Czechs around the country including World War II veterans, public officials, and the prime minister himself, have marked the 59th anniversary of the Prague Uprising. 59 years ago this day an estimated 30, 000 Czechs took up arms in organised resistance against their German occupiers; five days of battles left thousands dead. In a commemorative ceremony on Wednesday Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla laid a wreath outside the Czech Radio building in Prague, where dozens died during some of fiercest fighting in May 1945. Mr Spidla reminded those at the ceremony that the uprising had countered plans by the Nazis to destroy Prague, words echoed by Andela Dvorakova, of the Czech Freedom Fighters Union.
Pavel Telicka was among ten new commissioners named to the European Commission by the European Parliament on Wednesday. The ceremony in Strasbourg followed the recent accession of ten new member states to the European Union. The new commissioners, including Mr Telicka, will now work with original members of the European Commission, Mr Telicka in the health and consumer protection sector, a post headed by David Byrne of Ireland.
Locals in the town of Lany near Rakovnik, west Bohemia, suffered a radiation scare on Wednesday after a driver accidentally damaged a measuring device containing radioactive material. The device used in construction work on the Lany motorway, had been cordoned off for safety was struck nevertheless. Police then closed off a small area around the zone, before an expert from the Bureau for Atomic Energy Safety investigated the scene and found that only an electronic part of the device had been damaged and that no radiation had leaked.
Earlier the president's office also expressed concerns over the incident, given that Lany is the location of the president's official summer retreat, the Lany Chateau.
According to Roma advisor Lydie Polackova, based in the east Moravian city of Ostrava, several dozen Roma have already left the Czech Republic in search of job opportunities in Great Britain, just days after the Czech Republic joined the European Union. On Wednesday Mrs Polackova told the Czech news agency CTK that she knew of ten families that had already departed for the UK. But, she added the actual number could be higher. As an advisor, Mrs Polackova said she explained to Roma departing for England or Ireland they would no longer be provided the safety net available before Czech accession, when Czech Romany citizens had applied for asylum.
On Wednesday evening the Czechs will face the United States in the quarterfinals at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague. The other quarterfinal match being played in Ostrava sees Sweden face off against Latvia.
On Wednesday speculation surfaced the Czechs could recruit a final player from the NHL for the duration of the tournament, after several teams were eliminated in the NHL playoffs on Tuesday. The list of possible players includes Robert Lang and Robert Fischer of the Detroit Red Wings, Tomas Kaberle and Robert Reichel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Milan Hejduk of the Colorado Avalanche. Czech coach Slavomir Lener has indicated he will give the issue further thought only after Wednesday's game.
The weather is expected to take a downturn on Thursday with light rain throughout. Daytime temperatures should reach 17 degrees Celsius.
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