News

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Town Hall files complaint in effort to stop far-right march through Jewish Quarter

Prague Town Hall has filed a complaint against a decision by a Prague court to overturn the Town Hall's banning of a march by a far-right group through the city's Jewish Quarter. The demonstration is due to due to take place on the November 10 anniversary of the notorious Kristallnacht Nazi pogrom of 1938.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has described the march as politically and morally unacceptable, and called on the Prague authorities to prevent it taking place.

Meanwhile, the city's Jewish community is planning to oppose it by holding a memorial to the victims of Kristallnacht in the Jewish Quarter at the same time as the far-right event.

Hammer and sickle to return to monument to Red Army soliders

The hammer and sickle symbol is to return to a monument to Red Army soldiers in the Brno district of Kralovo Pole, city councillors decided on Wednesday. The communist symbol was removed without authorisation by the deputy mayor of Kralovo Pole in June. But Brno mayor Roman Onderka said the hammer and sickle should be returned as councillors did not want to rewrite history. Many Russian soldiers died in the liberation of Brno at the end of World War II and some of them are buried at Kralovo Pole. The memorial was built following a collection by local people after the war.

Five hundred take part in simulation of radiation leak from Temelin

Thirty-two towns and municipalities in south Bohemia have taken part in training in what to do in case of a disaster at the Temelin nuclear power station. A radiation leak was simulated in the exercises which were the biggest held in five years, with around 500 people taking part. A spokesperson for Temelin said the chance of a real radiation leak was "one in tens of millions of years".

Infant mortality rate in Czech Republic reaches record low

The infant mortality rate in the Czech Republic reached a record low last year, according to the country's institute for health information. In 2006 3.3 Czech babies in every 1,000 died before reaching the age of one; that was a slight improvement on 3.4 percent in 2005, which was also a record. Over 100,000 babies were born in the Czech Republic last year, with 100 girls for every 115 boys.

Havel receives award for public speaking...

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has been presented with Germany's Dolf Sternberger Award for public speaking at a ceremony at Prague's Goethe Institute. The prize is given for achievement in combining public addresses with political aims, and is named after a German philosopher noted for his concept of citizenship. Speaking at Tuesday's award ceremony, Mr Havel said the 'banalisation' of political speech was a sign of the 'banalisation' of thoughts and deeds.

...while documentary about former president is set for cinema release

A documentary film about the former president entitled Obcan Havel (Citizen Havel) is to go on release in Czech cinemas from the end of January, a spokesperson for its distributors said. The original director Pavel Koutecky died during the making of the film; it was subsequently completed by Miroslav Janek.

Greens boss Bursik still looking for candidate for education minister

Greens leader Martin Bursik says he is still searching for a candidate for the post of education minister, after the resignation of his party colleague Dana Kuchtova. The Green Party's national council put forward Dusan Luzny for the post. However, Mr Bursik said on Radio Impuls that he could not imagine how Mr Luzny, who worked at the Education Ministry under Ms Kuchtova, could overcome the prime minister's reservations about appointing him. Dana Kuchtova stepped down over failing to draw on EU funds to the maximum possible extent.

Czech Railways preparing for clocks going back

Czech Railways are making preparations for the clocks going back at 3 am on Sunday morning. The end of daylight saving time means that 12 international trains will have to remain stationary for one hour on Czech territory so as to avoid arriving at their destinations an hour early, said a spokesperson for Czech Railways. When clocks go forward in spring international trains simply arrive an hour late.

Belohlavek conducting Prague Philarmonia at opening of 14th season

Jiri Belohlavek is set to conduct the Prague Philharmonia on Wednesday night on the opening night of the orchestra's 14th season. The concert, which takes place at the Dvorak Hall in Prague's Rudolfinum, will feature the music of Martinu, Tchaikovsky and Mozart. Last week the world renowned Czech conductor led the Berlin Philharmonic during three concerts of Smetana's Ma Vlast attended by a total of 6,000 people.

Slavia trounced by Arsenal in Champions League

Slavia Prague have suffered one of the worst defeats in the history of football's Champions League, losing 7:0 away to England's Arsenal on Tuesday night. The Czech league leaders have three points in three games in Group H, and remain ahead of Steau Bucharest, who Slavia beat in Prague. At this stage Slavia might be satisfied with taking third spot in the group, thus qualifying for a place in the UEFA Cup.

Weather

It should get a bit warmer over the next few days, with temperatures set to reach up to 13 degrees Celsius. The grey skies we are currently experiencing should give way to some sunny spells.