Some 200 people from all over the world, who are of Czech origin and
are in Prague to attend the "Week of Czechs Living Abroad", were
welcomed by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and Foreign Minister
Alexandr Vondra on Tuesday. The Week of Czechs Living Abroad centres
around seminars and talks on relations between the Czech Republic and
people with Czech ties abroad. It was first held in 1998 and is
organised by the International Coordination Committee for Czechs
Abroad, in cooperation with the Senate, Foreign Ministry, and Charles
University and is held under the auspices of President Vaclav Klaus.
As part of the event, an award ceremony will take place on Friday to honour women of Czech origin for their outstanding achievement in art, science, sports, charity work, business, and public life. Among those nominated for the prize are Madeleine Albright and Ivana Trump. On the same day, a resolution will be made evaluating the Czech state's ties to problems faced by Czechs abroad. Accompanying programmes include exhibitions, film screenings, and a tour of the National Archives.
Some 72,500 motorists have already broken traffic regulations and have at least one point since the new point system was introduced in July. Ten drivers have collected twelve points and lost their licence, the transport ministry says. The ministry also says the number of accidents and mortalities has decreased significantly in the last two months as drivers have been more cautious.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be visiting the Czech Republic next month to attend the Forum 2000 conference, which takes place in Prague from October 8-10 under the auspices of former President Vaclav Havel. The Forum 2000 conferences are held regularly since 1997 to debate the key issues facing civilization and explore ways to prevent conflict. The Dalai Lama has been a regular participant. On October 11, he is also scheduled to give a public talk at Prague's Sparta sports arena.
Former deputy chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Miroslav Macek, has received a 3000 crown fine for slapping former Health Minister David Rath at a May conference of dentists. The fine was set by the office of Prague 2, on the basis that Mr. Macek committed a public offence. Mr. Macek says that he will not appeal the decision and will pay the fine. The conflict between the two men came to blows after Mr. Rath made statements alluding to Mr. Macek having married for money. Mr. Rath filed a complaint after the incident, which was broadcast by media across the globe.
A two-year program focusing on female immigrants and organized by the European Contact Group in the Czech Republic (EKS), has won the European Commission's Golden Star 2006 award for the promotion of active European Union citizenship. The project, carried out in 2004-2005, aimed to increase tolerance towards immigrants and improve their integration into society. Over 120 women from 33 countries who now live in Europe took part in the project. Among the participants were women from ethnic minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers. The award will be presented to representatives of Czech EKS at a ceremony in Brussels on September 28.
According to a new poll by the Factum Invenio Agency, the Civic Democratic Party would win elections with 36.3% of the vote if Czechs were to go to the polls in September. Support for the Social Democrats is set at 32%. The results show that the ten percent margin between the two biggest parties recorded in August has been decreased.
King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia has begun a week-long visit to the Czech Republic. The 52 year old monarch, who speaks fluent Czech, is expected to meet with the country's top politicians and cultural figures. He is also scheduled to visit Cesky Krumlov on Wednesday, and plans to see Dagmar Havlova, the wife of former president Vaclav Havel, perform at Prague's Vinohrady Theatre. King Sihamoni will also receive honorary citizenship of Prague where he lived for 13 years, studying ballet at the Prague conservatory.
A shooting spree in the Ostrava region of northern Moravia during the morning hours of Monday has left three people dead. Initial reports say that shares in Havirov Technical Services are at the source of a conflict that resulted in shooting during a meeting of Havirov's municipal council. The former director of Havirov Technical Services, Pavel Sliva, is identified as the gunman who shot the deputy mayor, Martin Balsan, and then turned the gun on himself. About an hour beforehand, Mr. Sliva is reported to have killed the lawyer for Havirov Technical Services, Ivana Kabzanova, shooting her on the street in downtown Ostrava. The incident is under investigation.
Former Social Democratic Minister of Education, Petra Buzkova, has confirmed that she will run for the office of the Mayor of Prague. On Monday representatives of Prague's Social Democrats nominated her as their party's candidate in the upcoming municipal elections. After more than a week of deliberating, Ms. Buzkova has accepted the nomination and says that her experience in the world of high politics would help her fulfill the role of the capital city's mayor. Ms. Buzkova was a long-serving Social Democratic MP who held posts as the Minister of Education, deputy leader of the lower house, deputy leader of the Social Democratic Party, and she also served as the leader of the Prague's Social Democrats. Having recently retired from politics, Ms. Buzkova is currently a partner in a law firm.
The international airport in Brno-Turany opened a new terminal on Monday, roughly one year after construction to expand the airport began. The new terminal, in line with Schengen standards, is capable of processing up to 1000 passengers within an hour. President Vaclav Klaus flew to Brno to open the terminal and was the first to enter the building. Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Klaus said that with the airport facelift, Brno may win the right to host the meeting of 18 presidents from the Central European Initiative which will be held in the Czech Republic in 2008. The Brno airport processed 315 000 travelers last year, and the number is expected to rise to over 400 000 in 2006. Regular links to Munich, Prague and London are based in Brno-Turany, and negotiations over seven additional regular flights to Russia and southern Europe are underway.