News

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Czech diplomat expelled from Cuba arrives in Prague

Czech diplomat Stanislav Kazecky has arrived in Prague after the authorities in Cuba accused him of spying for the United States and refused to renew his visa. Mr Kazecky, 34, has spent two years on mission in Cuba. The Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque on Friday gave Mr Kazecky 72 hours to leave, accusing him of being a spy for the US government, adding he "continually carried out intelligence work and subversive tasks and worked not for the Czech government but for the United States government". Mr Kazecky maintains his expulsion was retaliation for his having met with opposition leaders in Cuba.

At a joint news conference upon Mr Kazecky's arrival on Sunday, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said the Czech Republic was preparing steps to put forward at an EU meeting which is to discuss relations with Cuba.

Illegal rubbish dump in Libceves again on fire

Fire fighters were called to the village of Libceves in North Bohemia in the early hours of Sunday to put out a fire at a rubbish dump full of communal waste illegally imported from Germany. Fire fighters say the fire is now under control and is expected to smoulder for another two days. The cause of the fire is being investigated but arson is suspected. This is the third time the dump has been ablaze since February. Since the beginning of this year, the Czech authorities have been battling with a tide of illegal imports of rubbish.

Easter celebrations in Czech Republic

Christians in the Czech Republic are celebrating Easter as the most important religious holiday of the Christian liturgical year. On Easter Day or "Bozi hod velikonocni" believers mark the Resurrection of Jesus. According to church statistics, there are under a million practicing Christians in the Czech Republic. Easter Monday is a holiday marked with folk traditions: among them the so-called "pomlazka" when men and boys set out in search of girls in order to hit them with Easter wands braided from willow branches and decorated with ribbons. The girls in return present the boys with decorated Easter eggs.

Businessman Pitr has not yet paid 24 million crown damage - CT

Businessman Tomas Pitr, who was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for tax fraud but appealed the verdict, has not yet paid the damage of 24 million crowns (1 million dollars) though he promised to do so, Czech Television reported on Saturday. The station added that Mr Pitr had clearly promised to pay the sum when a court was deciding on whether to remand him in custody. Mr Pitr's lawyer says that he has evidence proving Mr Pitr could not have caused such high damage to the state.

Czech filmmaker Pavel Koutecky dies

Renowned Czech documentary filmmaker Pavel Koutecky has died at the age of 49 in an accident while shooting his latest film. According to police Mr Koutecky fell down an elevator shaft in a high-rise building under construction in the Prague district of Pankrac. A camera was found with the body on Saturday. A police spokesman said Mr Koutecky had been reported missing since Friday night. Script editor Alena Muellerova said that Mr Koutecky was shooting a documentary about a young skyscraper climber.

Weather

The beginning of the week is expected to be partly cloudy with scattered showers and daytime temperatures between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.