Daily news summary News

05-07-2005

Czech Roman Catholics remember church founding fathers Cyril, Methodius

It is a national holiday in the Czech Republic, where Roman Catholics have been remembering Saints Cyril and Methodius, Greek brothers who brought Christianity to the Czech Lands when they arrived in Moravia in 863. They also created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated the Gospels and liturgical books into Slavonic, which at that time had no written form; the two are considered the founders of Slavic literature.

The Cyril and Methodius tradition was also an important element of the 19th century Czech national revival.

Around 30,000 attend special service in Velehrad

The biggest event commemorating Cyril and Methodius on Tuesday was the traditional pilgrimage to Velehrad in south Moravia, where the missionaries were based. Cardinal Miloslav Vlk conducted a special service there which was attended by around 30,000 people, including President Vaclav Klaus. Mr Klaus described Velehrad as an important place in Czech history and a living memorial.

Wednesday will also be a state holiday in the Czech Republic, the anniversary of the death of religious reformer Jan Hus.

Havel, Paroubek in accord over need to ratify EU constitution

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said after lunch with former president Vaclav Havel on Tuesday that the two men had very similar views on the European Union, and were in favour of the ratification of the EU's controversial first constitution. Mr Havel's support for the EU constitution is in contrast with the position of his successor Vaclav Klaus, who is strongly opposed to its adoption.

Girls choir director unlikely to remain in post regardless of trial outcome

Bohumil Kulinsky says he is extremely unlikely to remain as director of the Bambini di Praga girls choir, whether or not he is found guilty of sexually abusing several members over a 16-year period. Mr Kulinsky is accused of having had sex with three of the choir and abusing 49 girls. He made the statement in a radio interview on Monday, a few days after being released from custody.

Weather

Forecasters say the wet weather we are currently experiencing looks set to continue, and have warned that some rivers may rise dangerously high. There should also be occasional sunny spells over the coming days, with maximum temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius.

05-07-2005