• 09/16/2004

    Four more Iraqi children with serious heart defects are to arrive in Prague to undergo operations at the city's Bulovka teaching hospital next week. The children have been selected by Czech doctors working at a British field hospital in Basra. Some 20 Iraqi children have already undergone heart surgery in the Czech capital.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/16/2004

    An Australian bookmaker, reportedly the first taking bets on the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, has said former Czech president Vaclav Havel is its favourite to win. Bookies Centrebet are giving 4-1 odds on Mr Havel being awarded the prestigious prize, though he has often been named as a potential winner in the past.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/16/2004

    With the beginning of the ice hockey NHL season delayed due to a players' strike, Czech star Jaromir Jagr is planning to turn out for his old team Kladno. Jagr, who is 32, is currently injured, but has been training with the Czech Extraliga club.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/16/2004

    Sparta Prague lost their first game in this season's Champions League away to Fenerbahce on Wednesday night. Sparta, who were without experienced midfielder Karel Poborsky, were beaten 1:0 by the Turkish club. Elsewhere in the competition, Pavel Nedved scored for Juventus before leaving the field injured, and Milan Baros got a goal for his club Liverpool.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/15/2004

    The Czech government has agreed to extend the mission of its military police officers deployed in Iraq by two months. According to the Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda the extended period - from January till the end of February - is related to security concerns over elections due to be held in Iraq at the start of the year. Washington has said it expects an increase of violence ahead of the elections. The Czech military police contingent is deployed near the town of Basra in southern Iraq where it has helped to train hundreds of Iraqi police officers since December of 2003.

  • 09/15/2004

    The United States will consider ways of simplifying the procedure of visa applications for Czech citizens. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said during talks in Prague on Wednesday that Washington was aware of the complications surrounding the process of visa applications for Czech citizens and would do its best to simplify matters as far as possible. He said that lifting visa regulations for Czech citizens was not on the agenda at present and that a certain degree of security would need to be maintained in view of the existing anti-terrorist measures. A US envoy is to visit Prague later this month to discuss the matter with Czech officials. Prague had been hoping for a reciprocal arrangement, since American citizens do not need visas to enter the Czech Republic.

  • 09/15/2004

    Czech troops may work with a German military team to help prepare infrastructure and security in Northern Afghanistan for October's presidential election, German Defence Minister Peter Struck said on Wednesday. The Czech Republic is prepared to make 40 soldiers available in the near future. The German-run unit, based in the town of Faizabad, is the second so-called "provincial reconstruction" team. It is currently staffed by 30 German soldiers and is to include a total of 85 troops. Berlin has so far failed to bring other countries, notably the Netherlands, on board. In a related development, the Czech defence ministry said that 100 Czech soldiers, most of them special forces troops, serving in Afghanistan would be repatriated this month after ending a six months tour of duty.

  • 09/14/2004

    Police have arrested a man suspected of the murder of a Czech priest. The murder took place on Saturday in the Usti nad Labem region, during an apparent robbery attempt. The victim was 78-year-old Ladislav Kubicek. The suspect, 26-year-old Rudolf Samko, allegedly hit the victim in the head several times before setting the building he was in on fire. Mr Samko was found on Tuesday, a few metres away from a Czech-Austrian border crossing in southern Moravia.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 09/14/2004

    Czech police said on Tuesday that a man suspected of trying to kill a casino owner in Prague last month by detonating a hand grenade under his car on a busy street has been arrested in Israel. The failed attack left eighteen people, mainly foreign tourists, injured. The suspect is said to be a 27-year-old man from a former Soviet state, who is now an Israeli citizen. He was identified after his DNA was found on clothes left in a basement near the crime scene along with a wig, a gun and another hand grenade. Police believe he left the Czech Republic on the same day of the attack. The Czech authorities have asked for him to be extradited to the Czech Republic.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 09/14/2004

    The Czech Republic puts less money into its education system than most other members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD. This according to the OECD's latest statistics in Education at a Glance - a comparative study of education systems of member countries - published on Tuesday. While the Czech Republic spent a mere 4.2 percent of its GDP, other OECD members have spent 6.2 percent on average. Education at a Glance is a publication that is updated every year and enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries' performances.

    Author: Dita Asiedu

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