Daily news summary News

18-06-2006

Memorial held for parachutists who died after Heyrdich assassination operation

A memorial ceremony was held on Sunday in honour of the Czechoslovak parachutists who lost their lives after taking part in an operation to assassinate the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. Sergeants Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik and other members of their group were hiding in the crypt of Prague's Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius when they were surrounded by German troops on June 18, 1942. They fought until dawn, but the situation was hopeless and they chose to take their own lives rather than surrender.

Sunday's memorial was attended by World War II resistance fighters and several politicians, including the prime minister, Jiri Paroubek.

Paroubek: support for Civic Democrats not impossible, depends on concessions

Mr Paroubek, whose Social Democrats came second in recent elections, said on Sunday he would not rule out supporting a government led by the election's winners, the Civic Democrats. He said it depended on what concessions the Civic Democrats would make; their plans for a flat tax and the privatisation of public services are opposed by the Social Democrats.

The Civic Democrats are trying to form a coalition with two smaller parties, but the three would be one seat short of a majority in the lower house.

Czech football team face uphill battle to reach knock-out stage at World Cup

The Czech Republic are facing an uphill battle to reach the knock-out stage at the football World Cup. After losing against Ghana on Saturday, the Czechs need to at least draw with Italy on Thursday and hope for a favourable outcome in a game between Ghana and the USA.

Defender Tomas Ujfalusi and forward Vratislav Lokvenc will be suspended for the Italy match, while first choice strikers Milan Baros and Jan Koller remain doubtful.

Defence minister visits Czech troops in Afghanistan

The minister of defence, Karel Kuhnl, has visited Czech soldiers serving in the city of Kandahar in the south of Afghanistan. The Czech special forces are taking part in a large operation there against Taliban fighters. Earlier on Saturday Mr Kuhnl visited a group of Czech bomb disposal experts and meteorologists at Kabul international airport.

Fines for abuse of Czech state symbols triple

Fines for misusing, deliberately damaging or "grossly disparaging" Czech state symbols have tripled, under an amendment which has just come into effect. The new penalty for abusing the country's flag or state emblem is 10,000 crowns (around 450 US dollars). And institutions which do not raise the flag on national holidays can be fined up to 15,000 crowns.

Record numbers attend "museum night" in Prague

A record 135,000 people visited museums and galleries in Prague during the third annual "museum night" on Saturday. Admission was free at all venues between 5 pm and midnight, and the capital's transport authority laid on extra buses for visitors.

Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych loses to Roger Federer in Halle final

The Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych has been beaten by world number one Roger Federer in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. After losing the first set of Sunday's match 6-0, Berdych fought back to take the second in a tie-break, before losing the third and final set 6-2. Berdych recently lost to the Swiss star in the French Open.

Weather

It should be quite bright over the next few days with the chance of storms in places. Temperatures should reach up to 30 degrees Celsius.

18-06-2006