The Czech Film Centre has presented a project to film Bohumil Hrabal's novel I Served the King of England at its stand at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The film is being made by director Jiri Menzel, best known for the Oscar-winning Closely Observed Trains, which is also based on a Hrabal novel.
Czech senator Karel Schwarzenberg has been commenting on his expulsion from Cuba on Thursday, in the latest in a series of diplomatic rows between Havana and Prague. Speaking in Paris on his way back to the Czech Republic, Mr Schwarzenberg said his deportation had been quick and had passed without incident. But he added that Cuba's "exaggerated" reaction showed the nervousness of a regime visibly unsure of itself. Senator Schwarzenberg had planned to attend an unprecedented meeting of opponents of the Castro regime.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is due to meet his British counterpart Tony Blair in London on Monday, as part of a two-day visit to the United Kingdom. The two leaders are expected to discuss the European Union constitution, further expansion of the EU and the Czech military presence in Iraq. Mr Paroubek will also decorate Czech war veterans at the country's embassy in London.
Rising Czech tennis star Nicole Vaidisova has been beaten in the final of the Istanbul Cup by America's Venus Williams. Vaidisova only turned 16 a month ago but is already Czech women's number one. She was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Williams on Saturday, in a competition regarded as a warm-up for the French Open.
The Foreigners Police in Prague are to extend their opening hours from the beginning of next week, in order to deal with extremely long queues of foreigners applying for residence in the Czech Republic. The Interior Ministry said on Friday that the chaotic situation at the police's office on Prague's Olsanska Street had been due to both a rise in the number of applicants and new regulations which accompanied accession to the European Union.
One of the highlights of this year's Prague Spring classical music festival is taking place on Saturday night, when the legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock appears at the Rudolfinum with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Hancock was a child prodigy who later played with Miles Davis for several years before releasing Headhunters, one of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time.
A delegation from the Czech lower house led by chairman Lubomir Zaoralek has begun a three-day visit to North Korea. The Czech MPs are due to discuss both a possible resumption of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programme and co-operation between their two countries with officials in Pyongyang. Mr Zaoralek is the most senior official from Prague to visit North Korea since the foundation of the Czech Republic.
A Prague court has ordered four men found guilty of a racially-motivated attack against a Roma student in 2002, to pay the victim compensation of 25, 000 crowns each - the equivalent of around four thousand dollars US. All four have also been ordered to provide written letters of apology. In October 2002 the four youths, the oldest of whom was 19 years of age, attacked the Roma student near a Prague metro station. The student, Marek Polak, suffered cuts, bruises, and a concussion. His attackers all received suspended sentences, the longest: three years in prison.
Czech officials and politicians have reacted heatedly to Cuba's expulsion
of a Czech senator, demanding an explanation. Senator Karel Schwarzenberg
was thrown out of the country late Thursday, soon after arriving to meet
with Cuban dissidents. So far, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has reacted
by saying the expulsion was proof the Czech Republic's tough stance on
Cuba was justified. Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka, meanwhile, has
described the expulsion as "a blatant violation of international
Karel Schwarzenberg is the former head of the presidential office under former Czech president Vaclav Havel, himself a strong critic of Fidel Castro's regime. The European Union is to decide soon whether to reinstate diplomatic sanctions against Cuba on the basis of human rights violations. The Czech Republic has been pushing the EU not to soften its stance.