Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna told the Sport daily that she was to become an American citizen as her application for citizenship was in its final phases. The 1998 Wimbledon champion, now 37, has been living in Highland Beach, Florida for around 10 years. Novotna said the authorities had surpassed her expectations as she filed her request for citizenship only last year. The daily added a comment that Czech tennis has now exported 27 Grand Slam titles to the US after Martina Navratilova with 18 and Ivan Lendl with eight, now it is the turn of Jana Novotna.
According to a poll by the GfK polling agency, most citizens of the Czech Republic believe they live in a corrupt state and that corruption is on the rise. Czechs are also pessimistic as to the future developments. 56 percent of the respondents said they saw bribery as a normal part of life. On the other hand, fewer than 20 percent said bribes were unnecessary as everything could be obtained in a legal manner. According to last year's annual corruption perceptions index by the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International, the Czech Republic came joint 50th with Greece, Namibia and Slovakia, out of a total of 159 countries surveyed.
New Interior Minister Ivan Langer (Civic Democrats) has said he has reduced the number of his deputies from seven to three. They will be responsible for internal security, finances and operation, and public administration. The slimming of the ministry's staff is one of the first steps taken by Mr Langer who was appointed on Monday. Mr Langer also said he was going to order administrative, property, financial and legal audits. He also said he planned to define a strategy of the fight against corruption, to strictly punish failures and simplify some administrative procedures.
A new United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) state of world population
report for 2006 estimates the life expectancy of Czechs higher than
residents of other post-Communist Central European EU member states.
While a girl born in the Czech Republic today can expect to live on
average to 79, in Slovakia and Poland it is 78, and in Hungary 77
years. Compared to her counterpart in neighbouring Germany, though, she
is expected to live two years less.
The global female life expectancy at birth is 68.4. In Europe, it is estimated to be 78.3 years.
Domestic violence is the most widespread form of violence in the Czech Republic a police psychologist reported on Wednesday. According to the Bily Kruh Bezpeci victim support group, three in five domestic violence cases occur in middle and high class families. A recent opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency suggests that 23 percent of the population have experienced physical harassment and mental torture. A new law, which will come into effect in January, defines domestic violence as a criminal act and is expected to help reduce the number of cases significantly.
Czech farmers will have to brace themselves for a severe drop in cereal harvests, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Wednesday. With an expected 6 million tonnes of crops, this year's harvest would be 13 percent lower than last year's. The number of potatoes is to drop by 34.4 percent. The decrease in harvest is expected to result in an increase in prices in foodstuffs like baked goods and meat.
The US Embassy in Prague has launched a new section on its web site devoted to the American missile defense system and Washington's plans to build a base in Europe. The pages include basic information about the project, answers to frequently asked questions, and statements of US Ambassador to Prague William Cabaniss and other representatives of the administration of President George W. Bush. The webpage is in both Czech and in English.
The municipal court in Prague has ruled against a decision made by the country's broadcasting council to issue six licenses for digital television broadcasting. The court says the council's reasoning for approving or rejecting license applications has been obscure and contradictory. The case was taken to court by the country's biggest commercial station TV Nova, which protested against the rejection of a license for four of its projects.
Some 40,000 public transport users in the northern city of Usti nad
Labem will not be able to reach their destinations by bus this Thursday
and Friday. Trade union members of the region's transport authority and
its affiliated bus company CSAD Ceska Lipa have announced that they
will go on strike. Since the regional authority has not guaranteed that
it will remain in contract with the bus company beyond the end of this
year, CSAD employees fear they will soon be out of a job.
Last month, commuters in Usti nad Labem were stranded for four days as a bus company went on strike to demand compensation for a premature termination of contract.