The Czech National Library has been awarded the UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize. The library is the first to receive the 30,000 US dollar prize, which is given every two years in recognition of a contribution to the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage. The prize giving ceremony took place in Cheongju in the Republic of Korea. The National Library, which is one of the forerunners in making rare book collections available electronically, was selected from a short-list of seven, out of a total of 36, nominations. Its format for structuring digital copies has been adopted by UNESCO as a standard for its Memory of the World Programme.
Police are monitoring a techno party near the south Bohemian town of Pilsen this weekend. Some 3,000 people have attended the rave so far. One man had to be rushed to hospital after he overdosed on party drugs. He is now in stable condition. The event is closely monitored following a police intervention in a techno party last month, which left dozens injured on both sides. Police say the party this weekend, has been peaceful, no-one is trampling on private property, and nearby villages are not complaining of excessive noise.
A campaign is currently underway around the country aimed at informing the younger generation of the dangers of Hepatitis C and the ways it can be transmitted. Information flyers are distributed at schools, dormitories, night clubs, and health centres. Sixty percent of Hepatitis C patients in the Czech Republic are intravenous drug users; other groups at risk are people who acquire tattoos and piercings, and sexually promiscuous individuals. Campaign organisers say most Czechs are unaware that the virus is transmitted primarily by blood and can stay in one's system undetected for decades. The virus can lead to various cirrhoses and liver cancer, which some 30 percent of patients die from.
Motorists have been cuing at petrol stations around the country to fill up their tanks ahead of projected price hikes. In just 24 hours, the price of a litre of petrol has already increased by up to 3 crowns on Saturday. Petrol stations say limited stocks are forcing them to raise prices; with some stations planning to have prices up by 6 crowns by Monday.
Prague police are refusing to comment on the shooting dead of a 22-year-old man, believed to be from Ukraine, in the early hours of Friday morning. The CTK news agency reported that he was shot by the police, who were responding to a call from a woman who said men were "restricting her freedom" in her flat. A spokesperson said the police were continuing to investigate the incident.
The Czech football team have arrived in Romania, ahead of an important
World Cup qualifying game on Saturday. They are currently second in
their group, but a win against Romania could help them guarantee a
place in the finals - the two second-placed teams with the best results
go through without having to take part in playoffs. The Czechs last
reached the World Cup in 1980.
Meanwhile, the national ice hockey team got off to a winning start under new coach Alois Hadamczik on Thursday, beating Finland 2:1 in Liberec in the Ceska pojistovna cup.
The governing Social Democrats have described the furore surrounding the
privatisation of Unipetrol as a campaign aimed at discrediting the party.
Chairman Stanislav Gross - who has been linked to alleged bribe-taking -
has called for a full investigation of the affair, which began when TV
Nova showed a meeting between a Polish lobbyist and Zdenek Dolezel. Mr
Dolezel was sacked by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek as head of his office
over the recording.
The state's stake in Unipetrol was bought by Poland's PKN Orlen, and there have been reports that Polish officials want to question Mr Gross, a former Czech prime minister, and the country's minister of finance, Bohumil Sobotka.
The Czech Republic recorded a foreign trade surplus of 1.2 billion
crowns in July, an improvement of over 8 billion compared to the same
month last year. It is the first time there has been a surplus in July,
when there is usually a downturn due to seasonal factors. The balance
particularly improved in the field of machinery and transport
Friday's positive figures caused the Czech crown to rise in strength against the euro- it reached a three-year high of 29.21.
The Prague district of Troja will be the last part of the city to receive flood defences; they are to be installed after the world kayaking championships are held there next August, deputy Prague mayor Jan Burgermeister said on Friday. Many areas of the city were damaged three years ago during the worst flooding in centuries.
The first phase of a new terminal at Prague's Ruzyne international airport has been officially opened, four months ahead of schedule. The main hall of the terminal, known as North-2, should be completed by the end of the year. Ruzyne is set to become the biggest airport among the ten countries which joined the European Union in 2004, and the first to handle more than ten million passengers a year.