A well-known patriarch of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Jan Shwarz, stepped down from his post following a conflict on Saturday over who should administer a special mass at the meeting of the church diet. Delegates voted in favour of fellow patriarch Josef Spak. Differences between church members are apparent: Jan Shwarz has been the centre of controversy in the Hussite Church in recent weeks, apparently at odds with bishops over questions of financing, property, and an alleged lack of democracy in the church's organisation.
Czech actor Jiri Kodet has died following prolonged illness. The much-loved stage and film actor, who came from a family famous for its theatre background, was known for dozens of roles throughout his career. Most recently he appeared in films like Jan Hrebejk's Pelisky and Petr Zelenka's cult hit Knoflikari (The Buttoners), for which Mr Kodet received the prestigious Czech Lion award in 1998. Jiri Kodet was 67.
A member of the ruling Social Democratic Party's executive committee, the
former health minister Ivan David, recommended on Saturday at the
committee's meeting that the chairman of the Social Democrats, Stanislav
Gross, step down from his post. Mr Gross, however, has flatly refused.
Others, including the chairman of the party's deputies club, Michal Kraus,
as well the head of the Chamber of Deputies, Lubomir Zaoralek, backed Mr
Gross, indicating that choosing a new leader so shortly after the party's
congress was not the order of the day.
Mr Gross stayed on as the Social Democrats' chairman despite being forced out of the prime minister's office earlier this year, following a personal financial scandal. No Social Democrat leaders suggested on Saturday that the party should hold an extraordinary congress in the aim of having someone else fill the post.
Czech tennis player Kvetoslava Peschkeova has made it the Women's final 16 at Wimbledon for the very first time. On Saturday the 30-year-old downed the experienced Conchita Martinez - a former Wimbledon winner - in straight sets, 6:4, 6:1. Until now Peschkeova had never made it past Wimbledon's 2nd round: she will now face 8th-seeded Nadezda Petrovava of Russia.
The greatest Czech footballer of his generation, Pavel Nedved, has
extended his contract with Juventus by another two years, meaning he
will now stay with the Italian champions until 2008. Nedved, who is 32,
is expected to decide during the summer whether to return to the Czech
Meanwhile, Czech defender David Rozehnal has completed a move to France's Paris St Germain from Belgian club Bruges.
A lower house deputy for the Social Democrats, Josef Hojdar, has been expelled from the party. The local branch of the Social Democrats in the northern town of Most voted to expel Mr Hojdar at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, saying rules were broken during his election as chairman earlier this year. The government has a majority of just one, but the MP has said he will continue to support it. Several Social Democrats have given their backing to Mr Hojdar, who says he says he will appeal against the expulsion.
Increasing numbers of foreigners have been coming to the Czech Republic for fertility treatments, Hospodarske noviny reported on Friday. Assisted reproduction is considerably cheaper here than in neighbouring states Germany and Austria, the paper said, adding that some Czech clinics actively promote their services abroad.
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has been premiered at the annual Shakespeare festival at Prague Castle. Other plays being performed at the outdoor theatre include Hamlet and the Merchant of Venice. The festival, which usually sells out, travels on to Brno and the Slovak capital Bratislava later in the summer.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is to cut short a visit to Japan
in order to meet the president of China, Hu Jintao. Mr Paroubek had been
due to leave Japan for China on Sunday but will now set off a day earlier,
after a meeting with the Chinese leader was organised at the last minute.
The Czech prime minister said it would be mistake not to take the
opportunity to meet Hu Jintao, who he described as the second most
powerful man in the world.
While in Japan Mr Paroubek has met Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Emperor Akihito; on Friday he took part in Czech national day at the World Expo, which is being held in the city of Aichi.
The lower house has rejected a proposal to end free flights for MPs within the Czech Republic. The bill, which would also have seen a reduction in expenses on foreign trips, was proposed by Christian Democrat leader Miroslav Kalousek. Social Democrat MP Petr Sulak was one of those who voted down the proposal; he described it as populism.