Daily news summary News

23-05-2004

Unconfirmed report: Czech national one of five killed at Charles de Gaulle on Sunday

According to an as yet unconfirmed report a Czech national may be among the five killed at Paris' Charles De Gaulle airport on Sunday where a large section of the airport's new 2E terminal collapsed. The BBC reported that shortly before the accident a flight to Prague had been due for take off, while the Czech news agency CTK spoke with the Czech consulate on Sunday to confirm whether or not any Czech nationals had been killed. None of the identities or nationalities of those who died at the airport have been released just yet.

Klaus, Spidla, mark 120th anniversary of Edvard Benes' birth

Czech President Vaclav Klaus commemorated the 120th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia's second president Edvard Benes, in a more than one hour long ceremony attended by hundreds on Sunday. The ceremony took place in Sezimovo Usti in south Bohemia, where Mr Benes once maintained a personal villa and was later buried. On Sunday President Klaus, criticised his predecessor's treatment by those he said "would like to rewrite history". Similarly, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said that Mr Benes had been demonised in connection with the expulsion of some two-and-a-half million ethnic Sudeten Germans after World War II. According to Mr Spidla, Mr Benes was a "democratic politician who had done all he could" within the circumstances of his day.

Police keep watchful eye on skinhead concert in Czech village

Saturday evening Czech police were called out to monitor a skinhead concert that was held in a local restaurant in the village of Licne near Rychnov, eastern Bohemia, with some 150 in attendance. The concert, which was a private event, went by without incident in the village of just 500, with locals indicating that the police presence probably helped prevent any of the skinheads from getting out of hand. A police representative meanwhile confirmed for Czech news agency CTK there had been no cause to intervene. This, unlike an illegal concert held near Pilsen in April, which police broke-up after skinheads began shouting fascistic slogans. In that incident police ran checks on eighty-five people, taking six into custody for further questioning.

Civic Democrat MP Miroslav Benes, wife & son involved in car crash Saturday

An MP for the right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party, Miroslav Benes, was involved in a car accident on Saturday that saw him and his wife, as well as their son, treated in hospital. However, Mr Benes denied an earlier report he and his wife has been treated for trauma, telling the CTK News Agency he had not been hurt and that his wife and sons' injuries were not serious. Mr Benes' son was behind the wheel of the car when the vehicle crashed. All three had been on their way to an event celebrating Mr Benes' 50th birthday.

Prague International Marathon won by Kenyan and Ethiopian runners, Czech runner makes marathon history by securing third place

The Prague International Marathon was won on Sunday by Kenyan runner Barnabas Koech; among the women Ethiopian runner Leila Amman came in 1st. Mr Koech came in at 2 hours, 12 minutes and 15 seconds, while Ms Amman completed the race in just over 2 hours 30 minutes. The big news for Czech sports fans, meanwhile, was that 3rd place in the men's race was clinched by Robert Stefko, a naturalised Czech from Slovakia who received his citizenship in March. Stefko finished the race in 2 hours 12 minutes 35 seconds, becoming the first Czech to make the winner's podium in the marathon's ten year history. Mr Stefko also automatically qualified for the upcoming Athens Olympic Games.

In all, a little under 4, 500 runners took part in this year's Prague International Marathon, though many of those who took part complained about this weekend's unusually chilly weather.

European Championship canoeing results

Canoeist Martin Doktor earned his second bronze in the 200 metre sprint at the European Championship, beaten by Russian Maxim Opalev and German racer Andreas Dittmer.

On Sunday Fuksa & Netusil canoed to a gold finish in the two-man 200 metre sprint, with the Czech duo edging-out Hungarian and Polish competitors.

Fuksa & Netusil then combined with Brecka and Kozisek to earn gold in the 4-man 200 metre event.

Weather

The Czech Republic saw a "return to winter" over the weekend with meteorologists registering snowfall in the north Bohemian town of Liberec, flurries in southern Bohemia, and rain and hail in the east Moravian town of Olomouc. The weather for Prague and central Bohemia on Monday is expected to improve somewhat - it is expected to be mostly sunny with daytime temperatures reaching a high of 14 degrees Celsius.

23-05-2004