News

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Another municipality rejects US radar

Another village on the edge of the Brdy military district in west Bohemia, which is the site of a proposed US radar base, has voted against having the facility in the region. Over ninety seven percent of the village's inhabitants who cast their votes said the municipal authorities should do all in their power to prevent the base from being built. The results of the referendum have no legal bearing on any decision taken by the Czech government.

Several municipalities in the Brdy region have already expressed their opposition to the proposed radar facility, which is meant to be part of a new US missile defence shield in Europe. Although opinion polls have shown that as many as two thirds of Czechs are against building the base in this country, the idea has been supported by most of the parties in the centre-right coalition government. The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, has repeatedly called for a referendum on the issue.

Talmanova leaves hospital with newborn son

Civic Democrat MP Lucie Talmanova, along with her baby son Nicolas, has been discharged from the Prague maternity hospital where she gave birth on Tuesday. Ms Talmanova was accompanied by Nicolas's father, prime minister Mirek Topolanek and they posed for photographers outside the apartment where they live.

Mr Topolanek publicly admitted in January that he had left his wife to live with Ms Talmanova, who was then pregnant with their child. He told journalists that he had asked his wife Pavla Topolankova for a divorce but that she had refused. Mr Topolanek already has three children from his first marriage.

Czech Republic to send fire-fighting equipment to Albania

A spokesman for the Czech fire brigade has announced that the Czech Republic is to send special fire-fighting equipment worth around one million Czech crowns (or around 50,000 US dollars) as humanitarian aid to Albania, which has recently been struggling to deal with extensive forest fires that have been exacerbated by the hot weather affecting southern Europe. Earlier in the week the country sent similar aid to Macedonia, which has also been hit by forest fires.

Mayor of Kladno calls for ban on cashpayments by pawn shops

The mayor of Kladno Dana Jiranka has called for a change in the law, which would prevent pawnshops and bazaars from making up-front cash payments for items they buy. Ms Jiranka said such payments should be made by a bank transfer or money order. She was making her comments after a tragic accident in the central Bohemian town on Saturday in which two men were killed and three seriously injured after an unused shed collapsed on them in an old industrial estate. It is believed that the victims were unemployed Romanies who were illegally dismantling the shed for scrap iron and steel when part of the building collapsed. The mayor said people would be discouraged from pursuing such activities if they did not get cash up-front from certain businesses.

Benesova will not stand for president

Former supreme state attorney Marie Benesova has said she will not be standing against President Vaclav Klaus in next year's presidential elections. Ms Benesova's name had been mentioned in the media as a possible opposition candidate for the post, especially as Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek said that his party was considering a number of candidates for the elections next February.

The Social Democrats are currently in negotiations with the Communists, the Greens and the Christian Democrats about fielding a possible joint candidate to stand against Mr Klaus. So far only the name of former Czech foreign minister Jiri Dienstbier has been specifically mentioned as a possible prospect.

Lawyer claims Social Democrats still think they can influence police and courts

Czech lawyer Zdenek Altner has reacted angrily to a decision by the Social Democrat Party to file a libel suit against him and to also file a complaint with the Czech Bar Association. Writing on his own website, Mr Altner said that the Social Democrats were only taking this step because they thought they still had enough influence with the police and the justice authorities in this country to be able to bully and harass him.

Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek told reporters on Saturday that the decision to sue Mr Altner was in reaction to his claims in the media that the party was trying to destroy him and had blackmailed him. Mr Altner has been suing the Social Democrats for billions of Czech crowns, which he says is owed to him for representing the Social Democrats in a dispute over the ownership of the party's Prague headquarters in 2000.

At least seven people die on Czech roads at the weekend

At least seven people have died in car accidents on Czech roads this weekend the Czech Press Agency has reported. According to police statistics, a further 24 people were injured on Czech roads over the past two days and that there were 439 accidents in total. Last week was the worst in terms of car accidents this year with 32 people dying on Czech roads.

So far this year, there has been an increase of fourteen percent in the number of road fatalities compared with the same period last year. In the first six months of 2006, there were 102,000 car accidents on Czech roads with 434 deaths. In the same period this year, there have been 86,000 accidents and 495 deaths.

Record numbers attend the Uherske Hradiste film school

The 33rd Uherske Hradiste film school ended on Sunday. Record numbers attended this year's event in the Moravian town which has become a popular but informal showcase of international films and also hosts a number of film-related sidebars, including workshops and discussions. Over five thousand accredited participants attended this year's film school and the event attracted 130,000 visitors. This year's guests included Argentinian director Hector Babenco and former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

Horakova wins world cycling bronze

Czech cyclist Jana Horakova has won a bronze medal in the elite category at the world cyclo/cross championships in Victoria, Canada, finishing behind Britain's Shanaze Reade and New Zealand's Sarah Walker. This is the second time the twenty-three-year old cyclist has won a bronze in the event. She also took third place at the world championships in 2002.

Weather

It is expected to be overcast with scattered showers. Highest temperatures should range between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius.