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US not for now taking up Czech offer of material aid, specialist workers

The United States will not for the moment take up a Czech government offer to send material aid and specialist workers to help deal with the consequences of Hurricane Katrina. Speaking after talks with the Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, the US ambassador to Prague, William Cabaniss, said it was necessary to first establish priorities for aid in the states affected by the disaster.

Czech unaccounted for since Hurricane Katrina located

A Czech citizen who had been unaccounted for since Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of the US has been located. The local authorities in Louisiana got in touch with the man on Thursday after a request from the Czech Embassy in Washington. He then phoned his family in the Czech Republic.

Fugitive businessman in Seychelles, has Seychelles citizenship

Businessman Radovan Krejcir, who escaped police custody in the Czech Republic two months ago, is in the Seychelles, Interpol confirmed to the Czech police on Friday. Mr Krejcir, his wife - also wanted by the police - and their son all have Seychelles citizenship. The Czech Republic does not have an extradition agreement with the country.

Economy records fastest quarterly growth in almost a decade

The Czech economy grew by 5.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, its fastest rise since the same period in 1996, the Statistical Office said on Friday. Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Martin Jahn said the growth was due to foreign investment and the utilisation of European Union funds.

South Korean company to create 1,000 jobs in north Moravia

A South Korean company is to create 1,000 jobs in the north Moravian city of Ostrava with the opening of a new car parts factory. A spokesman for Sungwoo Hitech said the firm had chosen the Czech Republic ahead of Slovakia and Poland because of the country's infrastructure and skilled workers.

Minister wants telecommunications operators to help finance provision of data on users

The interior minister, Frantisek Bublan, says the government will try to persuade Czech telecommunications operators to help finance the provision of data on users, as part of the state's anti-terrorism strategy. Operators now keep such data for three months, but under proposed European Union legislation data would be kept for 12 months; this would cost the state a great deal in additional charges, said Mr Bublan, who was speaking at a meeting of EU interior ministers in England.

Bishop bashes politicians for not discussing human rights abuses with Chinese officials

Roman Catholic bishop Vaclav Maly has criticised Czech politicians for not discussing human rights violations with their Chinese counterparts. Speaking after a two-week visit to China on a tourist visa, he said Czech politicians were happy to discuss trade with Chinese officials but did not mention civil liberties. A former dissident, Bishop Maly has also visited Cuba, Belarus and Moldova to assess those countries' human rights situations.

Press: Hundred children a day injured in Czech schools

An average of around a hundred children a day are injured in Czech schools, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Friday. Three quarters of school injuries are sustained during physical education classes or at break time, the daily said.

Two new Hollywood films begin shooting in Prague next month

Two new Hollywood films are to be shot at Prague's Barrandov studios. Young Hannibal (Behind the Mask) - based on the character Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs - starts shooting next month, as does a remake of the 1970s horror movie The Omen.

Romany band Kale split with singer Vera Bila

The Romany band Kale have announced they will no longer back the singer Vera Bila. They said she was unreliable and had organised solo concerts which clashed with her bookings with the group. Vera Bila and Kale released their first album in 1996 and found considerable success on the international scene.

Czech ice hockey league resumes after summer break

After a five-month break the new Czech ice hockey league season began on Friday evening. Slavia Prague are the bookies' favourites to win the Extraliga, which comes to an end next April.


The next few days should see sunny spells with rain in places and temperatures of up to 27 degrees Celsius.