One year after Prague was shaken by disastrous floods one man is back and his picture is featured on almost all the front covers this day: Sean Connery - returning for the premiere of his new film 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen', which was partly shot in the Czech capital.
At Wednesday's lavish premiere at Prague's Slovansky Dum Mr Connery was accompanied by his wife Micheline and both were greeted by hundreds of excited fans. MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that the 72-year-old Scottish actor also met with former president Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar, whom he presented with a cheque for almost 850, 000 crowns. That money goes to Mrs Havlova's charity foundation Vize 97. Another cheque for the same amount was given to Prague's Lord Mayor Pavel Bem to go towards reconstruction after the floods. So clearly, one year on, Prague has come to mean a lot for Mr Connery, who commented he had been fortunate to have gotten to know Vaclav and Dagmar Havel.
Turning to other events, controversial books published in the Czech Republic are back in the news, after publisher Michal Zitko received a 22-month suspended sentence earlier this week for having put out Mein Kampf in Czech. LIDOVE NOVINY looks at the recent history of controversial publications here - everything from a cookbook called 'Cooking with Cannabis' to 'Tabu in the Social Sciences', accused of making generalisations and slurs about the behaviour of the Roma and Jewish people. While the publisher of 'Cooking with Cannabis' was given a four-month suspended sentence for promoting drug use three years ago, 'Tabu' awaits trial now - for defamation and spreading of racial intolerance and hatred. The question remains when is something censorship and when - if ever - is censorship just?
Political scientist Zdenek Zboril, for one, does not believe the publisher Michal Zitko should have been charged. Instead, he tells LIDOVE NOVINY the courts should have taken a direct stance, stating clearly why Mein Kampf was dangerous for publication for Czech society at this time. That is something the courts haven't done.
We turn to the charismatic Janina Hrebickova - she's making headlines again - this time in PRAVO. The Czech Republic's representative on the body set up to oversee the reconstruction of Iraq is quoted as saying "I'm waiting for our businessmen to wake up!". Her statement comes in reference to the fact that Czech businesses should be coming to the fore on their own initiative if they expect to make a mark in Iraq.
Ms Hrebickova's mission is primarily humanitarian, providing expertise for improving the situation in the Middle Eastern country - not signing contracts. In her interview she tells PRAVO says that since her stay in Iraq began seven-and-a-half weeks ago she has been working twelve hour days promoting the Czech Republic, making contacts, and organising logistics so that her delegation can live and work efficiently, in relative safety.
And finally, in this edition, HOSPODARSKE NOVINY writes how Czech businesses are waiting for the district of Karlin to build a special anti-flood barrier before they consider moving back. Karlin, of course, was one of the worst flood-hit areas in all of Prague exactly one year ago, with many buildings collapsing on their own or demolished later on, so it is understandable businesses are wary. HOSPODARSKE NOVINY offers a list of businesses that plan to move in to provide new living quarters and office space. They hope to fulfil predictions that within five year's time the formerly industrial district will become Prague's financial hub. The financial daily notes that investors are on the verge of taking the plunge, but that they want to see that barrier physically going up, to insure their investments will be properly protected this time around.
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