Prague is to host the biggest gay carnival in Europe! The Czechs are preparing a fantasy-world pavilion for World Expo 2005. And, Pavel Telicka, the country's first ever Euro commissioner resolves an international dispute while on holiday! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

Gay carnival, photo: CTKGay carnival, photo: CTK Prague is to host the biggest gay carnival ever held in Europe. The three day event is to take place in mid-September - under the name Mr. Circuit 2004 - and the organizers are expecting some seven thousand gays and lesbians from around the world. We were inspired by gay carnivals in Paris and Amsterdam, one of the organizers explained, promising three days and nights of non-stop fun with the best DJs ever. There will also be a beauty contest for the "Sexiest Man in Europe". Even though it is a gays' and lesbians' event - the organizers say - anyone's welcome to come along and join in the fun.


Pavel TelickaPavel Telicka The Czech Republic's first Euro commissioner Pavel Telicka successfully resolved an international dispute while on holiday in St. Tropez in August. Mr. Telicka was buying postcards when a commotion outside the shop attracted his attention. On the narrow street two cars were blocking each others way and one of the drivers - a young French sailor was yelling abuse at the other - an older Italian man with a wife and two children in the car. As Telicka approached the Frenchman suddenly attacked the Italian pulling him out of the driver's seat and delivering a few hard blows while the man's wife and children watched in horror. Telicka promptly went into action. "You don't sit back and watch while a man is being beaten in front of his children and obviously can't defend himself." he told the media, obviously embarrassed to have been caught performing a good deed. Witnesses said the Czech EU commissioner had pacified the French sailor in no time at all and restored order. So what are EU commissioners for - if not to sort out European squabbles? The Czech Republic has lost a fine representative in Mr. Telicka, who as a result of the government crisis in Prague has been recalled from his post in Brussels.


Stanislav Janecek, photo: CTKStanislav Janecek, photo: CTK When Stanislav Janecek went fishing after work last week he wasn't expecting an Old Man and the Sea experience - he was there to relax by the riverside and maybe bring a medium sized fish home for supper. Instead he caught a cat-fish that gave him a two and a half hour fight on the line. "I wasn't about to let go - Stanislav said later - I knew this was the catch of my life." It was. Standa is 1 metre, 74 centimetres tall - the fish was 2 metres 53 cm long and weighed 84 kilos. But Standa won and you can see on our web page what a great picture they make.


The future Czech pavilion at World Expo 2005 in Japan has been described as a fantasy world. Water, lights, music and geometric designs are to create a world in which visitors can relax and let their imagination roam freely. For instance, a giant harp and piano will send ripples across the water surface of the indoor pool and the ripples will be transmitted by light onto the walls of the pavilion. These effects will be set off by visitors themselves. If you don't touch anything, there will be silence, says the author of the project. Film Dekor won the public tender to present the Czech Republic in Japan - getting an edge over the others by going for something other than the traditional approach which highlights Czech architecture, crystal glass and beer. The world expo in Japan will take place from March 25th until September 25th, of 2005. 125 countries will be represented at the expo and it is expected to attract 15 to 25 thousand visitors from around the world. Its main theme is The Wisdom of Nature.


PumaPuma People living in the vicinity of Lesna have restricted their Sunday walks to a minimum and they are keeping well away from the local forests where three people claim to have seen a puma - or cougar. A girl of sixteen who was out riding her horse glimpsed the animal first but nobody took her story very seriously until two other people confirmed it - one of them a local hunter. All three claim that the animal most resembles a puma, judging by its shape, size and movement on the outskirts of the forest. Several of the local hunters formed a search party and combed a part of the forest to find two deer carcasses with their throats ripped open but no traces which would help ascertain the nature of the killer. The town's seven hundred inhabitants are now keeping a respectful distance from the forest in question - and many have armed themselves with cameras should they catch a glimpse of the alleged puma. Although none of the country's zoos have reported a missing puma - the animal could have escaped from a private owner. Either that or there's a puma phantom on the lose in the Czech Republic. There have been reports of pumas sighted in different parts of the country in recent years but whatever it is - it is as elusive as Nessie.


The President's Office has prepared a weekend of fun and games at Prague Castle for Czech schoolchildren. The highlight of this event is a new computer game which will take kids back in time - from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century. Thrown back in time by a scatterbrained clockmaker the children will have to meet the demands of whatever historic period they find themselves in and they must successfully fulfil six difficult tasks in order to return to the present. In their trip through time they will come face to face with Czech kings and common folk, with philosophers, painters and later-day politicians. They may find themselves in an open air market, a sculptor's workshop or a 16th century ball. "We are just trying to make going back to school more fun for them," a representative of the President's Office said, "and maybe they'll learn some useful information in the process."


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