Daily news summary News

22-05-2005

Former dissidents react to Klaus's criticism of NGOs

A group of former dissidents have hit back at a recent statement by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who said that unelected non-governmental organisations had a dangerous influence on public life. In a letter to the president, the dissidents said discrediting NGOs was an attack on fundamental democratic principles guaranteed by the constitution. Signatories include Bishop Vaclav Maly, Rabbi Karol Sidon and former interior minister Jan Ruml.

Zaoralek calls on North Korea to return to negotiations on nuclear programme

The chairman of the Czech lower house, Lubomir Zaoralek, has called on North Korea to return to six-nation talks on the country's nuclear programme. Mr Zaoralek, who is leading a delegation of Czech MPs on a three-day visit to Pyongyang, said international negotiations were the best way to calm the situation and find a solution. He said the Czech Republic could serve as a mediator between North Korea and Czech allies such as the United States.

Kenyan runners dominate 11th Prague Marathon

Runners from Kenya have dominated the 11th annual Prague Marathon. The winner of the men's race was Kenya's Steven Matebo Cheptot in a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds, while his countrymen took second and third place in Sunday's race. The women's race was won by the favourite Salina Jebet Kosgei, also of Kenya. Transport in the city was disrupted for several hours because of the marathon, which began and ended on Old Town Square and this year attracted a record 5,000 runners.

Sokol movement celebrates 80th anniversary of opening of Prague HQ

The Sokol sports and exercise movement is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the opening of its headquarters, the Tyrsuv Dum building in Prague's Mala Strana. President TG Masaryk was among those who backed its construction, and 14,000 people attended the opening on May 22, 1925. A Sokol official at the time said only two buildings in Prague had been built with that much love and sacrifice: the National Theatre and Tyrsuv Dum.

Ice hockey megastar Jagr need not undergo little finger surgery

X-rays have confirmed that Czech ice hockey megastar Jaromir Jagr will not have to undergo an operation on a little finger injured at the recent World Championships, which were won by the Czech Republic. Jagr is currently in Paris, where he plans to support Czech tennis number one Radek Stepanek at the French Open.

US hip-hop artist latest musician to make music video in Prague

Popular American hip-hop artist and producer Kanye West is to make a video for his single "Diamonds" in Prague, according to MTV. The rapper said he would film in the Czech capital because of the "timeless" quality of the city's architecture. In the past international stars such as INXS and Linkin Park have shot videos in Prague.

Weather

Temperatures are set to drop slightly to a maximum of around 21 or 22 degrees Celsius over the next couple of days, with cloudy weather and some storms expected. Warmer weather should return towards the end of the week, when we can expect sunshine and temperatures of up to 30 degrees.

22-05-2005