Daily news summary News

17-09-2004

Conference for democracy in Cuba begins in Prague

A three-day conference of the Prague-based International Committee for Democracy in Cuba got underway at the Czech Senate on Friday. The conference, entitled "For Democracy in Cuba", is being attended by eminent figures such as former Czech president Vaclav Havel, former Solidarity leader and Polish president Lech Walesa and the former presidents of Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

Collapse of gay dance event due to take place in Prague being investigated

An investigation has begun into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the gay dance party Mr Circuit, which was due to take place in Prague this weekend. Police are questioning two foreigners after fraud charges were brought against the event's American organisers Egayworld, who announced on Thursday they had gone bankrupt. The event, scheduled to take place at the Vystaviste Industrial Palace, had been expected to attract 15,000 people from all over Europe.

Technician not to blame for crash in which former astronaut, cosmonaut injured

A flight deck technician has been cleared of blame by a court in Pisek for a 2001 helicopter crash which injured former US astronaut Eugene Andrew Cernan, the last man on the moon. Three other people were hurt in the crash, among them Vladimir Remek, a former Czech cosmonaut who is now a Communist Party member of the European Parliament. The group were on their way to the home town of Cernan's grandfather in south Bohemia when the accident occurred.

Member of Qatar royal family in custody in Prague over sex abuse charges

A member of Qatar's royal family accused of sexually abusing underage girls in Prague has been taken into custody, police said on Friday. Two young women suspected of providing the Qatari royal with girls aged between 12 and 15 have also been arrested. The accused, who has been a businessman in the Czech Republic for the last ten years, does not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Joint British-Czech military exercise comes to end

A two-week British-Czech air defence exercise which continued despite the deaths of six British soldiers in a helicopter crash came to an end on Friday. The six burned to death when their Lynx helicopter crashed on September 9 around 30 kilometres west of Brno. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.

Four get prison terms for killing of Ukrainian

Three men have received eight-year prison terms for the killing of a Ukrainian citizen, while a female accomplice was given a seven-year term. During the trial the regional court in Ceske Budejovice heard that the group had set upon the man following an exchange of insults. He died of injuries to his brain and was found the next day by a co-worker.

Czech, American police detain group accused of smuggling drug ecstasy to US

Police in the Czech Republic and the United States have detained a number of people in both countries on charges of smuggling the drug ecstasy from Europe to the US. A police spokesperson on Friday refused to divulge any more information about the arrests.

Skoda Praha wins big contract in "traditional market" Bulgaria

The Czech engineering company Skoda Praha has won a contract to supply energy equipment worth 600 million crowns to a power plant in Bulgaria. Skoda Praha will rebuild one block of the coal-fired plant. A spokesman said Friday that returning to a "traditional market" was important to the company.

Tomas Bata honoured at Prague Castle 90th birthday party

The much-respected Zlin-born businessman Tomas Bata is celebrating his 90th birthday at a reception at Prague Castle on Friday evening. Among the guests at the party will be President Vaclav Klaus and his predecessor Vaclav Havel. Mr Bata, the former head of the Bata shoe company, has been living in Canada for 65 years.

Thursday a bad day for Czech Republic's bookmakers

Thursday was a bad day for Czech bookmakers Tipsport, who paid out a record 106 million crowns (almost 3.5 million euros). Other bookies also recorded record payouts, which came in the wake of midweek European club football games.

Both Czech football clubs in UEFA Cup beaten in first round first leg

The holders of the Czech football league title, Banik Ostrava, have been beaten 3:0 away by English Premiership club Middlesbrough in the first leg of the first round of the UEFA Cup. Olomouc, meanwhile, were beaten 1:0 away by Spanish club Real Zaragosa.

Stars in action at beginning of Extraliga ice hockey season

The new season of the Czech ice hockey Extraliga got underway on Friday evening. Due to a players' strike in the NHL many of the Czech Republic's biggest hockey stars such as Jaromir Jagr, Patrik Elias and Milan Hejduk are playing, at least temporarily, for Czech clubs.

Weather

Saturday should be a sunny day in many parts of the country, with a maximum temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.

17-09-2004