Daily news summary News

21-05-2005

Schwarzenberg: deportation shows nervousness of unsure regime

Czech senator Karel Schwarzenberg has been commenting on his expulsion from Cuba on Thursday, in the latest in a series of diplomatic rows between Havana and Prague. Speaking in Paris on his way back to the Czech Republic, Mr Schwarzenberg said his deportation had been quick and had passed without incident. But he added that Cuba's "exaggerated" reaction showed the nervousness of a regime visibly unsure of itself. Senator Schwarzenberg had planned to attend an unprecedented meeting of opponents of the Castro regime.

Lower house chairman Zaoralek leads delegation to North Korea

A delegation from the Czech lower house led by chairman Lubomir Zaoralek has begun a three-day visit to North Korea. The Czech MPs are due to discuss both a possible resumption of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programme and co-operation between their two countries with officials in Pyongyang. Mr Zaoralek is the most senior official from Prague to visit North Korea since the foundation of the Czech Republic.

Czech PM Jiri Paroubek to meet Tony Blair in London on Monday

The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is due to meet his British counterpart Tony Blair in London on Monday, as part of a two-day visit to the United Kingdom. The two leaders are expected to discuss the European Union constitution, further expansion of the EU and the Czech military presence in Iraq. Mr Paroubek will also decorate Czech war veterans at the country's embassy in London.

Czech Army flies Russian MiG 21 jets for last time

After 44 years the Czech Army has stopped using Russian made MiG 21 fighter planes, with the "last farewell" at a ceremony at Caslav airbase in central Bohemia on Saturday. In recent years most of the Army's MiGs were not functional; they have been replaced by Swedish made Gripen jets.

Prague Foreigners Police extend hours due to long queues, chaos

The Foreigners Police in Prague are to extend their opening hours from the beginning of next week, in order to deal with extremely long queues of foreigners applying for residence in the Czech Republic. The Interior Ministry said on Friday that the chaotic situation at the police's office on Prague's Olsanska Street had been due to both a rise in the number of applicants and new regulations which accompanied accession to the European Union.

Project to film Hrabal novel I Served the King of England presented at Cannes

The Czech Film Centre has presented a project to film Bohumil Hrabal's novel I Served the King of England at its stand at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The film is being made by director Jiri Menzel, best known for the Oscar-winning Closely Observed Trains, which is also based on a Hrabal novel.

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock appears at Prague Spring

One of the highlights of this year's Prague Spring classical music festival is taking place on Saturday night, when the legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock appears at the Rudolfinum with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Hancock was a child prodigy who later played with Miles Davis for several years before releasing Headhunters, one of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time.

Rising Czech tennis star Vaidisova beaten in final of Istanbul Cup

Rising Czech tennis star Nicole Vaidisova has been beaten in the final of the Istanbul Cup by America's Venus Williams. Vaidisova only turned 16 a month ago but is already Czech women's number one. She was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Williams on Saturday, in a competition regarded as a warm-up for the French Open.

Weather

The next few days should see temperatures of up to 27 degrees Celsius and sunshine in many parts of the country. However, we can also expect storms ahead of a temporary drop in temperatures at the beginning of next week.

21-05-2005