The north Bohemian branch of the Social Democratic Party has thrown support behind Social Democrat deputy Josef Hojdar, the rebellious MP who quit his party's parliamentary caucus earlier in the week, in dispute of aspects of the government's planned fiscal reforms. On Friday members of the north Bohemian branch pledged to stand behind Mr Hojdar, passing a resolution saying his act had been an effort to open "necessary discussion" on balancing the "impact" of reforms on the public, especially on lower-income families. After the meeting late on Friday, both Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla, and Mr Hojdar spoke with journalists confirming that debate on reforms within the Social Democratic Party would continue. Mr Hojdar stressed that he was for reform, but said that the legislation shaped needed to be consistent with the Social Democratic Party's platform. However, Mr Spidla indicated that it was not yet obvious which changes would be put forward.
Jiri Horak, the first man to lead Czechoslovakia's Social Democratic Party after the fall of Communism, died on Friday at the age of 79. Mr Horak led the Social Democrats from 1990 to 1992, the year the party made it into Czechoslovak parliament. New MPs at that time included future prime minister Milos Zeman. After stepping down Mr Horak returned to the United States, where he lived and had studied political science at Columbia University. He died in Florida after several years' battle with cancer.
Czech police have staged a massive raid at a market in the Chomutov region on the Czech-German border. The raid is intended to break-up the sale of illegal imitation goods. Although just underway, police say that the raid has already shown that some 80 percent of the items on sale at the market are contraband copies of audio CDs, video cassettes, and brand-name clothes. 124 police officers are taking part in the seizure of items.
A 33-year-old woman has been hospitalised at undisclosed psychiatric hospital after spending two years in forced isolation in an apartment in Cheb, west Bohemia. Her detainment was discovered by chance by police on Friday. The young woman had been kept in a room in the apartment in extreme and unsanitary conditions by the apartment owner, a 54-year-old woman who will be remanded in custody on charges of manufacturing illegal drugs. Police found half a kilogram of methamphetamine in the apartment. It is believed that the younger woman in the apartment had been forced into prostitution. A full investigation is under way.
The legendary British band the Rolling Stones are in Prague after arriving at the capital's Ruzyne airport on Friday. Friday evening Mick Jagger, the band's lead singer, attended a small dinner near Prague's Kampa Park, in the city's Little Quarter. Sources say the singer enquired about the devastating floods that hit much of Kampa and other parts of Prague just under a year ago. The Rolling Stones return to the Czech capital for the first time in five years. They will play to a massive crowd on Prague's Letna Plain on Sunday, the same day Mr Jagger celebrates his sixtieth birthday. Former president and long-time Rolling Stones fan Vaclav Havel will be in attendance. A gift Mr Havel has prepared for Mr Jagger is a glass vase designed by post-modern architect and designer Boris Sipek.
Some fifteen thousand people have gathered for a week-long techno party in the village of Ledkova near Kopidlna, in the Jicin area in north Moravia. The party, which has a ten-year-long tradition, is taking place on land rented from an independent farmer. So far there have been no complaints from local residents concerning noise levels, nor have there been any reports of any unfavourable incidents.
Sunday is expected to be mostly overcast with some sunny periods. Daytime temperatures are estimated at 28 degrees Celsius.
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