Students in Belarus, who are thrown out of their universities for taking part in demonstrations against their President Alexander Lukashenko could be allowed to continue their studies in the Czech Republic. The Czech government is to discuss this possibility at its session on Wednesday. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek also plans to discuss the study stays with education minister Petra Buzkova. Massive protest demonstrations are being held in the Belarusian capital Minsk after Mr Lukashenko gained another term in a presidential election last weekend, which is widely believed to have been rigged.
Former Czech President and human rights advocate Vaclav Havel has
spoken out against the United States' strict visa policy towards the
Czech Republic. Mr Havel said the USA was being pedantic and to some
extent absurd. Millions of Mexicans cross the border with bags of
cocaine and heroin, but the authorities are worried about the Czech
student staying too long, Mr Havel told the CTK news agency.
But unlike foreign minister Cyril Svoboda, Mr Havel believes reciprocal measures against US citizens are not necessary. Instead, Czechs should get the word out by openly talking about it, joking about it, and writing about it in papers, such as the New York Times, Mr Havel suggests.
A replica of a medieval crane that used to be powered by men running inside two large wheels is to be erected at Prague Castle. The crane will be part of an accompanying programme to the Charles IV exhibition that is currently underway. It will be constructed according to images from the famous Wenceslas Bible and similar cranes preserved in the Czech Republic and abroad.
The opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats have strongly criticised Social Democrat Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek for failing to defend Czech interests at the EU summit in Brussels on Friday. The Czech Republic has backed down from its earlier demand for a stronger directive on the liberalisation of trade in services. The move was criticised at the Civic Democrats' Executive Council meeting in Karlovy Vary. The rival Social Democrats were also scorned for the large number of corruption scandals around the party, a lost arbitration case that could cost the state billions of crowns, and unrest in the health sector.
The Czech government will not interfere in a decision to keep the remains of German WWII soldiers stored in a factory in the northern town of Usti nad Labem, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said on Saturday. The bodies of the Wehrmacht soldiers were exhumed from various graves around the country to be buried at a special cemetery in Prague. The organisers of the project ran out of money, and the remains were stored at the factory instead, where they have been for the last three years.
A Prague City court has refused to reveal whether an arrest warrant will be issued for entrepreneur Libuse Barkova - a personal friend of former prime minister Stanislav Gross and his wife Sarka. Mrs Barkova - facing a new trial for insurance fraud - recently raised fears that she might elude justice after travelling to the Dominican Republic. She has since returned to Prague and her lawyer presented Mrs Barkova's passport to the court earlier this week, as well as issued a faxed promise by the defendant that she would not try and leave the country. In the past, a number of suspect business figures managed to escape abroad to avoid arrest in the Czech Republic - the most recent being Radovan Krejcir - a former Czech citizen now residing in the Seychelles.
The Czech Republic within the European Union has helped put forward a plan
for sanctions against the Lukashenko regime in Belarus. The plan -
initiated by Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda - was been discussed at
the EU summit in
Brussels on Friday. Sanctions are in reaction to last weekend's elections
Belarus, widely considered flawed. On Thursday night between 300-500 opposition demonstrators protesting Mr Lukashenko's re-election, were
confronted by police officers. The exact form of
sanctions against Belarus has not yet been agreed, but is expected to
include travel restrictions and financial penalties.
Sanctions may also include a travel ban for Belarus' strong-arm president.
According to the Czech commercial radio station Radio Impuls American pop icon Madonna is planning on performing in Prague in September. On Friday the station claimed the singer will take to the stage for two performances in Prague's Sazka arena come September 5th and 6th - as part of her 'Confessions on a Dance Floor' tour. Sazka itself has not confirmed any of the dates or information. If the dates are confirmed it will be the first time most Czech fans will be able to see Madonna in a live performance; the singer has never before played the Czech capital.
Czech politician and writer Jaroslava Moserova has died at the age of 76. She lost her battle with cancer on Thursday. The former senator had an extraordinary career, known for literary translations of novels by author Dick Francis. Mrs Moserova was also a burns specialist who was the first doctor to treat Jan Palach after the student immolated himself in protest of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Czech figure skater Pavel Verner placed 13th at the World Men's Figure Skating Championship in Calgary, Canada. This is the best placement that the 19 year-old sportsman has ever notched in a world championship. Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel skated to gold, Brian Joubert won silver, and Evan Lysacek from the United States got bronze.
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