Daily news summary News

16-07-2004

President Klaus to stay at controversial 'Benes' hotel in Cesky Krumlov

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is due to spend two nights as a guest in the Hotel Ruze in order to lend moral support to its owner, who has come under fire for erecting a bust of former Czechoslovak president Edvard Benes in the hotel courtyard. Benes, who was president before and after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II, issued a set of decrees that led to the post-war expulsion of up to three million ethnic Germans, also known as Sudeten Germans. Cesky Krumlov, a town in southern Bohemia, is a popular destination for tourists from nearby Austria and Germany, some of whom have taken offence to a quote by Benes inscribed below the bust, which reads: "the guilty will be purifying themselves before themselves and before the world of what they have done these years." President Klaus will in Cesky Krumlov for the opening ceremony of the town's International Music Festival, which begins Friday and continues until August 28.

Slovak police arrest Czech fugitive charged with planning to kill tabloid journalist

The Slovak police announced on Friday that they took Czech fugitive Vratislav Kutal into custody earlier this week. Czech courts had sentenced Mr Kutal in absentia to an unconditional prison term of 10 years for having ordered the contract killing of a journalist for the Czech daily tabloid Blesk. Mr Kutal had been on the run for several years and the international police agency Iterpol also had a warrant out for his arrest. He was arrested not far from the Slovak capital of Bratislava, in the village of Velky Biel. He had reportedly been travelling Europe in a luxury camper van to avoid registering in hotels or staying in one place too long.

Art students face criminal charges for planting fake explosive devices around Brno

Two art students, aged 24 and 21, face criminal charges for having planted fake explosive devices around Brno, the second-largest Czech city. The two young men placed stickers bearing the word "EXPLOSIVE" in capital letters on old electronic components as part of their final semester project. Both devices were planted in the centre of Brno; one of the objects was found near a newsstand and the other on top of a post box. The art students' teacher later informed the police as to the devices' origin.

Team including Czech scientists among finalists for EU Descartes Prize

A team including Czech scientists from the Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics is among the finalists for the EU Descartes Prize. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony at the Prague Castle this December, and the winning teams will receive one million euros towards their research. For the first time in history of this prize, it will be also bestowed on people who have contributed to the popularisation of science. Czech researchers have been members of the winning teams twice, first in 2001 and then in 2003. Multinational European teams of researchers from various fields, from natural sciences, medicine to social sciences, can contest the Descartes Prize.

City of Ostrava receives A- rating on bond issue

The international ratings agency Standard & Poor's has assigned its A-, long-term senior unsecured debt rating to the proposed 100 million euro bond issue to be issued by Ostrava, the third-largest city in the Czech Republic. The euro bond will mature in 2014. The lead manager on the bond issue is Deutsche Bank AG.

Weather

Saturday should be warm but cloudy with light rain likely throughout much of the country and a high of 32 degrees Celsius.

16-07-2004