15th.
Czech film director Jiri Weiss has died in the United States at the ago of 91. In the course of his career he directed 22 films and countless documentaries for which he received a number of international awards. His best known works are The Wolves' Den and Romeo, Juliette and Darkness. In 1968 Weiss emigrated to the United States where he lectured at various film academies. In 1995 he published an autobiography which came out in Czech under the name The White Mercedes.
Czech hockey star Jaromir Jagr has returned to the Czech Republic to prepare for the World Ice Hockey Championships. Jagr arrived at Prague's Ruzyne Airport in an upbeat mood on Sunday telling reporters he was ready to fight for a title. The ice hockey mega star began the season with the Washington Capitals but was transferred to the New York Rangers at the end of January. Czech sports commentators say that Jagr desperately wants to win a title at the Ice Hockey Championships which would help remove the bitter aftertaste of a poor season in the NHL.
A lingering respiratory problem has forced the former Czech president Vaclav Havel to cancel a planned visit to Canada and postpone a planned trip to the United States. Mr. Havel was scheduled to attend a panel discussion in Vancouver on April 20th that will include Nobel Peace Prize winners South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi and the Dalai Lama. After that he planned to spend several months in the United States. Mr. Havel's spokesperson said it was not clear when the president would be fit to travel. He is now said to be working at home in the care of physicians.
Monday is expected to be partly cloudy with day temperatures between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.
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