Daily news summary News

30-07-2005

Czech police step in at Czechtek

Czech police have intervened at an allegedly illegal music festival - known as Czechtek - held annually in the Czech Republic. Early Saturday the festival, held on a meadow near the village of Mlynec na Tachovsku, in west Bohemia, continued with some 5,000 visitors. But, police - numbering more than a thousand in riot gear and backed, for example, by water cannons - intervened Saturday afternoon, trying to force visitors off the grounds. Part of a nearby highway was closed off. Several hundred visitors reportedly refused to back down and began throwing bottles, at which point police resorted to using tear gas.

The police intervention followed charges pressed by neighbouring landowners who complained that visiting fans had clogged local roads and had damaged private property.

Police intervened only following an assessment by a public prosecutor and an authorised expert saying that festival-goers had broken the law. But, the owner of the grounds has complained he rented the site to festival organisers legally.

In the past, Czechtek has courted no small measure of controversy: last year the event, held elsewhere in Bohemia, resulted in property damages of an estimated 1.4 million crowns - the equivalent of about 56,000 dollars US. At that time police also stepped in.

Man dies following lightning strike

One Czech man was killed during storms in north-west Bohemia on Friday when he took cover under a tree struck by lightning. Storms contributed to several accidents around the country including the derailment of two trains that struck fallen trees on the track. No one on the trains suffered injury. Elsewhere, trains failed to run on some routes as crews cleared fallen debris.

Baros may head to German Bundeslige

Czech football striker Milan Baros may soon be headed for the German Bundeslige, to play for Schalke, if the team's owners can reach a deal with Baros' current club, Liverpool. Schalke coach Ralf Rangnik has revealed that his club has struck a deal with the 23-year-old Czech striker and the player's agent, adding that Schalke would make moves towards agreeing a transfer with Liverpool next week. Liverpool has put up a hefty asking price for Baros - 7 million British pounds. Other clubs that expressed an interest in the striker have been Aston Villa and Deportivo.

Opera singer becomes 9th Czech to swim across English Channel

Czech opera singer Richard Haan made history on Friday when he became only the 9th Czech to successfully swim across La Manche - the English Channel. The 55-year-old completed the swim in 14 hours and 7 minutes after setting out from England's Dover. Haan is one of three Czechs who set their sights on the Channel this week.

Weather

Sunday is expected to be sunny with daytime temperatures reaching highs of about 28 degrees Celsius.

30-07-2005