News

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Village holds referendum on issue of radar base

The village of Trokavec, near the Brdy military base in central Bohemia, has held a local referendum on the issue of a possible US radar base. That could be built in the region as part of the United States' planned missile defence shield in Europe. The US has formally requested both Poland and the Czech Republic to host missile and radar bases on their territory, but public opposition remains high. In the referendum in Trokavec - a village of one hundred inhabitants - 71 people voted "against" the base while 1 person voted "for". The result is only of symbolic value. The Czech government has made clear it will seek parliamentary approval for the US request rather than hold a national referendum.

Opposition: referendum result should be taken seriously

In related news, the opposition indicated on Sunday that the government should take the Trokavec result seriously. Communist MP Jiri Dolejs told the CTK news agency that the result needed to be taken into account, an opinion also voiced by the Social Democrats. Government party members also reacted, including Christian Democrat MP Michaela Sojdrova, who called Trokavec residents' views "important". Green Party MP Katerina Jacques reportedly stated that it would be "good" for the Czech Republic to hold a national referendum on the issue but only once the country had "enough information".

EU officials, Havel, to attend Prague conference on future of EU

EU officials, members of the Czech government, as well as former Czech president Vaclav Havel will attend an international conference in Prague on the history and future of the European Union on Tuesday. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which established the original ECC, or European Economic Community. Other participants will include Czech European commissioner Vladimir Spidla and the Delegate for European Affairs Catherine Colonna, and others. The Czech government will be represented by the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra, and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

Prague mayor to depart for Everest

Prague Mayor Pavel Bem - an avid mountaineer - is making final preparations before he and a team of fellow climbers depart for Mt. Everest next week. They leave next Saturday for Tibet. Mr Bem and five others on the team will attempt to ascend Mount Everest along its northern face, with the final ascent planned for sometime between May 5th and 15th. According to the mayor, the team will try to reach the top without relying on bottled oxygen, although members will have the gear along. During the mayor's absence, his office will be run by Deputy Mayor Rudolf Blazek.

Czech skier suffers fifty metre fall in Tatra Mountains

A 26-year old Czech ski alpinist (ski mountaineer) fell fifty metres in Slovakia's Tatra Mountains on Sunday, suffering serious injuries to her spine and pelvis. The skier lost her balance on a cliff edge when buffeted by strong winds. Poor weather conditions prevented rescue crews from making use of an emergency helicopter. Mountain rescue service members set out to recover the injured woman on foot. They were met by the woman's compatriots carrying her on a makeshift stretcher. She is now being treated in hospital.

Matej Ruppert, Anna K. and Krystof triumph at Andel awards

Singers Matej Ruppert and Anna K. triumphed at the annual Andel (Angel) awards on Saturday evening given to the country's best musicians by the country's Academy of Popular Music. The pop group Krystof was voted band of the year, and also recognised for best song and best Pop & Dance album. Composer Karel Svoboda, who took his life earlier this year, was inducted "in memoriam" into the Music Hall of Fame. The award was picked up by his son Petr and his wife Vendula.

Karel Gott overall winner in TyTy awards

Czech singer Karel Gott has won the overall TyTy award for most popular TV personality, awarded yearly in the Czech Republic. The awards ceremony was televised in the Czech Republic on Saturday night. Mr Gott also triumphed in the best male singer category, while Lucie Bila won in the best female singer category. In other categories: Miroslav Donutil and Daniela Sinkorova were chosen as the country's most popular actors. The annual TyTy awards are voted on by TV viewers themselves.

Jagr helps crush Bruins to keep alive Rangers' play-off hopes

Czech forward Jaromir Jagr helped his team the New York Rangers crush the Boston Bruins in ice hockey action in the NHL on Saturday. Jagr picked up three assists in the game while fellow Czechs Petr Prucha and Michal Rozsival picked up goals apiece in the 7-0 win. The Rangers have edged into the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. In other NHL action the Caroline Hurricanes' Josef Vasicek picked up a goal and two assists in his team's 7-2 victory over New Jersey. Also, Tomas Plekanec helped his Montreal Canadiens edge Toronto 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out. The Canadiens are one of five "Original Six" teams currently struggling for a play-off spot.

Weather

Overcast conditions are expected into the beginning of the week, with daytime temperatures dropping somewhat: highs of only around 8 degrees Celsius are expected on Monday.