Daily news summary News

06-08-2005

Demonstrations held against police breakup of techno festival

Demonstrations have been held in Prague and Brno against the police's break-up of the CzechTek free music festival last weekend. Over a hundred people were injured on both sides after riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse an estimated 5,000 festival participants. Protests were also held at the Czech embassies in Paris and Berlin on Saturday.

There has been strong criticism of the police's actions from President Vaclav Klaus, his party the opposition Civic Democrats and former president Vaclav Havel. However, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan continue to insist the intervention was justified, though both men say some individual police officers may have broken regulations.

Investigations have been launched by both the police themselves and the Ombudsman's office.

Former TV Nova boss Zelezny elected chairman of new party

Former TV Nova boss Vladimir Zelezny has been elected chairman of the Independent Democrats, at the party's inaugural conference in Prague. Mr Zelezny, who is a member of the European Parliament, said the party was aiming to enter the Chamber of Deputies at next year's elections, and to play a part in the formation of the next government. The Independent Democrats, who so far have 500 members, look set to adopt policies critical of the European Union.

Smoking completely banned at 16 percent of Czech workplaces

Smoking is completely banned at 16 percent of Czech workplaces, while almost a quarter have indoor areas where smoking is permitted, according to a study released by the State Health Institute. Meanwhile, the Czech anti-smoking coalition says its research shows fifty percent of smokers would welcome a total workplace ban. A quarter of Czechs smoke every day, with the average smoker getting through seven cigarettes a day.

Sad end to career of former world champion Kasparkova

Czech triple-jumper Sarka Kasparkova failed to qualify for the final at the World Athletic Championships in Helsinki, the last major competition of her career. Kasparkova, who is 34, took bronze at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta before winning gold at the World Championships in Athens the following year.

Czech football league kicks off new season

The 2005-2006 season in Czech football's Gambrinus League got underway on Friday evening, with a 1:1 draw between Slavia Prague and newly promoted Jihlava. Last season's champions Sparta Prague got off to a winning start on Saturday, beating Pilsen 2:1.

Weather

Temperatures over the next few days should not exceed around 20 degrees Celsius. We can expect rain but also some sunny spells.

06-08-2005