Klaus: Cypriots must decide on reunification
The Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, who is on a two-day visit to Cyprus, has met the Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos to discuss, among other issues, reunification plans for the divided island. After the meeting, President Klaus said the peoples of Cyprus must resolve the existing situation themselves, adding that a reunification plan cannot be imposed on Cyprus from outside. Cyprus has been divided into a Greek and Turkish part since 1974. The United Nations plan to unite the island failed last week when it was rejected by a majority of Greek Cypriots.
New EU commissioners to make Brussels debut
The Czech Republic's first EU Commissioner, Pavel Telicka, and his nine colleagues from the newcomer member states will take their seats around the EU executive's enlarged table for the first time on Friday, a week after the bloc's historic expansion. The head of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, has denied that the new commissioners, formally approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday, will be second class members even though they will not hold their own portfolios for the moment. The current Commission is due to stand down in October after a four-year term, and all commissioners in the next executive body will share equal responsibilities.
Poll: half of Czechs have no idea of how EU bodies function
Fifty percent of Czechs admit they have no idea about how European Union bodies function, according to a poll released on Thursday. Only half of those polled said they had even a "vague concept" of the activities of the main European institutions, the survey by the STEM polling agency showed. Six out of 10 people in the Czech Republic said they knew at least "a little" about the functioning of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, while 57 percent said they knew how the European Court works.
New case of BSE reported in Czech Republic
Another suspected case of BSE or mad cow disease has been reported in Zvonkova, near Cesky Krumlov, South Bohemia. The animal suspected of suffering from the condition is a four-year-old breeding bull. If confirmed, it would be the Czech Republic's eleventh case of the disease since 2001 and also the first bull found to suffer from BSE. The State Veterinary Authority said further tests would be carried out.
Bus crash near Brno claims one life, 40 injured
One person died and forty were injured on Thursday morning when their bus crashed into the pillar of a railway bridge near the village of Sokolnice outside of Brno. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
President thanks Czech ice hockey team after Czech Republic lost in penalties against U.S. team
The Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, has thanked the Czech national team for their performance during the Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague. The Czech Republic lost in the quarterfinals knockout stage 3-2 to Team USA on Wednesday night, leaving the team and its fans in shock. The highly-favoured Czech team was unbeaten in six games but faced its first real challenge in the Americans, who skated faster and kept the pressure on throughout the game.
Even so, the Czechs took a 2-0 lead in the second period on goals from Martin Skoula and a beautiful wrap-around by Jaromir Jagr that just beat goalie Ty Conklin. The U.S. then got one back from NAME Park, and tied the game in the 3rd when Czech player Jan Hlavac deflected the puck into his own net. The goal was credited to NAME Westrum.
The game was set for overtime.
The extra period saw the Czechs bounce back into the game, turning on the pressure but unable to score. With time running out the game then went to penalty shoot-outs to decide the final outcome. In the shoot-outs the U.S. scored once, the Czechs not at all, though they hit the post twice. The winning U.S. goal came from defenseman Andy Roach who scored on a clever deke that beat Czech goalie Tomas Vokoun.
The U.S. win means that once again the host country will fail to win gold at the Ice Hockey World Championship, something which last happened in 1986 when the Soviet Union won in Moscow.
Friday should be partly cloudy with occasional showers and temperatures reaching highs of 14 to 18 degrees Celsius.