News

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Cyril and Methodius - national holiday

July 5th is a national holiday in the Czech Republic commemorating Saints Cyril and Methodius, Greek missionaries who brought Christianity to the Czech lands in 863. They also created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated the Gospel and liturgical books into Slavonic, which at that time had no written form. The two brothers are considered the founders of Slavic literature.

Mass at Velehrad

As every year on this day thousands of believers made a pilgrimage to Velehrad in south Moravia, where Cardinal Miloslav Vlk served a special mass out in the open. The mass was attended by high church dignitaries including the Vatican's secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone.

Czech Muslems condemn violence against innocent people

Czech Muslems have condemned the foiled terrorist attacks in Great Britain saying that violence against innocent people was deplorable under any circumstances and expressed their support for the war against terrorism. Vladimir Sanka, a leading representative of the Czech Muslim community, expressed concern about a possible backlash against all people of the Muslem faith. "Those who seek to harm innocent people are enemies of us all - Muslims and non-Muslims," Sanka said.

Troubky commemorate tenth anniversary of devastating floods

The south Bohemian village Troubky nad Becvou is marking the tenth anniversary of devastating floods that almost wiped it off the map. In 1997 the country was hit by the worst floods in 500 years, taking lives, destroying houses and ravaging the countryside. The village of Troubky was the worst affected - nine people drowned and three hundred houses were either completely destroyed or so badly damaged they had to be torn down. Troubky became a synonym for disaster but aid poured in and within a few years the village was rebuilt from scratch. On Thursday the villagers attended a remembrance mass for those who lost their lives in the tragedy and viewed a photo exhibition documenting the 1997 disaster.

Czech foreign minister suggests consulting foreign nuclear experts on Temelin

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Wednesday that he did not think it wise to seek a "third party" who would act as judge in the Czech Austrian dispute over the Temelin nuclear power plant. Mr. Schwarzenberg was reacting to a suggestion made by Austrian deputy Albrech Konecny who said on Monday it might be a good idea to let a third party, possibly the EU, decide who was right in the Czech-Austrian dispute over Temelin, because the two sides were clearly unable to reach agreement. The Czech foreign minister said that while he was not in favour of turning the matter over to a "third party" he thought consultations with foreign nuclear experts could be helpful.

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in full swing

The 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is well into its second half with the main awards to be handed out on Saturday night at a special gala event in Hotel Thermal. In the course of the week film fans will be able to see some 250 feature films and documentaries. The main Czech film in competition this year is called Vratne Lahve, or Empties by the well known father and son team Zdenek and Jan Sverak who won an Oscar for their film Kolya. Nine countries have already bought the film rights and Empties will be shown in Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Australia among others.

Skoda Auto's first half car sales rise 13.2 percent

Central Europe's biggest car manufacturer, Czech-based Skoda Auto, boosted sales in the first half of the year by 13.2 percent to 311,062 cars compared with the same period in 2006, the member of the Volkswagen Group announced on Wednesday. Skoda's biggest seller was the mid-range Octavia with sales of 146,772 cars, the company said. In its biggest market, Western Europe, sales rose 11.8 percent to 173,392, on a 12-month comparison. In Central Europe, including the Czech home market, sales rose 16.4 percent to 115,960 cars, Skoda Auto added.

Berdych to compete in his first grand slam quarter-final

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych will be competing in his first grand slam quarter-final. On Thursday Berdych beat 19th seed Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden 6-4 6-0 6-7(6) 6-0.

Vaidisova's hopes of reaching semi-final dashed by Ivanovic

Nicole Vaidisova's hopes of advancing to the semi-finals at Wimbledon were dashed by Serbian sixth seed Ana Ivanovic. The 19 year old Ivanovic, runner up in the French Open last month, won 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and will face Venus Williams for a place in the final.

Weather

The next few days are expected to be mostly overcast and rainy with day temperatures between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius.