News

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RFE/RL to move from Prague centre to safer location

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is to move from its current location at the top of Wenceslas Square to a safer place away from the centre of Prague, the United States-funded broadcaster announced on Thursday. Security at the station was stepped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the US, and Czech politicians had called for RFE/RL to relocate as it posed a risk to the general population. It is moving to a new building in the Prague 10 district of Hagibor.

Memorial held in honour of Pavel Dostal at National Theatre

A memorial ceremony for Culture Minister Pavel Dostal, who died on Sunday, has been held at Prague's National Theatre. The ceremony was broadcast live on Czech Television and was attended by President Vaclav Klaus, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and other politicians, as well as many well known figures from the world of Czech culture. Mr Dostal will be laid to rest in a private family funeral on Friday.

Press: Slovak Darjanin set to replace Dostal as culture minister

Meanwhile, there were press reports on Thursday that Vladimir Darjanin has provisionally agreed to replace Mr Dostal as minister of culture. Mr Darjanin is currently the head of the Czech pavilion at the Expo 2005 in Japan; he is not a member of any political party and comes from eastern Slovakia.

Paroubek to stand in regions to avoid possible Prague battle with Topolanek

The prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, looks set to stand as a Social Democrat candidate in the Usti nad Labem region in general elections next year, two Czech dailies reported on Thursday. Mr Paroubek currently represents Prague and may have wished to avoid a possible head-to-head battle with Mirek Topolanek, chairman of the opposition Civic Democrats; his party are traditionally strong in the Prague area.

Czechs await suitable conditions for English Channel swim

Three Czechs hoping to swim the English Channel are still waiting for suitable weather conditions. One of them, professional swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova, had to be rescued during a training session near Dover on Wednesday, after the sea turned very rough. She and fellow Czechs Richard Haan and Stanislav Bartusek have until August 3 to attempt the gruelling 21-mile swim.

Germany's Schalke interested in signing Czech footballer Baros

Czech football star Milan Baros has been in talks with German club Schalke over a possible transfer. Baros has been at England's Liverpool for three and a half years, but is not the club's first choice striker. He has a remarkable record at international level, with 25 goals in 37 games for the Czech Republic.

Weather

Prague saw a new temperature record on Thursday, with 34.7 degrees Celsius being recorded at the city's Clementinum weather station. Temperatures are set to rise even further, up to 37 degrees in the coming day or two. It will be sunny with occasional storms.