Russia was behind a false report of a rape by German soldiers in Lithuania that was intended to undermine support for NATO's new eastern force, the head of NATO’s military committee, Czech General Petr Pavel told the Reuters news agency. General Pavel warned Europe to expect more such "fake news”. He said he also hoped to hold the first telephone call in more than two years with Russia's military chiefs in coming weeks. There he will outline why NATO believes its biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War is not a threat to the Kremlin.
The renowned Czech-born US film director Milos Forman turns 85 on Saturday. Although he will not be visiting his homeland for health reasons, his 85th birthday is being marked around the country by a series of cultural events. Czech public Czech Television and cinemas are featuring his films as well as documentaries on his life and career. The Film Archive's Ponrepo cinemas in Prague have been running a month-long retrospective of his films that culminates this weekend. Czech centres abroad are also holding screenings, lectures and debates to mark the occasion. Forman was a leading personality of the Czech New Film Wave of the 1960s. Among his best known US films are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, Hair and Valmont. He has won two Oscars and three Golden Globe awards.
Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, 84, has been hospitalized after his health condition deteriorated sharply, the news site novinky.cz reported citing a Karlin priest in whose parish the cardinal was getting home care. The cardinal was diagnosed with lung cancer late last year and had been undergoing chemotherapy. His condition was diagnosed as very serious since the cancer had metastasized to his bones. Cardinal Vlk recently thanked the public for the messages of support they were sending him and said he was at peace with his conscience and prepared for the end.
The legendary Czech traveler, author and filmmaker Miroslav Zikmund turned 98 this week, the news site novinky.cz reported. Zikmund formed a legendary duo with the late Jiří Hanzelka who died in 2003. They visited 83 countries with their famous Tatra 87, made over 150 documentary films and wrote over 20 books about their adventures. The famous duo were ambassadors not only for Czechoslovakia but for its Tatra cars. While last year Zikmund celebrated his birthday in Rio de Janeiro in grand style, this year he opted for a modest family party in his home town Zlin.
A series of PR events titled Czech Days in Beijing have just been launched in the Chinese capital. A trade fair in the city will present the country’s leading export articles, Czech culture and tourist destinations. The events will culminate with a visit to Beijing by Czech President Milos Zeman in March. Bilateral contacts aimed at deepening cooperation between the two countries have intensified since Beijing and Prague agreed on a reset in relations in 2014.
A Polish miner was found dead at a mine in Karvina in the early hours of Saturday, the ctk news agency reported. The cause of death is being investigated by a special commission. The fifty-two-year-old Polish employee was found by co-workers. No security incident was reported at the mine.
Sunday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain in places and day temperatures reaching 8 degrees Celsius. Night time lows can drop to -2 degrees Celsius.