News

MP Wolf quitting Social Democrats completely

MP Petr Wolf is quitting the opposition Social Democratic Party completely, the news website novinky.cz reported. The move comes a day after Mr Wolf became the fourth MP to leave the Social Democrats group in the Chamber of Deputies since the last elections in 2006. He recently received threats over his positive position on a planned US radar base, a project the Social Democrats are firmly against. They deny being responsible for the threats, saying Mr Wolf’s resignation was coordinated with the governing Civic Democrats, who back the radar base. For his part, the MP says the Civic Democrats played no role in his decision.

This comes against a backdrop of tension between the government and the opposition in Parliament; the Social Democrats have recently been obstructing business in the Chamber of Deputies and have been refusing to pair with government MPs, putting pressure on them to attend all votes.

Memorial service held at spot where Ležáky stood before Nazi atrocity

A memorial service was held on Sunday at the spot where the village of Ležáky stood in east Bohemia before it was razed to the ground by the Nazis on June 24, 1942. Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to 52 inhabitants of Ležáky murdered following the assassination of the German governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. The same fate had befallen the central Bohemian village of Lidice two weeks earlier. There are plans to invest around 50 million crowns in the next five years in the valley where Ležáky stood; local officials are hoping to attract school groups and are preparing educational programmes.

Štefánik Observatory celebrates 80th anniversary

The Štefánik Observatory on Prague’s Petřín Hill celebrated its 80th anniversary with an open day on Sunday. The Czech Astronomical Society had worked for 11 years to build the observatory before it officially opened on June 22, 1928. It was seriously damaged during the Prague Uprising of May 1945, though within a few months of the end of the war was again open to both scientists and the public.

Report: industrial zones built in last decade 70 percent occupied

The industrial zones built in the Czech Republic over the last decade are 70 percent occupied, according to a report by the government agency CzechInvest. The state has invested nearly 8.9 billion crowns in industrial zones around the country since 1998. Over 500 companies have invested 192 billion crowns in premises in the industrial zones, creating nearly 120,000 jobs, the study says.

Šafránková and Menšík voted most popular Czech film actors

Viewers of Czech Television have voted Libuše Šafránková the most popular Czech film actress and Vladimír Menšík most popular actor. In the poll Dana Medřická came second in the women’s category, followed by Nataša Gollová; Vlasta Burian was runner-up in the men’s poll, with Rudolf Hrušínský third. Libuše Šafránková features in some of the best loved Czech fairytales and won a Czech Lion award for her role in Kolja. Vladimír Menšík, who died in 1988, is regarded as one of the all time great Czech actors.

Hašek turns down post of Czech football manager

Ivan Hašek has refused an offer to manage the Czech national football team. The widely respected coach, who is currently with a club in the United Arab Emirates, announced his decision after a meeting on Sunday with Vlastimil Košťál, the influential deputy chairman of the Czech football association. Mr Košťál was hoping to present a candidate for the post vacated recently by Karel Bruckner at a Czech FA meeting on Tuesday. There has been speculation that a foreign national team coach could be hired for the first time.

Baroš and Czech FA deny allegations player insulted manager

Both Milan Baroš and the Czech football association have denied tabloid allegations that the player verbally abused now retired manager Karel Bruckner after the Czech Republic were knocked out of Euro 2008. The Czech FA posted on their website an SMS message that Baroš sent Bruckner saying the reports were untrue, while officials described them as nonsense. The head of the Czech FA, Karel Mokrý, said the whole thing would be investigated.

Štěpánek hoping to appear at Wimbledon despite not training for week

The current Czech men’s tennis number one Radek Štěpánek is hoping to appear at Wimbledon, despite not training since sustaining a rib injury last week. Štěpánek, ranked 15th in the world, is due to face fellow Czech Jan Hernych in the first round at the All England Club, most likely on Tuesday.

Around 25,000 attend free music festival in Prague

Around 25,000 people attended the United Islands of Prague musical festival, organisers said, adding that attendance may have been twice as high as last year. The rock and pop festival took place over three days at a number of different venues in the Czech capital; as in 2007, admission was free.

Weather

Temperatures could reach up to around 30 degrees Celsius in the next couple of days. It should be quite sunny with rain and even storms expected at times.