Plans to build a US radar base in the Czech Republic have been in the news lately, after a protest hunger strike undertaken by two members of a group called No to Bases. Jan Tamáš and Jan Bednář, who started eating solid food again on Monday, are now being replaced by various public figures on short symbolic fasts. Their influence has also spread outside the Czech Republic, inspiring Bruce Gagnon, an activist with the US-based Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space; Mr Gagnon has not eaten for a week and a half – on the phone
The Czech president, Václav Klaus, has described the views on climate change of the three people in the running for the US presidency as sad and tragic. Mr Klaus made the comments in Washington after an event at which he presented the English-language version of his book Blue Planet in Green Shackles. In it he questions the commonly held view that mankind is responsible for global warming. The Czech president said he hoped John McCain, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would tone down their current views on climate change if elected to the White House.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has blocked a website run by a Czech neo-Nazi group, the newspaper Hospodařské noviny reported. A Czech police representative said the FBI had taken that step at the recommendation of police in the UK, who said the site run by the group Blood and Honour was a terrorist site. Blood and Honour is on a US list of terrorist organisations and has links to Britain’s Combat 18 neo-Nazi group, Hospodařské noviny said. A Czech expert on extremism told the daily that Blood and Honour’s site was spreading Combat 18 materials. The former group became notorious for attacking anti-fascists in the 1990s, but has been less active since its leaders were arrested by the Czech police.
Reporters working for the Mladá fronta Dnes daily recently carried out an undercover security test in a number of Czech hospitals, revealing serious shortcomings related to patients’ safety. The reporters, dressed as doctors, accessed eleven of the twelve hospitals tested. They managed to get virtually anywhere they wanted, including intensive care units and maternity wards. Nurses provided them with patient’s medical records and patients readily answered their questions - considered them to be genuine doctors.
On September 11, 2001, the Czech-born architect Jiří Boudník was working across the East River from the World Trade Center, on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. He tried and failed to reach the Twin Towers on 9/11 itself, but returned the following day and spent six months taking part in the clean-up operation at Ground Zero, experiencing horrors that stay with him to this day.
In the first half of the 20th century the Česká národní budova (Bohemian National Hall) was THE Czech social centre in New York, before later sinking into disrepair. Now the building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is receiving a major facelift, and should again be the pride of Czech New York when it reopens its doors later this year. In this edition of Panorama, we’ll be hearing about the past – and future – of the Česká národní budova.
The Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association is one of the oldest and most important Czech organisations in New York. Founded as a kind of umbrella body for a large number of immigrant associations, today the BBLA is mainly concerned with the running of the Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which it built in the 1890s.
The Czech journalist Iva Skochová has been based in New York for the last seven years. She works freelance, writing in Czech for like the likes of Lidové noviny and Reflex, and in English for international publications and websites. When I spoke to Iva Skochová in Greenwich Village, I first asked her to compare journalism in the Czech Republic and America.
The main Czech-American treaty on the stationing of a US radar base on
Czech soil will guarantee preferential protection against a missile attack
to Czechs, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. The Czech Republic will
be also able to participate on the development of plans for anti-missile
protection in Europe.
Under the treaty, the Czech Republic will be responsible for providing external security for the US radar base on Czech soil and the base will be guarded by Czech military police. The US will be responsible for internal security and order at the base and the radar will be guarded by US troops. The agreement is yet to be approved by the Czech Parliament.
With thousands of Americans visiting the Czech Republic every year, the United States is one of the most important markets for CzechTourism. How does the state tourist board go about attracting US tourists? And after the boom of the 1990s, can it persuade Americans to keep coming back? At her New York office, I discussed those questions and more with Michaela Pálková-Claudino, director of CzechTourism in the US.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Study: Airbnb to push Prague citizens out of wider city centre
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister